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Getting To Know: Sophie Rose Floral

As a female focused outdoor lifestyle brand, it's important for us to acknowledge and embrace the different ways that we get outdoors. While a lot of what we tend to focus on and feature on our page is hunting or fishing related, we are so interested in all of the outdoor activities and professions that you are passionate about. In today's feature of the InspHERational Women of the Outdoors blog series , we catch up with Sophie from Sophie Rose Floral! Sophie is both a florist and wedding planner by trade and a nature lover at heart. We wanted to dig deeper into her profession; what inspired her to become a florist and how this connects her passion for the outdoors.

1. What inspired your move from the Greater Toronto Area to Northern Ontario?

Growing up, my family had a camp in Killarney that we spent time at in the summers. I always wanted to spend more time there and during Covid, I was able to. I had absolutely no desire at that point to go back home, which was down South close to the city. When my parents bought an old hobby farm outside of Sudbury, I had no reason to stay near the city anymore. I also work full-time which is remote, and my floral business can take flight anywhere so I was lucky to be able to make the move without hesitation. I am now living in Killarney, which was always the dream. It was really the outdoors and the sense of family I had up North that made me want to move.

2. When considering a job where you can get outside and get your hands dirty, a lot of people wouldn’t consider the floral industry! What aspects of your job get you outdoors?

I feel like florists/floral designers have a reputation for doing easy work or having an easy job of just making things look pretty, which really isn't the case. I do try and take my work outdoors as often as I can. A favourite part of my job that gets me outside is foraging. It can be done any time of year, and the fall is actually the best time because you can get a lot of foliage as it is changing colour and there are quite a few wildflowers that look really cool once they have gone to seed. I also try to work outside when designing, weather permitting, especially because the natural light is the best for colour and perception when designing. An outdoor aspect of floral design that I am hoping to get into within the next year is flower farming.



3. While you don’t farm the flowers yourself, you do frequent the flower farms that grow what you need for your business. Can you expand on this?

Definitely! I currently get all my flowers from a local farm where some flowers are sourced and some are grown on-site, but next season I hope to have at least a few of my own blooms. A lot of flowers cannot be grown in the Canadian climate, so they need to be sourced from places like Colombia or Ecuador. But with the help of greenhouses and warmer summers, there are quite a few varieties of flowers that can be grown locally. Toronto is the hub for imported flowers, but the flower farm I use sources from there and brings them here which is awesome. They also grow a lot of their own stuff like Celosia, Amaranthus and Dahlias, just to name a few. 4. Would you ever consider growing your own flowers or starting your own flower farm?

I have been trying to expand my own flower farming knowledge, and although I likely won't be able to have a flower farm in the near future, I would like to have my own blooms for weddings or dried florals next season. I think flower farming is a learning process, as it takes a lot of time to get it down pat and to learn how to grow different varieties. A flower farm may be something I work towards, but for now I am just trying to learn as I go.

5. Where do you find inspiration? That's a really good question. I never saw myself working in florals, and I never considered myself a creative person. With most art, like painting, I need to see something and copy it. With flowers, I definitely see other florists work on Instagram or Pinterest and save it thinking I want to design using the same colours or style, but when I make my own designs, I don't really use any reference. I would say other florists really inspire me. And the outdoors - I could see a plant or flower while hiking and in my head, design something out of it or envision how I would design with it.


6. What other outdoor activities do you enjoy?

I am really trying to get outdoors more since I moved up North. I enjoy hiking, and luckily, there are some of the most beautiful trails in Killarney. I also enjoy kayaking and have even started to bring my dog out with me. I feel like moving up here opened the door for a lot of outdoor activities that I didn't have access to down South, so there are a lot more things I am hoping to get into. With Winter coming, I am hoping to be able to spend a lot more time outdoors then I would've in the city as well. 7. As a successful female entrepreneur, what words of wisdom do you have for other women looking to pursue small businesses of their own?

Go for it! I started my business because the retail floral industry was really limiting and allowed for no creative freedom. I was not interested in designing using traditional colours or styles as they seemed to me, a dying trend. Truthfully, I never wanted or envisioned myself being a business owner. It seemed like a lot of work, and it is, but honestly it's been so much better in the long run. Working for yourself is inspiring and motivating and I have so much appreciation for the person I have become. Just saying I own a business is really empowering. I also had a lot of strong women in my life who owned businesses, and their words of encouragement and support really helped. I think it is important to find your people who support you, and then just run with it. Having a plan is useful, but just going for it is never a bad idea. What could go wrong? When I started Sophie Rose Floral Co, I was dating a guy who told me my business would not last five years. I am currently going into my third year and I may not make it to my fifth season but who cares? If you have an idea and some passion, that is really all you need. You can find Sophie on Instagram @sophierosefloralcompany or if you're in the market for a Northern Ontario florist, you can email her at sophierosefloral@gmail.com

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