Alain Simon is a passionate, Montreal based florist, in love with his job and life. We met him on a Thursday morning, in his charming flower shop in the heart of downtown Montreal and grabbed the chance to take some pictures of the beautiful flower boxes we’ve recently made for his shop and have a small talk with him!
Q: So, you’re the proud owner of a flower shop! How did it all started? Do you always wanted to be a florist?
A: Life is a wonderful journey. It’s a path of self-discovery. In my case, the romantic love of raw emotions and the arts led me to a long career in flowers.
On a more practical level, it all started back in 1984, during an entrepreneurship course, while i was studying business administration. I had to create a business plan for a new company, so the first thing that crossed my mind was to develop one for a flower shop.
Two years later my very own flower shop was finally born!
Q: What do you like most about your job? What a flower means to you?
A: I love creating art. Flowers are my materials, I’m a floral artist. What better way to say - I Love You - than through flowers? Flowers are often given at the beginning of a romance… will she accept my love? It is in these fragile first moments, where love is palpable and yet uncertain, that we can feel fully alive and our hearts burn within us.
This is how my job makes me feel everyday. This is how great floral art throws itself out of my heart everyday. Throughout life, flower giving becomes that one selfless gift. A simple gesture than can elicit great pleasure.
This is my business; I’m personally invested in romance. I’m a believer. Life would not be worth living without the possibility of building loving relationships.
Q: Tell us a bit about the flower boxes!
A: I wanted the ultimate flower boxes and have been planning them carefully for years. I was looking for something special, an extension of my beautiful flowers.
When I met Madovar’s owners, I connected with them immediately. The Madovar family has a very discerning taste and perfectly understood why my requirements were so precise.
We’ve had an excellent cooperation and i’m very happy with the final outcome. The boxes’ original design and high quality perfectly matched my expectations!
Q: Why do you think customers choose your business?
A: I think that personalized customer service is the key to differentiating one’s business from the crowd. Being authentic, making your clients feel welcome and showing geunine interest in their problems and needs, is what will attract them and turn them into loyal buyers.
Q: Can you describe us a typical day at work?
A: I start my day at 7 AM with a fresh cup of coffee and some sketching! I always keep thinking about new ideas. Production of orders and communication with clients about their upcoming events will keep me busy from 9 AM until 7 PM. We're open 6 days a week from November - April and 7 days a week during the season May - October.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced or you’re still facing today?
A: It's without a doubt the decreased demand for flowers with the shift toward purchasing them from grocery and general merchandise retailers. Florist flowers are usually more expensive, but the quality of our products justify the higher cost; we make sure to take the utmost care of the flowers we deliver to our customers so that they stay fresh and beautiful for as long as possible. I personally also love creating custom floral decorations for special occasions, like weddings, galas and other events and put all my energy and commitment in creating memorable scenes that clients embrace.
Q: How do you think our flower boxes will add value to your product?
A: Flowers are delicate products that need to be protected, when transported, by rigid packaging. Your flower boxes will first help me ensure that my flowers arrive intact at their destination. I'm also certain that their minimal but yet very elegant design together with the great quality printing on the smooth surface of the boards, will capture customers' attention!