|▲ CEO Seo Sung-hee|
Seo opened Tree Flower Shop in 2005 to carry on her landscaping job alongside. In 2016, she came to know that a new law that allows a shop to sell different items in one place was put into force and she opened Korea’s first flower café which she named Viridian Leaf. Recognizing this new eco-friendly trendy café, large shopping malls and department stores are sending a love call to Seo for partnership.
“Once you are in Viridian Leaf, you can smell the coffee and see the charming colors of flowers. Watching flowers in a café can fresh your mind and body and adding a sip of coffee make you feel resting. Some people buy a bunch of flowers when leaving and I bet that there is not a single man on earth who is not happy when buying a bunch of flowers. It just makes me feel happy to watch them smile and to smell the coffee and the see the charming colors of flowers all day long” said Seo.
Having a cup of coffee at a flower café not only makes us feel good but it is eco-friendly since you can breathe in cleaner air than outside considering the fact that the recent fine and ultra-fine dusts that had hit Korea for several days. If coffee takes about 50% of Viridian Leaf, flowers take another 50%; and you can clearly feel the difference in air quality. This is the reason that Viridian Leaf is seeing more regulars month by month.
“To run a Viridian Leaf, one must have had knowledge and skills in flowers and coffee which can be gained through training. After 15 years of my expertise in the field, I still feel I’m a florist rather than a CEO of a company. In other words, professionalism in what brings me profits is more important than just selling. I’m not trying to show off but it’s been a long time that I didn’t wear high heels since I have to manage the café with constant move for excellent customer services and high standard of maintenance.”
There is a new coined word: sohwakhang – the thing, no matter how small and trivial it is, that makes me happy. The sohwakhang people are those who certainly feel happy at a cup of coffee and a bunch of flowers.
“It is encouraging that more people buy flowers today especially the people living alone. When I asked to whom you buy these flowers, most of them said it is for me I will put it in a vase in my room. As a florist, it is overwhelming considering that fact that back in the days Koreans bought flowers in special occasions such as graduation, wedding and funeral. So, I have to say that it is becoming a daily or at least weekly habit.”
She added “why don’t you buy a bunch of flowers today for you but not for a social occasion. Just for you!”
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