When Whitney Bromberg Hawkings saw a gap in the market, she went for it. Having worked in fashion for nearly 20 years (she worked at Gucci with Tom Ford before becoming Senior VP for Communication for her eponymous brand), in 2015, Hawkings made the bold decision to start her own business in a whole new world. domain – the luxury floral delivery, and FLOWERBX was born.
6 years later, FLOWERBX now covers 24 countries across Europe and including the United States, where its West Coast hub launched earlier than expected amid the pandemic in fall 2020 and has essentially doubled its distribution in the United States in one step. “I know that many companies have addressed some aspect of online flower delivery, but I have no doubts that no one guarantees quality, brand and consistency, internationally, that we are. “Hawkings said. And she’s not wrong.
Seemingly a simple idea, FLOWERBX’s business model is to provide customers with the freshest, highest quality single varietal flower bouquets in an efficient and cost effective manner. “I think what sets us apart from other florists is that we buy and sell flowers in a whole new way.” When asked what makes FLOWERBX so unique, Hawkings tells me, “Our unique negative working capital business model means that we only order flowers that you have already purchased and deliver them to you on the day they are received. come to us from producers, which eliminates any waste. and allows us to offer fresher flowers every day at a fraction of the cost of other florists. “
Hawkings tells me the biggest benefit of the cut-to-order model is the elimination of waste. Along with her team, she works hard to build the brand in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible. “We break down all green waste and deliver green vehicles.” Hawkings says with a smile, “Flower food, which eats bacteria and disinfects water to keep it clear, is also decomposable.”
Speaking of the simple yet elegant bouquets that FLOWERBX is known for, Hawkings makes no secret that she was inspired by the who’s who in fashion during her two decades in the industry: “Miuccia Prada would send simple pale pink roses without filling; Calvin Klein would send white calla lilies in a cylindrical base with nothing in the base; Karl Lagerfeld would send white orchids from Chanel without further mixing. Hawkings’ idea and unique pattern that challenged the traditional mixed-bouquet delivery system clearly resonated with the fashion world, and FLOWERBX was quickly seen collaborating and providing flowers for some of the biggest names in the industry. industry, including Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Net A Porter and Tiffany & Co.
“I have had so many pinch moments since I started FLOWERBX”. When asked what has been her favorite moment since the brand’s launch, Hawkings said: “But creating a 30m floral chandelier in the Orangery of the Palace of Versailles for Louis Vuitton was definitely at the top of the list. She then adds after a short pause to reflect: “My favorite collaboration in the United States was the pop-up store TIFFANY x FLOWERBX at the Tiffany flagship last Valentine’s Day.” For me, creating a brand that could (very humbly) sit alongside Tiffany (arguably one of the strongest American heritage brands), meant a lot to me and was a great testament to the strength of the brand that we are building.
Hawkings is without a doubt essential to the success of the brand. Despite being a wife and mother of three, the ever-stylish brunette admits that she “works all the time” and is “very involved in all aspects of the business”. As the co-founder and CEO of FLOWERBX, Hawkings is exceptionally humble and grateful to be in the position she occupies today, with her successful brand. In fact, during our interview, the word she used most often was “lucky”.
“I’m so lucky to have a very strong operational team that allows me to focus on what I love and what comes most naturally to me (after 20 years as Vice President of Communications for Tom Ford ), which creates the vision and tells the story of the brand. I am obsessed with the product, I create desire around the product and I sell the product, and these are my favorite aspects of the job. Hawkings also says she is incredibly lucky to have the support of her other team at home – her husband, Peter Hawkings (who is also SVP at Tom Ford), and her nanny who “has been with the family all through. long of the three children ”.
As the trendy queen of flowers, Hawkings doesn’t have a favorite flower but believes peony season “is arguably the most wonderful flower season.” Customers can now enjoy the finest variety of peony at home (or send it as a gift) for 4, 6, 8 or 10 weeks by purchasing the brand’s newly launched Peony Seasonal Membership, which includes classic favorites like dusty pink and cotton new and rare varieties like single petal lemon meringue.
She is also in love with the brand’s vases: “I think we offer a perfect solution for every flower with classic refinement and an affordable price that is not easy to find in the market.” In addition to its curated collection of beautiful Mother’s Day bouquets, FLOWERBX and Baccarat have once again teamed up to make this day even more special for moms – the luxury offers can be seen here.
During the pandemic that severely affected the floral industry, FLOWERBX has been incredibly successful and dramatically increased its consumer business by 700% year-on-year, thanks to its negative working capital business model and native digital approach. . What are the prospects for FLOWERBX in 2021?
“For FLOWERBX, we plan to spend the next year expanding our coverage in the US while strengthening our presence in the UK and Europe. I hope to take it as far as possible until FLOWERBX is a household name and synonymous with elegant and demanding people around the world as a prerequisite for floral gifts. In her humble yet confident signature, Hawkings talks about her company’s future plans and adds, “As a female entrepreneur, I hope to empower women throughout my journey and let them grow as we continue. I take my responsibility to employ a diverse and talented team very seriously, and the FLOWERBX team is the accomplishment of which I am most proud.