CHEK Upside: After surviving economic downturn, Victoria small business owner aims to give back by seeking nominations

WatchErin Andrews was forced to pivot when her brick and mortar shop was closed down due to the impacts of COVID-19. Andrews' small business has survived and now she's looking to pay it forward.

Erin Andrews looks quite comfortable working from home, but that wasn’t always the case.

“It was totally scary,” Andrews told CHEK News.

For the past three years, Andrews owned and operated her flower and plant small business Botany Fern & Flora out of the bustling Market Garden in Victoria West. That all changed, however, in mid-March when the new COVID-19 reality set in.

“Due to sanitation and the number of people being allowed in the shop, I had to get out of there pretty quickly,” said Andrews, whose survival instincts instantly kicked in.

“The day after I left my shop, I had a delivery of hundreds of dollars worth of product delivered to my house and I thought, ‘okay how is this going to work? What am I going to do?'”

But the mother of three quickly stripped away any self-doubt. She converted her carport into a make-shift flower studio, equipped with a folded ping pong table now used as a desk to assemble bouquets. Family also offered free labour to help with an influx of orders on Mother’s Day.

“I just had the mantra of taking one day at a time and letting people know where I was at and being in communication with my friends and my customers, and they’ve been incredible,” said Andrews.

And now, grateful to her loyal customers for helping her business survive the Covid-19 storm, Andrews wants to give back. Inspired by the recent CHEK News story on retired lawyer Ellis Achtem’s generous flower pot donations to a Victoria nursing home, Andrews is looking to give away some of her own supply.

“The idea came to me through seeing a segment on CHEK,” said Andrews, who is now seeking nominations for difference-makers in the community to receive a complimentary bouquet.

“To go out to either someone you love that’s living in a care home right now that you can’t contact face to face or a care home provider that’s just gone the extra mile that you’d like to say thank you to.”

Andrews says she’ll select ten recipients from the nominations which can be made through her email at hi [at]

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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