Bloom Where You’re Planted 

Show of hands readers.  How many of you have met the new owner of the flower shop in Port McNeill called Flora Borealis ?  Good for you if you have. If you haven’t, take a few moments out of your day and  go introduce yourself to Tracey Little.  Tracey kindly took time out of her day on January 19th to chat with me about her new business.

K: I love the name of your store.  How did you come up with the name?

T: I’m obsessed by the northern lights so it was the first name I came up with – everyone liked it.

K: How long have you been on the North Island?

T: Just over a year.

K: Do you have previous entrepreneurial experience?

T: My first business was selling my own crafts, sewing and jewelry.  I’m selling a few prototype necklaces in the store right now.  I worked for a florist in Grade 12 and the year after I graduated.  And I got my first wild flower book at about 7 or 8-years-old.  I know the botanical names of many flowers.

K: Where are you from?  Tell me about your life before Flora Borealis.

T: We moved from Stetler, Alberta but I’m originally from the west coast and the island.

K: Can you please tell me the story of how Flora Borealis came to be?

T: Two years ago I told my husband my New Year’s resolution was to always have fresh flowers in the house.  Then my husband got a job in Port McNeill .  He came to town and saw the flower shop was for sale.  He told me I could have flowers all the time.  My first thought was no, I can’t run a business.  I met Lynne {Skrlac – previous owner} on a visit to Campell River.  I changed my mind many times but went to Community Futures and they were amazing.  Supportive and helpful with all the resources.  It took about 10 months to put together the finances, a business plan and go through the self-employment program.  I started shadowing Lynne in the shop from January to May last year and then was on my own.  I learned a lot about the business and got to know the town.

K: What would you like people to know who have never visited?

T: I try to have in stock what the community wants.  Flowers & plants are always first.  I’d like to expand into more local crafts.  We carry candles, heat bags and bath products by Sandra Krieva from Port McNeill.  We have wooden quote placques from West Coast Art in Port Hardy.  Stay tuned for a flower stand at Petro Canada especially at holiday time.  Also coming soon original paintings by Margaret Olney {locals know her as Marg Hanuse}.

K: How can people order flowers?

T: Of course they can come into the store, phone {250-956-4955}, email floraborealis@telus.net or visit our Teleflora website at floraborealis.ca and our Facebook page.

K: What are your future plans for the store?

T: I’m hoping to have a small garden center this year.  Bedding plants, a few perennials, soil and plant food.

Flora Borealis is open Tuesday to Thursday 9:30am-5:30 pm, Friday 9:30-6:00pm & Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm.  Carrying fresh cut flowers, custom designed arrangments, flowering and non-flowering house plants as well as gift baskets local crafts & original artwork.

 

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