Tucked away in an industrial area of Delta, among roaring trucks and concrete buildings, is a quaint little shop that almost doesn’t belong but is pleasant to see, like a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk.
Sometimes, to best predict the future growth of a company, you need to ignore the numbers and the noise, and look at where the true heart of the business lays.
In this case, Erin Crowle and Kerstyn Edey meet with us in their flower shop, and speak of their unique bond that resonates in all they do. The roots of Our Little Flower Company stems from their family tree and run through them like veins.
“Our moms are identical twins,” says Erin. “My mom had me, and then eight years later Kerstyn’s moms had her, we were both only children, we were raised on and off together by single moms, and we lived together quite a few times.”
Kerstyn: We lived with each other’s moms…
Erin: … because we didn’t like our own moms for short periods of time!
I remember Kerstyn’s nursery, it was salmon coloured, and every night I would go look at her in her crib and I would say, ‘Hi baby, I love you.’
It’s weird because there is such a big age gap but I remember that I knew she was my family and my sister. And she was the sweetest, cutest baby. That’s my earliest memory.
They sit beside one another, wearing different colours, with different hairstyles and both with a completely different vibe. Around the room are assortments of flowers that appear rustic, like a child had run through a forest to collect pieces of nature to bring back home. There is a feel to the room that everything had its place and is all reflective of their love and creativity.
E: We literally finish each other’s sentences, yet we do everything opposite. Building this place, we would pick up a board and I would go one way and she would go another way.
Once a barren space void of life or colour, now fits together like driftwood and the shore. Their ability to look at a space and transform it into something that suits their soul is the reason they do flowers.
“It comes naturally,” says Erin. “We ground all the concrete floors ourselves, that wood wall over there is made from my moms old fence, we learned how to use the table saws and everything.
We event went to auctions for nine months, every week, to find stuff for the shop and bid. We were auction junkies. We were in this weird crew. It was so much fun. We were like construction men building a flower shop…”
They started by creating floral arrangements in their backyard in the fading light of the summer sun, putting up Christmas lights to see what they were doing in the dark, and coming inside with dirty knees and mosquito bites. It was happiness.
K: Then we had one really big wedding and we were like ‘if we can do this…let’s go for it, lets open a shop.’
E: It was the biggest wedding planning group around and it was a dream wedding for any floral shop to get, and WE were doing flowers for it… 3,000 roses.
K: It was like something was telling us… that if we could do it, we were meant to do it. Then afterwards, everything came to us, you know, we needed a place to open a shop but we didn’t know where.
E: We knew we didn’t want it in the city or Tsawwassen or Ladner.
K: So we came here, and it was like, any day we needed something it would come to us.
For both women, it wasn’t necessarily scary to dive in, because everything was fitting into place too easily. They had planted the seeds and the universe was providing. Part luck, part love, and a few power tools later, they built their dream.
K: We’re lucky that there are two of us and we think so differently…
E: …we pick each other up, or let each other be.
While the process of envisioning and putting together a flower assortment for a bouquet may seem like a daunting task for many, Erin and Kerstyn are able to use different aspects of their personalities to extract a true vision from the couple and incorporate their own to create the final result.
E: We talk to a couple and connect with them. I really think a lot of people come to us because they like our style and how we flow with the flowers.
K: They bring pictures or have an idea…
E: …and we start with colours or the theme.
K: We kind of say, ‘do you have a look that you are going for?’ and leave the rest up to us.
E: We pull form our cooler, we let them touch the flowers and see if they like the flowy look or a more rigid leaf. We tell people to come in with a budget and then we go from there.
They tend to pull from the elements and describe their style as very west coast, inspired perhaps by the fact that they were both raised by the beach.
K: I find people say they like that we use all the greens…
E: Lush is the word, like west coast lush. We are really just starting to define ourselves; we are constantly evolving and changing. We do what we like, we listen to the people around us, and we are creative and try not to fall into a box.
With Instagram and Pinterest, the competition has never been greater and more blazingly obvious. Sometimes you just have to shut it off and see what’s in front of you because at the end of the day, they both know that the amount of followers does not amount to success, and getting caught up in the scrolling is a never-ending cycle of self-doubt.
E: What matters is your heart, your soul and what you’re putting into your work.
K: But it can still get into your head.
E: As soon as we do flowers together though, everything shuts off and it’s back to the basics. It’s very grounding to work together.
K: I would go nuts if I worked with anyone else.
In only a short period of time it became easy to see wy Erin and Kerstyn work so well as a team. While I was thinking of ways to describe them, I stumbled across a beautiful bouquet on their site called “Cecilia.”
“Bright and colourful” it says of the flowers, “like the sound of steal drums, the look of string lights on a patio at night, or wearing a new sweater before its been washed. This bouquet is all about the good vibes.”
Just like them.
E: I think Kerstyn is the thinker, she is slow, but in a very heartfelt way, everything she says and does has a kind purpose. I think you underestimate yourself, because I think you are probably the greatest woman I know.
E: She is the most amazing auntie and sister, and without her in here we would not be where we are. She literally is the mover, the person that makes our business function. She makes sure everything is taken care, and teaches me everyday to sometimes just sit back and be a little bit more… worldly.
We all describe her as an old soul. You don’t force anything, you’re such a person of your word and you’re so intuitive; you can read people as they walk through the door on how to properly approach them, and you know when to let go of things and not hold them in. I’ve learned so much about myself through you.
K: Working together, it’s crazy how much you learn. We spent so much time together anyways, but owning a business… it’s a whole other world… both of us are very emotional people.
E: I will cry and talk about it right away…
K: I will take some time.
E: I need to learn how to back off…
K: and I need to learn how to talk about it. Erin, you are so creative with a million great ideas… You’re the face of this whole thing to me, the people person, which is such an admirable skill to have. That’s who I’ve looked up to since I was younger, its almost like…working with her is teaching me how to be a more personable person, which is huge because that’s what I’ve worked on forever.
She is the most caring person, sometimes I feel like bringing you in and saying ‘maybe it’s not good to waste your time on someone,’ but it’s like, no matter who walks through the door, it’s instant love.
You’d do anything to help anybody, and you don’t even think about yourself. Unconditional love to everybody, even to people who are jerks, it sounds so corny but you just have… a lot of love.
The bond between sisters, that’s where this business grows from. With six months in their current location, they are making their dreams blossom every day, and have figured out how to connect and hear one another.
When you look outside, you see a world that represents our general view of business: ominous steel buildings, loud trucks thundering by demanding attention, and street signs flashing green or red to dictate the next move.
In this little flower shop, there is nothing but love, and that’s what a wedding is all about. That’s why it works.