LONDON — Whitney Bromberg Hawkings never wanted to be a florist.
“I still don’t dream of being a florist,” said the 44-year-old former communications director at Tom Ford. Yet there she was, sitting behind a big bunch of yellow parrot tulips at the headquarters of Flowerbx, her company in north London.
Flowerbx, now four years old, has become the go-to florist in Europe for the fashion set — a consumer base that is as picky as it is needy when it comes to blooms. Louis Vuitton is Flowerbx’s biggest customer. (The sumptuous vegetal garlands for a V.I.P. client dinner last fall in the Orangerie at Versailles were Flowerbx work.) Another regular client is Dior. Ditto the Birley Group, owner of the clubs Annabel’s and Harry’s Bar.
The River Café. Jimmy Choo. Tory Burch (in London and Paris). The Cheval Blanc hotel in Courchevel, France. Farfetch and the retailer Browns. Victoria and David Beckham have vase arrangements delivered weekly to their home and to the VB design studio.
For Paris Fashion Week, Ms. Hawkings has been booked to decorate the Balmain post-show party and the Sonia Rykiel showroom. She is readying a small shop next to the Chiltern Firehouse hotel in London that she hopes to open in April. And in May, she plans to expand to New York. Her ambition: for Flowerbx to become the first international flower brand.
Ms. Hawkings grew up in Dallas. Her mother was a chef and her father was a lawyer; neither was a gardener, so flowers didn’t have a regular presence in their home. At 23, freshly graduated from Columbia University with a degree in French literature, Ms. Hawkings landed a job in Paris as Mr. Ford’s personal assistant at Gucci, where he was creative director at the time. She quickly learned that flowers were vital to fashion: part of the “language,” she said.
“With Tom, there was such a clear directive,” she said. “He would get so mad if he said, ‘I want to send white peonies,’ and they were yellow. I realized that there was this level of interpretation that florists have which I didn’t like.”
She also realized that when Mr. Ford received flowers from fashion people, the bouquets were often a single variety, reflecting the sender’s taste. “Riccardo Tisci would send white roses,” she said. “Miuccia Prada would send pink roses. Karl Lagerfeld would send white orchids. Or I’d go to a chic house, like Tom’s, and there would be beautiful green hydrangeas in a vase, and that was it.”
“I thought: ‘How come the fashion world does this, and the rest of the world hasn’t caught on? Why does everyone else have old-fashioned mixed arrangements that are so Dorchester hotel?’ It didn’t seem modern to me.”
In May 2015, she began to think about what would happen if she treated flowers like a fashion brand. With varieties chosen by a creative department and a sharp logo (designed by her husband, Peter Hawkings, the senior vice president for Tom Ford men’s wear). She could democratize flowers and turn a mossy business into something hip and cool, and more affordable.
“Usually, flowers go to a wholesale market like Covent Garden, where they sit for three or four days, then to a florist, where they sit a few more days,” Ms. Hawkings said. At each step, the price increases. Not so with Flowerbx.
“You order the flowers, we cut them on your behalf in Holland,” she said. “They are delivered directly to you, within 24 hours. You buy the flowers before we buy them, so it’s a negative capital business. We offer fresher flowers at a better value. And we have no waste.”
At first, she wanted to call the company Flowerbox because that is how the blooms would be packaged when they arrived at a customer’s door. But she couldn’t get rights to the web domain worldwide. “Then I said, ‘What if we just lose the ‘o’ in box? Like Spanx?’”
She wrote a business plan, found a small warehouse — “a bike shed, really” — in the industrial neighborhood of North Acton, with easy access to central London. She leased a van, put up a website and financed the entire enterprise herself.
In May 2016, she told Mr. Ford she was leaving after 19 years. “He cried, and I cried, and it was like the hardest breakup,” Ms. Hawkings recalled. But he became one of her early, and biggest, clients.
“I let her do seasonal, big and tall — often branches, or pale Cymbidium orchids, since she knows my flower tastes,” Mr. Ford said. He also gives Flowerbx annual subscriptions to friends and colleagues. “And everyone says the flowers are always beautiful,” he said. “Whitney spent so many years battling with florists to get orders right for me. She knows.”
She introduced the company that September by sending bouquets to 20 friends, like Alexandra Shulman, who then was editor of British Vogue; Elizabeth Saltzman, a Vanity Fair contributing editor; and Graham Norton, the British television talk show host.
Some posted images of their Flowerbx bouquets on Instagram; Mr. Norton posted on Twitter about his delivery and the Flowerbx website had 150,000 hits the same day. Two weeks later, Ms. Saltzman called Ms. Hawkings and told her, “Michael Kors wants you to do the whole River Café in peonies.”
“I was like, ‘Holy cow, I can meet my annual target with this one event!’” Ms. Hawkings said.
Within six months, business soared. She needed another van. She needed more staff members. She couldn’t run the business and answer all the customer service calls. She needed money.
She called Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, who now runs a venture capital fund called Imaginary. Ms. Massenet had been one of Flowerbx’s first customers and had told her: “‘The second you need to raise money, let me know,’” Ms. Hawkings said. It was time.
Ms. Massenet not only made a personal investment, she also introduced Ms. Hawkings to Mark Sebba, the former chief executive of Net-a-Porter. He, too, invested — giving the business a solid financial base — and also became Flowerbx’s chairman and Ms. Hawkings’s taskmaster.
“He was like, ‘Your numbers aren’t right.’ ‘The meeting minutes aren’t right.’ He got us on track,” Ms. Hawkings said. “When we raised capital the second time, people said: ‘This is so sophisticated. You look like a business that’s 10 times your size.’” Mr. Sebba died from a heart attack last summer. His role hasn’t been filled, but in December Ms. Hawkings completed a fund-raising effort that pulled in .5 million.
Last year, Flowerbx did .5 million in sales, Ms. Hawkings said. This year, she is aiming to top million. If all goes according to her plan, by 2021, she’ll reach million, and turn a profit. To achieve that, she has to expand her customer base beyond the fashion sphere, a shift that’s already happening.
“A woman called this week,” Ms. Hawkings said during our discussion in late January. “They’re doing this huge thing at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and want us to handle the flowers.” Who were “they?”
Knorr, the soup company.
六盒生肖号码对照表【如】【果】【人】【生】【能】【够】【有】【后】【悔】【药】，【那】【么】，【我】【绝】【对】【会】【用】【自】【己】【的】【一】【切】【换】【来】【一】【颗】。 【我】【坐】【在】【阿】【欢】【床】【边】【一】【天】【一】【夜】，【无】【论】【如】【何】，【都】【无】【法】【接】【受】【阿】【欢】【已】【经】【死】【去】【的】【事】【实】。 【步】【平】【告】【诉】【我】【阿】【欢】【死】【了】，【我】【不】【信】，【我】【觉】【得】【他】【在】【骗】【我】，【我】【想】【要】【弄】【死】【他】！ 【阿】【欢】【怎】【么】【会】【死】【呢】？【我】【明】【明】【都】【已】【经】【弄】【来】【了】【同】【生】【丹】，【未】【来】【会】【和】【她】【同】【生】【共】【死】！【我】【都】【没】【死】，【她】【绝】【对】【不】【会】
“【好】。” 【乔】【鹤】【媛】【四】【下】【看】【了】【看】，【便】【在】【离】**【衍】【三】【步】【远】【的】【椅】【子】【上】【坐】【了】【下】【来】。 “【其】【实】【我】【这】【样】【的】【人】，【平】【日】【里】【又】【出】【不】【了】【门】，【哪】【里】【都】【不】【便】【去】。” **【衍】【自】【嘲】【地】【笑】【了】【笑】【道】：“【素】【日】【里】【一】【个】【人】【在】【屋】【子】【里】【待】【着】，【不】【读】【书】，【又】【能】【做】【什】【么】【呢】？【所】【以】【区】【区】【学】【识】，【不】【足】【挂】【齿】，【今】【日】，【让】【大】【家】【见】【笑】【了】。” “【殿】【下】【过】【谦】【了】。” 【乔】【鹤】【媛】
“【五】【百】【万】！！！” 【哈】【哈】！ 【顾】【小】【宝】【抱】【住】【看】【门】【鹅】【狠】【狠】【亲】【了】【口】，“【我】【终】【于】【是】【个】【百】【万】【富】【婆】【啦】！” 【看】【门】【鹅】【伸】【长】【了】【脖】【子】，【想】【脱】【离】【她】【的】【魔】【抓】。 “【五】【百】【万】【啊】！【五】【百】【万】！【嘿】【嘿】，【除】【了】【买】【机】【器】【外】，【应】【该】【还】【剩】【不】【少】！” 【她】【的】【拖】【拉】【机】，【心】【心】【恋】【恋】【拖】【拉】【机】【啊】！ “【啦】【啦】【啦】【啦】，【啦】【啦】【啦】【啦】……” 【顾】【小】【宝】【就】【坐】【在】【鹅】【窝】【边】【上】，【搜】
【没】【想】【到】【女】【孩】【的】【说】【话】【声】【音】【软】【糯】【清】【甜】，【唱】【起】【歌】【来】【确】【是】【这】【般】【的】【惊】【天】【地】【泣】【鬼】【神】！【但】【是】【他】【却】【觉】【得】【莫】【名】【的】【好】【听】，【明】【月】【一】【从】【小】【一】【直】【在】【灵】【青】【观】【修】【行】【对】【于】【现】【代】【的】【电】【器】【他】【基】【本】【没】【有】【接】【触】。 【这】【还】【他】【是】【头】【一】【次】【听】【到】【这】【样】【的】【曲】【风】，【瞬】【间】【觉】【得】【很】【好】【听】。【灵】【青】【观】【里】【很】【少】【有】【唱】【歌】【的】，【都】【是】【弹】【古】【琴】【的】【居】【多】。 【只】【不】【过】【这】【歌】【的】【歌】【词】【写】【得】【未】【免】【也】【太】【大】【胆】【了】【吧】，六盒生肖号码对照表【众】【人】【放】【下】【手】，【然】【后】【向】【着】【瓦】【巴】【多】【尔】【将】【军】【热】【烈】【的】【鼓】【起】【掌】【来】。 【瓦】【巴】【多】【尔】【将】【军】【满】【足】【的】【笑】【着】，【坐】【了】【下】【来】。 【奥】【巴】【赫】【姆】【环】【视】【了】【场】【内】【的】【众】【人】，【接】【着】【说】【道】：“【好】【了】，【从】【此】【刻】【开】【始】，【诸】【位】【就】【不】【再】【是】【枫】【叶】【丹】【林】【联】【军】【内】【的】【军】【人】【了】，【宪】【兵】【队】【已】【经】【管】【不】【了】【大】【伙】【了】，【我】【想】【大】【家】【一】【定】【都】【是】【松】【了】【口】【气】【吧】？” 【众】【人】【高】【兴】【的】【嗷】【嗷】【叫】【了】【起】【来】，【说】【道】：“【终】
【沈】【家】【别】【墅】【内】 【沈】【澄】【从】【沈】【老】【爷】【子】【房】【间】【出】【来】【后】，【先】【是】【整】【理】【了】【衣】【冠】，【随】【后】【抬】【头】【走】【下】【楼】【梯】。 【楼】【梯】【下】，【沈】【明】【望】【正】【坐】【在】【沙】【发】【上】，【他】【明】【显】【在】【等】【自】【己】。 【眸】【光】【微】【暗】，【但】【沈】【澄】【面】【上】【依】【旧】【扬】【起】【笑】【容】【道】：“【明】【望】，【找】【我】【有】【事】？” 【沈】【明】【望】【起】【身】，【身】【高】【和】【沈】【澄】【不】【相】【上】【下】，【但】【沈】【澄】【给】【人】【总】【是】【亲】【切】【和】【蔼】【的】【感】【觉】，【不】【似】【沈】【明】【望】【给】【人】【的】【感】【觉】【令】【人】【下】