Lana AN ex-PA herself founded Floom in 2016, we love working with PA founded companies and are always interested in finding out more about them and the success story behind them, so we got a few words from the Founder herself on Floom’s history and how it became the company it is today.
How did the idea for Floom come about, and what’s your background?
I was inspired to set Floom up after having spent so many wasted hours looking for florists when I sent flowers in the past (both personally, and professionally as a PA), and was also frustrated that most of the great ones were still unknown to most. I wanted to build something that simplified this discovery and purchasing process, but without just building another online floristry website. I knew it needed to be built around these independents and their skills, which is where the value in the product really comes to life.
I came from a career in digital content production in house at Burberry, and later for some award-winning agencies. The jump to Floom from that was quite natural in that regard, as I applied what I’d learned in those roles to my lifelong love of flowers, twinned with frustration that the floral industry didn’t really have a beautifully curated, easy to use service that brought together all the amazing florists operating under the radar of most people.
I was born in Paris, France in the late 80s. I never went to university and actually started working at age 16, which, when I was working in the intensely competitive creative industries in London during my early twenties, I didn’t see as giving me an edge. Instead, I used to always dread the question: ‘So where did you go?’. Looking back now though, perhaps it has something which has shaped both me as a person and my business in a positive way.
Tell us about the early days at Floom
I’ve been blessed with relatively smooth sailing to date – everyone who I needed to ‘get’ it has done – from open-minded investors to the great team I now have working with me. That said, there’s always going to be things that go wrong, with team members, orders, the website, the flowers… I would say that overcoming these issues are set by having risk strategies in place: for instance with regards to funding, I knew my idea inside out but I also spent months perfecting a viable business plan/model that gave both my investors and I the confidence to take things forward, and how to make minor changes when needed.
When Floom got its first sale, all the months of planning, progress, at times anguish, and fatigue, were completely worth it. Even now, it still probably just about ranks as my proudest moment since starting the business.
Lastly, what three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Depending on the level of your ambition, I would say that a great idea is nothing without a really impressive business plan/model, even if that plan changes in the future, nothing will help you strengthen your vision than that document. Luckily, if you’ve come up with the idea then you’ve achieved that rarest of things. Thought don’t be afraid to tell people about it, that is the best thing you can do for the idea to grow in the right direction.