Perfect flowers that stay perfect for 12 months? No stem trimming, no watering (in fact they must not be — key to preserving their look is the removal of their water content), no dropping stalks, no browning or falling petals. It sounds too good to be true, but it is not, and it is no wonder the idea has blossomed in the two-and-a-half years since its launch by business and life partners Erni, 34, and Kathryn Popplestone, 36.
The pandemic was ruinous for the cut-flower trade, with artificial blooms springing up in their place. This was not helped by the trend for ‘flower walls’ - towering arcs of fake flowers outside shops and restaurants to provide a glamorous backdrop for selfies. But could this scientific breakthrough see the return of real flowers?
These flowers do indeed boast a delicate, other-worldly beauty, thanks to their having undergone a unique preservation process that keeps them looking fresh for up to a year. As long as you do not fiddle with them, or put them in a steamy bathroom, they will stay that way for 12 months — or two years at a push. ‘We just say a year, because it sets expectations,’ says Erni.
Initially, Erni and Kathryn, both of whom have science backgrounds, acquired clients on London’s Bond Street. Erni went cold-calling in winter, clutching a fresh-as-a-daisy, six-month-old bouquet, asking to speak to managers.
Their business has since grown 400% year on year, with a global, largely high-end clientele. From a practical viewpoint, corporations, luxury yachts, and hotels love that the flowers still look gorgeous a year on, and they are economical: though they might seem expensive at first, really they are a bargain if you usually order a high volume of fresh blooms every four days.
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