Biz Beat: A ‘flower dream’ come true
His love for plants gave him the ambition to open a floral shop, and today, he is the proud owner of newly established Alanoa Petals located in Nu’uuli. Aniani Sili, who’s a military veteran, said the establishment of his new floral shop was made possible with the assistance of the Veteran’s Affairs office and Selina Higa in Honolulu.
Sili said he loves to peer into the petals of plants, smell them and touch them. His first adventure was planting hibiscus and frangipani, and within weeks he was hooked. In an interview with Samoa News, Sili said that he has made his son, Milo “Miranda” manager of the enchanting new floral shop, as Milo loves flowers as much as he does.
“If anyone can make anything out of artificial or fresh flowers — it is Milo”, said the elder Sili.
Alanoa Petals, the island’s newest flower shop, is situated next to the main road in Nu’uuli (where the old Tian Tian restaurant used to be) — in front of the Solaita family compound.
When you enter Alanoa Petals you can smell the fragrance of assorted fresh flowers, which has eclectic arrangements of local and off-island flowers to choose from, with an atmosphere reminiscent of a quaint European florist, complete with a friendly and welcoming staff.
The manager, Milo is enthusiastic and passionate about working with flowers, whether it’s arranging sprays, bouquets, or making something unique. Rarely seen in the territory: Milo makes a birthday flower cake (a cake made of flowers) — non edible of course, and a clever ‘diaper’ cake (made out of diapers) for baby showers, again non edible.
Wreathes are hand-fashioned, with ornaments to create heirloom-quality decorations made to last a lifetime. Also offered are one-of-a-kind floral arrangements, artificial flower arrangements, candy arrangements and all sorts of gift baskets for any occasion.
Milo is into fun, rare and unique flowers as well as other mediums — anything to create perfection for a special occasion. When you place an order with Alanoa Petals, always expect the finest quality, he says.
They also offer a decoration service — for any function, including Sunday church, weddings, birthdays; and Milo is an experienced event planner, including every type of anniversary, and offers those services as well.
Milo began working with flowers as a young child, following his mother’s footsteps. In an interview with Samoa News, Milo said he’s learned a lot from his mother Charmaine Solaita-Sili, who can sew, cook, and make beautiful arrangements herself.
“When we were in San Francisco my father was always working very hard to support six kids... we hardly had a chance to see him... so our mother played both parents at times.” he said. Seeing how ardent his mother was about decorations when it was their turn to decorate the church, began the journey for him.
“That is how it all started — when I was helping my mother make floral arrangements for the church and then it became a hobby and something I loved doing. Sometimes I helped my friends and families decorate their churches — or any occasion or event — because it’s what I love to do.”
Milo used to work with Dorothy Salamasina Morris (owner of Tausala Orchids), who is a successful florist and business woman, and spoke of the valuable knowledge and experience he gained, for which he is grateful. “She taught me to look at flowers in a business perspective, that every flower has a dollar value and it was a good lesson for me, now that I am running my own floral shop.”
For Milo, the establishment of his parent’s flower shop is a dream come true.
During the interview, Milo said “It’s a hobby that turned out to be something I enjoyed and loved and I’m good at it. Today is a day of happiness and joy, because I have finally got what I’ve always wanted... my imagination and creativity can go with no limits with this shop.”
With Valentine’s Day coming up in a week, Milo said they are bringing in all sorts of flowers: “Spider mums, irises, China mums, football mums, gladiolas, assorted roses, carnations... and we are hoping to get tulips, too. I want to bring in many different types of flowers — a variety of unique flowers.” He added, “I don’t want my floral shop to be just any ordinary shop.”
Milo said his parents are the owners of Alanoa Petals but he’s the worker and the driving force of the business. “I want my customers to have their money’s worth when they place an order with us” he smiled.