I’m lucky to be immersed in the world of indie small business ownership, with all of its ups, downs, challenges and most importantly, its magic community feel. As a small business owner & maker, I always love to discover and connect with purposeful makers out there making a difference.
The thought of featuring my favourites has been with me for quite some time now as I genuinely believe that they have a lot to share on the topics of self-care, finding purpose, sharing your voice and reconnecting with our natural environment.
For the first feature in this series, I took the plunge and started this out with the wonderful Claire Ransom from Lazy Flora.
Here is the interview:
Tell us about Lazy Flora. What do you do and why do you do it?
I created this service because I was living in London, in a rented flat with the most amazing balcony. It was the first time in my life that I’d had any outdoor space, and I’d been dreaming for years about the beautiful outdoor oasis I would create when I finally could. But when I got there, I realised how difficult it was to execute on that plan. I didn’t have a car, so I couldn’t get to a garden centre. My only option was one of those big home improvement stores. So I went there, but when I got there, I didn’t know which plants to buy that were appropriate for the conditions, the selection was terrible, and they were poor quality. I came away feeling very disappointed.
This was around the time that meal delivery subscription companies like Hello Fresh and Gousto were becoming mainstream. I was already a huge subscription box fan and an early adopter, so I assumed that someone would have created something similar for plants. I googled and googled googled and couldn’t find anything. So that’s how the idea for Lazy Flora was born: it was providing a solution that I myself was looking for.
What is your favourite part of what you do?
There are so many things that I love about my work with Lazy Flora. I love all the creative aspects. I love being able to work with beauty and nature, and being able to share that with other people who also appreciate it. I love making people happy. I love having the freedom and independence that working for yourself gives you. I love learning about business and what makes people tick and actually playing a small part in building a world that embodies values that are important to me and many others.
Tell us one thing your customers don’t or may not expect from what you do. This could be something you do that often gets a happy reaction, or it could be a part of your work they may not expect even exists for example.
I think people are very often surprised by our customer service, and by the fact that we genuinely care about them. As a customer, it’s very easy to feel forgotten by Internet businesses, and it’s easy to assume that because you don’t necessarily interacted with a human when making a purchase, it’s easy to think that nobody is there behind the scenes who cares. The art of exceptional customer service is not a regular occurrence. So when they have cause to be in touch with us – through social media, or email, or customer service, I know they are often pleasantly surprised to learn just how committed we are to making sure they love what we do. We will go out of our way to get things right for them.
Very often, it’s taking a step back for a while that enables you to take several steps forward.Claire Ransom, Lazy Flora
We share a love for bringing nature back into our daily rituals. What made you realise this was important to you?
I think on a subconscious level, I’ve always known, but I didn’t really start to listen to realise that intuition was a thing until around the time, or that it was a good idea to listen to it, until I was leaving uni. All my friends were moving to London, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of it. I was ambitious and driven, and I wanted a successful career, but I wouldn’t make the compromise of living in a city that big, surrounded by so much concrete, and be so far from fields, and lakes, and forests.
I resisted for 10 years, and then I did eventually move to London (for a good reason: love!), but very quickly realised I did hate city living as much as I had expected to. It was a major, major factor in becoming unhappy with my life and where it was headed, which led to me quitting my job, moving country (with the aforementioned love!), going freelance and getting a dog, which in turn kickstarted my journey with Lazy Flora.
Nowadays I work for myself, so I can design my schedule to fit around things like walking with my dog in the forest, and without fail, I arrive back at my desk feeling calmer and better equipped to deal with whatever the day has to throw at me.
What is your favourite daily ritual that you believe contributes to your wellbeing? Any words of wisdom?
I have so many rituals, I could be here for hours!
Exercise is a huge contributor to my wellbeing. It keeps me calm when my mind starts spiralling. I’ve recently – at the insistence of a mentor and despite considerable resistance on my part – discovered meditation, which is something I now try to do every day and that keeps me happy. But I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that you have to take time to do things that make you happy, and that it isn’t frivolous, or a waste of time to do that. Very often, it’s taking a step back for a while that enables you to take several steps forward.
And that’s a wrap! I am incredibly grateful to Claire for sharing her thoughts with us, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts in comments x
Until next time,