In the flower industry, there are two big holidays that matter: Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. That’s why UrbanStems, a flower delivery startup, decided to launch on Valentine’s Day in 2014. “It’s a well-known fact that these two days generate a huge amount of business for flower brands,” says Megan Darmody, the brand’s director of press and partnership.
But in a twist, it turned out that UrbanStems ended up attracting a slightly different flower buyer than average. The brand noticed that women were the primary buyers, often as presents to other women. Darmody attributes this to the fact that UrbanStems markets flowers around the idea of romance but also sells other products–like planters and succulents–that might reflect friendship rather than unending love. “This wasn’t our intention from the beginning,” Darmody says. “But we’re really leaning in to this part of our business now.”
UrbanStems now wants to change the culture of flower-giving. Rather than thinking of them as a gift that a man gives a woman, UrbanStems wants women to consider buying bouquets for themselves or for their friends. To that end, the brand has collaborated with Bumble on a bouquet designed for women to give to the important women in their life. One version of the bouquet even comes with a deck of cards that features thought-provoking questions designed to spark conversations among friends, like “What are your professional goals in the next year?” UrbanStems also partnered with Vogue to create bouquets designed by the magazine’s fashion editors.