BLOOM's initial launch plan in January 2022 was to set up in a park, open Blossom's cover, and sell flowers to passerby. I figured I'd have some interest- I have to admit, the pinked out truck is eye catching- and maybe I'd sell 50 bouquets or so. I then started looking for places that I could bring BLOOM to for a little more visibility; I reached out to some small businesses in my neighborhood to see if I could capture their audience too. I'll admit it is a challenge being first to market, because you have to prove the concept- but I believed in BLOOM with my whole heart. So when 904 Happy Hour DM'ed me on Instagram asking how the business was coming along, I screamed and called my husband to tell him that this major event company was interested in my truck! I sent them some pictures of Blossom before she had her facelift and gave them my expected timeframe for launching. I knew I wanted to launch in Spring, so I randomly picked the first weekend in March. 904 Happy Hour then asked me if we could schedule a phone call regarding my launch event.
On that call I learned that they were throwing an event celebrating female small business owners in Jacksonville, and they wanted me to be a sponsor. I gladly accepted as it was my expected launch date (March 5th) and I love going to their events. They told me to expect close to a thousand people and though I like to think I played it cool when I heard that, I felt instantly overwhelmed but excited that I was going to be in front of so many people.
Soon after that, Vagabond had me out to their Galentine's Flea on February 12th. I love that a successful business that I frequently visit was wiling to give me a chance to be at their market. I set Blossom up with the help of my neighbors (have I mentioned how much I love Murray Hill?) and waited for the market to open. The response was awesome! I purposefully didn't advertise being there so that I could have a true "dry run" and work out any kinks before my grand debut. The feedback was incredible and I left the Market feeling exhilarated. BLOOM was turning into what I had worked so hard for it to be!
I then had two weeks to take all I had learned at the Flea and make adjustments before the launch. My mom and her husband flew from Arizona to support me and I am so glad they did. I placed my flower order and showed up at sunrise to TAE on Talbot the morning of the launch. We got the truck up fairly quickly but only brought about half the flowers as I didn't want them sitting in the sun while we waited to put them on the truck for selling. At 9:30 we had the first guests of the event stroll in and I knew we were going to have to go get the rest of the flowers to have them ready for restock.
Boy am I glad we brought them earlier than expected. 45 minutes into the event, I was almost out of flowers! I called in another order and was able to restock in time so that everyone could enjoy BLOOM. I was absolutely floored that so many people were so excited about the truck! Though I was in the back doing mostly operations (stem prep, supply restock, cleaning, troubleshooting tech, etc), I was able to pop out a couple of times to see what was happening up front. Quick shout- out to my mom for being the hostess with the mostest and hyping me up!
I was so surprised to see a line- and it lasted for most of the event. While I had my head buried in flowers pretty much the whole time, I could still feel all of the support coming from the laughs and the "oohs and ahhs" through the truck. I loved talking to those of you that introduced yourselves and by the time I had a minute to process all that was happening, my mom told me it was 3pm and time to start packing up.
Cleanup went smoothly and I had just a couple of minutes to meet the other amazing vendors that set up there too. I was told multiple times that the little paper- wrapped bouquets were all over Avondale and everyone was asking what they were from. The fact that so many people enjoyed BLOOM was and is a feeling that I think I'll seek out for the rest of my life. This was truly a phenomenal launch and it was a dream come true to see so many people happy and making memories.
BLOOM will be popping up frequently all over Jacksonville in between private events and my 9-5 job. I cannot express how thankful I am to you, Jacksonville, for the support you have shown me and my dream, and I am so excited to continue to bring joy to Jax through fresh flowers and fun experiences.
All the best, always,