Istanbul, city on the edge of the east and the west. What does that mean when you’re a florist? Mehmet Dikbas, Co-owner of Inside Flowers & Events, tells us.
Tell us about yourself.
“After working in both small and large floral companies for twenty years and learning on the job, my partner Selin Saral and I founded Inside Flowers & Events. We now have four shops. In addition to our shops in two high-end shopping malls, Zorlu and Istinye Park on the European side of Istanbul, we opened up shops in Acarkent on the Asian side of Istanbul and in Bodrum, a popular tourist destination in southwest Turkey.
In the ever-changing flower industry your education is never done. Business always reinvents itself. You should learn and reinvent yourself with it.
I find my inspiration in flowers and nature itself. Everything begins with nature. Art usually reflects nature. I believe flowers are an extension of nature into our daily lives. Arranging flowers hardly differs from creating a work of art. No better inspiration for a florist than nature.”
What kind of people buy you flowers?
“Our clientele is very diverse. Some customers buy cut flowers weekly to liven up their homes, others order special flower arrangements for their events or a glamorous and flamboyant arrangement for a celebration. We always try to surprise and amaze them creatively and make them happy which in turn will broaden our customer base.”
What of floristry and what flowers do your clients like?
“Istanbul flower lovers enjoy variety in assortments to differentiate themselves. They like different, unique flowers which stand out. Peony and calla lilies are extremely popular these days. We do not just follow trends, we also try to set floral trends in Turkey, freely creating unique arrangements that are hard to find elsewhere. That is what differentiates us in the market. That’s why our customers like us.”
What about your employees?
“Our 45 employees were trained in-house about flowers and making floral arrangements. From new employees we require passion and curiosity about flowers. Our staff share the arrangements they create on a special network on which colleagues give their praise, suggestions and constructive criticism. This motivates the team.”
Where do you buy your flowers?
“Most of our flowers are imported from the Netherlands through different wholesalers. Because we value diversity in products, our orders change significantly from week to week.”
How do you stay connected to modern floristry developments?
“Mainly through horticultural publications and social media. Nowadays, worldwide trends in floral arrangements are natural looking. We mix this arrangement style with Turkish cultural stylistic preferences and perspectives, thus creating a unique, Turkish style.
I follow trends in different countries, not just looking at consumer tastes but also different lifestyles and socio-cultural conditions.”
How about the floral future?
“In the foreseeable future, durable, natural arrangements will continue to dominate the market together with some more futuristic approaches.
Inside Flowers & Events successfully expanded its operations within Turkey. We made ourselves a name. We think we can expand our business internationally and work for events in Italy and in neighbouring countries such as Turkmenistan. The quality of service we provide enables us to enlarge our customer base with our numerous international customers.”