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Behind the #gram: Stanley Tan of Windflower Florist

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Meet the florist behind the popular Instagram account.

Have you ever wondered who is the person posting the beautiful blooms on Windflower Florist's Instagram account?

Meet Stanley Tan, a second generation owner of Windflower Florist and Gifts. The 24-year-old florist, who has been working at Windflower for two years, is the main guy behind Windflower's stunning Instagram posts. 

If you are surprised about this revelation, you're not the only one.

Stanley said with a laugh: "Most customers would think that it is a lady behind the phone. Some even tried to flirt with me through WhatsApp [one of their sales channels]! But wow, that was weird."

It is not hard to see why such assumptions are made. Male florists are a rare breed in Singapore.


A RECENT WORKSHOP CONDUCTED BY WINDFLOWER FLORIST RECEIVED ALL FEMALE PARTICIPANTS.
PHOTO CREDIT: STANLEY TAN

Before Stanley took over the business in 2014, becoming a florist did not cross his mind.

The communications diploma holder from Temasek Polytechnic said: "I had very limited knowledge of flowers back then, and I thought I would only have to handle the marketing aspect.

"However, I later realised my parents' styles were too old-fashioned for us to move forward, so I started doing my own research. The road [to becoming a florist] sure wasn't easy."


WINDFLOWER FLORIST FIRST STARTED AS A FAMILY BUSINESS IN 1997.
PHOTO CREDIT: STANLEY TAN

Besides visiting nurseries and talking to veteran florists, Stanley travelled to Taiwan and Japan to learn more about floristry. He also invested in a five-degree sum to bring Windflower Florist's mode of business online.


DURING HIS RECENT VISIT TO JAPAN, STANLEY BROUGHT CRAFT PAPER ALONG
SO THAT HE COULD POST PHOTOS OF FLOWERS FROM ABROAD.
PHOTO CREDIT: STANLEY TAN

Thankfully, his efforts eventually paid off. From selling only five to six bouquets a month, Stanley now receives about 10 to 15 orders daily. Their recent participation in the Singapore Garden Festival also helped them gain hundreds of Instagram followers across nine days.

"Exposure is still very important to us now, so we would try to participate in events or collaborations as much as we can," said the entrepreneur.


WINDFLOWER FLORIST (LEFT) WAS RECENTLY FEATURED AT THE SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL.
PHOTO CREDIT: STANLEY TAN

Now that Windflower Florist is gaining popularity among youths, how does Stanley manage with the 5.9k followers he currently has on Instagram?

Stanley, who picked up photography and photo-editing during his previous stint at a studio, said: "I am flattered because there are many other talented florists on Instagram, so I can't pinpoint how we got popular.

"Perhaps it's because of the frequency we post. We would always try to post at least once a day."


STANLEY'S GIRLFRIEND OCCASIONALLY MODELS FOR WINDFLOWER FLORIST.
PHOTO CREDIT: STANLEY TAN

Seeing how Windflower Florist's physical store is situated on the second level of Loyang Point with no natural lighting around, we were curious to see how Stanley usually crafts his shoots.

"Can we tag along for your next Instagram shoot?"

"Of course!" said Stanley, before adding with a laugh: "It's somewhere you will never expect it to be."


DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE SECRET BEHIND THEIR PICTURE-PERFECT PHOTOS?
PHOTO CREDIT: WINDFLOWER FLORIST INSTAGRAM

It's all about good lighting, guys. We were surprised to find that the photos are actually taken at a stairway near the carpark of his shop!

Stanley said: "It's important that the photos we post are 'up to standard', for people to be attracted to our bouquets."


STANLEY SHOWS US HOW HE USUALLY SHOOTS HIS BOUQUETS.

This is part two of a three-part series on Instagram influencers. In this series:

1. Ng Li Tying of The Spatula and The Pen