Small Business Leaders Share Advice: Lydia Chan

Lydia Chan, Owner, Lydia's Flowers

November 24, 2014

Lydia's Flowers is a full service flower boutique which has been in business in San Francisco's Embarcadero Center since 1981. The boutique specializes in high end floral arrangements and does everything from corporate installations to weddings to that special little something for your significant other. 

HOW HAS BUSINESS CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?

When we first started, everything was less digital - orders came in by phone or fax. Now, anyone can place an order online and we'll deliver your flowers locally.
Information has also become a lot more widespread. We no longer advertise in the same channels that we used to. With the advent of social media outlets, word of mouth online counts for a lot more than it used to. We get feedback in real time and I can engage with and respond to customers without them having to visit the store.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A BUSINESS OWNER?

I think the biggest challenge we face is technology. The Bay Area is a hotbed for growing startups that revolutionize the way things work on a daily basis. Sometimes it is tough to keep up with growing trends when you already have a working system in place. Other times, there may be some direct competition with these small startups that forces us to rethink what we're doing and how we're doing it.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I am most proud of just being able to do what I do every day. Nothing makes me happier than getting a thank you message from a customer. It really means a lot when you know that your talents are appreciated.

WHAT'S YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?

Success for me is doing what you love. It's not a matter of money or status. If you find something that you have a passion for and you are able to do it every day, then go for it. Life is short so be as happy as possible and bring that happiness to others.

IF YOU WEREN'T RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?

I think I would be a great interior designer.

For more insights from Lydia and others, read our piece on Small Business Leaders Share Advice

The views of the authors of these articles do not necessarily represent the views of First Republic Bank.