Saturday, 11 April 2015

[#WOW] Meet Steph from Don't Buy Her Flowers

Today we have Steph telling us all about Don't Buy Her Flowers - a fairly new company but a fabulous #WOW winner. She's a mummy to two and wife to Doug. Here she is to tell you a bit more about what she does.

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person?
I'm married to Doug and have two children Buster (4) and Mabel (2). I have 5 siblings and come from Stroud in Gloucestershire, now living in London. I'm ashamed to say I behave like a toddler when I'm hungry.

How did you first set up the business? 
I have started the business from home. The idea developed after I had my first baby and was given more flowers than I had vases for. I think having babies is a rollercoaster - it's awesome but at times it's exhausting and terrifying, so it's important to give a new mum some TLC. I started to put together packages for friends that had babies and leave food on their doorstep if they lived near, and they were so overwhelmed that someone had thought of them. When I looked into it I found 96% of new mums are given flowers and most 3 or more bunches. When you think about it, it's pretty crackers that you'd give a new mum another thing to care for, but there aren't many alternatives out there and people want to give something. I couldn't get the idea out of my head and realised I could turn this into a business.

How old is the business?
4 months! I started in November 2014.

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business?
Definitely not! I couldn't shift the business idea from my head, and that combined with juggling the nursery run/work got me thinking. The fear was creeping in that the juggle will only get harder once the kids start school, and doing something for myself suddenly seemed like a real option. Now I'm doing it, I already can't imagine anything else.

Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online? 
I live in St Margarets, London and the business is online.

What is the most popular product sales wise?
The Care Package is our most popular product - there's a choice of magazine, tea, flapjack, truffles and a choice of scarf and the aim of it is to encourage mum to take 10 minutes to herself. This is the one that causes most tears from recipients!

Everyone has a favourite product - what is yours?
I love that you can add COOK vouchers to any of our packages. I really wanted to work with COOK as I think giving new parents food is such a great and practical gift - everyone is tired and cooking falls to the bottom of the priority list, but new parents definitely need good nourishment and energy! COOK are absolutely the best at what they do so we went and pitched to founder Edward Perry and, as a Dad of three, he loved it and agreed to work with us.

What is your newest item / product?
I introduced The Mother's Day Package for all mums and grannies and it's been really popular - you can add wine, Champagne or ready-mixed gins to the package (or have it without booze) and the feedback has been awesome. I'm keeping it on as a regular package after Mother's Day. 

What is the one thing people must know about your business?
New mums absolutely deserve some TLC and our packages allow you to give that to someone you love.

What is your proudest business achievement?
The feedback from recipients. When someone leaves a review or contacts me to say that the person that received the gift cried when they opened it, I know we've got something really good. They love the packaging and the products but the concept - about caring for new mums and making them the focus - is being so well received and I'm bloomin' proud of that. People are buying the packages for birthdays and get well gifts, or just to cheer someone up, and that's happened organically so that's exciting. 

What do you do when you aren’t working on the business? 
Not a lot at the moment! I have two days in the week with my kids and three days with them in nursery so evenings and any spare hours at weekends are mostly taken up with the business. My favourite thing to do currently is to have no plans and stay very local - I need my little family to be a priority in anytime I'm not working so the social life has taken a bit of a back seat, but that's ok. We're building a future. And I'll fit in a blowout with my girlfriends soon!

What five words describe your business?
Thoughtful gifts for new mums

Any big plans for 2015 you can share?
At the moment it's just to stay focused! We've had brilliant feedback from recipients, sales are increasing week on week and we've had press coverage saying the packages are 'what women want', so it feels like we're off to a flying start. 

How can we find out more about you:
Twitter: @StephieDoug
Telephone: 0203 371 8406

I think this is such a great idea! And I have heard rave reports about people who have received Cook vouchers too - especially mummies who have babies on SCBU or in hospital. 

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