Shelley Rosen, Founder and CEO of Luxe Bloom, discusses her company’s partnership with Disney, reflects on her journey to success, and offers advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
By Jasmine Turner
Red carpet events, interviews, and a host of new business opportunities have consumed Shelley Rosen, Founder and CEO of Luxe Bloom, since I interviewed her for the winter issue of TRUSTED magazine. (Read about how Rosen’s company is transforming the floral marketplace with its jaw-dropping floral arrangements in “From Details to Decadence: The Flourishing of Luxe Bloom.”)
I caught up with Rosen to ask how business is going for Luxe Bloom and how it feels to partner with one of the world’s biggest brands.
Turner: In February, Luxe Bloom’s preserved roses were chosen as the official flower for Disney’s blockbuster Beauty and the Beast. While your partnership with Disney may appear to be an overnight success, you have been working extremely hard for years to make Luxe Bloom into the successful business it is today. Can you walk me through your journey?
Rosen: Creating a brand is the act of a thousand small gestures. I am making a new market, and it takes time. There is no such thing as an overnight sensation. The behind-the-scenes planning to figure out how to import flowers and then make and ship luxurious rose arrangements without breaking them was laborious. We had early failures except in one area: customer service. We learned early on that luxury leaders overservice guests and that we must do the same. Each time we won an account, we focused on our product performance. Over time, we earned our reputation for delivering the goods and services a luxury operator demands in floral.
Turner: Can you tell me how your partnership with Disney came about?
Rosen: After installing a rose wall with 1,000 red roses for the St. Regis Washington, D.C.’s 90th anniversary celebration, I opened my email to a note from Disney saying they wanted to talk to us. We were humbled and flattered to receive a call from the most creative company on the planet. A leader at Disney had seen us on NBC’s Today show. Shortly after, we went to a meeting in Burbank, California, and thus began our alliance.
Turner: When you founded Luxe Bloom, could you imagine Disney wanting to partner with you? What did you see in your company’s future?
Rosen: You won’t believe this, but one of the first sales calls I made was to Walt Disney World and the parks in Orlando. We believed the magic of our roses was a perfect fit for the magic of Disney. Then, three and a half years later, something wonderful happened with this Beauty and the Beast promotion.
Turner: You just celebrated your fourth anniversary. How does it feel to have come this far? What emotions are you feeling as you look back from day one until now?
Rosen: Innovation is hard. The road is long. I underestimated the long, lonely days and nights it takes to figure something out. This was not the fish in a barrel type of sales. I would be exhilarated for each sale and exhausted by each execution to ensure a flawless experience. What keeps me up at night is finding great people and ensuring the brand promise I made comes through in each transaction we make. Once the 7,000-rose wall was up on the red carpet and the lights came on for Beauty and the Beast, I must say, sheer joy were the only words that came to mind.
Looking back, I knew there was a there there when we won The Red Door Salon & Spa account nationwide. We serve all 30 spas in a brand-consistent manner with our floral, and for this we are most proud.
Turner: What advice can you give entrepreneurs who are working toward their own shining moment for their businesses? Any words of encouragement?
Rosen: Thomas Edison supposedly once said that “a vision without execution is merely a hallucination.” Have a plan, and then do everything in your power to bring this plan to life. If you think being in flip-flops and working on a laptop is going to create an empire, good luck. Get out, see your customers, and walk in their shoes. Make sure your product makes money, or you will never make money. Know when to ask for help. Hire and fire fast — you don’t have enough money to have a B person sitting in an A role.
Turner: What’s next for Luxe Bloom? What do you see in the future?
Rosen: The future is bright. First, since I am the market-maker here in the United States, we are forming a trade association of growers and suppliers to ensure the industry is recognized as such. I plan to keep my eyes on high customer satisfaction to ensure recurring sales. Finally, everything we make is beautiful. I want to make sure we never lose sight of our mission to beautify environments responsibly every day and everywhere we operate.
Jasmine Turner is a native Washingtonian and a recent graduate of Marymount University with a degree in communications. She currently works as Communication Coordinator for Council of Better Business Bureaus, where she creates consumer and business content while also working on new channels to further produce new content.