Just like any kind of business, a family-owned business requires commitment and a particular tolerance for risk. There are challenges, for sure, but there are also so many benefits and the family behind the Inspire Floral Boutique family business understands both.
In continuation of our profile of Inspire family, we thought we’d explore with the Bentleys what their experience is, both a small, local business but also as a family business.
The bottom line is Alita and Jason are incredibly grateful for the way the business has, and continues to evolve. It allows them to work together to build something of true value to their customers and the community. As partners in the business, they are grateful to be able to grow the business as a team yet still work independently, towards the common goal of a smoothly operating business. One that is financially viable, supporting their family as well as their staff.
They love that the business is a place where there kids can come hang out after school, gaining work and business experience they might not otherwise have access to.
While they know how good they have it, as partners in business as well as life, there are some challenges:
For instance, Alita and Jason don’t always agree on the direction of the business. And as a family business, it also can be difficult to be away – take vacation, or enjoy holidays – from. As they serve other families enjoying their time off together, these busy times mean that Alita and Jason are on duty at the shop.
As to the day-to-day operations as a family business, the couple has identified their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the tasks that are best suited to one another.
No stranger to self employment, Alita’s background is that of being self-employed. She was raised in Saskatchewan by her parents who ran their own farm and electrical business. She has done various financial, sales and management training courses over the years as well being a certified Floral Designer from the Maureen Sullivan School of Floral Design in Vancouver, BC.
She is the people person. Alita is energized engaging with the customers, remembering, more often that not, the names and faces of those who pass through the Inspire doors. She also brings a keen eye for design and layout, and as a designer, understands the floral side of the business. She takes care of the daily operations: ordering, estimating, and overall staff management.
On the opposite side of the coin, Jason brings the eye for numbers! He is keen on strategy and is responsible for the management of the financial operations of the business: setting budget, doing the books, and payroll. He also takes on the receiving and pricing of shipments, most of the building projects as well as staff scheduling.
Jason has a deep background in carpentry and building and has managed entire construction crews on large Vancouver job-sites. He is a ticketed carpenter, has done various training courses over the past few years in financial, sales, management and accounting. He, too, is a certified Floral Designer from the Maureen Sullivan School of Floral Design in Vancouver, BC.
Together they make the large financial decisions that impact the business, hiring, purchasing and the overall marketing and financial goals. They do the best they can to separate home and work life; taking turns when they can to provide each other much needed breaks to re-charge!
It isn’t just about the two of them, however. The kids are involved, too! Hannah, 11, and Lewin, 8, help out with compacting the recycling, taking out garbage, building the travel boxes for bouquets, general tidying. Hannah has been training to operate the front till and is learning how to greet customers. As they grow in age and confidence, they will be entrusted with other responsibilities.
It’s a family business, so it’s not all smooth sailing. As much as they love participating, the kids do get tired of Mom and Dad working all the time. Occasionally, Hannah and Lewin want to do normal family stuff like go to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas or simply, just more home downtime with their parents.
Alita and Jason, despite the challenges love the fact that they can use the strength of the creativity and complimentary skills and talents to create, nourish, and grow a vibrant business that can provide for their family, support a loyal staff, and contribute to the community at large. Day in and day out it’s this spirit that is communicated to their children.
Alita and Jason are so proud of the way their business is expanding. They know, too, that it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing team of people they work with and how they have worked so hard to grow with us.
The entire team prides themselves in how much the customers love the environment that Inspire works so hard and consistently to create. They also ensure that customers are greeted with a friendly smile and a warm ‘hello’. Inspire customers return for the informed customer service about product lines they’re interested in, and to be assisted by us asking questions to better understand their needs, unique, well priced quality products, fabulous and high quality floral designs and creations.
Inspire Floral Boutique is SO much more than flowers! This popular little Invermere shop is a well run gift and floral boutique – authentic, quality and a true experience with every visit.
Alita, Jason, the kids and their exceptional team gives their utmost to make sure every aspect of the business is looked after.