There’s nothing quite like receiving a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They’re beautifully arranged and have a wonderful perfume, but more than that, receiving (and gifting!) flowers often comes with joyous emotions. Even, “Hey, Happy Tuesday!” flowers bring smiles, and those moments of celebration are something Rachel Cho, founder and creative director or Rachel Cho Floral Design, cherishes.
Inspired by her mother and her flower shop in the Bronx, Rachel decided to satisfy her own entrepreneurial dream and open Rachel Cho Floral Design. What made her business sweeter was when her husband, Peter Hein, joined as her general manager and marketing director.
Now, they work hand-in-hand, balancing life and love with a business that’s all about showing someone you care.
Q&A with Rachel Cho of Rachel Cho Floral Design
We reached out to Rachel to ask her a few candid questions about entrepreneurship, Valentine’s Day and of course, what it means to own a business with your significant other. Here’s what she had to say.
What inspired you to get started? What were the first steps you took?
I wanted to create a business of my own utilizing my background and what I grew up with. I loved the idea of creating a business and felt inspired by my mother, who worked so hard to sustain a beautiful business to afford us a higher education in the U.S.
A small business mentality came naturally, because I grew up seeing both of my parents with various businesses in NYC. My first step was to go back to my mom’s flower shop in the Bronx and actually pay attention to prices, flower processing, learning how to buy, and how to cultivate relationships with good vendors.
I loved learning and figuring out the business side of things while I utilized my mom’s expert hands at arranging flowers for the sales I brought in. I eventually learned we differed creatively, and I started to make arrangements on my own. That’s when my true appreciation and passion for flowers came in.
Editor’s note: Ready to turn your dream of entrepreneurship into a reality? GoDaddy offers the tools you need to succeed online.
What successes have you seen so far?
I’ve been very fortunate to see various successes throughout the years. My first biggest account was being the Yankee Stadium go-to florist for their new stadium inaugural year back in 2009. It was an incredible experience and an opportunity to look at the business on a much grander scale.
That’s when I enlisted the help of my husband to join me in my venture. I was pregnant with my first child, the business became a happy giant monster, and I needed help! That’s when he joined me.
What makes it all worth it?
Coming into work, seeing the faces of diligent and hardworking employees who are just as dedicated as I am, makes it very much worth it. It goes without saying, having amazing customers who trust our services and floral design definitely keeps us going and motivated.
Describe your daily routine. What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is going home after a long, well-accomplished day!
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by being curious about what’s to come. I also love having a fun and relaxed atmosphere among staff and colleagues. What definitely keeps things fun and interesting is getting to know our clients on a comfortable level and keeping a healthy and real relationship with the people we interact with.
We are in the business of selling people flowers, but I’m a firm believer we are in the business of service.
Just like any service industry, we have the job of delivering a great product, as well as an equally great experience.
What’s it like going from running your own business to now working alongside your husband?
The biggest and the most welcome difference is that you feel like you have someone else backing your decisions. I now have a sounding board I can speak to every day to talk out thoughts and ideas.
I can now apply the theory that two heads are better than one, especially when you can trust that other brain.
Before, it was always my mom, which was an amazing blessing for me, but now I can take that burden off of her.
What advice would you give to those looking to go into business with their spouse/partner?
This is a hard one, and one I normally do not recommend! One thing you want to be sure is that both of you have thick skin and complete, open trust in one another. When you work with your spouse, I believe you really learn about each other — things you would normally take decades to learn or even never learn. Both of your work personalities come out, whether you like it or not, and you better learn to accept or deal with it!
Flowers are very desirable around Valentine’s Day. What do they mean to you as a business and as a couple?
Sadly enough for me personally, Valentine’s Day has always been about work. The one nice concept that I always appreciated about the holiday is you get to be a part of every celebration that you come across.
I’ve come across various scenarios of celebration, either it be a surprise luxurious dinner, to a romantic in-house proposal with candlelight and rose petals, or just your beautiful bouquet — the celebration does not get lost.
In the recent years in this day in age, we also get to celebrate Galentine’s Day, where you appreciate your gal pals and sistahs! I have my own circle of them who I love and appreciate so much.
What’s something you know now that you wished you knew when you were first starting out?
You always feel like you’re alone, but you’re never alone. There is an entire community of sole proprietors, entrepreneurs and movers and shakers everywhere. If you’re in a big city, take advantage of meetup and business networking groups that are happening all over — probably every day of the week. We live in the hub of meeting places and rental hubs like WeWork, WorkBetter, and The Wing (for women).
You would be shocked to know that a lot of coffee shops and trendy cafes are home to single business owners and entrepreneurs who are itching for connections and networking opportunities.
Having a fun and likable personality goes a long way. Don’t talk business all the time.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be yourself, be kind and be a good listener. Never try to “sell” anything. People start listening and conversing with you because of YOU, not because of your product or what you’re selling. Be diligent and work hard at your craft, but always stay humble!
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Rachel. We adore that you’ve found a way to marry your relationship and your business in a fun and loving way! If you’d like to learn more about Rachel Cho and Rachel Cho Floral Design, be sure to check out her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.