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Romni Pullen, Rose Cottage Florals

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Romni Pullen, owner, Rose Cottage Florals.

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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most rewarding part of what I do is the opportunity to share in various life events with our clients. We don’t just sell florals; we also participate in weddings, funerals, homecomings, and proms. Our job is to help convey human emotions as if the sender were delivering it himself or herself.

The most challenging aspect is always time, especially during particularly busy periods. We look for employees who are proficient in custom floral design as well as customer focused, computer savvy, and upbeat.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

My son, Richard Skaife, who owns Hi Point Steakhouse. Richard took a restaurant, which was popular in the 1970s and ’80s, and turned it into one of the most incredible steakhouses in the area! I really enjoy watching him work with diners and staff who have become family to us. Isn’t that what business is all about? Sharing our passion with others in the hope that they, too, become passionate about it? Just two years after taking over in February 2015, Hi Point had a guest wait list. Since that time, Hi Point Steakhouse has become one of the marquee steakhouses in the area, and diners enjoy the amazing food and atmosphere.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

As long as I can remember, flowers have been a part of my life. Since I was 6 or 7 years old, I’ve enjoyed making bouquets. When I was 10 years old, my dad, who owned several floral shops in Madison and Richland Center, would drop me off at the farmers market and I would sell my bouquets to make some pocket change. They always sold out fast and I had always hoped to follow in my dad’s footsteps.

Rose Cottage Florals has been in business since 1993. I opened my first location on Atwood Avenue in Madison in January 2015, and soon thereafter I opened our second location in DeForest.

Thinking back on your career, what advise would you give to your 21-year old self?

I wish I had taken more business classes! I’ve learned the floral side of this business primarily by watching my father work. Running a successful business is so much more than that though. You’re involved in bookkeeping, marketing, and staffing, among other things, and you’ve really got to stay on top of all of them.

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