Whenever you get flowers from someone or look at a particular beautiful arrangement you probably get too carried away with the beauty to realize everything that went into putting this gift together. But someone who has always paid careful attention to what goes into ordering flowers and making sure they are delivered is Lana Elie who worked her way up the chain at Burberry in London from Personal Assistant to Digital Producer of Live Events to Head of Brand Solutions at fashion and culture magazine i-D where she worked on campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Gucci amongst others.
As an assistant, she was often sending important flower arrangements and was constantly running into problems. "The time I spent looking for good florists, and then the billing, delivery, and card details over the phone, really began to add up and create more room for error," Elie told Levo.
Though the annual spending on flowers in the U.S is more than $26 billion it is actually very outdated in this world of apps and seamless same-day delivery which seems backward as flowers are such a personal and emotional gift. This is how Elie, not even 30 years old at the time, came up with the equivalent of Far Fetch for flowers and it is a game changer.
First launching in London two years ago, Floom streamlined the process of ordering flowers by putting thousands of local florists on one platform giving the customer more choice. You simply type in the zip code you need them to be sent to, and pick from hundreds of seasonal, tasteful, and unique bouquets from local floral shops. The florist uploads a picture to the site once the arrangement is finished and you also get a confirmation email when it has been delivered. It connects all of the florists and their customers online and makes it so much easier for both parties. There used to be quite a blind trust between the customer ordering the flowers and the florist but with Floom there is full transparency and therefore more control. "[Flowers] are very emotional. You want to know when it's there." Florists on Floom are also carefully analyzed for quality.
Floom has been a hit in London, especially amongst the high fashion crowd. Fans include Kate Moss and Florence Welch. And because it doesn't require a physical shop itself there is an infinite possibility for scaling. Floom launched in New York last week. "I wanted to build something with global reach that didn't just exist in the fashion industry," Elie said. Her plan is to put dinosaur brands like 1-800-Flowers out of business. Floom also emphasizes the importance of using seasonal and locally grown flowers. "Flowers aren't just about smelling good now. It's about being organic and local and farm to table.
Elie started writing the business plan for Floom while working full time at ID Magazine and through her strong network came in contact with investors who signed on quite quickly once they heard her idea. She actually got funding within three weeks of her pitch which is almost unheard of. Now with Floom being available in New York the company's reach will be even greater and could soon be a household name. After all, who doesn't like getting flowers?