Last week our Editor Laura Bartlett received a surprise delivery through the post and when she opened the box, she was more than pleasantly surprised. The contents of the box were fresh, colourful flowers that instantly brightened up her day. These had been delivered through her letterbox courtesy of Beards and Daisies, a flower delivery service that everybody needs to know about.
This is a brand launched by #girlboss Jo Lambell, a passionate florist who wishes she took the leap in to the world of business sooner. Here, she tells us more…
Tells us a bit about Beards and Daisies and your journey to getting where you are today?
I was working in a corporate environment and was frustrated with the ongoing 60 hour weeks that started to become the normal! ! It was a bit of a round peg in a square hole scenario and I desperately felt like I should be doing something more creative! I’d signed up to a floristry course in my mid 20’s but due to work commitments I had to pull out before it even started!
My love of all things floral began when I lived on the famous Columbia Road in my 20’s (where the flower market is based) – there were always fresh flowers in my house!
The business idea came about when I was sending some Birthday flowers to my mum as I couldn’t be with her in person. Although the flowers were beautiful I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by the whole gifting experience and I thought ‘I could do that better’.
My boyfriend and I were celebrating our anniversary in Cornwall and after much debating I decided to go for it. In the space of 6 hours, as we drove back to London I: registered the domain, created a Ltd business, opened the business bank a/c and brainstormed packaging! It’s amazing what you can do in 6hours!
So I quit my job and started what I fondly refer to as flower school where I learnt the art of floristry!
What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
- Picking up the Metro newspaper and seeing my flowers advertised!
- When The Independent selected our flowers as one of the Best Valentine’s Bouquet’s 2016 (we were up there with some hugely established retailers and florists)
- Packing up the last order of red roses after our first Valentine’s day! Valentine’s was like nothing else with 2am starts in the days approaching. At one point I thought we weren’t going to be able to fulfil all the orders in time, I couldn’t have done it without friends and family who worked tirelessly!
Describe Beards and Daisies in 3 words?
Bouquet in a Box (sorry that’s 4)
Who is involved in the brand?
I’m a one man band on the whole pulling on my floral friends and family when it’s needed…
Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
It’s usually a 5am start to get to the Flower Market in London to source the freshest flowers, It’s the most inspiring place to start the day, surrounded by so many stunning flowers and colours and it’s such a friendly group of people.
Orders are then picked, packed and posted. I’m also a wedding florist so afternoons, evenings (and sometimes even nights) are a mixture of PR, social media, admin, meetings and photography. Working long and late hours is so much more satisfying when you’re working for yourself, there’s zero resentment towards the business or your boss!
Before you launched the company, what did you do on the work front?
I was a Business Manager for the south at a well known nursery retailer… The only thing I miss is being part of a team but this is just part of being a start-up business
Who/what inspires you?
There is the most amazing community of female bosses right now who are all experiencing the same challenges. It’s a really great time for women to start a business, there’s so much more support from various groups and online forums. Social media does a fab job of ‘bigging up’ fellow girl bosses and removing any competition that you can experience in the work place.
Are there any sources you go for support with running your business?
My boyfriend’s background is SEO which makes for very work based conversations over dinner, but I couldn’t have done it without him! He’s had to become a part time driver/florist/web developer/SEO.
I’ve attended various networking events which I thought were going to be contrived but find the right ones and things will just click! I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and advice i’ve received from people, people are so keen to see my business succeed! I come up against my fair share of cynics who doubt that the flowers could survive out of water but that just makes me work even harder and I love hearing how surprised they are that a full bouquet can fit into a box!
What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
In 2016 I’m expanding from Letterbox Flowers to hand tied bouquets delivered throughout the UK which enables me to create much larger arrangements and use a greater variety of flowers. My aim is to bring a piece of the flower market to people’s homes, with flowers and arrangements that you just simply cant find in your local supermarket.
Did you always know that one day you would be an entrepreneur?
I should have persisted with my dream of working with flowers years ago but it was never the right time. I’ve since realised that there’s no such thing as a ‘right time’ for a career change or to start a new business. My dad and partner have their own businesses so I have a good understanding of the hard work that goes into running a business and also that you reap what you sow! It’s inspiring to see more and more female start-ups popping up over the last 5 years.
If there’s one thing you could get better at in business, what would it be?
I’ve had to learn that I can’t do everything myself and it’s worth outsourcing certain work to free up time, enabling me to work on other areas of the business. There’s a limit to how much time you spend teaching yourself, I would love to have the knowledge and skill to do all the web development work myself.
For other people aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
Follow your dreams! “This time next year Rodney….” haha! Resilience, a sense of humour and a positive outlook are prerequisites!
Would you do anything differently?
I wish I had done it sooner!
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