We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Engert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After marrying my husband and receiving my green card (I am originally from Norway) I began working for my mother in law, who then owned Del Mar Floral. I worked for her for 8 years before she made the decision to retire. The company was sold to a nationwide chain and I stayed on as a manager for a year. I completely disagreed with their business practices and eventually left the company. I kept in touch with the rest of the staff and they informed me after about a year or so, that the chain was selling off their stores through bankruptcy. My husband and I purchased Del Mar Floral back and spent several years building it back up as it had taken quite a toll from going through a major change; centralizing phone lines, deliveries, design out of a warehouse essentially keeping our location as a walk-in/cash & carry only satellite store. Fast forward to today, I have owned Del Mar Floral since 2001 and it is thriving. It was a big step to make the decision to purchase it back, after the “family owned and operated” feel was removed by corporate America – but I am so happy I took the step. We have so many loyal clients who have been with us for decades; both corporate and private – it’s a joy to come to work and serve them, many have become good friends of mine over the years and we have a very loyal following in the community. I hope I can continue for many years to come and when I eventually decide to retire, that someone comes along who will love the business just as much as I have 🙂
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is family owned and operated, with me (the owner) present in the shop 6 days/week. I have a very active role in the daily flow of the shop and my duties are also to keep the store stocked with plants, which we sell a large amount of; from orchid plants, house plants and especially succulents. It is my belief that what sets us apart is the personal attention to our clients and each order. We have and are constantly building lasting relationships through trust and excellent customer service, and most importantly with top notch product. I have learned that it is not worth arguing with clients about issues or problems that occasionally arise around a delivery, for whatever reason. We offer to make it right and by doing that we retain the client and they tell their friends and family about it. Even though the situation started out as a negative one, it ended up as a positive experience due to our professionalism and willingness to work our whatever the issue is. I want the world to know that I love what I do, and I am so fortunate to be able to create beautiful gifts for people on a daily basis – and I believe it shows. Our work in very rewarding both artistically and mentally – and we especially love and appreciate all the support over the last few months as Covid has turned all of our lives upside down.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the outdoors and there would for sure be a few hikes sprinkled in while my visitors were here, such as Annie’s Canyon in Cardiff by the Sea/Solana Beach, as well as Torrey Pines and Potato Chip Rock. My favorite is Thai food, especially panang curry from Thai2go in Encinitas. I would love to show my friend/s a great work out with my friends at Ambition Athletics in Encinitas, Ca – where we focus on kettlebell work/strength training. It is a small, privately owned gym with a great community feel. A great glass of wine as the sun sets over Moonlight Beach would finish the day off perfectly 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big shoutout to my husband, Jim who has stood by me and supported me since I started in the floral industry. He helps with deliveries during busy holiday times, he oversees holiday drivers to ensure everything runs smoothly, he outfits a refer truck with rows of shelving twice a year, in order for us to handle the large volume of deliveries for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. As he is an architect by trade and has a contractors license, he has helped me design and build out the shop when we first opened up, and recently completed a major remodel including new flooring, lighting, paint & counter tops. He is also my handy man when repairs are needed in the shop or the vehicles need maintenance. Jim listens patiently (mostly) to me venting about “ongoings” at the shop and gives advise for me to consider or not. He has his own business and we try to stay out of each other’s way as far as telling the other one what to do and how to do it 🙂 All in all, I couldn’t do this without his support!