Over the last five years, Ferdinand and Miyako Ballesteros have made The Ikebana Shop one of the many captivating spots that makes Quinpool Road such a cosmopolitan adventure for shopping and dining. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The shop offers everything ikebana: lessons, workshops, demonstrations, arrangement services and a full range of supplies — along with Japanese tea, incense, pottery, accessories, etc.— a fascinating shop. The Ikebana Shop also includes the talented works of many Nova Scotians.
Ferdinand and Miyako had never been entrepreneurs before arriving in Canada from Japan. Was starting a business in Canada challenging? Absolutely. They had to learn rules, regulations, licensing, and tax policies related to opening and operating a Nova Scotia business. And, as they require all they sell to be authentic, they had to learn everything about importing and exporting — they ship worldwide. Ferdinand recounts,”I knew nothing about starting a business in Nova Scotia but Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia showed me the way.” Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia did not spoon feed the Ballesteros; the approach was to introduce them to the appropriate people and agencies. Acting as a sounding board, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia listened to their business strategies and gave additional points of view — especially the local angle. As well, through start up to building success, they took advantage of various Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia business workshops, from importing and exporting to creating a business plan.
Ferdinand and Miyako have also given back valuable insights about overcoming challenges as immigrants starting a business. This included acting as a host business in the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia 2013 inaugural Networking in Motion event. The Ballesteros success has not been by good luck, but it is Nova Scotia’s good fortune to have them become an enriching addition to the business community.