Interview | Get to Know the Wedding Pro: The Flower Market, Dubai
Get To Know The Wedding Pro: The Flower Market, Dubai
Each week, we shine the spotlight on Bride Club ME vendor club members, allowing you, our reader, to get up close and personal with some of the best wedding vendors in town. Here, you can learn more about the people behind some of the businesses you may be using to make your wedding day perfect!
This week we have the privilege of showcasing Lubna Farah, Founder of The Flower Market. Below, Lubna provides us with an exclusive insight into her company, tells us all about why she works in this industry, and shares with us what she loves the most about her job.
How long has The Flower Market been established, and what makes your company different to other florists in the region?
My daughters and I opened the doors to The Flower Market at Dubai Healthcare City last May. We are a family business which specialises in everything ‘flowers’: from raw, natural bunches to designed bouquets for personal gestures, as well as floral accessories and arrangements for weddings and events.
Our uniqueness stems from our passion for flowers and design, and our mission is to showcase flowers and foliage in their fresh organic state. We believe that everyone should enjoy high-quality flowers and designs without a hefty price tag, and we endeavour to deliver this with a personal touch to all our clients.
I am so happy that all three of my daughters are closely involved with me in the business. They help keep The Flower Market in touch with the latest international design trends, which we try to combine with our genuine understanding of local tastes to come up with floral arrangements that stand out from the crowd.
What made you decide to work in the floral and wedding industry?
I have always loved the natural beauty of flowers. Luckily, I’m part of a large family and I never needed an excuse to decorate our home with my favourite flowers to help us celebrate many wonderful family moments. As my daughters started moving abroad to university, I began to think about the possibility of turning my interest in floral decorating into a business venture. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to design the floral arrangements for two of my daughter’s weddings here in Dubai that I decided to put my thoughts into action.
My experience from both weddings was that very few local florists are focused on catering to clients with unique tastes and individual style, yet with a moderate budget. I saw this as a gap in the market that I could potentially fill, and when my daughters expressed their enthusiasm to join me in starting the business, it was an opportunity for a family project which I couldn’t pass up!
What do you love most about your work?
I love seeing the joy on my clients’ faces when they see their requested floral arrangement for the first time. The flowers we provide are in many cases a small but still important piece of some of the most important events of my clients’ lives. As such I want everything to be perfect, and when I can tell that we’ve been able to really capture a client’s vision, it’s such a rewarding feeling.
Do you have any exciting wedding projects happening soon? What are you most looking forward to about 2017?
Our first wedding season was already far busier than I expected! On the back of last year’s success, we are all really excited about what The Flower Market can deliver with one year’s experience under our belts.
We have already secured a number of weddings both from couples flying into Dubai for a dream ‘destination wedding’ to wedding events for local clients. Personally, I’m most excited about a wedding event for a close family member who hasn’t yet announced the wedding publicly. I can’t give away too many details or I might get in trouble!
Describe the experience a bride-to-be will have when hiring The Flower Market for her wedding…
We try to start every client engagement with a face-to-face meeting (or at least telephone/Skype conversation if the client lives abroad) to get to know the bride-to-be and understand her ‘vision’ for the floral arrangements.
I find that some brides-to-be have a concrete idea in their mind regarding the floral arrangement, while other times the initial conversation can be very abstract, where we talk about the colours or themes which are meaningful to the bride-to-be.
As two of my daughters recently had their own wedding in Dubai, I also usually ask one of them to join an early discussion. I think the bride-to-be might find it helpful to speak to another young woman who has just gone through the Dubai wedding experience and can share their advice or answer any questions which are causing unneeded worry.
I feel a big part of our job is to help guide the bride-to-be to a floral design that hopefully exceeds her expectations but not her budget. As part of this, we will try to offer pragmatic ideas where necessary and potentially a few ‘out of the box’ solutions which could really help strike the balance between a unique design and the bride’s target budget.
As the all-important date edges closer, we try to stay proactive with our communication so the bride-to-be doesn’t feel that she needs to chase us to see action. Likewise, we completely understand wedding plans can move around quite a bit, so we try to stay flexible with our ideas and availabilities to discuss any unforeseen changes. Ultimately, we want to give our brides-to-be comfort that the floral arrangement is at least one thing they don’t have to stress about!
How do you manage trust from your clients? After all, it is the most important day of their lives…
I’m a strong believer that trust is something that we need to earn from each of our clients. This starts from the very first discussion where we aim to demonstrate that we are well prepared, professional, and share our client’s excitement for their special day.
Another important element to earning our clients’ trust is showing our respect for their budgets. We put real thought and effort into our pricing quotes to ensure we are reflecting a realistic view of the cost to deliver on our clients’ requests. We don’t want our clients ever feeling that they should expect cost ‘surprises’ at the last minute, and we will not push ideas onto our clients which we know would exceed their budget.
Lastly, we take a practical approach to managing clients’ expectations. Wherever possible we try to present our clients with samples or pictures of the piece of work we have agreed to provide. I think the additional clarity this approach provides to the project for both us and the client goes a long way to ensuring everyone is very happy with the final result.
If you could give one piece of advice to our readers (brides-to-be) what would it be?
Plan ahead as far as possible. It is never too early to secure your venue and to bring on board suppliers you believe you can trust. With respect to setting your budget, prioritisation is essential; think of your top three ‘must haves’ and set a conservative cost estimate for each – and then use this as the foundation on which to allocate the rest of the budget.
On the obviously important topic of flowers, if you know what you want, collect and bring pictures of pieces that resemble what you are looking for. If you are not sure what it is that will make your big day really special, don’t be afraid to ask your floral design partner to help develop that idea with you.
And on the day, make sure you soak it all in!
What budgets do you cater for?
We can accommodate all wedding sizes and have experience with both the smallest and most grand weddings. So far in The Flower Market’s short life, we have not been asked to deliver an event that has been either too small or large for us!
Lastly, why did you choose to list with www.brideclubme.com?
When my daughter Rama was getting married, she discovered Bride Club ME. Your website really helped her select the right suppliers, and she continuously read your blogs and newsletter to get ideas on how to plan her wedding in Dubai. When we opened The Flower Market, we immediately thought of Bride Club ME as an important portal to prospective clients. It offers exactly what we are looking for in a platform to market our services and collaborate with other wedding service providers.
I love the concept and the success story of the site. After meeting the founder and the team, and finding out more about how you support your suppliers and the community you have created, I was very much sold on the idea to list with Bride Club ME.
Our listing has already re-affirmed its value to our business – our first bride-to-be contacted us via our listing on the Bride Club ME website!