WomenVenture Entrepreneur of the Month for August
Most everyone appreciates flowers. They are used to express love, concern, joy, and are a symbol of celebration. Amy Backman is so passionate about flowers that she decided to make them her livelihood. She launched Spruce Flowers & Home in 2010 and her business has grown so quickly that it sometimes seems that Amy is the only person running a floral business in South Minneapolis. In fact, the wedding and event side of her business was so busy, she established a second floral store in Edina.
Amy says the flower business is neighborhood driven. She prides herself in knowing what her customers want and says their preferences vary by location. The South Minneapolis store located at 48th and Chicago is a bustling environment specializing in gift purchases, while her customers at the Edina location indulge in self-purchasing. “People call the Minneapolis store and request gifts to be delivered to their families and friends,” Amy says. “Whereas in Edina, the customers come to the shop and help design their floral arrangements.” She says they adore white roses and orchids, and she loves watching them arrange the flowers because they create a special bond with them.
Spruce Flowers & Home employs four permanent staff members who alternate their services between the two stores with an additional college part-timer who works on weekends. Amy works on taking phone orders and devotes ample time to flower arranging and “Living With Flowers” classes. She is able to manage her time more effectively since investing in a new truck and with her husband helps out with the deliveries. Amy says the investment has also been great for increasing business. “Having a truck labeled Spruce Flowers & Home has is my most effective form of advertisement!”
Amy has built a profitable and sustainable business, and her customers are satisfied with their products. She acknowledges that she could not have done it alone. “There is a special place in my heart for WomenVenture,” Amy says. “Through a partnership with U.S. Bank, I was able to secure the funding I needed to establish my business.” She hopes to expand some day, but is content to keep business as it is at the moment.