Bouquets by bike
Its Sunday morning and I’ve gone to see Florence and James in Hackney.
Outside, judging by the temperature, it is definitely still February and the sun shining on my breath resembles a big white cloud.
Entering Fingers Crossed Café the first thing that greets me is a beautiful, brown-eyed Great Dane.
"Did you get here okay? I just realized it is actually quite early for a Sunday."
Since Florence started her floral business, she’s had to get up at 4.30 am to catch the flower markets. Waking up at 9am on a Sunday is considered rather luxurious.
After getting a puppy together with her husband, James, she found it extra difficult to leave them in the mornings to go to her office job in central London.
“When you have to get up for work in the morning and say to your husband and puppy ‘Bye, see you at 7pm!’, that’s really heartbreaking and makes you reconsider the choices you’ve made."
James had already started developing his business making bicycles, so Florence seeing him rise every morning to work for his dream, decided it was time to make a dream for herself.
In two years she has gone from knowing almost nothing about flowers to becoming a full-time obsessive.
Together with her husband, she has managed to create a name for herself delivering the most delicate bouquets transported by bicycles from her husband’s shop.
She set up a workspace in their warehouse home, and although it may sometimes be difficult to get the right work/leisure balance, she says she could never swap jobs with anyone else she knows.
A normal day in Florence’s life involves an early dawn start to catch the flower markets.
By the time the rest of London is rolling out of bed, she’s already back home working on bouquets to be shipped out on a fleet of bikes by 1pm.
Thankfully Florence is not the only one taking care of shipping. During Valentine’s they delivered more than 100 bouquets across London!
Petalon Flowers has been growing constantly to a point that it has now started to inspire imitators.
"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation".
“It was a hard start to the year. I found out someone had actually taken my whole idea and copied it. First I got angry, but I have gotten stronger with this experience and perhaps it made me work even harder with my own brand. I changed my website and with the change there also came a lot of new customers.”
In reaction to the slinky arrival of copycats she jokingly posted a quote on her Instagram "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation".
Running a floral business has made her see that people care about each other much more than she’d ever imagined.
“It is mostly girls ordering bouquets, but also lots of friends sending flowers to each other on days where they might need an extra little bundle of joy”.
Florence puts love and care into every single bouquet that leaves her studio.
“You can’t ever afford to send out a bouquet you’re not happy with, as you never know who will receive it.”