Innovative concept: 'Groene Vingers'17 February 2017
Groene Vingers typifies the botanical style of living. But it's not only hipsters who come to the shop. "All sorts of people drop by," said Karin. "An 8-year-old girl had material from Groene Vingers on her wish list. Or a fervent cactus collector will check whether I have bought in some exciting new varieties. People want advice about what to do with a dark corner in their house where they would like to have plants, I am happy to give them green recommendations."
After years of working in her parent's garden centre, Karin switched to Edelman, an import and export company in hardware for florists. "I travelled around the world, visited factories and worked on product development. A fabulous job, in which I continued developing my sense of style and commerce."
My specialism is living with greenery. I feel once more stylist then florist.
Small-scale and creative shop
When the focus of her job shifted more to figures and writing reports, she decided to leave and return to her roots. Being a florist and gardener was simply in her blood. Karin added, "My dream when I was 20 was to have my own small-scale and creative shop someday. Now seemed the right time. Nevertheless, it was not an easy decision to make because it involved a large financial risk. Let's write a business plan first, I thought."
And then suddenly a building became available. The landlord was initially sceptical, but Karin convinced him with her enthusiasm and well-prepared plan. "More than that, the landlord did lots of extra work for me because he liked the idea so much," reminisced Karin. She has a clear vision in mind. "My specialism is living with green things. In the beginning I also had flowers in the shop, but that involves a different business operation. I decided to focus completely on plants and interior styling. I do feel more like a stylist than a florist."
Karin is very active online on Facebook and Instagram, as well as offline. She organises workshops with some regularity. They bring a buzz of activity but take a lot of work. "I have to rearrange my shop basically to create space, and the profit is low by comparison. But it does contribute to customer retention and is a great way to become better known," explained Karin.
Groene Vingers is a great example of an innovative, distinctive concept that consumers like. Karin added, "I would like to tell fellow budding entrepreneurs that it is good to clearly choose some goal. You don't have to do everything. And stay true to yourself, playing games does not succeed in the long term. Make sure you have a solid, personal story and daring!"
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