Florist with a fresh attitude
Bronco, the name of Niina Autti’s flower shop, means an untrained rodeo horse. The shopkeeper found the name in her riding hobby. The name illustrates the business idea of always finding new and fresh ideas to offer.
At the street level in Intelligate 2, the newest building in the Turku Science Park area, a multitude of flowers can be found in the corridor on the railway station’s side. Here you can pick a bouquet or an indoor plant in a decorative pot. You will also find small articles for interior decoration, such as cushions, glass jars and candles.
”Display is extremely important. We want to make shopping easy, because our customers are often in a hurry. They don’t have time to buy the soil, plants and pots separately. Therefore, we want to offer them finished arrangements”, Niina Autti explains.
Companies are an important group of customers
When going to a house-warming party you can pick up e.g. an ivy planted in a pot and equipped with a nice welcoming sign. A lot of flower arrangements are also made to order, because the most important customer groups are business companies and organisers of various parties and festivals.
”We make flower arrangements for business premises or when a company wants to celebrate a special day of their employees or customers or arrange seminars and anniversaries. For example, we have decorated the premises in Logomo for large events. It is easy to order by e-mail or phone. Moreover, we provide regular care of indoor plants for many of our business customers. As for private celebrations, flowers for weddings are often ordered from us.”
The peak seasons for florists include Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter and school-leaving celebrations, and for business customers, Women’s Day in particular. Part of the businesses in the branch have transferred to supermarkets and shopping centres.
”A special shop must specialise, and therefore we follow the trends and try to be pioneers and always offer a little more. We included interior decoration elements in our product assortment, so we always have some nice little things to offer. We will increase the assortment according to demand. In the spring we participate in garden fairs which offer pleasant variation. Moreover, we often exchange ideas with students doing their practical training in our shop. Of course part of the ideas will gradually move to supermarkets”, Niina Autti ponders.
City gardener becomes florist
Ms Autti founded her flower shop Bronco in 2010 in Kupittaa. The shop was at first located in Intelligate 1, and moved from there to Intelligate 2 when the building was completed. The place attracted her particularly because there are plenty of interesting companies which are potential customers. The flower shop is Niina Autti’s first own business. When she was younger she worked in a florist’s shop in Helsinki, but then trained to be a gardener and worked as the city gardener of Paimio before setting up her own business. She came to Paimio first for a summer job fifteen years ago. Her stay grew longer after she met her husband there. The family has two daughters and also two dogs.
”I like it in Paimio, we live in a detached house near the schools, and the motorway makes it quick and easy to get to Turku and to see relatives in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. However, as I grew older I was attracted by working indoors and it was no longer so much fun to do forest work. I began to think about a change in my career: either train to be a florist or specialise in horse husbandry. However, the period of application to the Equine College in Ypäjä had closed the day before, and so I applied for Livia College and qualified as a florist in 2008. So now I am an entrepreneur, although when working in a flower shop as a young girl I thought I’d never start my own business in that field. Nevertheless, the business is interesting and full of variety, and pleasant customers are the best of it all.”
”When I first started, I hardly knew anything about entrepreneurship, so I have been learning all the time. An entrepreneur must know many different things, for example, how to be a buyer who stands out in a crowd. I wouldn’t succeed without the strong support of my family. My mother has retired on pension and helps me when my work is piling up. In the autumn my whole family goes into the forest to collect moss for Christmas flower arrangements. My older daughter has already participated in the garden fair with me.”
To balance out her hectic entrepreneurship Niina Autti has kept her hobby with the horses. She and her friend together own a white Lipizzaner which has its stable on the friend’s farm.
”The horse is very important and takes my mind away from other things. On the other hand, it does not occupy too much of my time as I can share it with another owner. I can also appreciate the free time of the whole family together”, Niina Autti says.
- Florist, Flower Shop Bronco in Turku Science Park
- Married with two daughters at lower comprehensive school, two dogs.
- Gardener, Lepaan puutarhaopisto gardening school 1996
- Florist, Livia College 2008
- Kampin Kukka, Helsinki 1995-1999
- City Gardener, City of Paimio 1999-2009
- Kauppila Oy 2009-2010
- Own business since 2010 -
- The Lipizzaner owned together with a friend
- Spending time with the family
Text and photos: Anne Kortela