By Liteboho Letlatsa

Flowers and decorating are such a huge part of every wedding, it’s important to understand your style, but also find the florist who will bring your vision to life. The founder of Houze of Flowers, to shares more about her passion for flowers and for bringing glamour and splendour to your day.

Maqajela Lebona studied Interior Design at Lifestyle College in Gauteng but later fell in love with flowers. Her love for flowers was passed on to her by mother. She learned everything she knows through observation. She was based at Taoana Centre next to Alliance Insurance when she started in 2018. Her reason for being next to the insurance company was so people could see flowers when they came to claim from the insurance company. She started by making wreaths for funerals then the demand got high she later introduced bouquets.

The florist said she left Taoana Centre in 2020 when Covid-19 hit hard and works from home, Cathedral Area. Her job entails creating arrangements of flowers in wreaths, bouquets, vases, centrepiece elements and landscape decoration. She shared that sometimes she delivers gift bouquets.

She purchases flowers from South African wholesalers and farmers. Before Covid-19 she used to go directly to the supplier but now she makes purchases online and they get delivered through a courier.

The 43-year-old stated that like many other businesses there are challenges in this one as well. She purported that customers do not order in time. The trouble with purchasing online, , is that sometimes flowers get spoiled reroute to her, at times they deliver the wrong order, at times couriers take time to deliver or expose the flowers to extreme sunlight. 

Flowers are perishable and demand high level of care.  The florist said she keeps her flowers in water and uses flower food to give them longevity. Cool temperature is critical for their survival, she stipulated.

She voiced that social media has played a vital role in promoting her business, acquired her more clientele and even brought her international recognition from companies such as Italian Flora and Gift Baskets Overseas (GBO) partners and relations. She disclosed that she is working with both of these companies and that GBO partners and relations introduced her to the concept of gift bouquets which she now sells and never in her wildest dreams though she could.

The passionate florist indicated how therapeutic she finds flower arrangement. “Flowers make people happy, I am always in awe of the response I get from receivers. In the near future I intend to produce flowers myself and supply other local and international florists and wholesalers.

She shared that she beyond grateful for the support Basotho have showed her and continue to show her. She indicated that at first she was worried how her customers were going to respond to her pricing but thus far there has never been a single complaint.

The driven florist advised women to know themselves, their corner and to be exceptional in their corners. “Even though there might be many people offering the same products and services as you, have your own signature in what you do, which will attract your niche of clientele,” she advised. She further stipulated that there is enough business in the market for everyone.