Projected to reach $16 billion by 2023, the floral gifting market in the US has been growing at a rate of 6 per cent since 2017, according to Research and Markets. And following a recent round of funding, Carmen-backed online floristry service FLOWERBX is set to launch in New York this May before expanding across the country, aiming to become the first truly international flower brand.
The four-year old London-based company was co-founded by Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, former communications director at Tom Ford, and as she told The New York Times’ Dana Thomas earlier this week, it was while working for Ford at Gucci that she quickly learned how flowers were vital to fashion: part of the “language”. Now the florist of choice for the fashion cognoscenti – FLOWERBX counts Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Farfetch and Christian Dior among its growing list of clients – the company already has a presence in Europe, and having raised $5.5 million in this latest funding round, from backers including original investors Carmen and Natalie Massanet, it is now looking to not only expand overseas, but outside the fashion sphere too.
Unlike traditional florists, FLOWERBX specializes in bunches of single variety blooms, rather than mixed bouquets, and customers place orders online before the company buys them and then ships direct from suppliers in Holland, which guarantees fresher flowers and zero waste. But according to Bromberg Hawkings, it’s consistency and quality that really sets it apart from its competitors. “In my mind, if you go to Prada in LA, Tokyo or Shanghai, you’re getting the same consistency of products,” she explained to the Business of Fashion, and she believes that it's this luxury of consistency that FLOWERBX provides.
Having achieved $2.5 million in sales in 2018, Bromberg Hawkings is aiming to reach $6 million this year, and $30 million by 2021. “Everyone says the flowers are always beautiful,” Tom Ford told The New York Times - Ford was one of FLOWERBX’s early clients and regularly gives annual subscriptions to friends and colleagues. “Whitney spent so many years battling with florists to get orders right for me. She knows,” he went on to say.