How to Manage a Social Enterprise as a Work From Home Mum of a 3-Year- Old
Based in North Parramatta, NSW, Florapeutic is a social enterprise on a mission to tackle the flower waste issue and improve the mental wellbeing of our communities in Australia.
In the midst of 2020, I started Florapeutic which specialises in repurposing fresh event flowers into sustainable floral gifts including the following:
Pack down and give away event flowers for event organisers to their guests and donate to the local communities. It is also a bump-out service that saves event florists from returning to venues post-events.
Transform wedding, occasions and memorial flowers into artworks preserved in eco-friendly double glass wooden frames, without toxins.
Pressed Flower Art
Handcrafter with pressed flowers from a mix of freshly picked botanicals and repurposed flowers from events. These one-pf-a-kind home decors can light up the room instantly and are perfect gifts for flower lovers.
What Are Florapeutics Goals?
Our goals are to increase the awareness of the associated issues, encourage the community to get involved and be environmentally and socially responsible through flowers.
Our initiative also aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).
How Did Florapeautic Get Started?
My father, who was also an entrepreneur and now retired, has inspired me to always be curious and explore the entrepreneurial journey. As a mother, I also want to be a role model to my daughter showing that we all can live our dreams, big or small.
I started Florapeautic because I appreciate flowers. They are not only beautiful but also therapeutic. Scientific studies have proven that flowers help us heal faster by promoting lower stress and perceived pain levels.
This business idea sparked at our wedding where the flourishing blooms were sadly trashed following the 6-hour celebration. It is also a common practice in the event industry where an average of 10kg of stems is wasted at a wedding.
Hence, I decided to play a part in transforming this negative environmental impact into an initiative to lift the spirits of people suffering from depression and anxiety due to social isolation.
From Corporate Marketer to Social Entrepreneur
I have turned myself from a corporate marketeer to a social entrepreneur. Graduated with an MBA and after 13 years working for a range of big brands, I decided to pursue my dream of having my venture and making a difference so the world becomes a better place to live.
When Florapeautic operated for 3 months, it was selected as one of the five projects supported by the City of Parramatta’s Social Investment Program in 2020 (Parramatta 2020).
How Did I Get Funding?
Through the program, I ran a crowdfunding campaign and successfully raised the funds for my project, Mindful Break, which are flower arranging workshops embracing the power of mindfulness for individuals in hospitals and aged care facilities.
This opened more opportunities for me such as being on a live TV interview with Ticker News, a feature in Parra News and listed on the City of Parramatta Council website as a local social enterprise.
Awards and Recognition
In June 2021, I was a guest speaker at the Annual Youth Forum organised by the City of Parramatta, sharing my story with local high school students who learnt about social entrepreneurship from Young Change Agents.
I am also a finalist of Parramatta Local Business Awards 2021 and the AusMumpreneur Awards.
What are the Top 5 Tips for Other Work at Home Mums/Moms?
As a work at home mum myself, here are my top 5 tips.
2 Week Timeframes
Implement an agile approach and work on 2-week sprints to ensure activities are manageable and you make progress for specific goals within the timeframe.
Be realistic on what you can achieve within the 2 weeks and stuck with them.
The idea of this approach is to avoid veering sidetrack by so-called urgent matters which usually are not urgent.
Prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency (based on due dates) to lead you to achieve your goals.
List out all the relevant activities and add the most important and most urgent ones to #1; then those urgent but less important ones to #2; important but less urgent ones to #3.
If some tasks don’t fall into any of those categories, scrap them and don’t waste time on those. This idea is to focus on your #1 then #2 then #3.
At the individual task level, I use the Pomodoro technique to manage time fo work and breaks. E.g. 25 minutes work, 5-minute break or proportionally longer time for bigger tasks.
The idea is to split a complex job into smaller tasks so they are more manageable and less overwhelming.
For example, if you are building a website, you may set 1 hour for copywriting, 30 minutes for sourcing images and videos etc.
Get Your Kids Involved
Get your kids involved in age-appropriate tasks so you don’t need to choose between your work and your kids. My 3-year-old enjoys getting involved in my work. She even claims Florapeutic as her business!
Sitting in Zoom calls and pressing flowers together becomes our routine. I have never thought that running this business could give me mother-daughter bonding time like that.
I also ten to make it fun and somehow educational e.g. naming colours, counting flowers, put shipping labels on and shopping with my products etc. We both enjoy that!
Listen to binary music while working. Scientific studies show that it helps us concentrate and improve memory. I find it helps especially when there are too many noises in my household. You can easily find them on Spotify and YouTube.
Where can you find Karin Lee and Florapeutic?
For an interview with Karin Lee, Founder of Florapeautic, contact 0406 118 886 or email [email protected]