florist creates successful business with flower arrangements | Way of life
The past year has left many people with unexpected leisure time, but some have taken advantage of the situation to discover passions and use their newfound interests to prepare for success.
Blooming flowers and stunning floral arrangements are what inspired Allison Kataoka, a dual major in Psychology and Communication Disorders at Cal State Fullerton, to turn her passion for flowers into a business.
Before the pandemic, Kataoka said she first worked with flowers at a local florist, where she used her creativity to create flower arrangements for customers. Kataoka said she received professional training in the store to organize events such as weddings, funerals and baby showers. After quitting this job, Kataoka said she decided to start her own flower business.
She started buying flowers on her own and made arrangements for friends – a hobby that quickly turned into a business. She launched an Instagram account called Ally’s Arrangements in November.
âShe initially pitched the idea as a hobby to keep busy during quarantine. However, her hobby quickly turned into a profitable business, âAllison’s mother Kristine Kataoka said in an email.
Allison does everything from buying, creating and naming arrangements to taking pictures and promoting them on social media. She balances all of this by going to school and working full time. Allison spends hours at the flower market looking for inspiration, Kristine said.
When she receives an order, Allison says she goes to the flower market in the morning and makes arrangements before heading to work at 8am. If customers ask for a delivery, she does it after work. For orders that will be picked up, she places the flowers on the porch for a safe and contactless pickup experience.
While the young florist controls most of the business, Kristine said her family is completely supportive of her. They help wherever they can to make sure she isn’t overwhelmed and can keep doing what makes her happy.
Allison said her dad is the handyman who builds the boxes she sells the arrangements in. Her sisters also help in the creative process by suggesting name ideas and color schemes. Her mother helps with childbirth and moral support.
âMy mom in particular, she pushed me to do my own business,â Allison said. âShe was definitely the motivator. She kept pushing me to do it and she knew I would be successful if I did.
Her friends are also very supportive and were delighted to hear that she was branching out to start her own business.
CSUF student Tori Vigario said she supports Allison’s work and described it as very nice. By listening to his clients and making them feel welcome and heard, his clients feel more engaged and satisfied with the outcome, said Vigario.
Another friend and loyal customer, Robert Salcido, said he went from buying flowers at the grocery store to Ally’s Arrangements and never looked back. When he bought his first bouquet, he said he completely exceeded his expectations, that they were so well packaged that he didn’t want to take them out. Salcido also said he was so impressed with his talent that he invested in a flower subscription for his mother.
Francisco Flores, a client, said in an email that he found Ally’s Arrangements through Instagram. Since then, he has become another loyal customer of Kataoka and has stated that he has ordered flowers from her countless times over and over, and that he also sends his grandmother surprise bouquets from Allison.
âI am always very impressed with Ally’s work. Boxed arrangements are like no other and make perfect gifts for a wedding or baby shower. They are made with care and the quality is like no other. I am always proud to give them as gifts. Personalized bouquets are great for any occasion, especially during COVID, âsaid Flores.
Allison said she is constantly planning the next big vacation and is currently working on floral arrangements for Easter. One of his future goals is to do business in pop-up stores and farmers’ markets.
âI walked in expecting my friends and family to order from me,â Allison said. âIt just got bigger than I ever imagined. I never thought it would take off as much as it did.