By Jasmine Turner
Luxe Bloom transforms the floral marketplace with jaw-dropping rose arrangements that cater to an exclusive clientele.
Have you ever witnessed Jasper Johns create a painting, Karl Lagerfeld sketch a design for Chanel, or Beyonce craft an amazing visual album? If so, I envy you. Just think what it must be like, to witness the talent, passion, sweat, and tears that are poured into art before it’s revealed to the world and awes the masses. I wonder what methods underlie their brilliance? How does an artist create something that touches lives forever? I have a theory, and it’s fairly simple: An invisible amount of hard work goes into every meticulous detail. That’s why Johns’ masterpieces sell for millions, why people swoon over Chanel and Fendi collections, and why Beyonce concerts sell out fast. The brilliance is in the details that lend a sense of prestige to those lucky art collectors, fashionistas, and concertgoers.
Recently, I was privileged to have a similar experience. The artist is not a celebrity, yet, but her talents are just as monumental. Shelley Rosen is the Founder and CEO of Luxe Bloom, a company that creates preserved rose arrangements that last months, not days. I watched Rosen while she effortlessly fielded my interview questions, delved into a conversation with her client, and made travel plans, all without missing a beat. This is the behind-the-scenes work that people rarely experience.
Rosen allowed me to witness her creative workflow as she assembled a once-in-a-lifetime work of art; it’s a moment I filed in my memories-for-life folder. The St. Regis Washington, D.C., an award-winning hotel, commissioned Rosen to create a unique installation – a breathtaking rose wall – for its 90th anniversary celebration, and she delivered in a huge way. I watched her strategically place each rose in its position one by one. Often, her fingers stuck together from the hot glue that bonded the roses to the frame, but that didn’t stop her. She knew how much the wall meant to her client, and to her own brand. Not once did Rosen seem frustrated or stressed about meeting her deadline, sitting down to chat with me, or catching her flight. She calmly persevered and even shed tears of joy as she positioned the final rose and let the full impact of the finished piece sink in.
When Rosen started Luxe Bloom, she wanted to deliver a quality product that people would be obsessed with. Rosen is fascinated with luxury because “luxury brands go the distance, and they build quality into everything they do. Luxury is about the details,” she explains. Luxe Bloom was born from the idea of luxury and brand. Often, entrepreneurs think of a product first and then search for a business model to keep customers coming back, but it was the opposite for Rosen. Her business model came first. She recognized the brilliance of a subscription-based business – it keeps the revenue coming – and she decided to pair the concept with a luxurious product.
With her business model in place, Rosen sought a luxurious product and discovered an unmet need in the floral industry. She found that the marketplace was antiquated, and she was poised to create something luxurious and fresh while remaining true to her passion for creating a new concept. Today, Luxe Bloom is America’s first national florist selling rose arrangements to a prestigious clientele on a subscription basis. From the rose farms in Ecuador, Colombia, and Japan to the front door of the St. Regis Washington, D.C., 28 Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons and Spas, and Saks Fifth Avenue (to name just a few upscale clients), Luxe Bloom presents consistency, predictability, and brand standards. Consumers can have a piece of Luxe Bloom decadence for themselves, too; arrangements are available on e-commerce websites like Amazon.
Luxe Bloom takes customer experience, product education, and trust seriously. Going above and beyond is a norm for Luxe Bloom, and Rosen takes pride in it. “I report to my customers. My customers are my boss, not a shareholder, not an investor; the customer is my boss. So I do everything in my company for my customers,” she says. Rosen lives by this mantra and applies it to Luxe Bloom. As she built that breathtaking rose wall for the St. Regis, I saw for myself her detailed execution and devotion to customer satisfaction. Luxe Bloom doesn’t just talk the talk; it delivers every step of the way. Rosen explains, “Our luxury customers care about three things: saving time, saving money, and not compromising on luxury design. This is where Luxe Bloom wins because you save time with our product, you save money, but it’s still beautiful. So it’s kind of a trifecta of a solution for the customer.”
It takes some businesses years to understand their clients’ needs, but Rosen credits her success to three elements that help her create a brand: belligerent perseverance, listening skills, and humility. Rosen says, “I see things through – really hard things that most people would normally quit. …It’s like a fire in my belly. I listen for understanding, listening to what people are and are not saying. …This is extremely important to building customer trust and market acceptance; remember what they say. Remaining humble is key; if you’re not humble, then you’re not going to listen [because you think] you have all the answers to the questions.” She continues, “A brand is everything. … It’s not just the logo, but it’s the promise that you make and your unbelievable ability to go through the wall to make that promise come true with every transaction. My view on a brand is the promise has to be realistic. If the promise isn’t realistic, you can’t build trust. Trust is rooted in a promise that you can execute.”
People often think that creating a brand is easy, and it can be, but you have to look at the type of brand you are creating. Will it stand the test of time and reinvent itself to remain current?
A brand is everything. … It’s not just the logo but it’s the promise that you make and your unbelievable ability to go through the wall to make that promise come true with every transaction. My view on a brand is the promise has to be realistic. If the promise isn’t realistic you can’t build trust. Trust is rooted in a promise that you can execute.”
Most important, how do people relate to your brand, and do they trust it? Entrepreneurs ask themselves these questions every day, and many take decades to figure out the answers. Luxe Bloom is branding a commodity and carving out a market that never existed before. Flowers have been around forever, but no one has created a market like Luxe Bloom has. Their roses are not traditional; they last up to 60 days, do not require water, and come in a variety of colors. Luxe Bloom is changing the way people buy flowers. “When you change the market, you better be willing to go the distance. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and it does take time. With every sale, I’m educating [my customers],” Rosen explains.
Trust can be explained a thousand different ways, but the common denominator is that it has to be earned. For Luxe Bloom, trust is about being transparent without giving away the rose preservation recipe; it’s about engaging customers to understand their stories; it’s about making a promise and keeping it; and it’s about saying you’re sorry when you make a mistake. Rosen concludes, “In the end, it’s about reputation. If I don’t end up in the rose business, hopefully my reputation will carry for the rest of my life into something else. There is no gray area in doing what is right. If you have a moral compass, you will always know to head north.”