I came across Jane Packer’s obituary in The Guardian UK:
It’s quite interesting and insightful to read the path Jane followed in her life. Also, quite informative on how the floral industry has evolved since the 1970s.
One part really struck me:
“She was 22 in 1981, still naive, when she signed a 25-year lease on a shop in James Street, just off Oxford Street, in central London, along what was then a smart rat-run, South Molton Street to St Christopher’s Place.
It was a sentence to seven-days-a-week hard labour and heavy lifting, buying at Nine Elms market long before dawn, loading and unloading her van. “I remember getting back to the shop one morning, sitting down and bursting into tears because I was so exhausted,” she told the journalist Alex McRae. “But then I opened up a box of flowers, and the fragrance floated into the air. And I thought: this is why I do it.” There followed three years without profits and five without a holiday.”
The floral business is not for the faint of heart, the drive to succeed comes from deep inside, a passion to work with flowers & share that passion with others. Unfortunately, quite often it’s not for the money.
When I first opened Bella Fiori I signed a three year lease on a space and I thought that was brave. Jane signed a 25 year lease! Perhaps it’s different signing leases in the UK & easier to get out of, but I doubt that. She knew what she wanted to do and went for it.
To think with such a humble start she was able to persevere and grow her business to a name known worldwide.
That’s growing a name known worldwide before the internet and social media! She managed to build relationships with the paper and magazines to build her name and reputation.
I do wish I could have met her, she obviously was one tenacious and business savvy business woman.