Young: Business world ‘not for faint of heart’

When I began my recent visit with Zena Tucker I was quickly counseled that “it’s not the typical flower shop.”

When I began my recent visit with Zena Tucker in her Enterprise Floral Studio, I was quickly counseled that “it’s not the typical flower shop.”

Tucker told me her floral design location often overflows with wildly imaginative flower arrangements and gifts that are truly in a class all their own.

So let’s discover her story and her world this week together.

Zena was born in the United Kingdom seaport city of Portsmouth to a family of non-entrepreneurial parents, along with two brothers.

After high school, she entered a three-year college program with the idea that perhaps she would embark on a career as a corporate executive assistant.

After college, Zena worked for about a year in a family business to expose herself to the game of the business world.  During 1986-87, she was exposed to a florist shop operated by friends of her family, and from that point her  interest in floral design escalated rapidly.

For a diversion to a career journey, Zena said she worked as a secretary for about two years up to 1989. During this period she  met her future husband Kevin, who was in the British Navy based out of the Portsmouth seaport area.

The couple married and by1990. After starting a family of two kids, Kevin was transferred to Norway on two occasions. In 1995, the family returned to Portsmouth and by 2005, the draw to emigrate to Canada became obvious to the couple.

Tucker already had close family ties to the Okanagan and had previously visited the region on occasion which made moving to our” special place on earth” that more defined.

In the early stages of 2005, her husband explored other work environments while Zena gravitated to her early stage love of floral design when she was able to discover the store she now owns and operates needed someone of her design skills. By 2006, the owners of the floral store, a business that in total had been in operation in Kelowna through various owners for some 20  years, was ready to exit and sell the business.

Zena and Kevin dwelled on the opportunity before them and, in relatively short order, the decision was made for she to realize her dream of becoming a floral design entrepreneur.

As a sidebar, Kevin worked for a personnel firm for a short while exercising his degree background in education and training. In 2008, a wonderful career opportunity came his way when he was able to obtain a position with the Disney Online Studio corporation as human resource director for the Okanagan studio location and its 300-plus staff.

Now we have both husband and wife in entrepreneurial roles that they love and enjoy—Zena, exercising her floral design creativity and Kevin behaving entrepreneurially within the human resources field. How good is that!

When I queried Zena later in our visit about her feelings of personal change since becoming truly a Canadian entrepreneur, she replied: “Entrepreneurship is not for the feint of heart.”

When fellow venture owners speak together, it often becomes tales of war stories, the difficulty of keeping things going, unreasonable transactions or the occasional bad debt.

But problems shared are often problems shared, she added and in this context the realization that she is not alone in the entrepreneurial world – is comforting to her.

But for Zena, this talented, enthusiastic floral designer of more than 20 years, is proud to call the Enterprise Flower Studio on Enterprise in Kelowna her own.

She and her husband, when he is able to offer her some spare time, find their knowledge, experience and characteristics dovetail nicely together to blend creativity with organization and discipline.

Zena has up to six part-time staff, is connected to Teleflora so she can offer floral gifts broadly and reminded me that Kevin is her calm and strength in any storm and her floral venture wouldn’t mean the same without her talented, dedicated devoted employee team.

When I asked Zena about her marketing strategy, she said that new approaches to broaden her customer base are underway as she seeks more time to enjoy life and enhance the floral design beauty she delivers into people’s lives.

I highly recommend that you visit Enterprise Flower Studio (www.enterpriseflowerstudio.com) on Enterprise Way in Kelowna and let the creativity and innovation of Zena and her team meet you at every glance and awaken all your senses.

What a joy for me to experience someone who loves what they do as entrepreneurs and who chooses not to sacrifice their creative nature to assure their customers, get the best of their ability and capability.

 

 

Joel Young is founder, Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.

 

eagleyoung@shaw.ca

 

 

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