Bloom & Wild keeps on growing
From renting a space by the hour in New Covent Garden flower market to becoming the UK’s top-rated flower delivery company, Bloom & Wild has come a long way. We talk to CEO and Co-Founder Aron Gelbard about the inspiration behind the business – and how he’s empowering customers to get creative with their blooms.
“It should be a real joy to send and receive flowers, and – at that time – it wasn’t,” says Aron Gelbard.
The Co-Founder and CEO of online florist Bloom & Wild is looking back to a time before his company shook up the world of flower delivery with its innovative approach.
Barclays really understands the venture-backed start-up landscape and what it’s like to be a company expanding at our pa
“It was expensive, you weren’t sure whether you would get what you ordered and you worried about asking the recipient to wait in for them.” Add in the fact that most delivered flowers didn’t seem to last very long and Gelbard had all the inspiration he needed to set up his company.
The online florist, founded in 2013, specialises in ‘letterbox flowers’ – a bouquet sent through the post in a box designed to fit through customers’ letterboxes. Many of the flowers are delivered in-bud, so they haven’t yet bloomed, while bigger flowers are wrapped in protective netting to prevent damage en route. There’s also a personal touch, with each box including tips and advice on how to best arrange and care for the blooms. “We don’t just want our customers to transfer the bouquet into a vase, we want them to get involved in the creative process,” says Gelbard.
Bloom & Wild is now the UK’s top-rated flower delivery company, something Gelbard proudly attributes to a few key factors: technology, supply and logistics, branding and floristry.
“In terms of technology, we try to make it super simple for people to order, especially on a mobile. You can order our flowers in literally seconds,” he says. In terms of logistics, the 100% e-commerce florist has shortened the flower supply chain by sourcing flowers directly from growers rather than wholesalers.
Cutting out the middle-men – traders, wholesalers and even bricks and mortar florist shops – means Bloom & Wild can pass the savings on to customers.
It’s a model that’s working: the business has grown from its origins in Covent Garden flower market – where Gelbard and Co-Founder Ben Stanway rented a space by the hour – to a team of 60 which has had to move offices four times as the company expands. “We have seen really rapid growth in our revenue and the number of deliveries we make,” he says. “It’s been a really exciting growth trajectory.”
Like any company experiencing similar growth, Gelbard values the importance of a bank he can rely on. “We’ve been with Barclays since the day we set up. They really understand the venture-backed start-up landscape and what it’s like to be a company expanding at our pace.”
Adam Crickmar, the Barclays Relationship Director who has supported Bloom & Wild’s growth, expands on the partnership: “We do the day-to-day banking for them, but as with a lot of fast-growing businesses, we need to move quickly to be able to support them.
“Barclays is interested in customers like Bloom & Wild because they’re exciting and innovative. We like to support fast-growing businesses and entrepreneurs wherever possible – we see them as the future of the UK economy.”