Melbourne florist Emily Riley first tested her idea for Flox Botanical – a flower delivery service, which teaches you to arrange bouquets yourself – on her partner Mitch Bourke. He liked it so much, he went into business with her.
“I said to him, ‘I’m going to buy you this bunch of flowers – can you put it together how you would like it to look?’ And I reckon he was standing there for about an hour. He became so obsessed with it,” Riley says.
The couple launched Flox in March, packing up boxes of carefully chosen fresh flowers sourced from local growers, and dropping them off around the city.
The flowers come partially trimmed and wrapped in tissue paper, and there are easy-to-follow care instructions printed in the box.
For visual learners, there’s also a beginner-friendly instructional video on the website, or you can DIY.
“I always try and make sure each week is very different from the last,” says Riley. “If I do dark colours [one week], the next week I’ll try and do brighter colours.
“A lot of people really love the surprise. It’s not necessarily something they would have gone out and chosen, but they always end up loving the arrangements.”
Riley chooses the flowers each morning, then she and Bourke pack them by hand and deliver them during the day. Gift giving is encouraged.
You can opt for a small or large box, add a bottle of Jansz Tasmanian sparkling wine, and subscribe for weekly or monthly deliveries with no cancellation fees.
The small box comes with around six flower stems and foliage to arrange, and the large has around twelve.
“When I first launched, I remember it was the beginning of covid [lockdown] and I just cried and cried. But people started sending [each other] so much virtual love,” Riley says. “I’m honestly so blown away.”
The boxes are delivered free within 20 kilometres of Malvern (in Melbourne’s east), the day after you order them. Riley set up the business that way to avoid wastage.
“On the off chance there are leftovers, I’ll take them to my grandma in a nursing home,’ she says. “Or I’ll send them to somebody else that I’m thinking of. Or I’ll just put extra in people’s boxes. We waste none of our flowers.”
Flox Botanical’s boxes start from $39.95 (or $33.95 for subscribers). Order by 10pm for free next-day delivery within 20 kilometres of Malvern.