More than just flowers

MJ's Floral and Gifts, recent winner of two prestigious awards, is owned by two women who have a passion for business

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Photo of Becky McArthur and Robyn Hansen

MJ's Floral is co-owned by twin sisters Becky McArthur and Robyn Hansen. — Karen Kornelsen photo

On February 25, 2012, MJ's Floral and Gifts in Cranbrook received two very prestigious awards at the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce Evening of Excellence. They were honoured with the Retail Business of the Year Award and the Most Improved Business Image Award.

The family-owned business is run by Becky McArthur and Robyn Hansen. MJ's Floral and Gifts has been in the city for 28 years and has been co-owned by the two sisters for just over three years. They have four staff members plus themselves and can't stress enough how appreciative they are of the support they have received from their family and the community during peak holiday times and throughout the year.

Kootenay Business caught up with McArthur to find out what it feels like to be honoured by the Cranbrook chamber and business community and to talk about the key to the success of their award-winning business.

How does it feel to be honoured for your business practices? We were quite excited to win both awards. With the Most Improved Business Image Award, we feel like with the move to 1101 Baker Street in April of 2011, we were really trying to something different and to do something to enhance the downtown business area. So we were really excited that people recognize that and we were given that award.

For the Retail Business of the Year Award, we were so excited to receive that as well, as we’ve really been trying to let people know that we are more than just a flower store and that we have giftware as well. So it’s really nice that people have been discovering all that we have to offer and are really enjoying shopping at the store.

What was all involved with the big move and improving your business image? When we got the new space, the old TD bank, it was pretty much just concrete. We completely redid the whole space. We definitely added some unique touches, such as the party lights hanging all across the ceiling, so when people drive by you can see the lights through the window.

Why do you think you were nominated and won the Retail Business of the Year Award? We have a really great staff that’s friendly and always willing to help out. We strive to have an excellent customer service ethic and offer the best service we can.

Products-wise, we are trying to keep our products fresh, new and interesting. So when looking at Cranbrook as a whole, it’s been a nice change because a lot of the products we carry are not available anywhere else in town. We offer  products that are really nice and affordable.

With flowers, we have excellent designers that are always trying to change things up and make things better. We bring in top-quality flowers and we are really trying to do the best we can in every area of our business.

What are your top three priorities as a company? High-quality flowers, customer service and new and innovative giftware.

What are MJ's goals when it comes to serving the people of Cranbrook? A big goal of ours is to make people feel welcome as soon as they come in the door by greeting them and seeing if they need any help. We want to help in any way we can, be friendly and make it an entirely  positive shopping experience.

What makes MJ's unique? Our style. Between the style of the store, the style of our giftware and the style of our flowers, we are really trying to be fresh and keep things totally new and grab people's interest in all areas.

What does the future look like for MJ's Floral and Gifts? A big goal for us is our giftware and that people see us fully as a gift store and people come in and buy our giftware. With flowers, we want to continue to expand our business and the wedding business. We want to keep on growing and serving the community the best that we can.

Karen Kornelsen

Karen Kornelsen, a writer for Kootenay Business Magazine, has a degree in jounalism. She enjoys finding and reporting the news from the business community. View all of Karen Kornelsen’s articles

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