This time article features Florian Frischa Wibowo (Frischa).
Frischa received her Bachelor of Medicine cum laude (with a GPA of 3.68) from a private university, Universitas Kristen Krida Wacana (known as “UKRIDA”), Jakarta, on 22 April 2016. She is now on her way to be a doctor. Yet, she is also a successful entrepreneur who started a small business in floral arrangements — “Florian Florist” -- in November 2014. And she is only 23!
How did she do it?
Frischa is truly blessed with many gifts. Academically, it’s obvious she is very smart and the fact that she is also very artistic. She can draw and write story based on her drawings when she was eight. She is also skilful as a make-up artist even though as far as just doing it “free of charge” for her close friends and family. She is aware of all the gifts that she has and uses most of them very wisely. The last one that she has recently developed unexpectedly is her artistic gift in flower arrangements.
It started when her friends often asked her to go with them to a flowers market to choose flowers or bouquet for special occasions. She noticed how much her friends paid for such a flower-arrangement and how much effort the florist spent in doing it.
Thinking that she could do better with lesser cost to help her friends save money, an idea sprang up: one early morning before dawn, when there were no lectures for that day, she drove her car back to that flowers market. She bought many kinds of flowers. She returned home, sat down and put on her artistic hat and created some flower arrangements. She took their pictures, posted them on Facebook and Instagram to test the market. With the help of her friends who promoted her first bouquets by sharing her postings, she didn’t have to wait long, people started to curiously ask if she was selling those bouquets. Of course she said, yes. On that day she even sold some of her flowers!
There you go. Starting from that simple act, from then on she has been receiving orders and declared herself as a florist -- “Florian Florist.”
"The florist" and a business owner. A medical student.
Florian Florist is now one of well known florists among students and their friends and relatives in her university — Frischa is even nicknamed “the Florist”. During festive seasons, Christmas and New Year, and graduation as well as special days such as Valentine's, Mother’s, and Father’s days, Frischa’s home will turn into a secret garden. Flowers everywhere.
I've fortunately had the privilege to be her mentor, though we don’t regularly meet face to face due to our locations. But at the beginning of her business stage, I’ve given her the basic principle and what the most important thing is to thrive in this kind of business: Connect with her customers (both the receiver of the flowers and the sender) emotionally -- Aristotle called it pathos (in addition to ethos and logos) in his advice for effective communications. Only then customers will become fans and promoters.
Okay, how to connect with customers emotionally?
Flowers arrangement is a work of art as well as of heart. No one ever sent flowers to make people sad; flowers meant to brighten people’s heart and gladden their soul. Touching their heart and soul is the key success to its business. To be able to touch people’s heart at its core, something about Florian Florist must be well remembered. For this I helped Frischa create a message that is sent along with the flowers: Every flower is arranged by Florian Florist with prayer and love.
Indeed, Frischa who never learned how to arrange flowers do all her works with prayer and love. Prayers and love are the source of her creativity that helps her “on-the-job”. Although without training, but being talented, she can visualise how she wants her flowers arrangement looks like and makes it happen on the spot: from selecting flowers, colour themes, to style and structure them to match the idea that her customer describes. As such, she confessed that she can never teach anyone how to do it. Not that she is selfish. She just cannot express it in words. Because all of this process happens in her head while her hands are diligently translating it into action. See her collections on www.florianflorist.com.
Every month she regularly receives at least 100 to 120 orders. It’s been 24 months. So, it’s been more than 2400 flower arrangements or bouquets she has created and delivered!
How did she do it in the midst of her hectic medical studies?
Sounds impossible to do. Where did she find time to study and to attend her business at the sametime, and yet, her studies weren’t affected (she was graduated cum laude) and the business is still going strong?
Behind every effort that flourishes is great support. Frischa’s family members are her great supporters. In fact her father, Felix, is her right hand man. If she’s not around he is the one who’s in charge. Works as a general manager in a hospital, Felix himself has an artistic talent — so, he is also Frischa’s “partner” in the creativity matters. In addition to her father, her two younger sisters act as her photographers (each bouquet must be photographed and sent to the ordering customer as a proof before delivery) and assistants (to print cards and wrap the flowers); and also her mother who is always there to help with anything Frischa needs.
The other amazing thing that Frischa does with her Florian Florist is her great idea to create job opportunity for unemployed people around her. She hires at least four men who live in her neighbourhood to be her delivery man. These trusted four people are paid based on the number of bouquets they deliver by their motorbikes everyday. They are all very happy to have this enjoyable job that sustains their family, because everyday, Florian Florist will have a job for them.
Do you think Frischa will abandon her medical profession and become a full-time florist?
“No. I don’t think so”, said Frischa, “I love everything that is beautiful. Soon when I have completed my medical training and become a doctor, I will continue my studies to be a specialist in anti ageing, in addition to continuing Florian Florist”.
Hearing her determination to pursue her next dream is quite understandable. Not only that she is part of an extended big family of doctors, who one them is also a specialist in anti ageing, but she is also a highly focused and self motivated individual. These two are just the key ingredients for a career success in whatever profession anyone may undertake.
I specially featured Frischa’s story in this article because hers is a remarkable example of how we can recognise our hidden potentials when we respond to an inspriration and dare to realise them freely. Especially now in the era of social media that can help us test our endeavour.
Nevertheless, I will encourage anyone to dare to step out and reach his or her potential. Even if it may not be successful, there always be something precious to learn from. If not, how else would we learn and discover our hidden potentials?
All the very best always, Frischa!
Jakarta, 25 November 2016
PS. Don’t ever forget to make one special bouquet on every 13th of November for your mentor’s birthday!