Angel Wall purchased a floral shop in April 2019.
The shop was a community-staple, operating for over 20 years. Wall had previous experience running a concession at a local arena, running an online business, and doing interior design work for houses that her and her husband build together.
She re-branded the shop, naming it Meadow Rose. Meadow is the meaning of her daughters middle name, and Rose is her grandmother’s name, and Wall’s middle name.
“(The name of the business is meant) to honour my only daughter and my grandmother who moulded and shaped me to become who I am.”
Meadow Rose supplies flowers for weddings and funerals among other events. Wall said she relies on social media and word-of-mouth for business. So far they’ve provided floral arrangements for weddings in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Duck Lake, and other areas of the province.
The store also features giftware, chocolate, locally made soap and beauty products, and other housewares.
Like many business owners, Wall wasn’t expecting a global pandemic to happen and affect her business.
Wall quickly had to adapt to the circumstances. In March, Meadow Rose started their Send Joy campaign. The floral shop was delivering flowers and plants to door steps around the valley area, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and other small towns in the area.
“People would order flowers and send flowers quite a bit during COVID just to brighten people’s day and have that personal connection without being able to see people, and so that was really successful,” Wall said.
The campaign did so well it was nominated for an award by a Prince Albert woman. The contest was called #LocalLove and was run by Fairstone. Meadow Rose was one of four recipients across Canada.
Wall said the $3,000 cash award was both a surprise and a blessing that was put back into the business.
Wall says opening up her own business was a challenge in itself. For her, especially as a high school drop-out who left school in Grade 11, she says writing a business plan was even a “huge feat” for her.
As a First Nations entrepreneur, Wall says she’s faced difficulty, especially as a woman trying to get funding to start her own business. She’s been told by banks before that she would need her husband to co-sign to secure funding, something she wasn’t interested in doing.
“Being a First Nations woman you always have hurdles and obstacles and I think it’s a lot of times ones that we put up for ourselves that we have barriers that we need to break through.”
Wall was able to get funding from Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (SEIF) and Community Futures to open Meadow Rose.
Although they continued to deliver flowers throughout the pandemic, Wall said with less funerals and weddings, there was “huge impact” to the business.
She says people are starting to send flowers to funerals more often now, and small weddings and elopements are also on the rise. Although the gatherings may not be as big as they used to, Wall said it’s keeping business “steady.”
Around November and December Wall says she is planning to host floral workshops with materials either being available for pick up or delivered to bigger centres. The workshops will be hosted over Zoom.
Wall says the business didn’t meet the requirements for any government help, so she had to rely on customers to make it through the beginning of the pandemic. She wants to remind people to keep supporting small and local businesses.
“I think Saskatchewan is pretty unique in that manner, even though everything was shut down I still had work and I still had business and it wasn’t the same as before but it helped us be able to make it through.”