H.Bloom Launches Weekly Flower Service in Manhattan
In search of the perfect gift to celebrate a birthday, Mother's Day or another special occasion? Look no further than H.BLOOM, an online floral company based in Manhattan which offers a weekly subscription service.
"We heard over and over from people who love flowers, that they can't afford expensive arrangements on a regular basis," says Bryan Burkhart, the 35-year-old co-founder of H.Bloom. "It is also a great gift because it is the gift that keeps on giving."
Gallery: More from H. Bloom
Burkhart and co-founder Sonu Panda, who met as undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania, launched the business after noticing there was a need for a premium floral product available online. "We saw that there was no 'Barney's of flowers' online---there was only K-Mart," says Burkhart. Their business model is much like that of Netflix, as there is no long term commitment. It is easy to pause the service or direct the delivery to someone else.
According to Burkhart, people have been relegated to going to a local deli or market to buy flowers. "But there is never much variety and the flowers aren't always fresh," he says. "Worse, once people get their flowers home, they then have to figure out if they have the right-sized vase and how to arrange them properly." H.Bloom is a substitute for the way people usually buy flowers, he says.
H.Bloom regularly imports fresh flowers from such faraway places as Japan, Holland, and Colombia. Its team of designers create different designs on a weekly basis. Subscription-based arrangements are delivered to customers in Parisian-style hand-tied bundles. "Customers do not have to arrange the flowers," says Burkhart. "All they have to do is drop the bundle into the vase."
Customers simply pick a day that works and the time window when they or the recipient will be there. They also have a choice between weekly or bi-weekly delivery. For residential subscriptions, a vase is provided with the first delivery that is properly sized to accommodate all future arrangements. Then, in each subsequent delivery, a hand-tied bouquet that has been precisely cut to fit easily into the vase. The company also offers single orders.
Customers are given the flexibility of subscribing for as long as they like and a delivery can be skipped if they are away. Orders can be canceled as long as notice is given at least seven days in advance. Orders placed by Friday at 5:00 pm, will receive their first delivery the following week. Additional bundles can be ordered, if the recipient needs more for a party, for example.
This week, the company launched several new product lines, including various other subscriptions. It now offers a monthly planted orchid subscription for $85 inclusive of delivery and vase. The company is also offering an exotic varietal subscription, which can be purchased on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. Customers will receive a bundle of exotic flowers that they wouldn't be able to find at most retail outlets, such as poppies, lilac and ranunculus. The exotic varietal collection, as well as a submerged collection, are both priced at $65 per bundle.
The company is also offering a modern arrangement selection, such as the encapsulated orchid collection. This collection features multiple dendrobium stems in a tall rectangular glass vase which is provided with the first order. It is priced at $50 per bundle.
Although the company is currently only servicing Manhattan, its founders are looking at different methods for a nationwide expansion. "Our aspiration is to be able to cover every major metropolitan area eventually," says Burkhart. "It is possible to do what 1-800 Flowers does today nationwide in a premium, more modern way."