Meet Florence, owner of Petalon Flowers

Get to know this modern floristry delivery company

One of our favourite recent discoveries on Instagram is Petalon Flowers, a London-based flower delivery company run by partners Florence and James. In place of a physical shop, Petalon has a beautiful, clean website and an Instagram feed bursting with gorgeous arrangements. Each week there are two seasonal bouquets available to order either £28.00 or £50.00 depending on size with £1 going to Capital Bee. If you’re within the delivery area, you order a bouquet, they jump on a bicycle (made by Florence’s’ husband, James, and his Kennedy City Bicycles) and deliver the flowers to you.

We were very excited to speak to Florence about where the idea for her business originated and what makes the perfect Petalon bouquet. Read on to discover more about this modern floristry company. 

Q. What were you and James doing before you started Petalon and what inspired you to start your own business?

I was working in sales for a marketing intelligence consultancy and James was a quant analyst at a trends forecasting consultancy. The idea of Petalon came about after James sent a bunch of flowers to my boss at the time as a thank you for her help with a birthday surprise for me. He had ordered a generic bunch from an online flower delivery company and they were so underwhelming and didn't convey how grateful he was. Although there are lots of wonderful florists in London, a lot of them need to implement a high minimum spend and he was never going to spend over £60 on a small gesture of thanks. The idea for Petalon was born from this gap in the market that we stumbled across. 

Q. Can you tell us a bit about getting your business off the ground – how did you take the initial idea through to launch?

I worked in sales at the time and used to get commission. I saved all my commission in a separate account and once I had enough to live off for three months I quit my job. Petalon's start up costs were very small. I needed a laptop (already had this), a bike (got lots of them, thanks James!) and some flowers. We built a trailer too but that was all we needed to get going. Apart from this, all it took was time because that is what it takes for people to know you exist. I didn't exactly have a marketing budget (still don't) so we rely entirely on word of mouth. Slowly but surely the business grew. To minimise waste, we only offer two bouquets a week at a flat rate of £28 (£50 for a bigger bunch) and a donation to the Bee Colllective. 

Q. What were the biggest challenges you faced?

Everything really. Owning a business is new to me, floristry is new to me, building websites is new to me but if you have the money to pay other people to do all these things then you never really know your own business, so the battles and the challenges are all worth it - and I think make your business stronger. 

Q. How important has social media been to the success of your business?

instagram has been great as it's so visual. Facebook and twitter feel a bit token. I'm building myself up to try snapchat - just don't feel quite cool enough yet...! 

Q. What’s the best thing about your job?

I'm proud of it, and that's a fantastic feeling. I love that people like our product and our service enough to send our flowers to their friends and family and business pals. 

Q. What’s the most important lesson(s) you’ve learnt?

Be open to change and not get too set in my ways.

Q. What are the hallmarks of a Petalon bouquet?

They need to be interesting. If you could get all the flowers in the bouquet from a supermarket then I've done a terrible job. We tend to do one stem of lots of different flowers, so people can experience unusual flowers without having to spend a fortune. Some of them don't last as well as others so we have to choose carefully but how awesome to get a foxglove and a chocolate cosmos with a scented geranium leaf at your desk?! Much better than a sterile gerbera. 

Q. What are your favourite flowers?

That is an ever changing list but ranunculus have a very special place in my heart. 

Q. What are your plans for the future?

Our delivery service is growing every month, and we are getting more and more weddings and events which is great fun. I hope we can do more and more events and grow the team with this. 

Check out Petalon's website here and their beautiful Instagram feed here