This Canadian professional dancer opened a flower shop in Pandemic, and this is what happened!
You have ever wondered how some people are just unstoppable? Shannon Whelan, who owns and operates her shop Euclid Farms located at Queens Street, Toronto, will make you realize how you can carve your path and destiny with your resilience, and nothing (not even a PANDEMIC) can stop you from doing that.
What do you do, and how did it all start?
I was running my flower business from my house for three years. After the Pandemic hit, we opened our store to expand our space. It was a great location in the city and close to where we grew our flowers as well. In October 2020, thanksgiving weekend, we opened our store.
I always loved flowers; I always wanted to make a living by doing what I love. I evolved into being an entrepreneur. I was a trained dancer, and earlier worked as a professional dancer in Film and TV. In addition to that, I am also a dance tutor, and I host a couple of dance classes every week. It is not easy, but I manage to make it work.
How is your business doing in Pandemic?
We never ran the business not being in a pandemic, so it is hard to know what it would be like when all this ends. We had a cap on the number of people coming into the shop before. After complete lockdown, we had to pivot online totally.
We did not even have a website when we opened it. We were all about in-store purchase only; it was DIY access where people selected their flowers and made their arrangements. That had to change immediately due to the restrictions.
We spent a lot of money to make our online presence, way before we were ready to do so. However, now are offering only curb-side pick-up. This Pandemic will not be over soon, so we will be looking at delivery options as well. As our sales were fluctuating and to maintain financial feasibility we had to reduce employee shifts.
With Valentine Day around the corner, how are things with curb-side pick-up?
Clients are frustrated trying to buy something online, where they cannot see what they are buying. We are taking pre-orders for Valentine. Fresh flowers and dry flowers are our best sellers. Regardless of the budget, we have made it easy for people to buy flowers for valentine’s day, starting as low as 15$. We had to order our valentine’s day orders in December and there are only so many flowers that are grown in the world.
How big is your team?
Together we consist of 8 people. We had to let some employees go, and some are on a call basis as it is not as busy as it was. Everyone pitches in and does every aspect of work, and we are learning our way through this. We are also working on a post lockdown plan so that we are ready when we open. We have more time in hand now, and we are trying to use it to the fullest.
We are continually researching new items, bookkeeping, and dealing with wedding consultations, which keeps us busy throughout the day. We did a deep spring cleaning of the shop as well and are using the time to organize our office and better our efficient systems. Once, we open, we will be more confident of our system.
What message would you give to your fellow local entrepreneurs?
It took me a long time to realize that I did my own work in my entire life. I did not wait for an opportunity to arrive. I created that opportunity for myself. Even at the dance studio I taught at, I started a competitive department, which gave me more work. My whole life has been creating work for myself, and the return is that I never feel like I am working. I genuinely love what I do! If you are there, then there is no point in stopping!
Euclid Farms is located at 913 Queen St. W.Toronto
Author: Ravleen Bali for The Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: –[email protected]