Vancouver entrepreneur Trevor Patterson got a big boost last week when the Globe and Mail ran a feature on his new ecommerce startup that sells, of all things, fresh bouquets of roses sourced straight from South America.
We loved the entrepreneur’s story so much that we decided to chat with him ourselves. So how does a former employee of well-known tech startups like Elastic Path Software, get into selling flowers online?
“In a very roundabout way as a matter of fact,” he laughed. “I come from a technology background and I spent about five years working in software sales. I had a lot of exposure to various types of technology that have proven to be helpful once it came time to start my business.”
That answer didn’t exactly satisfy us. C’mon Trevor: tell us why you really got into flower sales. “I spent three years living in London and for various reasons, mostly sending them to my ex, I found that I was often congratulating an anniversary or a birthday (and of course apologizing too), and with a tech background I just sort of felt this disconnect ordering flowers.”
He was spending about $100 dollars on a bouquet of flowers, “trying to honour an occasion that I felt was important,” yet it felt odd that he couldn’t see what he was sending, “or kind of feeling a closer connection to the gift that I was purchasing.”
Landeau Flowers is an online store where people can select from a list (but not a massive list) of large imagery bouquets of roses and send them off with a message to a loved one. In fact, they only have three selections right now: Rose, Pont Des Arts and Luxem, and a bouquet isn’t cheap: it costs $95.
What differentiates Patterson’s shop from the larger international websites, like FTD, is the product’s design. “Studying fashion at school, we looked at luxury brands and it just sort of struck me how beautifully some things were packaged, and not just from an artistic standpoint. More and more those types of things are mattering to customers,” he told BetaKit. On Landeau’s site Petterson wrote that “London designers are renowned for putting innovative twists on the classics. Paris is simply the best at luxury packaging. Landeau’s clean aesthetic pays homage to Stockholm whilst pops of colour evoke Barcelona’s vibrance.”
To back those claims up, all Landeau bouquets include 22-25 fresh cut, hand tied roses wrapped in high quality tissue; two packages of “flower food”; the signature Landeau box and lid; and a handwritten greeting written on high quality, branded stationary with envelope.
Sites like FTD offer bouquets of flowers, not necessarily only roses like Landeau, for as low as $29.99 US. But Patterson’s startup is much different, he said.
“In terms of the actual service I provide though, and the size of my business, we couldn’t be farther apart,” he said. “I feel we offer a very curated selection of bouquets versus a lot of my competitors. You go to a website and there’s literally hundreds of images. It’s very overwhelming for any consumer, but especially the typical male consumer, because they often don’t have the knowledge of flowers.”
The startup soft-launched for Mother’s Day and fully launched three weeks ago. Since then, said the founder, “We’ve had a lot of interest from all over Canada. It has been very encouraging to watch it grow over the past few weeks.”