I would like to introduce all of you to my friend Tammy Myers, creator of the online ordering service LORA Bloom.
Tammy entered the world of floristry back in 2015 with her floral business – First & Bloom. As she entered our beautiful, intense, crazy and exciting flower filled world she came to realize the flowers that spoke to her most are the ones locally grown – made even clearer with shopping the floor at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. Her desire to offer locally grown flowers to even more recipients of flower arrangements was sparked and she dreamed up the idea of an online company where people can order arrangements from florists who would design with locally grown flowers.
I’ve asked Tammy to share more about LORA blooms here –
Tammy, can you tell us What Lora Blooms Is?
In technical terms, LORA Bloom is a direct-to-consumer online floral marketplace. LORA stands for LOcal floRA. On LORA, a consumer can order flowers for local delivery from a trusted and verified florist on an easy and convenient website. Additionally, LORA Bloom is a growing network of quality florists who specialize in providing locally sourced flowers and always guarantee floral foam free designs. Ordering flowers online can be confusing and misleading with the myriad of wire services and order taking sites flooding search engines. LORA Bloom offers floral consumers peace of mind and quality customer-focused service every time.
How did you dream up the idea of Lora Bloom?
In my first floral business, First & Bloom, I realized how much I loved daily celebrations. Daily delivery really became a passion for me. As many retail florists have experienced, I often knew the reason flowers were being sent. The stories I heard completely captured my heart. Some days I was laughing while taking an order from perfect strangers and other days tears streamed down my face. The stories were quite humbling and always reminded me how precious life was. I felt honored for customers to entrust me to share such a personal message in the form of flowers to someone so important to them.
One day after years of being a florist, I met with a woman who was an office manager of a local company who frequently delivered flowers to employees for various life occasions, like new babies, promotions, and work anniversaries. I really wanted to be her exclusive, go-to florist but her employees resided all over the Puget Sound area. There was no way I could cover a territory like that. At the time, I had no real solutions for her and we parted ways. For months, this scenario festered in my mind. I have never been one to turn away business. If only there was a centralized location to take orders and source the work out to florists within my trusted circle. I tried organizing a small florist network, but it was the busy summer wedding season and couldn’t focus on the idea. Then in the fall of 2018, I really started to reflect on the trajectory of my business. After many conversations with mentors and experts in ecommerce and floristry, I decided to take a gamble and launch a new brand called LORA Bloom.
What areas does Lora Bloom currently cover?
LORA Bloom is currently available in the Greater Seattle area with eleven partner florists selling floral products throughout the year. We deliver to over 100 zip codes and more than 30 cities.
Do you plan to expand into other cities/states/countries?
Yes, absolutely. Though Coronavirus has slowed expansion in 2020, it’s also been an opportunity to strengthen the functionality and accuracy of the current site. I’m still testing a few key components, but plan to expand into larger cities on the west coast in 2021.
How can interested floral designers get involved and become a member of Lora Bloom?
I absolutely welcome conversations with interested florists across the country. LORA’s only requirements for selling online are that any floral products be at least 80% domestically sourced and always floral foam free. (This doesn’t necessarily mean the florist must adhere to these guidelines within their own business, just the products sold on LORA.) Florists can reach out to me directly at email@example.com or get more information at lorabloom.com.
Anything else our flirty fleurs readers should know about Lora Bloom and how can they contact you?
I think it’s important for interested florists to consider if LORA Bloom is a good fit for their business model too. Ecommerce is a fast-paced environment. LORA Bloom is still small, but retail floristry is different from weddings. It’s a fast transaction. An order for delivery can literally happen within a five minute conversation over the phone. Online can be even faster. In a time when there’s such uncertainty with big events and weddings, retail floral can be a way to sustain business and fill in the gaps. Ecommerce can be a full time job. LORA Bloom can be a solution to juggling all the different types of floral business a florist takes on. Essentially, LORA can do some of the legwork for retail business, which enables a small business owner to maximize opportunity.