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Unmade meets Bloom and Wild

(Originally published on the UMd Journal, 16th August 2016)
When we decided to call in some floral finery for suitably summery shoot with our Pima cotton tees, our favourite London-based online florists Bloom & Wild were our first port of call.
People have been giving flowers as gifts since time began - in the UK alone, we spend £2 billion a year on them. Yet most people would struggle to name a brand that they love to send flowers with - that is, until Bloom & Wild came along. We met with Bloom & Wild’s Ecomm and Range Manager, Olivia Harvey, to discover how they’re delivering bouquets of happiness straight through your letterbox.
‘Whether you’re sending flowers to someone to say ‘thank you’ or to say ‘sorry’ it’s a really important expression of emotion, usually entrusted to an online retailer’ says Olivia. ‘The flowers would be delivered to your doorstep in a nondescript cardboard box. You’d have no idea how long they were going to last or what condition they would arrive in.'
Serial flower-givers Aron Gelbard and Ben Stanway wanted to make both the buying and the receiving of cut flowers a better experience for everyone involved. They founded Bloom & Wild in 2013 with the aim of bringing joy to the process.
Bloom & Wild’s flowers are sent by post, packed by hand into breathable cardboard boxes designed to fit through a standard letterbox, yet sturdy enough to protect delicate flowers from any bumps and bangs along the way. It’s an innovative idea, meaning no more missed deliveries or trips to the Royal Mail collection office. The flowers themselves are cut according to demand and sent in bud, which extends their life - and they’ll keep blooming for at least a week, although in our experience, a properly cared-for Bloom & Wild bouquet might well last much longer!‘
Initially there was a worry that arranging the flowers yourself on receipt might be a barrier - would people like that or would it be off-putting?’, says Olivia. ‘The feedback has been that it’s something people love to do. Just taking five minutes to arrange the flowers is incredibly relaxing. We put styling suggestions in with packaging, however whilst the flowers we offer are from a curated selection, no two bouquets are ever the same. Every customer has a different vase, everyone has a different style, and the content they share with us on Instagram is amazing!’
Getting hands-on with the blooms is key. Arranging the flowers and creating something nurtures a sense of pride, as Olivia explains. ‘The interaction process is really important to us - we’re looking at providing more flower education to send out with our bouquets. A few years ago, everything was about fast fashion and consuming - buying loads, filling your house with stuff. I think people have finally reached peak stuff. Now they’re looking for knowledge and experience.’ They’ve even taken the ‘experience’ factor a step further, hosting flower arranging and garland-making workshops with brands including Refinery29, Free People and Benefit, with whom they’ve collaborated on a bouquet - The Benebabe.
Like many businesses, Bloom & Wild is seasonally led. As you might imagine, the peak flower-giving periods are Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day - closely followed by peony season. With just under 4 million tags on Instagram, peonies, Olivia tells us,  are the new avocado toast. ‘They are universally adored, which is what led us to launch our pop-up peony shop in Topshop Oxford Circus - it was such a perfect opportunity to make most of the short season [mid-May to the end of June] and to engage with an Instagram-savvy audience.’
With only a limited range of bouquets available on-site at any one time, Bloom & Wild’s offering is a curated one. And it’s not just dictated by flower seasonality.‘
We look at fashion trends, interior trends - things that are trending in general - to help influence our bouquets. We want people to feel they’re giving or receiving something design led. The Gisele and its baby pineapples was inspired by the Rio Olympics and the tropical trend that’s been everywhere this summer. Working in this way is great in for us in terms of brand partnerships, as it takes us out of what could be quite an isolated bubble.’
And they’re quick to react to opportunities - earlier in the year they turned around a bouquet from conception to website in less than 48 hours (it was one of their peony bouquets), and they were quick to react to Pantone’s 2016 colours of the year announcement with a bouquet in Rose Quartz tones.
Speed is an important factor across the board. Bloom & Wild are catering to a busy, online audience via their website and app - they were one of the first companies in the UK to offer Apple Pay. Useful for forgetful folk is their ‘My Occasions’ calendar, where you can keep a list of birthdays, anniversaries and other pertinent dates, for which Bloom & Wild will email you a reminder just ahead of time. Place an order by 3.30pm and your bouquet will be delivered anywhere within the UK the following day. Got a same-day flower emergency in central London? Who you gonna call? Bloom & Wild, that's who.
You can order The Zara and The Gisele (as featured in our photo-shoot), The Benebabe, and many more floral delights at www.bloomandwild.com, and shop our stripe tees below. 
Bring on the joy.

Project Tags

  • unmade
  • bloom and wild
  • interview
  • profile

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