Zoe Randall has always loved working in the floral industry. But after two years at a rural florist, she was ready for something different. With the seed of an idea, she just needed the right skills to flourish.
Now, backed by what she’s learned at SSE, Zoe is working tirelessly to build Flower Stream, a simple and accessible online marketplace for the floriculture community to sell arrangements across Australia.
“Honestly, without SSE, I would still be sitting at my desk trying to figure out what I want to do in the business world. This opportunity has been an amazing kickstart for me and Flower Stream.”
Zoe grew up in Young, about two hours northwest of Canberra. She loves her hometown and the lifestyle it offers but, when it comes to getting a venture started, it was hard to know where to start.
“Living rurally has been the biggest challenge. Not being able to reach business hubs, networking events and even just a warm community like SSE that can encourage and help my business to flourish.”
Zoe heard about SSE through TAFE Digital, where she is studying Micro Business Operations and is about to start a Diploma in Project Management. When she started looking into the units, it was love at first sight.
“I knew that this school was the place for me, to help me actively learn and put into practice some amazing skills.”
Being able to complete the course predominately online was a massive advantage for Zoe, allowing her to easily slot it in around her studies and job. And as a regional student, Zoe was eligible for a mobility scholarship to cover the cost of her travel to and accommodation in Sydney, freeing her up to focus on her business, not her finances.
Building off an active and engaging online experience, she says that meeting the cohort in person at the intensive was the most rewarding part of the journey with SSE.
“The people that you meet, both students and facilitators, are some of the best people around. Everyone is so open to new ideas, as well as helping you to build on your own business. There’s no competition, only collaboration.”
Getting to work closely with Activation facilitator Phil Hayes-St Clair helped Zoe refine her original business idea into Flower Stream, clarifying her audience, messaging and medium.
Zoe is now working hard with her software developer to get the business up and running. She's also moved to Canberra to “get a little closer to the action”. As a new chapter approaches for Zoe, SSE is helping Zoe’s dream blossom into reality.