What is a home space without flowers and touch of greenery? And of course succulents and cacti, which these days, play are being used to add flavour to all rooms around the house. I’m certainly obsessed and knew from the start that our Bedroom Makeover was going to incorporate loads of green – Be it flowers, plants or beautiful succulents. I wanted all of it in as many corners as my room would accommodate them.
I asked Angela Wilmans from The Rose Cafe to join forces with us and she did just the best job styling the flowers and plants for our Bedroom Makeover! She was so in touch with my vision for the room when it came to using greenery to soften the space. The result was a very rustic yet minimalistic look with green pops of colour offering a softness and freshness to the bedroom. What a difference a few leaves, succulents and flowers can make right?
  
Let’s get to know this gorgeous little company a bit better as Angi answers a few questions for us. I love that she is a mom with her third baby on the way too and you can’t help but feel inspired by her and her passion for balancing it all.
1. How was your business/brand born and how long have you been running?
The Rose Cafe started out as a roses only store in Newlands many years ago. We bought it in 2008 and began introducing more flowers other than exclusively roses as there was a demand and over the years we developed the store into a full florist with delivery 6 days a week and offering Corporate flowers and Wedding and Event flowers and Coordination. In 2013 when my second baba was born I closed the retail outlet and opened my online shop which was the best move I ever made. I can now work from home and have the flexibility I always wanted in order to be close to my kids while being able to keep tabs on the growing business.
2. Tell us a bit about your brand and business ethos.
The Rose Cafe is definitely not your typical online florist. People ask me if I am like Netflorist or Interflora – my answer is big fat NO! We place huge attention to detail on customer service, the freshness and quality of our flowers, the combinations we carefully put together daily and maintaining a recognisable brand. Our loyal customers have come to expect this from us over the years and it is something that we strive to maintain. I also like to run my business based on accountability, honesty and integrity and to create a brand that is trustworthy, so the buyer always knows what to expect from us and the recipient is always over the moon with what they receive.
3. How would you describe your style and what is your signature product? 
Our style is a mix of classic old-English influence combined with a definite local flavour. We love soft  and romantic combinations of flowers and colours but we also like including flowers that are locally grown and seasonal without compromising on the pretty element. We have started including more contemporary styles of bouquets and arrangements for customers who prefer something a little more modern but even though they may tend to be more simple or minimalistic in their design, they always have a softer element to them to bring them back to The Rose Cafe‘s look. Our signature products are definitely all our rose bouquets and our two most popular mixed bouquets or arrangements are the neutral and pastel combinations.
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
We definitely draw most of our inspiration from what is available locally day to day and we simply love standing on the back of a flower truck holding different combinations of blooms and colours together that we think will look amazing for a particular order. Pinterest has definitely opened up our access to trends from across the world which enables us to keep current but I also feel that it is important not to compromise on your brand or image just to be trendy. We prefer for people to choose us based on our style than a trend which is seasonal and completely unrelated to what we usually do. That is not to say that we don’t enjoy being pushed out of our creative comfort zone – which is also a good thing from time to time – but we like to interpret the inspiration of our customers with a degree of creative license that allows us the freedom to bring their ideas to life in a Rose Cafe way.
5. What have been some of the greatest highlights on your journey this far?
We have had a couple of magazine and blog features and while those are exciting, looking back, I have to say that my greatest highlight that I can identify over the years of being in the industry is the people I have met and had the privilege of working with and the joy that creating beautiful things for people brings – especially with wedding days and the memories that we have been a part of creating. Receiving professional pictures from a wedding that we have done and seeing our work portrayed so beautifully on a blog or in print is hugely rewarding but getting wonderful feedback from happy brides is by far the best.
6. What have been some of your greatest challenges?
The year that we bought the business – 2008 – was the beginning of a global recession. The flower industry – with flowers being a luxury commodity -definitely took a knock and being in retail at that time was difficult. I watched as many florists and other retail outlets around me closed their doors. But while it has been a challenge it has also forced us to think of ways of creating cost-effective products to suit the customer’s pocket while still maintaining the integrity of the brand over the years. Opening our online shop has also opened up our reach to an international market so people living abroad can send beautiful flowers to friends and loved ones in and around Cape Town, and of course the exchange rate has meant great value for money for people paying in foreign currencies.
7. How do you keep up with trends while still remaining true to your personal style?
A lot of the more recent trends have been totally synonymous with our style – metallics, geometrics, flower crowns, beautiful trailing bridal bouquets and hanging installations of blooms – which has been wonderful  The ones mentioned above are more wedding specific although some of the wedding trends also spill over into retail and the new products we develop for delivery. While there are definitely some trends that we have preferred over others one has to be able to adapt without losing your own identity in it all. Emphasising the importance of using your own creative license to develop a concept for a couple of client is vital and not selling your soul to a look that you can’t stand having to execute. I also believe having the confidence to be able to pass customers on to someone who we feel would better serve them is key. Both the customer and the supplier will end up in a much happier place.
8. What do you want your customers to feel when they have purchased something from your online store? What will they know when purchasing something from you.
I hope that our love for flowers, and really special flowers at that, will be translated through all the products we send out. My hope for our customers is that they will come to rely on and trust in the quality of our products and our service delivery and that when they order flowers, whether telephonically or online, they know that on the receiving end of their order is a team who aims to please, who are meticulous in preparing each order that comes through and that the person who has the joy of receiving the flowers they send will feel their sentiment through the flowers, whatever the occasion.
9. How do you juggle family/personal life while still looking after your business?
It is a juggle and many a day I have plenty of balls in the air. I have my 3rd baba on the way and while being a mom, working from home and being a business owner presents a whole different set of challenges to being able to escape to an office for a few hours each day (ha ha did I say escape?), it has given me the privilege of being able to spend far more time with my kids and hubby which has always been my #1 priority from day 1. In 2009 Thandi started working for me in her very first job as a part-time shop assistant and over the years we have been able to upskill her from cleaning the shelves in the shop to the point where she now does almost all of my flowers. I trust her implicitly with our flower orders as she was trained by me from scratch so our style is what she has been doing from her very first day as a florist. Without her as a key part of my business and my team of freelance florists and delivery people, life would look very different and I am so grateful to them all for the contribution they make daily to keeping The Rose Cafe on track.
10. Where can we find you? 
You can find us online – there you will find the link to our online shop. You will also see the different services we offer, from Weddings and Events to Corporate flowers (weekly office arrangements and Corporate gifting) and the Workshops we run for those interested in learning basic floral training in a fun environment. I also have a blog which features some of the weddings we have done as well as floral tips and tricks, current trends and other helpful info. People can also email us on info@therosecafe.co.za or call us on 087 807 7852 to chat or order directly.


Hi I’m Leigh! Did you enjoy reading this post? I really hope so and would love you to stick around a little longer! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles or to keep up with all the latest news and to be the first to hear about some great competitions, come and find me me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email me directly at leeloobaggins@hotmail.com or simply subscribe below and never worry about missing out!
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