Flower Power

This month, OHLALA chatted with Mariya Christiansen, owner of Bliss Flower in Qatar, about her entrepreneurial life and the blossoming universe.

OHLALA – How did you start in the flower business?
Mariya Christiansen –
The decision to venture into the flower business with Bliss Flower was quite unexpected but also exciting. I’ve always had a passion for having my own store, and it was a toss-up between a bakery and a flower shop. When my husband received a job offer in Qatar, it presented a perfect opportunity to pursue this dream. Bliss Flower was already eyeing expansion into Qatar, especially for weddings, and when the chance to franchise with them came up, I jumped at it. So, it was a combination of personal interest and seizing the right opportunity that led me to start my journey with Bliss Flower.

OHLALA – What do you like most about working with flowers and floral designs? What are the biggest challenges?
Mariya –
What I love most about working with flowers and floral designs is its inherent joy. It’s a feel-good business that has the power to make people happy and brighten their day. The sense of giving and spreading happiness through beautiful arrangements is incredibly rewarding. However, like any business, there are challenges to navigate. Ensuring consistency, quality and excellent customer care are paramount for smooth operations. In the flower industry, where products are perishable, maintaining freshness becomes a significant obstacle, especially in regions with fluctuating temperatures like ours. Despite these challenges, the satisfaction of bringing joy to our customers outweighs the hurdles we face.

OHLALA – Can you tell us how complex the process is to keep the flowers looking fresh and beautiful? Where do your flowers come from?
Mariya –
Our flowers are sourced globally, ensuring a diverse selection that’s updated regularly. With bi-weekly deliveries and refrigerated storage, we maintain freshness. Our vigilant staff monitors quality daily. Educating customers about proper care is key, as each flower has unique needs for longevity.

OHLALA – Can you tell us a bit about Bliss Flower’s story? To what do you attribute the brand’s success?
Mariya –
The company opened in 2008 in Dubai and has expanded across UAE, KSA, Kuwait and Singapore. In 2022, it opened its doors in Qatar. The founders, Michael and Abbey, have carved themselves a solid position in the flower market in the Middle East through an eye for detail, innovation in design, implacable quality of blooms and a very creative outlook. It is a respected brand with a history and loyalty to its customers. The constantly changing designs keep the clients happy and wanting to come back for more on a regular basis, expanding the following base.

OHLALA – What advice, as an entrepreneur, would you give to someone starting their business?
Mariya –
As an entrepreneur, my advice to someone starting their own business would be to expect the unexpected. No matter how experienced you are or how many ventures you’ve undertaken, managing expectations is crucial. Understand that building a successful business takes more time, resources and effort than initially anticipated. Embrace the process of learning by doing. Mistakes will inevitably occur, but you need to view them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Keep moving forward, constantly learning from your experiences and asking questions along the way. Don’t hesitate to seek help when needed, as collaboration and support can be invaluable on your entrepreneurial journey.

OHLALA – What is your favourite flower and why?
Mariya –
My favourite flowers are tulips. I love their versatility; they come in a wide range of colours and can be arranged in various ways. Whether closed or open, standing tall or gently cascading – tulips always add elegance to any floral arrangement. Their robust nature makes them perfect for creating stunning vase displays, adding a touch of beauty to any space.

OHLALA – How long have you been living in Qatar and what do you like most about the country?
Mariya –
I’ve been in Qatar for three years, and it already feels like home. The people are super friendly and welcoming, and the country provides everything we need for a comfortable family life.


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