Founded in 1982, Brigitte’s Flowers Galore has been a consistent and quality provider of floral arrangements for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions throughout South Florida. Brigitte Gonzalez, daughter of the original founder and current owner of the business, shared the story behind her journey and how Brigitte’s has survived and flourished for nearly four decades.
“My mom was born in Ecuador,” Brigitte said. “She was a seamstress before moving to Miami where she worked in a factory. As the factories disappeared and things changed, she found an opportunity to work for a flower business on the weekends. From that opportunity came a love for flowers and eventually her own shop.”
Born in Miami, Brigitte got involved with the family business at a young age. For the first several years, they would commute from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, where the shop was and still is located today. By 1989, the family moved to Broward County and Brigitte, who was 18 years old at the time, still worked for the business while pursuing a degree in Broadcasting at Broward College. However, as the flower business grew and Brigitte got more involved, her career was put on hold.
“It didn’t really happen by choice,” she said. “Little by little I got more and more involved in the business. I really enjoyed the weddings and event planning side of things. Time passed and I got married and had kids and never finished what I originally planned on doing. When my mother passed away three and a half years ago, I took over the business.”
Over the years, as you might expect, Brigitte’s Flowers Galore has experienced challenges unique to the industry and others faced by most small businesses. Fortunately, as Brigitte shared, they’ve weathered them all and continue to set themselves apart from the competition.
“When my mom first started the business, there wasn’t much competition,” she said. “If you wanted flowers, you went to a florist. Today, you can buy flowers anywhere. Every supermarket sells flowers and competition is everywhere. At some point, we started working with 1-800 Flowers. We pay them dues to be a member and a percentage of each order, but the partnership does bring us additional business. We also work with Teleflora and Bloomnation.”
Brigitte continued, “Over the years, as competition has increased, we’ve managed to set ourselves apart with our customer service and extra attention to detail. We’ve built strong relationships with our customers and many of them know my kinds. We also provide the best value for their money.”
Looking ahead, Brigitte is focused on future growth and continuing to make customers happy. As she shared, “There’s always more room to grow.”
What advice does Brigitte has for aspiring entrepreneurs? “With everything there are challenges, but you got to go after what you love,” she said. “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. There will be obstacles and running your own business is more time consuming than you might think. However, if you learn to manage your time, having your own business is extremely rewarding. Ultimately it comes down to doing what you love and treating people kindly. If you do that, you’ll find success.”