In Conversation with QN Flowers

In Conversation with QN Flowers

We sat down with flower enthusiast, Leo Ge, to find out more about his business, QN Flowers. His entrepreneurial journey started when he moved to Australia 6 years ago. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and QN Flowers?  

Six years ago, I moved to Australia with my wife and two kids looking for a new adventure. My wife and I love flowers, so it only felt right to have our own flower shop, it’s my happy place. Plus, my kids love flowers, especially when I bring home their favourite ones! They make the house beautiful and the world happier! When I first started, my English wasn’t as good. I was shy and couldn’t communicate very well. Working here, my English has improved a lot, thanks to my wonderful customers. I even learn from my kids now. 

Could you describe the types of flowers you offer and any unique varieties or arrangements?  

We have such a broad range of flowers; this does change seasonally. Currently, Dahlias are popular. Although Sunflowers are gaining popularity, I think it’s because of their bright colour and how reasonably priced they are. Native flowers are also popular; they last a while and are available throughout the year. 

Valentine’s Day is a big day for us; roses are popular, but so are hydrangeas. We already placed our order three weeks ago, so expect to see over 1,000 stems of roses! 

What do you enjoy most about being a trader at Queen Victoria Market? 

My flower shop is my happy place; I have been here for five years now. I love coming to work. If I could, I would spend all day here! The market has a real sense of community; most mornings, I spend time talking with other traders and enjoying their company. Another thing is our loyal customers; we have a lot! Over the years, we are now seeing new regulars. It’s great; everything seems to be getting better post-COVID. I have even created more varieties, including our signature posy. 

Are there any memorable moments or stories from your time at the market? 

I have so many good memories from my time here, but the one that stands out the most is the support that I received from loyal customers. Covid was a tough period, and I don’t know if my business would have survived if it weren’t for my regular customers. They would purchase even more flowers than usual. Their support meant everything to me, it is the reason why I am here today. 

Before Covid, I loved it when my two kids used to come to work with me. We would spend the day together and often walk around the market, talking to all the traders. Sometimes, I felt like they knew more about the market than me! 

What are some challenges you face as a trader, and how do you overcome them? 

During Covid, it was one of my biggest challenges; it nearly finished me. I was lucky enough to receive support from Queen Victoria Market’s management team and regular customers. We have a click-and-collect system; my customers would use this service to purchase flowers and support my business.  

Another challenge is staying ahead of the competitors. It’s important to make sure I maintain a high quality and broad range of fresh flowers and continue to build a strong relationship with my customers by interacting with them. 

Can you describe a bouquet that represents the spirit of Queen Victoria Market? 

I would like to say the best bouquet which can represent the spirit of our market is a Eucalyptus bouquet. The Eucalyptus leaf is affordable, but it can last for ages, and will keep the smell once it’s dried out, which means things in our market are always affordable but unforgettable and deep-rooted as well. 

Can you share a behind-the-scenes aspect of running a flower stall that customers might find surprising or interesting? 

Every Wednesday, I travel over an hour south to pick some fresh flowers directly from the farm. I have built a good relationship with the farmer, and I often walk around with him to help pick flowers. 

On Thursdays and Saturdays, I wake up at 1:30am and head straight to the flower market with my driver. I always get there first thing when the market opens to get the best quality and freshest flowers. I rarely feel tired, I think I am used to the early mornings. 

What are your goals for QN Flowers’ future? 

Nothing big, I just want to keep providing the customers with affordable flowers of the best quality. We’ll do our best to make ourselves “last for ages” like flowers. 

Last but not least, I would like to thank to all the customers for their continuous and generous support, the suppliers for their tremendous help as always and all of our hard-working colleagues for their endless dedication to not only the customers but also our store! 

Explore Leo’s range of QN Flowers at Queen Victoria Market on Tuesday and Thursday through to Sunday or follow @qnflowers on Instagram for more information. 

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