Every week, we design two fresh bouquets. Our focus for these is seasonality, variety and a wild, garden-grown style. We deliver these across Britain for 7 days, before designing another two bouquets for the following week and starting again. This means we have a constantly changing offering, keeping things seasonal, while making sure our wastage stays low. The cut flower industry isn’t too kind on the environment, so we wanted to not only reduce waste in this wasteful industry but also give something back. That’s why our bouquets are packaged in biodegradable or recyclable materials, we donate 5% of profits to bee conservation charities and we plant a tree in Britain for every 100 bouquets we send.
In the early days, it was just me and my bike, heading to the market at 4am to select flowers, then heading home to arrange the bouquets, write out people’s messages and then hand deliver across East London. As word of mouth grew, so did our delivery area and our team. We started doing weddings and workshops and I was invited to write a floristry book, Flowers Every Day, published with Pavilion. With a book and a baby on the way, a more formal business structure was needed and Becki joined the team in 2016 as Head of Operations (and general captain of the ship “Petalon”), James took over the commercial stuff and we hired dedicated florists and cyclists.
In 2018 we extended our service from 5 days a week to 7 days a week and launched our nationwide service, offering the same Petalon bouquets on a next-day service to the rest of the country using a carbon-neutral courier. We were delighted to see our bouquets popping up all over Britain and we continued to deliver to 50 postcodes across London by bicycle, as well as to the rest of the country, all from our studio in East London.
In 2020, we made the decision to move the family out of London to Cornwall. This was partly a personal decision, to be closer to family, but also with business plans to start growing our own flowers. Petalon has always been a family-run business, so it made sense to run the business from Cornwall after the move, which meant leaving the London bicycle delivery behind. However, in turn, we gained the space and the resources to be able to grow our own flowers. Not only does this mean we are able to remove more and more carbon from our product journey, we think it makes our bouquets really special to have flowers in them straight from our own field. We now have two commercial size polytunnels, rows upon rows of flower beds and a budding flower farm of our own.
Did you plan from the beginning to be growing your own flowers?
How different your life is now in Cornwall after London?
I hope people are still buying flowers and that Covid hasn't affected your business too much?
What inspires you to design your flower creations? Or what inspires you in general?