FLOWERBX arose from a shared need for uncomplicated, premium florals. Whitney and her team specialise in stunning seasonal blooms for both special occasions and everyday life. They have also expanded to include a curated range of lifestyle essentials which we are delighted to offer in our hotel boutique. We caught up with Whitney to discuss all things flowers, sustainability and memorable moments...
I started FLOWERBX after working for TOM FORD for two decades with the goal of creating a global luxury flower brand. The same way if one goes to a Prada store (or Corinthia London, for that matter), he or she can expect a consistent level of quality and service, no matter where they are in the world. This had been done with most luxury goods, but no one had done it yet with flowers on a global scale.
We are obsessed with quality and beauty over following the latest trends. Grade A flowers, always seasonal, always tonal, always elegant. That said, we are lucky to work with a lot of the most amazing luxury brands in fashion, art, cinema and hospitality where we are constantly inspired by what is happening in all of those worlds. We draw on those references in our work, from blue roses sourced around the world for Burberry last Fashion Week to a fuschia collection we launched when Barbie-mania was sweeping across the globe. For me, it is always important to stay relevant to current zeitgeist moments and amplify them with flowers.
Sustainability is and has always been at the core of the business. We have an inventory-less business model which means that all our flowers are cut-to-order and eliminates waste (which is traditionally about 60% in the floral industry). We source locally when and where we can and have fully-recyclable packaging - which is not without its challenges when working with water and perishable goods. We have developed fully-compostable flower food sachets and water pads that are industry-leading. We deliver our flowers in a fleet of electric vehicles and, finally, we compost all of our green waste across all territories to minimise our environmental impact in all of the places we can.
We take our responsibility of delivering on people’s most important life milestones very seriously,. Everyone in the team is laser-focused on delivering extraordinary quality and beauty for all of our customers' most important moments - from proposals and marriages, to birthdays and funerals - each of life’s most important moments are traditionally marked with flowers.
We have also been so lucky that, since launching FLOWERBX, we have been able to work on so many incredible projects. One that instantly comes to mind was creating a 30-metre floral chandelier in the Orangerie at the Palace of Versailles for Louis Vuitton. That was a real pinch-me moment to be creating something so memorable in one of the most beautiful, historic buildings of the world. A more recent highlight was working on the Tiffany & Co x FLOWERBX pop-up shop at their flagship store in the US for Valentine’s Day. Creating a brand that can - very humbly! - sit alongside arguably one of the strongest American heritage brands meant so much to me and was a great testament to the strength of the brand we are building. One of my all-time favourite installations was the full floral façade of Annabelle’s in Berkeley Square for the Chelsea Flower Show. It was one of the first FLOWERBX moments that immediately went viral.
It is so important to always stick to the seasons. Like with food, flowers that are seasonal are always optimal, so respecting the seasons is key to both beauty and longevity. I love tonal flowers together, grouped in single stem bunches, and I think it’s impossible to go wrong when one thinks tonal with a pop of bright colour.
Flowers are for an environment what accessories are for an outfit. The same way shoes and sunglasses can transform a little black dress from vixen to prim to retro to classic, flowers can completely transform a room. They are such a powerful tool to convey romanticism, modernity, abundance or minimalism. The flowers and vase that one chooses can send a very powerful message.
I was so sad to leave TOM FORD and fashion after 20 years, but was so surprised and delighted to find that I am working with exactly the same people, the same brands, in the same restaurants and hotels, just with a different medium - flowers instead of frocks. I think the same principles of beauty, quality, hard work and passion apply both to fashion and to florals, and I approach both with the same conviction of creating memorable and beautiful moments.
It was a very obvious evolution for me to extend our range at FLOWERBX first to include vases. I wanted to eschew those awful fishbowl containers that all florists use to deliver flowers (of which I had a dozen that were gathering dust under my sink). I wanted to sell vases that would be a part of the gift and that people would leave on show even when the flowers were long gone, so a few curated vase ranges were the first addition to plants and flowers. I then saw an opportunity to apply the same principles of simplicity and single note florals to develop a range of scented candles and room sprays. Our ancillary products now include floral scissors (handmade in Japan), gardening tools, dinner candles and candle holders, with more luxury flower and gift-related items coming soon.