How this company saved thousands of flowers during the pandemic

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Following is a transcipt of the video.

Lauren Anderson: When people ask, like, “How are things going? How’s the business, how are you?” Like, you know, your first thing is to be like,

Rachel Bridgwood: “Fine!”

Lauren Anderson: But then we’re like, no.

Rachel: We’re bad.

Lauren: Bad. Things are bad.

Narrator: Lauren and Rachel run the flower design company Sweet Root Village in Alexandria, Virginia. At the beginning of 2020, they were expecting their most successful year yet.

Lauren: It was our 10-year anniversary in business. We were at our highest booking level we had ever been for events. And literally within a week, it was gone.

Narrator: Then COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders canceled weddings across the country and crippled the wedding industry. Lauren and Rachel lost 80% of their business and had to furlough their staff, including themselves.

Lauren: We’re like, congratulations to us. We made it 10 years…unemployment.

Rachel: We’re unemployed from our own business.

Lauren: File for unemployment. This is our warehouse/studio workspace that we produce all of the flowers for weddings and events out of.

Narrator: In a typical year, they work upwards of 100 events.

Lauren: Some weekends we’re employing, like, up to 100 people. We pull in big teams of people to work two, three, four, five events on any given Saturday.

Narrator: But when COVID-19 was named a pandemic, their weekly event count dropped to zero.

Lauren: Literally within the span of two days, mid-March, I think, all of our events canceled. We just had a cooler full of flowers. We could not stop the shipments. I think once we started seeing our fall events dropping off the calendar, we had to have a really intense week or two of self-reflection and looking at the numbers. And we realized, like, OK, even if this is gonna be really hard and this could take us years to dig out of this, we couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else. This is worth fighting for. And knowing that we are supporting several families and livelihoods and salaries, we just had to put one foot in front of the other.

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Rachel: What are some new ways we can come up with interesting revenue that still maybe feels like us?

Narrator: Remember that load of flowers they were stuck with? The pair decided to run a drive-through flower sale.

Lauren: We just set it up as a drive-through, and we blasted it all over social media and had an amazing turnout. People drove up, and they popped their trunks. We came with gloves and everything and put the flowers in their trunk. We had a goal, I think, to – we were like, “Well, let’s see. If we sell this many arrangements, maybe we make, like, $1,500 and donate that.” I think, over two days, how much did we raise?

Rachel: Around $13,000.

Lauren: $13,000!

Rachel: Which was amazing.

Narrator: But Lauren and Rachel still had months of canceled events and a business to keep afloat. So next, they relaunched their online à la carte shop.

Lauren: Over here, I’m finishing up a centerpiece from our Simply Sweet …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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