Friends join forces as florists
For many, 14 February means just one thing: Valentine’s Day.
The day dedicated to love returns this Monday as couples worldwide look to spoil their partners with special presents.
While chocolates, jewellery and cuddly toys feature highly in the gift-giving, flowers traditionally dominate the day.
For Gaborone-based florists, Emeldah Baeti, 34, and Pauline Sadie Morolong, 42, this is their time to shine.
Specialising in flower arrangements for all occasions, the duo are the proud owners and founders of SPK Florist.
The two ladies first met as employees at a local florist. It proved to be the beginning of a blossoming friendship and ultimately a blooming business.
“We instantly became friends; I was an administrator there, while Morolong was already a florist. We noticed that we were the ones who were pulling strings in the company so we decided to start our own baby, dubbed ‘SPK’,” explains Baeti.
The friends quickly realised starting a business was not all roses; indeed there were several thorny issues to overcome.
“It was not easy at first as there were so many factors such as start-up capital, and registering the company, which took us a few months. We officially started in 2021 as the previous year was a difficult one due to the Covid-19 outbreak,” recalls the Maitengwe native.
Breaking down exactly what SPK offer, Baeti tells Voice Money, “We cater for different occasions, like in funerals as we are aware that when you are tasked with arranging flowers for a deceased male, your colours are not supposed to be bright while for females they must be bright. We also do weddings, bridal showers just to mention a few.”
To save on rentals, the business partners run their enterprise from Baeti’s backyard, in the capital’s Bontleng location.
Currently they import everything from South Africa but have an eye on eventually expanding to the northern part of the continent to source more exotic flowers.
“We are still hopeful that one day we would be able to own a flower warehouse and supply the local market instead of having to import,” adds Baeti.
Taking over the narrative, Morolong reveals her journey into the flower industry was relatively fresh.
“My passion to become a florist started not that long ago. I was working at a certain jewelry shop in Gaborone and the owner told us she was opening a flower shop and needed florists; it’s the life of a hustler, you need to keep learning new things! She trained us and we became perfect at our job!”
Although she admits the market is extremely competitive, Morolong, who is originally from Molepolole, says SPK stands out from the rest.
“Our products are unique as we use live flowers instead of dried ones. People have been enquiring about our flowers and we have managed to retain the customers we had at our previous job.”
The pair were in charge of the floral arrangements at the Botswana Insurance Awards last week and have also been used by Botswana Power Corporation in the past.
As for Valentine’s Day, SPK are offering a promo on single stem roses for P35, a basket and box bouquet for P300 and a Vase arrangement for P350. For more information, check out their Facebook page, ‘SPK florist’.