PowerHouse Women — Lara Collett
Power, like women, is not a monolith; it comes in many forms. How women harness their power is as complex as the female species itself. Some lead by example, some take risks, some are not afraid to show their strength, others stay humble and behind the scenes. What all these PowerHouse Women have in common, however, is passion and the uncanny ability to turn a dream into a reality. They all believe in what they do and use that sense of purpose to become the best in their industries. Meet one of the six PowerHouse Women featured from the Louisville area who work to inspire others, cultivate change in their fields, and blaze trails wherever their leadership gifts guide them.
For the past 27 years, Lara Collett has been running Aebersold Florist, a family business that was started in 1908 by her great-grandfather Alfred Aebersold, a Swiss immigrant. To Lara, being a PowerHouse Woman means continuing the family legacy and brightening up her community one bouquet at a time.
HOW DID YOU REACH SUCCESS?
The pinnacle of success was being able to let my parents retire by me fully taking over the family business. This has not only been a success in my professional life but also personally. I would also say just being able to continue a family business past the 100-year mark and further the Aebersold legacy is a huge success.
WHAT BRINGS SUCCESS IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
I believe that consistency is key. We want our customers to be happy and to order from us again for other occasions. A large part of being consistent with our flowers is making sure we have a great product. Most of our employees have been there 10+ years. The group we have has really made an impact on our success as a business.
ADVICE TO THOSE SEEKING A CAREER PATH?
Find something that you enjoy and are passionate about. Once you decide what that is, educate yourself as much as you can about it and get to know people in that field to make connections. Take constructive criticism and feedback and use it to improve yourself.
HOW TO GET BETTER AT YOUR JOB?
Stay educated on new products, designs, and the latest floral trends. I also believe we need to stay up with the latest technology. The way we are able to reach people has changed significantly since I first started here.
HOW DO YOU USE YOUR POWER FOR GOOD?
The first few weeks after COVID-19 hit, we had our drivers randomly deliver hundreds of azaleas to people in Floyd and Clark counties. It was just a little something to brighten their day and for them to be able to plant in their yards. In addition to small things like that, we donate to schools, churches, and other charities. Not only do we donate, I also attend many events and auctions to support local charities and organizations. Some of these include Personal Counseling Services, Rauch, Indiana University Southeast, The Carnegie Center, and New Albany Floyd County Animal Shelter.
HOW LARA’S CAREER STARTED
After attending Indiana University, Lara worked at Walt Disney World, where she learned the delicate art of customer service in “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” After a short stint at WLKY, she felt that something was missing and wanted an opportunity to showcase her creativity, so she decided to return to her roots and become a florist. She uses a mix of previous experiences, continuous learning, and “Aebersold family intuition” to continue the New Albany business’ success. She is most proud of giving her parents the ability to retire with the peace of mind that the family business, over 100 years in the making, is in capable and loving hands.