In this interview series, we share the stories of the people behind the businesses. Here, we meet Nicky Mann of Roses 2 Go.

About Roses 2 Go

The Mann family once owned and operated a diverse farming operation in Zimbabwe, which grew tobacco, maize, wheat, barley, soybeans, grass seed, beef cattle and fresh roses for export. However, due to the political unrest and the land reform policies of Zimbabwe, the family migrated to Australia after being forcefully evicted from their family-owned farm of 20 years with no compensation. Today, Nicky Mann and her husband Wade own and operate a rose farm in Warnervale and a florist shop on the Central Coast, NSW. Their full florist service offers same day delivery of beautiful roses, roses, bouquets, arrangements, baskets for every occasion.

Find out more about Nicky’s story below.

The challenge for the industry is… Lumpy cash flow periods. We have times of huge income but also low periods.

The things I like about my business… The flexibility of being able to come and go as you please. I love serving customers. Flowers are a very intimate industry and you become part of people’s lives – when someone passes away, a baby is born, or there’s a wedding or a new romance.

And the frustrations are… The biggest frustration is the competition. There’re a lot of imported roses and the local industry is really under pressure as the costs of production are higher here. It’s frustrating as it’s not a level playing field.

If I didn’t own a business I would be… As a Nuffield Farming Scholar, I studied intensive berry production. If I wasn’t a business owner, I would be a consultant as I am now an expert in this area.

My proudest moment was…
Every day being able to survive in business as it is tough as a small ‘mum and dad’ operation. I’m very proud we’ve done it for 15 years.

The best thing I ever did was… Decide to be really involved in our community by supporting local charities. We give to a number of charities, including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. They do events like high teas, golf days and charity balls and we will supply all the flowers and door prizes.

I try to relax by… A lot of our downtime is in our greenhouses tending to our plants. If we’re away from our farm my big happy zone is reading; I love business books and autobiographies. We also love rugby and watch lots of sport.

If I can, I always try to avoid… Conflict. I don’t like being confrontational and believe there’s no reason for people to be mean to each other.

I really wish I had… Another farm. We were farmers in Zimbabwe but had our farm taken away from us by the government.

The best business advice I’ve ever received was… “Under promise, over deliver”. There’s a tendency to talk-up an arrangement or service but you’ve got to be honest and factual. It’s the attention to detail that really impresses people – things like spelling names right and neat handwriting on cards.

My greatest weakness is… Being too soft and empathetic meant that sometimes I can be taken for a ride.

And my greatest strength is… Having the determination to keep going no matter what and being tolerant as everyone is fighting their own battle within themselves.

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would… I’d love to just give it all away because that’s a real gift to help other people.

If I could be someone else for one day I would be a… My mum. Because she’s older and wiser and I think I’d get a lot more wisdom.

I’ve always wanted to travel to… South America, particular Santiago or anywhere in Chile.