Daisy a Day Flowers & Gifts has been a landmark in Souris since 1978. It’s changed ownership over the years but it has stood the test of time, and the business is still going strong.
Louise MacKinnon is a former employee and the current owner. She is still providing the same level of professional services 40 years later.
“People know the name and the shop, especially people who grew up in Souris and have remained loyal customers,” says Louise. “I grew up in Souris and the community knows me, which made it easier transferring to ownership.”
Over a span of eight years, Louise worked under four different owners as a floral designer and clerk. In May 2018, she was approached by the owner with an offer to buy the business.
“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I took the risk of taking ownership of the business. The owner was relocating to another province and left sooner than expected. I went from employee to employer almost overnight. It’s worth the financial investment because I love what I do and the service I provide.”
Louise had taken a two-year business program years ago, but she has been learning on the job since she started working with this business. “I learned from a professional florist, and that led to attending floral design courses off-Island,” says Louise.
“The transferable skills I obtained over the years as a manager, marketer and florist helped with the transition to ownership.”
Steps to self-employment
- Louise developed a business plan. “The business plan was time consuming but well worth it,” says Louise. “It is an important step in becoming self-employed because it determines if your business will be viable. The business plan allows you to take a calculated risk and gives you confidence.”
- She contacted Innovation PEI based in Souris.
- Innovation PEI connected Louise to SkillsPEI in Montague.
- Louise applied for the Self-Employ PEI program offered through SkillsPEI. This program provides financial support and business counselling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation.
“I hire part-time help during the busier times of the year,” says Louise.
“I am planning this to be a long-term business to pass down to another generation. My youngest daughter, Renee, has a love for flowers. She enjoys helping in the shop after school and is learning the names of the flowers and plants. I am hoping to pass the business down to our children if any of them have interest in becoming a florist.”
“Hire a bookkeeper, which is a life saver because they will keep your paperwork on track. Allowing a professional to do the book work could be vital to the success of your business and it’s definitely worth the investment.”
“Age does not matter when it comes to starting a business,” says Louise. “If you have a good idea, research it. Check out the competition in your area. If your product is unique in the area, it will be a bonus. And seek a visible location if it’s a store front.”
For more information, contact Louise MacKinnon at 902-687-3328 or visit www.facebook.com/daisyadayflorist.
For more information about the Self Employ PEI program, visit www.skillspei.ca.