Before the pandemic, May Flowers, then a two-year-old floral business, operated like many of its competitors. It focused on wedding and occasion bouquets, and its shop in Toronto’s west end functioned primarily as a depot to fulfill orders.
“We have a bit of a unique business model in that we don’t use any of those wire services, like Teleflora, that broker orders,” Tran-Shuttin says. By interacting directly with customers in real-time, May Flowers is able to offer same-day delivery. “Everything’s designed in-house, and as soon as you order it, we start making it.”
This past spring, right after Mother’s Day—one of the busiest days of the year for florists—owner and creative director Annie Tran-Shuttin embarked on a revamp. The entrepreneur, who studied business and psychology in school and taught herself floral artistry through YouTube videos, wanted to create a modern, welcoming space. She envisioned customers shopping for plants, flowers, and a curated selection of gift items—such as chocolates, bath products, and candles—while enjoying a cappuccino from the in-house café.
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