After 10 years dedicated to ballet, Paula Regina Dell’Antonio changed the stage for flowers. In 1993 she inaugurated the flower shop FrutaFlor, in Florianópolis, capital city of the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
The store’s website offers services such as the Florist’s Transworld Delivery (FTD) that delivers flowers in the main cities of the world. A bouquet of roses or field flowers to an Arab country such as Saudi Arabia, for example, costs between US$ 60 and US$ 100. A research of prices and destinations can be made on the site.
Paulo obtained good results in dancing, but the entrepreneurial spirit was stronger. "I always had the desire for opening my own business. Something related to art and manual works. I thought of many things such as a beauty parlour, to work with hairdos and makeup, a candy shop to make sweets. And then I had the idea of working with fruits and flowers baskets," she explains.
Before opening the store, Paula carried out many studies in Curitiba (capital city of Paraná state, also in the South of Brazil) and São Paulo (Southeast) and also went after some specialization in the sector.
She took a course on floral art with professor Gianni Ianoni, of the Italian School of Floral Art (Ontoflos), courses on floral design by the Iberian American School of Floral Art (EEIAF), from Spain, and by the Boerma Institut, in Holland.
In the beginning the flower shop was installed in the family’s garage. "As the space was small, everything was very hand-made," recalls Paula. In 1997 the store was computerized and got a website that already allowed for online purchases.
With time, the number of clients increased and the space was expanded until it took over the two floors of the house, of about 120 square meters. Currently the flower shop generates 13 direct jobs and sells between 70 to 100 flower arrangements per month. Since sales through the Internet represent 10% of the store’s revenues, the businesswoman implemented the software Mercury, which locates the destination of an order in seconds.
If the client orders a plant that is not available in the store, the businesswoman and her team will also provide it. The flower shop also offers many products, such as imported wines, chocolates and teddy bears, chosen according to the client’s taste. Another option for gifts is the elaborate arrangements for special occasions, such as valentines, mothers’, secretary’s and fathers’ days.
Another service offered by FrutaFlor, according to Paulo, is the flowers subscription, created in 2001. "The system is ideal for those who like having their place always flowered, but has no time to go to the flower shop every week", she explains.
The main clients are clinics, stores and restaurants, which pay a monthly fee and receive different flowers every week to harmonize the establishment. There is also the gift subscription, similar to the traditional, but with the last arrangement as a courtesy.
The flower shop also has a Floral Design department, specialized in party decorations, like weddings, birthdays and graduation parties. The work is directed according to the client’s needs, from small receptions to grand events. The client may also rent flowers, reducing the cost of the decoration.
FrutaFlor resells exclusively in Santa Catarina the Lucky Bamboo. The plant originally from Taiwan is known throughout the world for its rarity, for being exotic and easy to keep, where it may last up to five years.
For centuries it has been hand cultivated by the Orientals, it is the symbol of the prosperity and luck. This resale is the result of a partnership with Fidom Brasil, based in the city of Recife, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, the only company authorized to sell the plant in Brazil.
The deliveries are made by car, by an employee trained to handle the product. The flower shop adopted the visual identification system for the fleet, with propaganda for the company printed on the cars, as an alternative way of promoting the service.
The advertisement shows an earth globe, from where numerous flowers are sprouting, showing the possibility for delivery of the products sold by the flower shop anywhere in the world. According to the businesswoman, the sales volume increased a lot since the strategy was set up, two months ago.
Telephone: 55 (48) 3225 0175
This article appeared originally in ANBA – www.anba.com.br.