How this mum got back into the workforce

- March 6, 2017 3 MIN READ

Petal Post founder Zoe Lamont turned her love affair with flowers into a booming small business. Zoe created Petal Post to deliver fresh flowers with a personal touch to people who shared her passion. She says, “A few years ago I came up with a concept of offering regular deliveries of locally grown flowers to people’s homes and workplaces.”

Zoe had previously worked as a wedding and events manager. In this role, the highlight of her job was sourcing local and seasonal blooms for arrangements. After taking a break to raise her young three children, Zoe was keen to get back into the workforce. She adds, “I knew the traditional 9am to 5pm day wasn’t going to suit me and my young family.” So, Petal Post was born.

Flower bouquets from Petal Post

Zoe runs her business from a home workshop in the inner western Sydney suburbs. Zoe is out and about at the crack of dawn every morning at the Sydney Flower Markets purchasing beautiful flowers from local growers. She adds, “It shocks me that most people don’t know that the flowers they often receive aren’t locally grown. We provide fresh high quality flowers here in Australia.”

“What disappointed me when I went to the florist was the fact that there was so much paper and ribbon. When I took my bouquet home, they didn’t give me that wow-factor!”

Petal Post was financed solely by Zoe and her husband. She says, “My husband and I worked out how much we wanted to put in to the business. Working from home meant that I didn’t have to pay rent and there was no huge equipment required to run Petal Post. The overhead cost was low. That definitely made a difference to us.” Currently, Zoe runs her business part time with the intention of going full time once her children are older. She employs two casual staff including a photographer and a social media coordinator.

Zoe working on fresh flower bouquets for delivery

The first year of Petal Post was a learning curve. She adds, “I wanted everything to happen at once and for everything to be perfect. Of course I wanted more than 1000 customers. But that just isn’t the case when you start a small business. It was a very stressful time.”

“After six months of running Petal Post, Sydney was struck with a huge storm and we lost power. This posed a problem for us as I was running a small business online. And when the Internet goes down, business goes down. Thankfully, my Internet provider offers great customer service for SMBs and was able to help me with the tools I needed to keep my business up and running.”

Zoe says, “Being a small business owner is very satisfying. I’ve established connections with local growers and with other Mums who are also in business. You end up gravitating towards like-minded people.”

It’s the long-term connections and relationship that you make that are the most rewarding. And being a small business owner also means that you can reward yourself for the little wins. You are able to work everything out for yourself and know which is the best way forward. At the moment, we are only Sydney-based but my next goal is to expand to Victoria and Queensland. I’d love Petal Post’s to become national.”

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