Urban Contessa flower and gift boutique isn’t your typical roses and daisies. They arrange the highest quality flowers in original, organic styles. What makes Urban Contessa even more unique? It is owned and operated by a mother and daughter, Asia and Olivia. In our interview, Asia explained how their arrangements are different every single day. “It’s kind of like a recipe – you think ‘What am I in the mood for today?’” Whatever their secret ingredient is, it’s definitely working.
Urban Contessa is a full-service florist, offering bouquets and arrangements for weddings, events, corporate workshops, and their retail space. But that is not what the business looked like at its inception in August 2017. Asia and Olivia have always let their customers dictate the direction of their business. Originally, Urban Contessa began out of their living room on Mass Ave. The mother and daughter chose unique flowers and varieties that stuck out from your typical grocery store bouquet. Then, they dropped off their creations to different clients around the city. As buzz grew about their business, so did bigger requests, such as weddings and events. Asia and Olivia knew they needed to find a new workshop (and gain back some living room space), so they found a space to work out (though it wasn’t open to the public).
Luckily, they weren’t in it alone. Asia and Olivia sought help from the Indy Chamber's Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) for both one-on-one business coaching and small business lending in order to take Urban Contessa to new heights. Neil Metzger was able to ideate growth strategies, assist in the search for a retail location, and ensure Urban Contessa had the necessary financing to be successful. Not only did he help build their business; he helped build their trust.
That is what made applying for a small business loan from BOI services so easy. Asia and Olivia had already formed a tight relationship with Neil, and he made the application process a breeze. He knew what the business needed, looked into all the numbers, and did his own outside research. He not only became an expert on the Urban Contessa business, but an expert on the industry.
Urban Contessa utilized the business loan for start-up costs, inventory, and build out. When asked about the results they’ve seen, Asia and Olivia felt it was the best thing they could have done for their business. Being downtown had always been important to them. It’s where their family lives, works, and goes to school. Getting a retail location in Salesforce Tower was able to further open them up to the downtown community. A storefront also provided a place for them to take meetings and entertain while also adding legitimacy and credibility to their floral business.
To other entrepreneurs, Asia and Olivia recommend you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you have strengths, use them to your full advantage. For your weaknesses, hire that area of your business out to someone else that can do it better. Above all, Indy is a great place to live and do work because of its size and affordability. In the past two years it has become even accessible, walkable, and busier – which is a great thing for retail.
Looking for holiday arrangements and gifts? Stop by Urban Contessa or visit their website www.urbancontessaindy.com.
Learn more about BOI's free one-on-one business coaching and small business loans up to $50,000 at Indychamber.com/entrepreneurship.