Founded in 2013, Petalon is a London based florist who deliver their bouquets by bicycle around the capital. With its environmentally friendly ethos and elegant bouquets the business has grown from strength to strength, now delivering by post to all mainland UK. Florence Kennedy, the company’s founder and author of Flowers Every Day, shares with us career highlights, the inspiration for her book ‘Flowers Every Day’, and her perfect bouquet.
How did Petalon begin?
Petalon began when my husband James sent my boss a dodgy bunch of flowers. I had been wanting to start something of my own for a while, but wasn't sure what. James had started his own business, Kennedy City Bicycles, and I found it infectious living with someone who was following their dreams. The idea for a flower delivery company by bicycle started from all of this really!
What has been your career highlight to date?
I'm lucky enough to have had a few pinch me moments but I would say that watching the business grow, all of the people that have joined us, and seeing the direction it all takes is the best highlight by far.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different but we try to start the day with a long dog walk on the marshes. I then drop my baby off at nursery and head to the workshop where it will either be floristry or admin. The girls make up our delivery bunches in the morning and the riders arrive at noon to deliver them across town. We then package up all the bouquets that are going out by post to the rest of the UK.
What flowers would be in your ideal bouquet?
I would choose: hellebores, butterfly ranunculus, spirea
What was the inspiration behind your book, ‘Flowers Every Day’?
The driving force behind the book was the seasons, and making floristry accessible to everyone.
Petalon is very environmentally friendly; from the packaging and delivery to donations to bee and tree charities. How important was this to you when founding the company?
We never set out to be a 'green' company. At the beginning we delivered by bicycle because it was the cheapest, quickest, easiest way to do it, and as we try not to use excessive plastic at home it was the natural thing to do when choosing our packaging for the flowers. Hessian is perfect for how we transport our flowers so that worked out really well. The donations just felt like a responsible thing to do when you are selling a product which will have been exposed to pesticides at some point in its journey. We don't market ourselves as an environmentally friendly business, we just try and do our bit where we can.
What’s next for 2018?
We launched our postal service earlier this year and to deal with demand we have to completely redo the order management system we currently use. It's not exactly glamorous but it's essential if we want to grow our business and it's so exciting to see our flowers pop up in all sorts of corners of the country!