Nick Hepner and Annise Lorel didn’t plan it. And they never would have wished for a pandemic to be the reason their sustainable flower delivery company, Bespoke Blossoms, experienced dramatic growth. But in the spring, floral arrangements began “going through the roof,” says Nick, “because people who were separated by COVID-19 wanted to show each other love.” And Bespoke Blossoms was simply ready to accommodate that caring instinct in a way that other flower companies were not.
Nick explains that “because of the logistics the delivery box we’d designed with Great Little Box Company allowed for, we ended up in this special position. For a time, we were the only flower company around able to facilitate contact-less deliveries. We got lucky, and just happened to have our boxes show up before COVID did, and we were ready. We’d be sunk without them.”
The Bespoke Blossoms box contains a hydration pack and holds the arrangement protectively. That means it can be dropped off at a doorstep, rather than handed off immediately to a customer. Even after hours of sitting, the arrangement remains fresh and perfectly intact.As a surprising side effect of being able to continue their deliveries, Bespoke Blossoms was able to support many small-scale food and flower producing local farms and helped to a dramatically fluctuating flower market.
Bespoke Blossoms is the creation of two individuals with complementary skillsets who wanted to drive positive change in the floral industry. Nick is the self-described techie who’d been building websites for twenty years. His partner Annise is the gifted florist who wanted to solve the problems she saw in her industry. Their primary question: how can we create a flower company that doesn’t drive massive pollution from chemical-heavy agriculture, shipping emissions, plastic use, and still continue to deliver a high-end luxury experience?
They landed on a model that harnesses the agility of e-commerce and the sustainability of local farming. Most of their supply chain consists of a small cluster of local micro-farmers who allow them to scale up and down as necessary to dramatically reduce waste. Customers order arrangements on the website and Bespoke picks up supplies from the right farmers as needed. Because these are local farmers, fulfilment is still fast, often as fast as one day.
“With our ‘local first’ policy, we do create arrangements that feature specific, shipped-in flowers when customers really want them,” explains Nick, “but the majority of our flowers come from British Columbia.”
Operating an e-commerce company always poses fascinating challenges, and a floral e-commerce company is no exception. Chief among these challenges is nailing the packaging, which can make or (literally) break the product, along with the experience of receiving it.
“We had our own designer come up with a beautiful design,” says Nick, “and then we were fortunate to work with GLBC’s very technical designers to translate that design onto a customized box for a viable cost. Your structural design department really knew how to get the best value for our investment. We’re a third of the way through our first stack of boxes and they’ve already paid for themselves. And the next iteration will be even cheaper.”
Because 70% of their business comes through social media, Nick and Annise have been gratified to see their packaging celebrated in many unprompted “unboxing posts”. Customers happily share their experience of opening the luxurious boxes, with their scented tissue paper, springs of lavender, and personal notes.
“They’re having that ‘wow experience’ of total luxury and they want to share it with their friends and family,” says Nick. “That really spreads the word.”
Bespoke Blossoms’ focus on sustainability and local resilience makes them an ideal partner for GLBC. Their success, in our view, is a very good thing. Show your loved one you’ve been thinking about them with a gorgeous arrangement of local flowers—and show Bespoke Blossoms some well-deserved support.