Nanyanzi Immaculate is a second year student at Uganda Christian University doing a course in bachelors of Science in Accounting and Finance. She is a 21 year old who is a passionate horticulturalist and florist trying to break through in the flower business world today in Uganda.
Immaculate is a florist who plants flowers, makes cement pots, sets up flower pots, sets up flower gardens, compounds. In regards to her clients, she helps set up flower pots and design compounds. She makes a survey and a budget which she delivers to her clients to see how best to make the client’s dream come true. She is very passionate about what she does. She loves flowers and the sight of them blooming, growing into something beautiful and magnificent keeps her hooked and in love with the flowers. She thinks everyone should have flowers because it’s always an unending sight of beauty.
Her inspiration is drawn from memories of her father who loved roses. The way he took care of them and the energy he invested in nurturing and growing the flowers, made her realize that she should have a flower garden. After, she did her horticulture training from Mich Agric in Kyanja. She realized she could venture into flower business and do something beautiful for herself and others too.
She says it doesn’t exactly require one to go to school. But advises that one should get some basic training. She adds that she with research, passion and the training, one can be able to venture into the horticulture flower business and flourish.
Skills that a florist should have? A florist should be a good gardener. It requires time and patience to prepare soil for the flowers, how to prune and other gardening activities. Also knowing the different types of flowers and how to take care of them. She gave some examples, “that some flowers do not need much sunlight, others need approximately 6hours of sunlight, others when you over water them, they die.” The need to know the nature of the flower and its basic needs for it to bloom are needed.
The social media marketing has been of great help to Immaculate. And due to the limitations with the covid-19, she utilizes the four social media platforms that she has that is twitter, instagram, whatsapp and Facebook. That’s how she gets most of her clients.The florist sector is Uganda is fair she says. Although the horticulture sector comprises more of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, green pepper, greens like spinach. All these flood the normal day to day markets in Uganda. A lot of people are into it and that’s why it’s blooming and with time it will grow.
The marketing strategy is more of social media. Work on a flower or a pot and post it on her social media. She says that, “customer relations are tricky.” Some customers are very demanding and rude. Most times, they change their minds abruptly or others decide not to contact her again. She says that, “she makes through all this by being patient and focused on growing her business.” All these bumps do come around but you just have to go through them and stay strong.
During the covid-19, she has invested most of her time in the business. She travels to a lot of places to make deliveries and to see what new trends could be up in the market places of flowers and flower pots. Yes, she has house chores but she still manages to break through and balance her time. She says that, “if school resumes, then she might have to invest 50/50 or even 80% in her education and 20% in the business.” For her education comes first.With landscaping and layouts, she does a lot of research. She also has a friend called Fred who does a course in landscaping at MUK. She normally consults him and they both see what best to do and accomplish. She also utilizes Google, she sees more ideas and tries them out or even challenges herself to do better.
(Image above is a sample of immaculate’s landscaping and layouts)
It’s really hard working with people. Self-employment is tricky. It’s a big step and staying firm and hanging in there is even harder. And it’s sometimes hard to get customers. Sometimes, customers expect flowers to be cheap. Yet flowers take time and also due to the different types of flowers and brands in the flower pots, the prices do hike up. But most people think she just wants to make extreme profits out of them which isn’t the case.
She hopes to make her business mobile. Whereby she easily gets in touch with her customers and vice versa. Also being able to immediately attend to the customers’ needs. Whether its designing a compound or treating the flowers in case of diseases, she wants to make a reliable mobile store where people can access flower related advice and other things in line with that.
Do not fear to take a risk. She tells youths to get up and work. Get your hands dirty if that’s what you love and if you dream of doing better then do whatever it takes. Relying on paid employment isn’t the way to go. Use your passion, get out of the comfort zone and chase your dream.
Nanyanzi ImmaculateINSTAGRAM: nanyanzi_immy
FLOWER SAMPLES FROM IMMACULATE’S FLORAL WORLD.