Annie Francis has built up a successful business around her love of floristry.

Video by Mamamia

Annie Francis has a creative background in interior decoration and design, soft furnishing, glass blowing, visual arts and basically all things creative.

She prides herself on transforming spaces with florals. From cascading floral bouquets to statement ‘wow factor’ ceremony backdrops.

She explains to Mamamia how her business was born:

What is Francis Floristry?

Francis Floristry is a wedding and event floristry business based in Newtown, New South Wales.

Why do you think so many women are now starting their own businesses?

Flexibility!

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I’ve been lucky enough to have my career take me flowering all over the world. I just did a wedding in Paris this year, which was the absolute highlight of my life!

Annie Francis has a creative background in interior decoration and design. Image: Supplied.

Women need and want to be in control of their work life. Also, in the creative industry, I've particularly noticed that our skills aren't valued as high as they should be. Therefore, working for someone else just isn't anywhere near as profitable.

What's the biggest mistake you've made in starting your business and what's the smartest thing you've done?

The biggest mistake I made was not valuing my own time. Time is money. If you don't value your own time, others sure won't.

The smartest decision I made was hiring staff and letting go of some of the control. I found great staff whose values aligned with mine. I could trust them and I learnt to feel comfortable delegating to them.

What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?

Make sure you have a great support network in place. Friends and family will not only assist you but also encourage and empower you. It's hard to do it on your own, so please make sure you have emotional support.

What's the biggest misconception you had about starting your own business?

Spare time. It doesn't exist. Last year I worked 120 hours a week, every week. No breaks. Non-stop.

Some people cannot understand or respect it and it sadly resulted in losing a friendship. She couldn't understand that I was working so hard that I barely had the time to shave my legs, let alone focus on my social life.

When it's your business, you have no choice. You can't slack off. You can't take sick days. Everything falls on you to complete.

Scroll through to see some of our favourite floral designs by Annie. Images via Instagram. (Post continues after gallery.)

What does your personal life look like? Who are the important people in your life and work?

My husband/best friend/accountant/delivery driver/lover who I rely on 100%.

Also, my sausage dog, Bam (chief scent inspector) who I spend every day with. That is the beauty of working from home.

I am also part of a little community of florists who rally together to support each other's businesses. Our motto is 'community over competition'. We built an online forum where we can rant, laugh and sometimes cry, and ask questions that we can't ask anyone else.

Owning your own small business is a lonely journey at first. So, to have friends in the exact same position as you, there for you, supporting your triumphs and solving your dilemmas is priceless.

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How much sleep do you get every night?

Hahahahaha. What is that?

I would like to say I try my hardest to get six hours every night, but it usually ends up being 4.5 hours most nights with a 3:30am wake up. One night a week I will make up for it and sleep in until 8am. It's a real treat.

What are your non-negotiables?

After three years of learning and one scary micro-sleep, I NEVER, under any circumstances, drive whilst tired. I power nap everywhere.

What are the most useful apps on your phone?

My meditation app that calms me down before bed. Otherwise, I can't sleep.

Maps. I use it to go everywhere, even when I know where I'm going. I want to make sure I'm going the fastest route with the changing traffic conditions.

Spotify. I need music to help me dance through the day.

Square Point of Sale. For easy transactions.

Since we're in the #LadyStartUp spirit, which Lady Startups do you recommend? 

You can see more from Francis Floristry at their website, Instagram or Facebook. If you have a #LadyStartUp or want to recommend one for us to cover, drop us an email: [email protected]

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