MOST BUSINESSES HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE NOWADAYS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE A BRICKS AND MORTAR SET UP TOO, BUT THE THING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IS THAT EVERYTHING CAN LOOK SO PERFECT, SO CURATED, SO GLOSSY FROM THE OUTSIDE. I WANTED TO GET BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INSIDE THE MINDS AND INTO THE HEARTS OF SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BUSINESSES AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THEM. I FIGURED IF I WAS CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE, MAYBE YOU COULD BE TOO?
WELCOME TO MY REGULAR SERIES THE FACE BEHIND THE BUSINESS. COME BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ME, BEHIND THE PERFECT IMAGE WE SEE AT THE STORE FRONT LEVEL AND MEET SOME WONDERFUL KIWIS DOING WONDERFUL THINGS (AND LEARN THEIR SECRETS TO SUCCESS).
Life works in funny ways. After following the beautiful parties created by All The Frills, I contacted Mel about three years ago when I was trying to make a backdrop for my Fifty Shades of Grey Party. She was an absolute doll and let me borrow one that she’d made and used for a party under her styling business. She went on from there to create All the Frills Mini – responsible for Auckland’s cutest kids parties! We’ve since run into each other numerous times on the PR and event circuit, although it took me a while to realise that she was the incredible talent behind Bloom Social. This latest venture just proves to me that Mel is beyond talented, she’s ingenious. Her style is sublime, her eye for detail impeccable and all those extra little touches that make something magical – this lady has it in bucketloads.
Get cozy and grab a cup of coffee and read on to learn more about how she makes everything she touches turn to gold.
About the business:
Where did the original idea for your business come from?
I started an event styling business All The Frills while I was on maternity leave four years ago, I really loved the floral aspect of the business and really wanted to expand in this area. Years prior I had seen The Caker selling her cakes on social media I loved the idea of making something that day and popping it up to be sold on a first in first served basis and really wanted to give a it a whirl with flowers.
What are you most proud of with the launch of your company?
Gosh I’m actually proud of so much with Bloom Social, it just works. We have created not only a floral business but a strong brand thats stands for who we are and what we want to be, were not trying to cater to everyone we are just true to ourselves. I’m also very proud to say I’m a completely self taught floral stylist and even more proud of the fact I built and designed our website myself once again completely self taught.
What has been the most difficult part of your journey?
Juggling everything! Believe it or not but I still have a 2 day a week job outside of Bloom Social and All The Frills so you can imagine I have a full plate, but I’m happy to say I will be letting go of those two days (my security blanket) very soon to expand Bloom Social into a 5 day a week business.
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Building the Bloom Social brand, I find this so exciting, so rewarding and actually really easy. We often get comments about how strong our brand is, which it is and its strong because its 100% our style, We have been bold, we only work with muted tones and monochromatic colour schemes, no bright contrasting colours, because thats the flowers we like to put on our dining table at home, we haven’t tried to be like anyone else we just created a brand and product we love in the hope others will love it too. We are 100% committed to the look and feel of Bloom Social.
Do you have plans to expand your range?
Yes absolutely! I’m an ideas person so I have to be careful I don’t throw too much at this very simple business but there is certainly room to expand while keeping it simple. We love our Blooms Subscription packaged and are about to add and ongoing subscription and a Monthly Candle Subscription has just been added.
What’s your mantra or the one piece of advice that has stuck with you through the process of starting your own business?
Find out who you are as a business, who your customers are and be commit to this vision, be bold and stick to what you believe in, this way you will attract the target audience you want. Don’t think of your product or service as just that, think of it as a brand and start marketing to that audience only!
Tell me a little about you or your family.
We are a family of 3, Hubby Darryl who works full time and also works on Bloom Social with me keeping me inline with my spending at the markets and Sienna who is 4 and is just as creative as her mummy.
How do you juggle being a Mama and running a business?
This is not easy, I still struggle with this, I try to work when Sienna isn’t around but when I really need to knuckle down Darryl will spend quality time with her on little outings, she definitely understands Mummy works a lot but I don’t think it has affected her in a negative way. I do feel a sense of guilt and sadness at times when I think about the kind of Mum I thought I would be or sometimes would like to be, we don’t really have too much time for the little things like baking together etc but then I remember this little girl gets to help Mummy arranging flowers, putting table settings together and she has the best birthday parties so I think she will be just fine. Hey, at the end of the day she is a happy and healthy little girl whose needs are being met.
Do you have any tips on how to make a successful business work with a young family?
Sienna is incredibly creative so is always so keen to help mummy out, I make a point of including her, this helps (most of the time) when I need to work when she is around. To make sure we spend quality time as a family we avoid any work in the weekends (unless I have an event on), we also have a set of plans which we have set up in our family Hub (app on our iPhones) Friday night family nibbles which is great it means no cooking everyone just gets to sit down and relax and on Sunday nights we have a family candlelit dinner where Sienna sets a pretty table – complete with flowers of course.
What’s your favourite (family) activity or outing?
Evening walks together, we love this even on a cold winters night, we rug up with our coats and hats, Sienna will bring her touch, its simple fun.
How do you get ‘me time’ and what do you enjoy doing to achieve that?
Not too much me time, this is something I need to work on. If I’m lucky I will have a girls catch up every couple of months….. Exercise is very important to me and is something that hasn’t been present lately but very much a priority for me. Working on this one!
What words of advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
DO IT! There is really nothing standing in your way. Firstly be very clear on what your business is, once you have this starting a business is super easy! Get on social media and start creating a brand even before you have a website or even the product. I started my instgram account 4 months before the business launched, we all love to see the evolution on a brand, you’re early followers will feel like they discovered you and will have and emotional investment in your brand. Don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on logos and websites, you can now buy pre designed logos which cost less than $100.
Your go to meal?
Love anything Japanese, fave would be Tuna Tataki.
Your child’s favourite food?
Sienna loves both Japanese and Vietnamese food, her fav would be satay chick skewers and Chicken Teriyaki.
You can find Bloom Social online via these channels, so please pay Mel a visit:
Bloom Social are offering a gorgeous giveaway for this feature – the perfect idea to gift for Mother’s Day! A 3 Month Candle Subscription (nation-wide) and 1 x Blooms of the Day (Auckland only).
To enter this giveaway, please head to my Instagram page and follow instructions.
SEE YOU SOON WITH ANOTHER INSPIRATIONAL BUSINESS OWNER!