Outdoor Hero Interview: Flor...
An interview with Florence Hill from Petalon Flowers, who delivers bouquets by bicycle.
9 December 2015 / Heroes
Photo credit Arianna Lago
We love the great outdoors at Vogel’s and want to celebrate people who share the same passion and take it one step further: our Outdoor Heroes! Let us introduce you to Florence Hill of Petalon Flowers, who saw a gap in the market to deliver beautiful bouquets by bike.
It’s hard not to like flowers, but I can’t say I was passionate about them before I started Petalon. Once the business started and I was working with them everyday, I quickly became obsessed and remain so – I feel like I’m constantly learning so much about them; how they behave, what they like, how to work with them, which flowers go with what, the moods they can create… I love it.
I set up Petalon in the summer of 2013.
My husband James sparked the idea really. He sent a bunch of flowers to my boss at the time as a thank you for helping him out with a birthday gift for me. When I saw them on her desk I felt bad for him – the flowers were a generic bunch from an Internet delivery company but they just didn’t convey how thankful he was and the effort he had gone to. There are plenty of great florists in London, but a lot of them understandably have minimum spends with their deliveries as they need drivers, to pay congestion charge, parking, petrol etc. James was in the beginning stages of starting a bicycle brand at the time and when I came home to 200 bicycle frames in our flat, the idea for a flower delivery company using James’s bikes was staring me in the face.
My part in the business shifts and changes constantly as we grow and evolve. I started out doing every aspect of the process, but as we’ve got bigger and expanded into weddings and events, I’ve been doing a lot more of that. I love designing the bouquets each week, and it’s always lovely to see a grateful or surprised face on delivery!
Our flowers are always seasonal and we change the choice every week to reflect that – the names of the bunches are just a bit of fun!
I think our flowers are more interesting than a lot of other Internet flower delivery companies and we have an accessible price point. We try hard to keep the service as personal as possible. The cards are handwritten; we send a confirmation email when the flowers have been delivered. We just tried to think, “If I was sending a bunch of flowers, what would I like the service to be like?” and went from there really.
Do what you love. The reality of being a florist isn’t always as rosy as it looks. There are 4am market trips, long hours and little money. But if you love what you do, none of that really matters because you get to work with extreme natural beauty every day.
I recently went to the ‘Lost Gardens of Heligan’ in Cornwall, which was pretty spectacular, and Piet Oudolf’s gardens at Hauser and Wirth in Somerset are amazing.
Peanut butter and jam from Lillie at London Borough of Jam. Her Rhubarb and Cardamom jam is beyond good.
Waking up to a job you like makes it easier to get out of bed at 3.30am!
As long as you’ve got the right clothes there is no bad weather. Wrap up warm or wear a waterproof!