Meet Audrey Finch, a Florists Supply Cut Flowers Customer Service Representatives (CSR) at the company's Winnipeg branch for 22 years. As a CSR, she provides personalized service to customers. Audrey is the first interview in a series featuring some of the company's valued and experienced team members in celebration of their 85th anniversary.
How did you get started in the floral industry, and how long have you been at Florists Supply?
I have been at Florists Supply for 22 years – I actually just had my 22nd anniversary on October 14th. I got started in the florist industry many years ago, in retail, where I worked for several shops in the city while also doing many weddings for family and friends. So, I decided if I can do this as a hobby, I should be able to do this as a job. I also did a lot of self-education because there was not an awful lot of education available in the city at the time.
Over the years, what changes have you seen in the industry?
There has been a tremendous amount of industry changes! When I first started out, it was basically the bricks-and-mortar type of flower shops. With social media, it has changed so much. Florists can now do their own marketing, giving them much more control – whereas before, they relied on wire services to do the marketing for them. Before social media, you would see the same style of arrangements at different florists, as end consumers would send similar arrangements to their friends and family based on pictures they were given. It was not as creative as it is now. It is just a tremendous thing that they have so much control over their own business.
What challenges have happened during Florists Supply’s history that you recall having to persevere through?
Right now, we are going through a big challenge with the global pandemic – all our customers are. The floral industry is still in business, but doing business a little bit differently. In the spring, for the first time in our lifetime, customers weren’t able to interact face-to-face with their clients, so many customers had to adapt and focus on curbside pick-ups and deliveries. I think many customers who didn’t have an online presence on social media really got up to speed with that –there’s always a way of doing it.