Last spring, Nicole Rossi spent hours gardening every day.
Rossi, an architect in Philadelphia, said once she managed to get her hands on some outdoor space, she started planting her own flower garden – and she couldn’t stop. Her hobby temporarily took her to San Francisco, where she explored the easily accessible culture of gardening.
“I fell in love with … growing everything from seed and taking care of it,” Rossi said. “The flower-farming culture is so accessible in San Francisco, and I wanted to bring that idea back to Philadelphia.”
Rossi convinced her longtime friend Nicole Paloux, founder of a public relations company called Red Balloon, into her new love for gardening, and the two decided to open up Philadelphia’s first flower subscription service, The Flwry.
“[Paloux and I] realized that it’s not that easy to get fresh flowers in Philadelphia, and it’s not always very affordable,” Rossi said. “We wanted to make flowers affordable while supporting the local farming community.”
All flowers will be grown between 25 to 45 miles outside of Center City, according to the service’s website.
“The flowers that customers will be receiving will be cut that morning, and they’ll be getting them that afternoon,” Rossi said. “Instead of dying in a day or two, they’ll last for a week or more.”
“You just can’t beat the ability to have flowers fresh from a farm the same afternoon they’re cut,” Paloux added.
As the website states, 150 six-month subscriptions will go on sale in late April, and subscriptions will be available for purchase until the business opens in June. A customer can purchase a six-month full membership for $444 in full, which is two flower pickups per month, or a six-month half membership for $222 in full, which is one flower pickup per month. Memberships can be paid monthly or in full at the time of purchase.
Paloux said the flowers will be available for pickup at five different locations in Philadelphia, including one in Fishtown and one in Rittenhouse Square. The pickup locations will be local businesses partnered with The Flwry. Other pickup location can be opened upon request by a group of 15 or more members.
“All of our members will have a convenient pickup location that’s within just a few blocks of where they live, or it’ll be on their way home,” Paloux said.
Pickups will always occur on Thursdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The customer will show his or her membership card, and leave the pickup location with a bundle of 24 to 30 stems.
Paloux said The Flwry will not be providing customers with arranged bouquets of flowers. Instead, the flowers will be random bundles of seasonal flowers that customers can arrange themselves.
“We’re not cutting [the flowers] down at all from how they leave the farms,” Paloux said. “We want to empower people to create their own arrangements throughout their house, and to use the flowers in ways that make them feel creative and empowered.”
Rossi said she hopes to educate people in Philadelphia about the seasonality and care of flowers. With every flower pickup, The Flwry will send an email to customers with care tips for that week’s bundle.
Rossi added that she hopes The Flwry will make it easier for people in Philadelphia “to always be surrounded by beautiful flowers.”
“When I have fresh flowers in my home, it makes a huge difference in how I feel,” Rossi said. “I can breathe easier, and I can relax. Our mission is to make that feeling accessible to everyone in Philadelphia.”
Michaela Winberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.