They say that flowers soothe the soul and give a feeling like no other. It is probably the reason why flower arrangements offer condolences to grieving families or celebrate milestones and achievements.


This is what 46-year-old Moreen Yunus believes in as she tends to her flowers on a daily basis in her home in Olosara, Sigatoka.


The avid flower lady has been planting flowers from a very young age and she admits that it has transformed her to another world where there is only beauty, love and lots of colours.


She was brought up in Sigatoka and lived with her parents and five siblings. Life was particularly tough on the family as her parents struggled to make ends meet and this is where Moreen decided that she was going to work hard and become an independent woman when she became older.


“I knew that I had to do something to help my parents out. So before and after school, I would walk around the neighbours houses and admire the flowers that grew in their gardens,” explained Moreen.


“I started asking my neighbours for flower cuttings and went to plant them at home. As soon as my first flowers started blooming, I knew that I had to increase my collection of flowers and plants and that is exactly what I did,” said Moreen.


Fast forward to now, Moreen has over 100 varieties of flowers in her nurseries and compound.


“I am proud to say that I am now an entrepreneur because I have been making a living out of selling flowers,” she added proudly.


She first started selling her cuttings at $2 per plant and then started buying other plants and flowers that she did not have.


“It was more of a barter system when I first started and my collection of flowers and plants grew from there. I worked tirelessly even when I started my own family and I am so grateful and blessed that my late husband knew the passion that I have for plants and flowers,” smiled Moreen.


Soon the flower lady had to build nurseries at the back of her house to cater for her growing collection.


“It was also the requirement from the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji as I am also importing flowers from Thailand and Holland. I make sure that I only buy the best flowers and plants in order to produce the best. The support has been amazing and I am truly grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways for advising me and assisting me during my challenging days,” added Moreen.


She was assisted with nursery materials that now houses varieties of anthurium and orchid flowers.


Her Market Outlets


Moreen adds that most of her customers are from Suva and business has been thriving ever since she started transporting her flowers and plants to the ROC Market in Suva.


“There are so many flower lovers in Suva and of course, there are first time buyers who feel encouraged to buy my plants because of their appearance.”


She adds that most of her return customers travel to her home to buy plants and flowers and she is thrilled every time there is a sale.


Flowers help in road to full recovery


The mother of two children lost her husband five years ago and says that being surrounded by her plants and flowers has helped in her journey to full recovery.


“That is why I always say that flowers is a natural remedy to pain and heartache.”


“The loss was sudden and I am still trying to get over the pain but being surrounded by plants and flowers has been so therapeutic. I feel transformed when working in my flower gardens and nurseries and this has helped me to recover day by day,” smiled Moreen.


On a good day, Moreen can earn up to $1000 from the sale of her flowers and plants.


“Anything is possible if you are determined. You need to work hard and do a lot of sacrificing. I encourage all stay at home mothers to learn to start their own businesses.”


“You can start small and grow from there like I did. I hope that when reading my story, you will be encouraged to do something worthwhile and learn to appreciate it.”


Moreen hopes to build more nurseries in order for her business to grow.


“I have plans of expanding further and introducing more plants and flowers to my collection. If you are interested or would like advice on how to start your own flower business, please reach out to me and I will be happy to assist,” added Moreen.


“Flowers is a growing industry and I assure you that you will never regret it once you start earning income.”


The Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways hopes that more people will venture into businesses like Moreen’s as this will assist in reducing poverty and securing better livelihoods for families in Fiji.