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Philadelphia's New Florist Business

Our goal at Fresh-o-Fair is to facilitate direct communication between florists and flower farms. The supply chain often feels cluttered with too many voices in this centuries-old floriculture industry. Producers don't know for sure what end customers want, and florists don't know about the selection flower farms have to offer. That's why we like connecting with local florists worldwide and learning more about their business and their challenges.

This time, we sat down with business owners Selena Beluaj and Sara Resuli to learn more about their floral business, Floral and Heart, their thoughts on the industry, and what they see in its future.

The Business at Floral and Heart

Just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will find Floral and Heart, a local florist establishment run by childhood friends Selena and Sara, two former pharmaceutical representatives.

Selena started her floral business right at the tail-end of the global COVID-19 pandemic after being inspired by her sister's wedding. The colorful floral arrangements inspired her to leave corporate life and venture into a more creative and uplifting field. Sara joined her efforts soon after, and together the duo has served residents in their locality for the past years.

At Floral and Heart, the business model is collaborative. Both Selena and Sara like to get their clients involved, designing with them or offering an array of floral designs for them to choose from. They also have clients with specific requests, who even bring images of their ideal floral arrangement they would like replicated.

Working with Fresh-o-Fair has been particularly helpful for Floral and Heart. The online concierge service makes it significantly easier to fulfill different floral demands by removing the hassle of contacting multiple wholesale suppliers. Fresh-o-Fair handles all the logistics so florists can order everything they need from one place.

Currently, their most popular arrangements are for weddings. But they also create floral bouquets for any occasion and arrangements for various events such as birthdays, baby showers, and gender reveals.

Importance of Floral Customization

Selena and Sara agree that nowadays, there is a clear demand for customization in floral arrangements. Clients don't want more of the same and are intrigued by new bloom selections. The duo added that the tinted blue roses they procured through Fresh-o-Fair were a hit with their customers. Not only did they receive many orders, but the blooms were also easy to use and had an impressive shelf life

The painted and tinted blooms have proven to be a good bloom selection to have in-store, and both believe their demand for specific colors will remain strong. This demand is also why Floral and Heart offers a custom orders service, where clients can be even more specific about the color theme they want for their arrangements and any unique flowers or varieties to include.

Challenges in the Flower Industry

As a relatively new business set up right after the global pandemic, Floral and Heart did not have to deal with the changes in regulations and supply disruptions that older businesses had to face. However, they do feel there is a communication gap.

It is understood in the flower industry that florists have the best insight into customer demands, given the direct contact. So the communication chain generally goes from florists to wholesalers to floral farms, where popular blooms get the most attention.

However, this one-way communication has its pitfalls. Often, the latest offerings from floral farms, such as new blooms or new floral techniques, stay under the radar, as the focus is on meeting the customer demand for popular varieties.

Selena and Sara were amazed to learn that Fresh-o-Fair works with flower farms such as Jet Fresh Growers, a producer constantly innovating and creating amazing new customizable products like florals with stamped logos and custom designs. Both agreed there is a market for this, as clients always look for more customizable options.

The Future for Floral and Heart

Selena and Sara have big plans for their flower business. Having recently launched their website, they hope to expand the company’s clientele. The demand for floral arrangements in the US always spikes near the holidays, as they witnessed on Valentine's Day. However, their orders were limited to their locality, and both want to see Floral and Heart become part of the nationwide demand.

Furthermore, they hope to change people's perceptions of flowers and see them as more than just a gift for a special occasion. As Selena pointed out, flowers are a luxury, but they should be one that everyone can indulge in.

Flowers are inspiring and feel-good entities that can beautify a space. While it is true florals have become more expensive in recent years, Sara believes they still need to be accessible. The two hope flowers can once again be a staple people feel comfortable buying weekly to brighten their homes.

Fresh-o-Fair is always happy to have such valued customers. Their ambitions inspire us to work harder and continue to connect florists with flower farms. With our dedication to sustainability and traceability in flower production, we believe we can help florists find what they need in an environmentally friendly, socially conscious way for the freshest, most beautiful flowers.