Last summer, Sarah Donjuan was working a fulltime job, which by her own admission, she was not in love with, and wanted to get into a side hustle to have fun and make some extra cash.
After some research, Donjuan decided to start a mobile flower shop. She had no experience as a florist, but she had a fun name for the company – JJ’s Flower Shop, named for her Golden-Doodle puppy, Jaxon Jones – and a hip vehicle – a 1968 Volkswagen Transporter.
By September, she was selling flowers in Avalon, the mixed-use development in Alpharetta. Soon she expanded her operation to Krog Street Market in Atlanta.
Though the shop was popular with customers, even Donjuan admits she was surprised when she got a call earlier this year asking if she was interested in opening a brick-and-mortar store, which is now located in Ponce City Market at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta.
“I don’t think I ever imagined myself being here,” Donjuan said. “I don’t think I even knew to dream about having a job at Ponce City Market one day but everything kind of just escalated, and I think we had a lot of really awesome support from the community and everybody loved it and wanted to get on board.”
The business offers a variety of services not typically associated with flower shops, such as a build-your-own-bouquet, coming to events and deliveries through Postmates in the metro area.
“I think a lot of flower shops, they’re very traditional. It sounds like things your family would want to buy,” she said. “One of our missions is to make flowers cool again and put a fun spin on it for millennials and people that want to see something new or unique.”
Donjuan, a Forsyth County resident who said she was “almost born and raised” here, said she was thrilled with the support the business received to help it go from a side business to an actual store in one of Atlanta’s most popular areas in the span of 10 months, but there were some growing pains.
“It’s been crazy,” she said. “It has not come without uphill battles and lots of no’s that turned into yeses and lots of craziness. Right before we were supposed to open, the day before we were supposed to open, I went to get my business license from the county, and they’re like, ‘Oh, we can’t approve this,’” Donjuan said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean you can’t approve it?’”
After some back and forth, the license was approved, and the business was allowed to move ahead.
“I think what I’ve learned about [is] not taking no for an answer and just kind of pursuing what really matters to you and what you’re passionate about,” Donjuan said.
She said that perseverance came into play with the Ponce store. It took months of reaching out to see if she could operate the truck. While there was no interest on that front, eventually she was called about opening the store.
“I think just because I was persistent and kept emailing them, eventually in May they asked me to open a brick-and-mortar, which was way above and beyond what I was asking for,” she said.
To make an order or to find more information, go to JJsFlowerShop.com.