It has been a year since I last posted, and, I thought it would be good to do a round up. What has changed, how has the business grown or developed and what does the year ahead bring for us.
Well, 2020 was some year to have a new business. The business started in December 2019 and not 3 months after starting we were hit with Lockdown 1. To begin with like everyone I didn’t know what to expect… the flower market was shut, the wholesalers were not delivering and it was still early in the season so there wasn’t loads of British flowers available. However, within a few weeks I was able to secure some Spring flowers from a wholesaler and the local flower farm was starting to have flowers available.
Easter came and so did the orders. At this point I hadn’t done any real marketing, but, I had created my google business page and I was posting on it daily. I then decided to do a a little campaign on google to let people know that a) I existed and b) that I can deliver locally and would be following Covid rules on social distancing.
So, with the ability to secure flowers locally, I was able to fulfil a number of orders for Easter. And then, it essentially progressed from there. It seemed that one of the consequences of the lockdown, was that families, friends, and loved ones, wanted to send flowers because they were unable to be together.
As a new business, this turned out to be good. Business was steady throughout lockdown 1, and then through the summer months I continued to have steady growth. I was fortunate enough to deliver to some wonderful individuals over the summer who adored my natural, garden picked, country style flower bunches, and they have turned out to be my best marketing tool.
Things did quiet down for a while and this gave me an opportunity to refine my business. I spent time looking into more sustainable options, and am pleased to have discovered an even better option than the biodegradable floral foam which I had been using. Whilst the floral foam was a better option than the original green foam, it still takes an incredible amount of time to biodegrade so I continued to look for other options.
I practiced using moss as an alternative to foam and whilst this is amazing for wreaths and meadow sprays, it didn’t hold enough water for my flower boxes. So, I was pleased to stumble across a product called Agra Wool. Agra Wool is a natural floral foam made from Basalt and a type of sucrose (cane or beet sugar) and is therefore completely degradable. It can reused and once done with can be torn into pieces and put on the compost.
I have used it a number of times now, and whilst it takes some practice, I have found it to hold an incredible amount of water (and you can add more water to it with flowers insitu if needed.
So whilst the business has steadily grown, I am still looking to increase my customer base in order for the business to remain viable. So, as well as my flower delivery, I have started to take bookings for weddings. Whilst last year saw so many weddings postponed until this year, those scheduled for this Spring have also been pushed back further. But, fingers crossed it looks like we might be able to do weddings again. I have 3 booked in for this year and 1 for next year. I am really looking forward to this year’s weddings and took the opportunity last autumn to plan and prepare to grow a significant amount of the flowers for each of the weddings. I am particularly looking forward to one of my August weddings which has a blue theme and I have my fingers crossed that my Scabious, blue sweetpeas and Larkspur all continue to grow and develop in abundance for this wedding.
Lastly, the steady growth did mean that using my car to deliver flowers wasn’t completely practical, so, I invested in a little delivery van. With the help of my husband we found a classic Austen Maestro, which after a little bit of a transformation, hit the road on valentines day to do its first lot of deliveries.
Now that things are starting to get back to normal (albeit a new normal), I intend to try and post once a month, and I will continue to share in my monthly posts updates on how the business is doing.
Thanks as always to all my customers
Take care everyone