Venus ET Fleur: Eternity Roses
I love flowers. Who doesn’t? I especially love receiving them, but again, who doesn’t? Sending them is a whole other topic. That takes effort, at least more effort than answering the front door. So, let’s leave that aside for the moment.
Even when we’re blessed to be receiving flowers, a big problem is they die. Once removed from their natural life source, all living organisms begin their death march, of course, including flowers. But in most cases, flowers die much too quickly. We barely have time to enjoy quality time with them, share some memories, say our goodbyes, make burial arrangements, etc.
Too often, I’ve received flowers that have gone from fresh, vibrant and fragrant when I first open the box, to fading, to dead, in a matter of hours – a day or two at the most.
Disappointment and frustration are not the emotions the gift-giver had intended to trigger, I’m certain.
There’s another problem with flowers, this time on the purchasing side of the ledger – the good ones are expensive, especially given their relatively short lives.
Who hasn’t remembered a Valentine’s Day at the last minute, frantically dialed a number, ordered a bouquet of flowers and chocolates at a very hefty price, and then hoped for the best?
Oh well, at least consuming the chocolates can have a palliative effect while you’re throwing out the wilted roses.
So, as wonderful as flowers are – especially roses – first, we must make the supreme effort to order them, then we pay too much, and then they die too quickly.
I think we’ve identified a product category ripe for a revolution.
A Category Revolution
Wouldn’t it be incredible if someone could develop a rose that would remain fresh, vibrant and gorgeous much longer than usual? And, what if we didn’t have to change the water every day, or add a sugar packet, or move them in and out of the sun, or trim off the dead petals, or do anything else to make sure they last?
As of 2015, this dream has come to pass. A company called Venus ET Fleur has developed the ultimate roses, called “eternity roses,” that last an entire year without water, retain their texture, shape and scent, and are available in over 20 colors.
Co-founders Seema Bansal and Sunny Chadha are understandably hesitant to divulge their precise process.
In a February 8, 2018 article appearing on Well+Good (wellandgood.com), Rachel Jacoby Zoldan writes that the roses are sourced in Ecuador in the vicinity of the Equator. The climate and soil are said to produce the highest quality, longest-lasting roses on earth. Then, at their peak state, the moment they are cut, they are dehydrated and treated with a proprietary solution.
The article goes into further detail on the preservation process, but that’s as much as I need to know. I’m not so interested in why the car works. If I turn the key and the engine starts, I’m happy to motor on in my state of blissful ignorance.
The partners describe their company as ‘New York’s first bespoke rose atelier and creator of Eternity Roses.’ In modern English terms, ‘bespoke rose atelier’ essentially means ‘a custom-made rose workshop.’
Planting the Seeds
Seema Bansal and Sunny Chadha are more than just business partners. Marketing executive, Seema, and entrepreneur, Sunny, followed a relatively typical courting path from sweethearts to spouses, with one little twist. Along the way, they became co-founders and partners in a multi-million-dollar business venture.
The idea behind Venus Et Fleur started when Bansal received a Valentine’s Day delivery of roses from Chadha. By the time they arrived, the roses were already in distress, and her excitement shifted to disappointment. This caused great distress to Chadha. But their mutual frustration sparked an idea.
At first, they endeavored to find a way to deliver flowers that would arrive in perfect condition. Their express delivery business only caused them further angst. Customer complaints poured in that their roses were already dying the moment they arrived, even though they had been shipped the prior day.
So, the couple decided to visit their supplier in Ecuador to learn how to solve this serious problem. While there, they noticed displays of beautiful bouquets in storefront windows that seemed to remain fresh day-after-day. They were told that the flowers on display had been treated with a special solution that would allow them to last up to a year.
And, just like that, Venus Et Fleur was born.
The Business Blooms
They arranged control of the proprietary formula and raced home to their New York workshop with a new mission. They would deliver to customers a memorable experience: gorgeous and fragrant roses artistically arranged in attractive French-designed hat boxes. The real breakthrough was the roses would stay fresh for an entire year, turning an entire industry on its head.
The upfront cost of their product would be more expensive than the competitors, but smart consumers would be able to easily discern the value proposition being offered. They were buying more than just roses, rather a memorable personal experience with a lasting decorative piece for their home design.
By simply dividing the cost of the purchase by their experience, and the days of enjoyment, consumers would understand they were getting a gigantic bargain compared to the old industry model.
Fueled by social media marketing, particularly Instagram, and a wildly popular ‘pop-up’ store inside New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue, sales rose steadily. Then, a life-changing marketing campaign took hold, one they hadn’t even commissioned.
Celebrities began mentioning their affection for the Venus Et Fleur roses and artistic designs across social media platforms.
As described on their website under the ‘Our Story’ tab, A’-listers such as Gigi Hadid, Sarah Jessica Parker and the Kardashian clan raved about the products, and the Venus Et Fleur brand recognition soared. As the American Express commercial says: Priceless!
Could someone please ask the Kardashians to check out Throomers? If they enjoy our articles and recommend us to their social media followers, and how could they not, it may be our big break.
Or how about clueing-in a few B-listers, at the very least?
An Entrepreneur’s Lesson
It’s often said that there are few new ideas in the 21st century. The biblical verse, ‘There’s nothing new under the sun,’ comes to mind. This would especially apply to roses.
Most success in consumer-oriented businesses these days comes from reinventing, repurposing and improving existing products and services into something that feels new and works better. Bringing revolutionary ideas to refresh tired, old product categories can be a pathway to riches.
What Bansal and Chadha have accomplished with Venus Et Fleur appears to be a text book example.
They identified a problem, a serious deficiency in a market for a very popular product, and they took bold action to fix it.
After developing their product solution, they took advantage of another ongoing revolution, the ability to market to millions at minimal cost using social media platforms.
They also recognized that a gorgeous, natural and durable flower arrangement packaged creatively would cross over into another multi-billion-dollar business – home décor and design. Cha-ching!
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? But as we’ve learned over-and-over in studying entrepreneurship, this combination of vision, creativity, grit and resilience is rare indeed, and anything but easy.
Congratulations to these two revolutionaries, Seema Bansal and Sunny Chadha, and all the others who are doing the hard work of improving the lives of millions.