Browsing Tag

flowers

Flower Guide

My Startup Secret Weapon: My Parents

January 6, 2017
My Startup Secret Weapon: My Parents

Starting a business is hard. No one will deny that, but I have a secret weapon: My parents.

My Startup Secret Weapon: My Parents

My Parents

My parents are wonderfully kind, incredibly supportive people. They don’t care about growth. They don’t care about cash flow. My parents just want to see me smile.

I have had a fairly unconventional career. I moved away from home at 17. I quit my first job after 2 months. I left consulting to take a chance on some startup. Spent a few months living in Colombia in a city made famous by Pablo Escobar. Finally, I spent 3 years at Google and left to start a flower business. With each decision I followed my gut and did what I thought was right, and with each decision they remained patient, thoughtful and supportive.

From New York to Singapore

I grew up in New York. I am an only child. My first job moved me to Chicago. It wasn’t so far. They would always call. I would always call. Every few months we would visit each other.

I remember the first time they visited. Even without saying anything, I could sense how much they missed me. How they missed having me home. Instead of convincing me to head back to New York, we just hugged and talked. They were content just knowing that I was happy.

Then I moved to San Francisco. It wasn’t too much further. It was a similar story when they visited me. I remember laughing at lunch, sightseeing in Napa, and having fun with each new experience. Of course they wanted me home, but all they said was ‘I love you, Steven’.

Then I moved to Singapore. I don’t think my parents knew where Singapore was. My parents’ only son now lives on the other side of the world, in a country that they have never dreamed of visiting.

I know it’s hard on them. It’s honestly hard on me too.

Startup Dreams vs Family

So now I live far away doing something that I love to do. They can see my passion. They know my dreams. I want to disrupt the flower industry, but they just want me to marry a nice, Jewish girl. Oh, well.

Every single step I take, I take because they have paved the way. Every single time I feel down, I muster enough strength to get back up because of what they have taught me. Every single time I need someone to lean on, they are there.

There is really only one thing left to say: Thank you. I love you Mom and Dad. You are truly amazing and wonderful parents.

If you are reading this, please just go home and tell your mom and dad you love them.

My Startup Secret Weapon: My Parents

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

Flower Guide

5 Ways To Make Sure Your Flowers Are Fresh

January 4, 2017
roses-1344338_1920-2

As much as we would love to prolong the magical beauty of freshly cut flowers to possibly forever, it’s unfortunately not an option. However, there are a few ways you can make sure your flowers stay fresh longer than average. These are our pro tips on how to keep those beauties as fresh as a daisy. Pun intended.

Location, Location, Location

Prevent your mood from withering down as the flowers wither down by placing your flowers in the right place. Not in the place that looks aesthetically the most beautiful to you, or according to feng shui, but in a place that’s going to suit flowers and aid their perseverance. Thus, avoid placing your fresh flowers in direct sunlight, or in a drafty place. Even fans are not welcome near freshly cut flowers. Sorry.

Fruits and Flowers Don’t Mix

Although in theory it seems like a creative and genuine idea, keeping fresh flowers next to fruits is a big no-no. It’s just like two siblings who obviously love each other, but constantly seem to pick a fight. Flowers and fruits don’t mix. Why? Simply put, fruits can emit gas that can cause flowers to wither more quickly. Try to keep them as far away from each other as possible.

Fresh Flowers in A Vase? You Need to Cut It.

It’s important to trim the stems of your flowers before putting them in water. A great tip is to trim the stems at an angle, so that the surface for soaking up water through the stem is bigger and enables flowers to soak up more moisture.

Satisfy Their Cravings

Flowers, just as us, need food. Even those that have been cut and prepared to to be stored in a vase. But, before you get tempted to share your burger, go to your local florist and get a packet (if you haven’t already) that usually comes with flower bouquets. This packet actually contains nutrients for the flowers, as well as certain chemicals that kill the bacteria, which cause flowers to wither prematurely.

Technology is Bad for Them

Keeping your flowers as fresh as possible, can only be possible if you store them away from electronics and appliances. The heat and radiation these object usually emit can have a bad effect on flowers, and make them wilt faster.

Next time you get a flower delivery in Singapore or anywhere around the world, think of these tips. They are life saviours!

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

Flower Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Christmas Tree This Festive Season

December 22, 2016
christmas-trees-1823943_1920

Christmas is all about family and love. But if there’s one thing that can make your Christmas special this year is a real Christmas tree. But how do you find the perfect one? We’ve created a short and concise guide that will lead you to find your dream Christmas tree.

Buy Local

Think about where the trees are grown. Although it’s real, a lot of the trees are imported from foreign countries such as the UK. Make sure to buy your tree from the locals, and you’ll not only support your community but significantly influence the reduction of carbon footprints on the environment. Go green!

Take Measurements

Although it seems irrelevant, measurements are quite important. When you go to a tree farm, it’s very difficult to determine whether your perfect tree will fit your room. Sometimes it’s too big or too small. So before you leave your home to go on a tree hunt, take measurements so you know which tree is actually perfect for you.

Check for Fallout

Pine needles fall off, and that’s inevitable, but when you’re choosing your Christmas tree, you need to go for the one that’s cut most recently. Make sure to ask when it was cut, and test it by giving it a firm tap on the ground. If there’s too much fallout, it is highly likely that it’s not actually that fresh and you should keep on looking. 

You can also gently stroke the tree branch and if the needles are flexible and don’t fall out, it’s a recently cut tree.

Which Type? 

There are many different variations to a Christmas tree, but you don’t have to go through an encyclopaedia to find out which one is the best. It all comes down to personal preference and look anyways, but you can choose from the traditional kind or the non-drop variety, which in essence means, there’s more needle retention. 

If you’re looking for trees with good needle retention go for a Scotch Pine or white pine. Noble fir is one of the most common Christmas tree and one that performs the best in Singapore’s climate, so if you’re in Singapore, A Better Florist suggests you go for the Noble Fir. 

It all comes down to choosing the tree that suits your needs. But, if there’s one thing we all can agree on, is that there are no bad Christmas tree, only different ones. May the hunt for the perfect tree begin!

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

Flower Guide

An ex-Googler is on a mission to deliver flowers and smiles in Singapore

December 8, 2016
woman-with-flowers

 

A Better Florist founder Steve Feiner is a pretty convincing salesman. He fixes his intense gaze on you and gesticulates wildly as he describes why you should take his business seriously. Then, as you get it, he beams a wide, satisfied smile. It’s the same reaction he wants to inspire in his customers with his service. “Smiles guaranteed,” the website claims.

A Better Florist as a company name probably needs little explanation. The Singapore-based startup aims to provide just that: a better flower delivery service. You go on the site, pick a flower arrangement (there are currently four different ones available), choose a time and place for delivery, and add a quick note. The startup will deliver the bouquet and throw in a hand-written card for a personal touch. It will also confirm delivery with a personalized photo on the spot (its Instagram account is a good indication of what it tries to do).

Better than the competition

“Florists suck,” Steve tells me. “And they suck for a number of reasons.”

He says too many middlemen in the process drive the prices up and bring profit margins down. Also, flowers are usually already 10 to 16 days old before they get to customers’ hands. And finally, the overall experience is lacking. “These are primarily family-run businesses who haven’t really evolved since the advent of the telephone,” he adds.

That leads to experiences like a particularly unpleasant one involving an ex-girlfriend. “Two and a half years ago, it was her birthday, and I wanted to get her flowers,” Steve recalls. It was a floral disaster. “The flowers arrived a day after her birthday, they died shortly after, she was not happy. It was scarring to say the least.”

a-better-florist-screenshot-01

That was one of the contributing factors that spurred him on to found his company. “Giving flowers should be about sharing an emotion,” Steve says. So A Better Florist is trying to fix what’s wrong with flower delivery. The startup ships directly from flower farms in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, and its flowers are only two days old, instead of 10. It also cuts out all the middlemen, so it can keep its prices about 20 percent lower than the competition.

“We fix the experience,” Steve says. “[We have] a mobile site that works, friendly customer service, order tracking.” One could argue these are the basics a business must take care of, but apparently there are those who ignore them – at their peril, he thinks. Pleasing the customer is his top goal at the moment, he tells me. His email address is front and center on the company’s website, and he does a lot of the deliveries personally, of course with a smile.

From SF to SG via Google

Steve first tried running his own startup back in college in the US, a kind of classifieds platform for local communities. Despite winning some competitions, nothing really came out of it. He went into consulting for another startup, and eventually joined Google in San Francisco to do ecommerce sales and business strategy. It was the big G that brought him to Singapore.

Once in Southeast Asia, the entrepreneurship dengue bit him again. He discovered that flowers were a particularly attractive space in ecommerce. He conducted customer and industry interviews and did some research to find out more.

The global flower market, he learned, is worth US$60 billion. In the greater region, excluding Southeast Asia, it’s worth about US$7 billion. In Southeast Asia itself, that’s US$2.5 billion. “I’d say it’s [a market] ripe for disruption,” explains Steve.

So with all this in mind, Steve returned from his sabbatical to Google, only to resign and go off to found A Better Florist. “I enjoyed Google, it’s a wonderful place to work,” he says. “But I wanted to take a risk. The regret of not doing this would be insurmountable [for me].”

The thrill of trying out his idea was also the reason he stayed in Singapore. “Singapore’s been amazing to me,” he says. “If you want to do something transformational in this world, it’s here. The world is evolving here far faster than it is anywhere else. It’s got a long way to go, it’s still the Wild Wild West, but it’s cool to be in the Wild Wild West,” he laughs.

Data-driven smiles

A Better Florist currently has a team of four, with a fifth recruit coming on board. Steve says he’s fortunate in having a team behind him that knows exactly what the company needs, even if he’s not always sure how to go about it. “It’s been amazing to be able to just trust my team,” he says.

a-better-florist-screenshot-02

It’s still early days for the company, and no doubt it will need to think seriously about issues like logistics and capacity when it scales up and demand rises. “There’s going to be stuff that changes when 10 or 50 thousand people get on,” Steve says. “When you get on that level, you’re able to make more informed and optimized decisions. Right now we’re trying to bridge the gap [to that point].”

The startup makes sure to use data to inform its decisions, something that helps set it apart from competition. “We’ve done tons of customer interviews, tons of user experience testing,” Steve says. Even an initiative such as distributing advertising flyers for the service provides the company with information that allows it to optimize its offering.

The company is currently self-funded, with just a little external investment so far. Steve says the company’s goal at the moment is to grow 10 percent week-on-week, every week. The startup hopes to have perfected its product in Singapore by the end of the year, and it will also look toward expanding to Kuala Lumpur.

But whatever happens, Steve is sticking to his key mantra: “We want to make our users happy, we won’t sacrifice that,” he says. “At the end of the day, I choose to take action. I’m not searching for my next meal tonight, I have the opportunity to do this, and I feel fortunate for it. I’m not gonna waste that. I might as well take my chance,” he adds, flashing his winning smile.

This article was first published in Techinasia.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

Flower Guide

Simple Ways to Express Your Love

August 14, 2016
love-heart-makeup-beauty

 

Love is such a puzzling thing. We feel it, we’re crazy about having it in our lives in any form or shape, but once we actually have it, we’re not quite sure how we should express it. Everyone can say I love you, but we’ve learned so far that not every ‘I love you’ means love. I can say that I am a lion, but that won’t change the fact that I am a human. So, how do we go beyond words and show what’s truly in our hearts?

We’re all for actions. It does sound cliché, but action speaks louder than words. Here are a few acts of love that you can include into your life routine, to make sure you spread the love.

  • Surprise Notes

Someone might say that notes aren’t that big of a deal, but have you ever shrugged your shoulders to a sticky note on the fridge left by your significant other, wishing you a great day? Didn’t think so.

  • Make Time For Them

How many times have you heard someone say, ‘No, I’m too busy for coffee now, but we’ll meet up?’ And then you actually never do. You definitely won’t hear these words from someone who really loves you, at least, not on the regular. Show someone you love them, by squeezing in ’together time’ in between your busy daily schedule.

  • Small Acts of Kindness

It can be something as easy as taking out the trash, doing the dishes or preparing their work clothes for the next day, if you see they don’t have time. It doesn’t have to involve any kind of spending on expensive or even cheap flowers and romantic gifts. It’s exactly these kinds of small acts like this that show them you really think and care about them.

  • Have Their Back

Love isn’t just for the better, it’s also for the worse. So show your love when hard times hit, and have their back. Show support even when they do something wrong. Support is the equivalent of unconditional love. Be there for your loved ones when they are not in their best mood or life situation. Don’t judge them, and you’ll show them your love is great and true.

  • Open Your Ears

Most people think they are showing love when they are giving their advice, but actually, you want to show that you’re all ears for what they have to say. Sometimes simply listening to them and paying attention to their words and feelings. Listening, and not just hearing is a priceless sign of affection.

Bearing your heart and soul to someone may seem like a tricky and overwhelming task, but you can see above that it’s really not rocket science. Start showing your love today.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

 

 

Flower Guide

Everything You Need in an Amazing Get-Well Package

February 19, 2016
gift-1099751_1920

Written by: Snezana Krdzic

There’s no better way to brighten someone’s day and wish them a quick and easy recovery than with a get well package. They’re fun to make, especially if you’re customizing it for a special person. There’s no denying that a creative package has almost a magical ‘’healing’’ power because it immediately chases the blues away.

If you’re not really the creative type and need a few ideas on how to create your own get well package, keep on reading, because we have a couple of ideas for you that will definitely put a smile on someone’s face today.

soup-918422_1920

  • Homemade Soup

If you really want to let someone know you’re thinking of their well-being, why not include some food for comfort? Pack some delicious homemade soup that will awaken their taste buds and help them feel like they are home again. Nothing shows love and support like a homemade dish.

still-life-1037378_1920

  • A Book of Jokes

When you’re feeling down, you’re in need of something that will uplift you and make you smile again. Every get-well package should include something that will make the person laugh. therefore, go out and buy a book of jokes. Laughter is priceless!

hygiene-870763_1920

  • Basic Toiletries

In the time of sickness, you always need basic items that will make your recovery days easier. Pack a bunch of toiletries such as a moisturizing hand cream, a lip balm, or even a face mask. This will make them feel pampered and happy.

popcorn-1085072_1920

  • Favorite Movie

Staying healthy and positive is essential, but it’s equally important to stay entertained and optimistic. No package is complete without their go-to movie when they are feeling down. We all have movies that take our mind of all our problems, even if we’ve seen them a thousand times.

bouquet-of-flowers-1149099_1920

  • Flowers and Cards

Don’t forget to include something personal, that will let the person know you put a lot of thought and care into it. Why not write a personal note or a card, and attach a flower to it? Flowers have the power to transform an ordinary package into a colorful and vibrant one, so why not use that power to bring life to your gift.

coupon-421600_1920

  • Inspiration

Now you must be thinking, how do I gift inspiration to someone? That’s easy! Gift something that will remind them that life is beautiful and they have something to hope for. Make them feel eager to get healthy as soon as possible. For someone, this might be a gift card for Sephora. For others, it might be a voucher for a dance class.

Last but not the least, make sure to package it like a pro. Ribbons, bows, decorative paper, you name it. The content of the package is important, but the look as well. And whatever it is you decide to stuff your package with, remember. You want to show love and support, and if you get a few laughs here and there, you’ve done a pretty good job!