Little Flowers: The Online Florist That’s Changing The Industry
Who doesn’t love to be spoiled with a bouquet of flowers at work? Little Flowers is a local Sydney start-up offering a unique bunch of flowers for $30 each day – this includes free delivery to almost anywhere in Sydney.
Australia’s fastest growing online florist operates from a garage in Marrickville and offers some of the most amazing floral combinations you’ve ever seen. Simply log onto the website, choose the flowers of the day and send a sweet note to a loved one! SHESAID chatted with Sarah and Chris about leaving their jobs and starting their own successful business.
How did the idea of Little Flowers come about?
Co-founders Ben Sampson, John Kane, Chris Berents and myself realised there was a huge gap in the market. From our own experiences we knew that while it was really awesome to get flowers, we didn’t send them as often as we’d like to because they were really quite expensive. They were also big. And awkward – and sometimes a huge bouquet wasn’t right for the occasion. My partner, Chris, would often send me “just because” flowers and while I felt incredibly lucky to get them, a part of me also felt quite guilty because I knew they would have cost him an arm and a leg and unfortunately, they were going to die in a few days.
The four of us met in advertising and were very good friends. So when we unearthed the idea of taking the ‘bigness’ out of the flower industry, we all got very excited about the possibilities and potential, and quickly began developing the concept.
We loved the thought of making flower delivery more accessible and something that people could do for any reason, big or small, serious or ridiculous, and knew we could have a lot of fun with it. For me personally, the whole concept was also really exciting because it appealed to my emotional side. I loved that I would be helping to spread smiles across the city by delivering these messages and beautiful little bunches of flowers.
What was it like quitting your job and starting in another industry?
It was nerve-wracking, on one hand. I’d been in advertising for over ten years and I felt I was really going against the grain to throw it all in. In retrospect, I’m sure my friends and family must have been quietly questioning my decision to jump ship, as it was quite out of character. But it was time. I felt ready to try something new and to explore other possibilities.
I told myself I could always go back to it later and that I could just think of this as a ‘sabbatical year.’ Not that I intended to, but the idea of turning my back on the familiar and going into the complete unknown was, in some ways, quite terrifying! But I was so utterly passionate about this idea and really, really excited about the possibility of running my own business. It felt audacious, but the possibility of making it a reality was exceptionally enticing. I couldn’t die wondering. None of us could.
What is the most rewarding part about starting your own business?
Well, I find this hard to describe, but I think overall the best thing is this sense of ‘wow.’ It’s a combined feeling of satisfaction, relief, excitement and possibility. I think it’s human nature to sometimes doubt what we are capable of, so to see your dreams come to fruition is immensely rewarding – and what’s more, it makes you excited about what else you could be capable of in the future.
If you had to do it over again, what are some dos and don’ts you would suggest to others in your position?
- Dare to dream.
- Back yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your idea.
- Hire people who can do what you can’t.
- Look after yourself and look after the people who work with you.
- Stop to celebrate all the victories of your business, big and small.
- Be true to yourself and your brand.
- Be scared to ask for help. Starting your own business is a steep learning curve and a huge workload. You can’t do everything yourself.
- Be too hard on yourself. Most small business owners at some point get overwhelmed with the enormity of what they are trying to achieve. Break the big tasks down and just keep chipping away.
- Be scared of making mistakes. You learn more through your mistakes than anything else.
How important is social media in spreading the word about your business?
Really important. We don’t have a shop front, so it’s our way of meeting, connecting and conversing with our customers and our beloved Little Flowers community. Ever since we launched, we have posted the day’s flowers to social media channels to announce what’s available and it’s a lovely way to keep our customers up-to-date with the fun things that are happening behind the scenes.
What’s next for Little Flowers – spill!
We’ve just opened our delivery zone to Chatswood and we’re planning to keep extending to new suburbs in Sydney over the course of 2015 – and then, hopefully a little further afield in 2016… Watch this space!