Setting up a business in lockdown: Rita Kastrati – Bea’s Flowers London

Images above: Rita Kastrati; Rita and her mother Bea

Bea’s Flowers London

Rita Kastrati, 21, graduated in the summer of 2020 with a degree in International Political Economy. She had a job lined up in New York which she wasn’t able to take because she couldn’t get there. She has gone into business with her mother, selling flowers.

“In October 2020, during the second lockdown, I realised that online businesses were thriving”. She saw an opportunity to work with her mother, learning her skills as a florist and bringing her own skillset to create something new.

Rita’s father Dino opened Casa Dino on Deveonshire Rd in 2019 and her mother Bea had started Bea’s Flowers in 2017, working with her husband in the restaurant business and complementing fine dining with beautiful floral displays. Rita has worked as a waitress in the family business and been used to pitching in to help throughout her time at university.

With the restaurant closed, and forced to spend more time at home, she saw an opportunity to develop Bea’s flower businesses online.

Image above: Bea’s Flowers London ‘Sweetheart’ bouquet

Building a business by the power of social media

“During the first lockdown I’d studied Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), website design and social media. I was honestly shocked at the power of Instagram. We’ve reached 890 followers since October; we’ve gained 500 over the past month”.

She goes to Covent Garden Market at 5.00am each morning to pick up the flowers for the bouquets which have been ordered; at the moment she’s buying a lot of tulips, dahlias and friesias. “Mimosas also are huge at the moment” she says. They get orders from all over the country and send them out by Royal Mail. She hand delivers to Chiswick and delivers all over west London by bike courier.

Despite the nationwide footprint, she is trying in other ways to make the business as sustainable as possible by seeking out locally grown flowers and using recycled brown paper and recycled cardboard boxes, going to supermarkets to pick up discarded fruit boxes, which work particularly well for floral arangements.

“It really annoys me how much is wasted” she says.

Image above: Bea’s Flowers London, Mother’s Day bouquet

A busy time for florists

“Last week was incredible” she tells me. “Mother’s Day was huge but also International Women’s Day. It’s a huge thing, particularly in the European community. People give flowers to all the important women in their lives”.

Rita and Bea are marking Women in History month by fundraising for a women’s charity:

“To give back, we are proudly supporting Women for Women International with every purchase, it is a charity that helps women war survivors to rebuild their lives”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Setting up a business in lockdown: Francesca & Olivia Johns – Boeboes soft furnishings

See also: Setting up a business in lockdown: Jake Stewart – Cello

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