I found Petalon after stumbling across a rather beautiful bunch of flowers posted on Kate Hillier’s instagram. I am not really a big fan of mail order flower companies like Interflora and the like, the flowers never seem very pretty and are always obscenely overpriced. Petalon puts together two bunches a week and there is a flat rate of £20 which includes the flowers, delivery and £1 donation to Capital Bee charity…oh and they are cycled to your door!
They are also beautiful flowers, I ordered some for a friend and they arrived on wheels wrapped up in hessian with a bow. So impressed by the whole concept I thought I would email Florence who founded Petalon to find out more…
What made you start Petalon?
I used to work for Contagious Magazine where we would write about all sorts of innovative ideas. The concepts and start-ups that really grabbed me were the simple ones that did one thing really well, changing an everyday process into something that was easier for everyone. I wanted to create something like that. My fiancé had just started his bicycle brand, Kennedy City Bicycles, and I started to think up ways I could use the bikes in another way. When I realised how close we were to the market the initial concept for Petalon was born. I had always found ordering beautiful flowers through a florist came with a hefty minimum spend, and sending flowers through supermarkets just never looked like I had put much thought into it. I wanted to create an easy way to send beautiful flowers that was in an accessible price range. As I don’t have to pay for a delivery van, congestion charge, petrol or even shop rent, it means my overheads are a lot less so that I don’t need to charge as much for the flowers. I also limit the choice of flowers each week to two bunches - this reduces waste but also means I have something to talk about on social media each week when the flowers change.
What did you do before you started up Petalon?
I graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Architecture (part 1) and it was at just the time that the building industry was struggling through the recession. There weren’t a lot of placements going, and I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to be an architect at all, so I started looking at other jobs in London too. I tried all sorts of things, from Interior Design, to Events & Concierge and then it was at my time with Contagious Magazine where I was exposed to so much innovative thinking that I started to think of what I would like to create. Looking back over my varied career so far, I think the mix of my degree and the very varied roles and sectors has given me such a range of experience and skills that have oddly all contributed to setting up Petalon - whether it’s customer service, design, sales, building trailers, building websites, accounts or creating the bouquets.
What are you favourite flowers?
It changes! At the moment i’m having a lot of fun using the Ranunculus that’s in season. They come in the most extraordinary shapes and colours.
Favourite cycle route?
The Mall! I love cycling past the palace and all the mounted guards on their horses. It feels very special and very London. There’s also plenty of room and not too much traffic or potholes so you can pick up some speed too.
What does your cycling outfit consist of?
Depends on the weather, today was dry and brisk so I have a hat (from Urban Outfitters) under my helmet, a Carhartt chore coat, nike dry fit leggings (high waisted because you know, leaning over cycling and all!) merino long sleeve top and Nike trainers.
What bicycle do you ride?
We share a workspace with Kennedy City Bicycles, and I ride around on one of them! You can get lots of combinations of colours and leathers and handlebars but i’ve gone for black frame with bullhorn handlebars and tan leather. I’m a little bit in love with her, we spent 4 hours a day together and she’s a dream! A very trusty steed indeed.