Head florist, founder and owner
”In the mid-1980s, my sister and brother-in-law opened one of the first pizza restaurants in Bahrain. When the restaurant began doing well, they asked me to come over from Singapore to help them out. At that time, I was young and single so coming all the way here was like an adventure and I was happy to give my sister and brother-in-law a hand at their shop.
Some of the most significant things in my life have happened Bahrain. I met my husband Steve here and we were married on the Island. One of our three children was born here, and of course, our business, Singapore Flower was born in Bahrain too. Singapore Flower first opened its doors 32 years ago. At that time, I had a toddler (Julia) and a new baby (Rose). The business was my husband’s concept as he noticed that at the time, there were very few flower shops in Bahrain. I love flowers, so I supported the idea. We first began with two businesses; Steve managed London Interflora and I was in-charge of Singapore Flower. People used to think we were in competition with one another but this wasn’t the case as each store had its own forte. London Interflora specialised in dried and artificial items, whilst Singapore Flower was all about fresh products. After a decade, we closed London Interflora and Steve became our ‘front of house’ manager at Singapore Flower. I stayed behind the scenes and managed the flower arrangements which is the part of the business that I have always loved best.
We really are a family business. Even more so now that our daughters Julia and Rose have taken on some of the management, allowing Steve some time away from the business. Whilst Julia helps us remotely as she resides overseas, Rose is actively involved front of house. She is a structural engineer by profession but decided to join Singapore Flower a few years ago. At first, we weren’t sure about Rose leaving a career in engineering behind to join us. As parents, you’re naturally worried about your children and you want them to follow their own paths. But thankfully, it’s worked out well. We make a great team and her innovative way of managing and marketing has allowed a new type of clientele to seek out our flowers.
Rose has grown up around flowers, so she knows exactly how the business works. When she was little, I would often be working from early in the morning until late at night getting orders ready. She knows that it takes a lot of hard work to run a business. One year, Singapore Flower was contracted to create the flower arrangements for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit at the Le Royal Meridien (now the Ritz Carlton Hotel). The whole family had to stay at the hotel (my youngest was just a toddler then) and getting the arrangements done was a family effort. There was so much work to do that Rose, at the age of 13, had to pitch in. I remember saying to her, “You’ve watched me so many times, you just have to help me,” and she did.
Bahrain feels more like home to me than Singapore now. I go back once or twice a year to see family, but it’s here that I feel the happiest. I keep working. I am largely self-taught and the work continues to inspire me as I keep creating new ways to arrange flowers. I think what keeps me going in this business is that I truly love flowers. It’s been lovely to see the business change and grow over the years. With Rose on board, I feel like I can leave more of the day to day management work to her. She is a wonderful manager. Working with family has been a blessing.”