After an Instagram feed that looked pretty, Lowee Khoo coincidentally started a floral business.
What’s your story?
I started my own floral business, Keira Floral, after graduating from university. It was definitely more of a coincidental encounter as I started merely because I wanted an Instagram feed that looked pretty. I graduated with a first class honors degree and yet that became my soft spot. I spent a huge part of my entrepreneur journey battling with the multiple “what-ifs” thoughts that lingered in my mind. What if I had just continued with psychology work which I had all along loved and studied, would I be better off now? Would I be happier? I was quite egoistic in that I thought it was less glamorous working as a florist than in a ministry and I was wary of others’ opinions. Ironically, I was told by many that my courage in this less conventional path taken is a dream for many. Someone told me that the grass is greener where you water it and with this, I refocused my energy into creating better crafts. I am truly grateful humbled to have reached a 9k followership on Instagram, built my own customer base and have worked with several international brands.
What excites you most about your industry?
Being able to work with nature’s materials! Being always in awe by how odd-looking some flowers and foliage could be, it’s a constant celebration of life.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I conduct floral arrangement courses for people who are looking to start their floristry career or for leisure and I am really grateful and honoured to have taught international students from Malaysia and Taiwan.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Taiwan, as the train system is really easy to travel and navigate around.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Sometimes the best fight in life is one in which you’ve given your best. In the world of floral crafts, where beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes I get so stressed worrying whether my clients will like what I created for them. So much so that I get gastric and insomnia issues. I told myself that it may be impossible to please everyone but what matters at the end of the day is that I have given my best effort.
Who inspires you?
My mom. She has a really positive outlook on life. I look up to her. Her unconditional love and magnanimous ability to treat everyone equally reminds me to stay humble, genuine and to treat people with humility and sincerity.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I finally found the title to a song I heard and fell in love with when I was in Bali last year. It took me 7 months to chance upon that song playing in our local furniture store and when I heard it playing in the background, my heart twinkled and it knew this was what I had looked for.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Probably would give the flower business a new name. Many people have mistaken my name to be Keira when it’s actually just the name of the shop.
How do you unwind?
Spending time with my loved ones and being both physically and mentally present with them without the work laptop.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan! I love nature and mountains and Japan has some of the prettiest places on Earth.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“The secret”. I truly believe how powerful our thoughts are and how it connects us to the universe. This book guides me along when I feel lost in running my business or when challenges seem impossible to overcome. It helps me to align my thoughts and it reignites the start for even better things to come.
Shameless plug for your business:
We give 100% dedication and our best effort to all our floral crafts and stylings as we really take pride in all our work. We have worked with various renown cosmetic and international fashion labels that we are truly grateful for. To view more of our crafts, come stalk us on Instagram @keirafloral or www.keirafloralstudio.com.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.