FLOWERBX is an online flower delivery service that sources the freshest flowers, direct from the growers, and delivers them to your home or office.

Because of our unique way of buying flowers on demand, we offer extraordinary freshness and value.

How did it all begin?

After working for TOM FORD for 19 years and feeling frustrated with the cost and inconsistency of the flowers I was buying and sending, I wanted to create a branded floral offering. Also, as a working Mom, I buy everything online. My weekly groceries are from Ocado, my clothes from Net-a-Porter or Matches.com and everything else from Amazon. Flowers were the one thing I couldn’t buy, in a simple, chic way, online.

What sets your business apart?

We are the first international flower brand. We serve 21 countries across Europe and New York with the same quality, consistency and value.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

We offer a chic, simple and consistent way to send flowers or to live one’s own life with flowers.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

We will continue our international expansion across the US in 2020.

Whitney Hawkings

Founder of

FLOWERBX

What do you feel passionate about/what
drives you?

The enormous potential and opportunity to disrupt an age-old industry is what drives me and excites me.

Share an example of early life that has
shaped you?

As a young girl, I saw my Mom start a successful catering company that became one of the biggest in Dallas and also saw my Dad leave his uncle’s firm to start his own law firm. I was excited at an early age by this concept of creating one’s own destiny and am thrilled by the opportunity to create my own professional destiny.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

I am so lucky that my entire career has been a highlight, but one of the most pivotal points was getting hired, straight out of school, by Tom Ford. Ironically, I think the second highlight was making the extremely difficult decision to leave my dream job as SVP of Communications for TOM FORD for the unknown and launch FLOWERBX.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

I couldn’t have learned from a better teacher than Tom Ford how to build a successful, recognisable and powerful brand – but this was just one of the many lessons I learned during my time working for Tom. He taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance, but also about the art of creating desire, and I have applied all of these learnings to FLOWERBX.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Never hire anyone you don’t want to have dinner with.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Seek support from other women. There are no better champions than other women who are going through a similar journey and my female entrepreneur friends have provided unending support to me along this journey.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

We have had a few fundraising rounds, raising a total of £7.5m over the past 4 years. We have raised money to grow quickly, as I think that the beauty of our brand lies in its global reach as well as being an international solution for B2C and B2B clients as well.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

If anyone had reminded me about the perishability of flowers before I started FLOWERBX, I might have thought twice! Aside from the inherent problems that come from working with perishable goods and cold-chain logistics, tech has been an ongoing challenge that we are hopefully on the brink of overcoming with bringing some development capabilities in-house.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

I have received immeasurable support from some of my early female investors who (fortuitously) include Natalie Massenet, Carmen Busquets and many other strong and successful women. It is only right that I pay some of this kindness and support forward.

60

Seconds

with

Whitney Hawkings

My inspiration is...

My family.

My greatest fear is...

Anything bad happening to my children.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Leave my career at TOM FORD after almost 20 years.

Guilty pleasure?

Red wine.

Mantra you live by?

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Female role model?

Nancy Pelosi.

Women-led brand you love?

Ruuby.

Top productivity tool?

Slack, Evernote and Headspace.

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