Meet Kerri Pfeifer, creator + owner of Rogue Florist. She’s all about changing the Vancouver floral scene to showcase our beautiful local foliage. Kerri Pfeifer is that gal behind the garden. Read on to find out her favourite floral scent, her top advice for new entrepreneurs, and her silly embarrassing moment when purchasing wholesale flowers for the first time!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do? What do you love?
I was raised in a remote community in the interior of BC, off the grid and without a television. My sister and I spent a lot of time outdoors, which is where my love for plants and nature came about I’m sure. Now I live in Vancouver with my lovely boyfriend and our two cats. We like to travel around BC when we can, go for bike rides, and hang out at home. I’ve also been taking photographs semi-professionally for ten or so years, which I still love.
2. How did you start Rogue Florist? What inspired this lovely business?
I got into flowers rather by chance, when I took a seasonal gig at a busy florist in Kitsilano through a temping agency. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the people, and most of all the flowers. The owner really inspired me as one of the hardest working women I’d ever met, and I jumped at the offer to join her team full time after the holidays. After a few years with them and a few workshops and classes (both local and international) I wanted to delve into developing my own style, and that’s how Rogue Florist was born.
3. What’s your favourite part of your work + your business?
My favourite part of Rogue Florist is showcasing the abundance of beautiful local foliage and flowers that are growing wild all around us here in Vancouver, and all over BC. I love to surprise people with the use of a weedy green that they might see everywhere and not look twice at, but when brought into focus in an arrangement just shines. It’s also a comfort to know that this element of the design is not being shipped from the furthest reaches of the world to get here!
4. Do you have a favourite flower or favourite arrangement?
This is probably the hardest question for any florist to answer! I think my favourite flower to look at is a garden Rose, preferably growing with its thorny stem tangled amidst all of its little rose-y companions… My favourite flower to smell is Yarrow, which grows everywhere around my hometown and embodies the scent of summer, and my favourite arrangements are those that are heavy on the use of greenery.
5. What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
While I am still learning a lot myself, the best advice I could give is reach out and ask for help. I’m not very business minded or even great with numbers, so I got a lot of help from a friend with experience in grant-writing and business planning. Something else I would add is try to relax and give yourself a break. I was way too hard on myself for not 100% succeeding (monetarily) with my first big venture, and stressing yourself doesn’t help. Try to focus on the good things that came of it, and remember that great things take time. Baby steps!
6. What are your favourite places in Vancouver anyone can go?
I really love to visit Deep Cove. The landscape seems completely different, as it looks down the Indian Arm and you can’t see any typical Vancouver landmarks. It really feels like you are on a Gulf Island or the Sunshine Coast. Which, by the way, are also very nice places to visit around Vancouver. Also, within Vancouver, I like to visit Queen Elizabeth Park (and the Bloedel Conservatory) and Van Dusen, for their impeccable gardens.
7. What’s in the works for you in the near future?
I have a few weddings coming up this summer around Vancouver, so I’ll get to travel to some nice destinations, which is always exciting. I’m especially excited to do the flowers for my good friend Tyra’s wedding in Squamish!
8. Are there any upcoming events, shows, conferences, festivals, etc. in Vancouver that you’re excited about?
I am looking forward to attending the Farmacie 3.0 event this summer, which I will also be doing the flowers for. Britney and her team have such a great vision, and I am completely behind the charity Fresh Roots, which will be the full benefactor of the profits.
9. Can you tell me one silly, inspiring, embarrassing, or noteworthy story about when you were first starting out in your business? Any mishaps or interesting things that happened?
When I first started buying wholesale flowers, I had no experience at all with how the process went. I clutched all of my precious bunches to my chest for a long time before noticing everyone else’s handy carts, and walked right past the counter that prints invoices to the cashier, who informed me I had to backtrack and have an invoice printed before I could pay. When I got back to the invoice counter, all the attendants were laughing and clapping. I laughed too. It was a bit embarrassing, but I wanted to learn so badly that it didn’t really matter.