This month’s featured florist is Robin Martinez, owner of Flowers of Kingwood, located just outside of Houston, Texas. Flowers of Kingwood opened in 1985 as a spin-off from her family’s business. In 1987, Martinez purchased the business outright and used her business knowledge to build her new venture from the ground up. Two years later she earned her Texas Master Florist certificate and became a member of the American Academy of Floriculture. Nearly 30 years later, she and her incredible staff are still going strong!
1) How did you to get involved in the floral industry, and when did you decide to make it your career?
I purchased Flowers of Kingwood from my parents John and Pat Hoggard in 1987. I thought I was smarter than my parents and turns out I wasn’t!
2) What is your favorite part of your job?
Creating beautiful bouquets that make people smile is what I like best. Helping customers in their selection of a floral arrangement that bests suits the life event they are sending a gift for. I actually like the administrative book work too – it lets me see the fruits of our labor!
3) What makes your shop unique?
We’ve grown with the community for over 30 years. We have maintained a consistent traditional design style that seems to appeal to most customers and we’ve updated and upgraded as necessary to stay relevant.
4) Which social media platform is your favorite, and why?
I like Facebook – mainly because I understand it. Twitter is foreign to me – good thing I have social media help! I like adding pictures to Instagram, but I need to get in the habit of using hashtags. Pinterest is good for me to use as albums for locations we’ve been to for weddings and also because it lets future brides see REAL ideas.
5) How important is community outreach and what are some of your favorite causes to support?
I try to stay involved in the community through FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling center. I’ve served on their board and currently assist by accepting donations and then delivering to their thrift shop. I’ve been honored three times with FamilyTime; once as their 1997 Woman of Achievement, along with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2008, and Special Recognition for Continued Work and Support in 2013.
I have recently served on the New Caney ISD Education Foundation. Learning how our schools fund and what is lacking in the classrooms was very interesting. We funded a grant for 54 classroom libraries in PreK-1st Grade, plus additional individual teacher grants for classroom projects.
6) What advice do you have for a shop that wants to attract new customers and sustain relationships with established customers?
Don’t’ give up on marketing. Gone are the days of casting a wide net and hoping to fill your register with orders. You have to be intentional with your marketing and use good tracking methods. Yes, I use the Floral Prodigy and Flower Manger products to their fullest. These 2 tools have given me the information needed to make better decisions. I still direct market and email to existing customers with reminders about holiday, birthday, anniversary and everyday offers.
7) What are you most proud of professionally?
I’m most proud that I have built a reputable company in the floral industry. I had the realization many years ago that I had a huge responsibility to my staff to maintain financial integrity and to keep the company prosperous during the many ups and downs. Most of my employees are the head of a household financially and really depend that Flowers of Kingwood will continue to thrive.