When Elodie started Pretty Street Flowers, just over twelve months ago now, she had no idea that her online business would flourish so rapidly without a bricks and mortar presence. Thanks to the rise and popularity of social media sites such as Instagram, Elodie has been able to create and audience who appreciate the finer craft of floristry, where taste and elegance are a core component of the product.
Elodie had one simple idea; provide a beautiful bunch of flowers at an affordable price including delivery. Working from home allowed the idea to be realised and motivation was deeply rooted in a desire to be self-employed, with all the risks and rewards that running a business can provide. With a young family, a flexible lifestyle working around kids schedules was a clear benefit. Also with a love of surfing since moving to the Mornington Peninsula, Elodie can now squeeze in a quick session at the Pines between deliveries. “After all, that is why we love living here. To not get amongst its beautiful surroundings as often as possible would seem like such a waste”, Elodie suggests.
Pretty Street Flowers was borne from humble beginnings. An idea, a computer, and a couple of months hard work designing a brand and social medial strategy. Elodie explains that, “Things started very slowly and getting an on-line presence can be frustrating. A simple and elegant web site, with fresh content all the time is the strategy that has enabled growth and the realisation of a real business. It also takes time and patients, and some paid marketing is necessary to start building web traffic. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to get my first order that wasn’t from family or friends.”
Traditional bricks and mortar Florists are required to be filled with fresh flowers for presentation purposes, ultimately resulting in a high volume of waste. Elodie is driven to reduce waste from an environmental perspective, preferring to stock indoor plants and long lasting succulents and always providing flowers fresh on a daily basis to meet the demand for any particular day. “I have very little green waste. Whilst my ideals stem from an ecological philosophy, it also translates into a more productive business with higher profit margins, which encourages me to think longer term for all product selections.” Elodie explains.
Running an online business, whilst providing flexibility with respect to opening hours, actually never closes. Elodie has full awareness of how the online shopper expects immediate service. “You never switch off, or stop thinking about how to engage more with the local consumer and business community. If I receive enquiries late in the evening or throughout the weekend, I know I need to respond straight away or risk the customer going elsewhere. The older generation still prefer a phone call and a conversation, however this is a very small percentage of my clientele.”
Key to running any business is knowing where your strengths lie, so you can focus your attention on what matters. For Elodie her skills are firmly on the creative side, with strong style and brand awareness. “Customer focus and engagement has been something that has taken time to get comfortable and confident with”. She also explains that, “my focus is primarily on creating a beautiful product that appeals to a broad audience. Without that I have no business.”
Elodie also draws on her husband to help with the business administration, accounting and marketing side. Stating that, “without which I would need to outsource and add more cost and complexity to a very young operation. We make a good team as Dave has absolutely no creative skills. Sometimes I send him to the growers and have him on Facetime to show me the product to select, it’s quite funny. He is learning slowly though!”
Pretty Street Flowers operates across the Mornington Peninsula, offering free delivery of their fresh weekly arrangements. Also providing commercial services to businesses, particularly real estate agencies who can offer flowers to clients and gifts upon sale or listing of their property, local weddings, and regular workshops run from the home studio. Popular pre-Christmas classes include wreath making from locally cut vines, decorated with living succulents and air plants, as well as a centre piece arrangement perfect for your Christmas table or as a gift to family and friends.