Kat Stroet is the proud owner & operator of Larkspur Floral & Plants. I don’t know about you (I probably romanticize this) but creating beautiful flower arrangements and being part of peoples live on their happiest day, and sometimes their saddest day – sounds like a really great job. In fact, one of the things I love most about Real Estate is that I can operate at a certain level of care- and help people through the sometimes big and overwhelming life transitions.  I imagine owning a flower shop is kind of like that. 

Kat has created a really beautiful little store, bringing fresh flowers to the people of Smithers, as well as a lot of different plants for all those plant people. If you’re like me, my green thumb exists only outside and I am hopeless with indoor plants.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kat a little bit here and there through my business when I have clients to congratulate, and she is always kind, encouraging, and genuinely happy for my success.  I honestly feel like she works hard to be a champion of other women.

One of the best things about Kat is her joy for her craft.  She has a really great team of women that work with her, and it’s evident that she’s found a career that she truly loves.  She always uses the hashtag #lovewhatyoudo and I think that’s pretty great.  It’s not always the case- sometimes work is tough and we just show up day in and day out because we have to. But Kat’s answers are true – “You can do whatever you want to do and you can dream even bigger than you can imagine!”

Welcome to the table, Kat!

How long have you called the Bulkley Valley home?

I came to this beautiful valley from Vancouver in the fall of 1990, with my then husband and 1 1/2-year-old son. 

What is one thing you’ve learned about friendship (or community)? 

When I arrived here, coming from the city, I couldn’t get over how friendly people were! I thought this was because maybe they knew I was new to town – but it hasn’t changed in the 30 years since!  In a small town you see the same people again and again – in the post office, grocery store, on the street – and it’s so nice to say hello, nod, smile and acknowledge that we’re all here in this sweet place by choice.  The other thing that goes hand in hand with the friendly faces is the way this community takes care of each other. It’s always astounding to me how many fundraising efforts we have and how successful they are. People open their hearts, their wallets, their volunteer time and make stuff happen! How could you not feel good to live in a place where the citizens band together like that?

What is one area you are growing in?

I am still learning about myself every day – and I still have areas that need work. Just because we reach a certain age doesn’t mean wisdom and knowledge automatically follow.  Realizing areas about oneself that aren’t serving us well, are like lightbulb moments and the answers are just waiting to be learned and implemented. I see this as positive and I hope to be forever moving forward.

What is one thing you would say to your younger self?

If I could mentor my young self…  to my teenage self I would say don’t listen to the media or anyone saying you have to be thin to be beautiful. Be healthy. To my young adult self, I would say way to go girl! Everything is attainable! Yes, you can do whatever you want to do and you can dream even bigger than you can imagine! 

Who inspires you and why?

Well – because I’m older – I have a few people who inspire(d) me.

My Dad, who passed in 2004, was a vibrant and creative man who had to face physical adversity in the last years of his life. Even through that adversity, to the end, he maintained his humor and cheerful disposition. His glass, as always, was half full.

My Mum, who passed in 2010, left me with the realization that being different is ok. Everyone has a story and while it’s easy to judge others – to remember there’s more than what we see on the outside.  

My Aunt and Uncle continue to be my inspiration. My Auntie, who is more like an older sister, is my emotional rock and friend, avid supporter, advice giver. She inspires me with her interest in other people and seemingly endless reading and learning, working on projects – she’s who I want to be when I grow up!

My Uncle is my business and mind-set mentor. Still going strong in his own business at 84 he offers the thought “why retire”?  A man who continues to learn, who really listens, engages in meaningful conversation, and is always there to offer wisdom. I’m really pondering his “why retire” notion.

What do you know is true, and how do you carry that day to day?

What I know is true in my personal life, is that I am a cumulation of all my experiences and I live with no regret. My garden is my happy place and I cannot be without it. Luckily, I am surrounded by the beauty of flowers all day in my store so my cup is extra full! 

Giving always feels good. 

In business, my staff is everything! Without that team backbone, I’m just out there flailing by myself with ideas and no one to stand beside me. 

Saying thank you, and being grateful for all that I have and practicing gratitude every day for all that will come is so important to me. And laughter – I cannot live without humor!