Creative Mind; Business Brain: Bloom & Wild’s Aron Gelbard

My brother rather inconveniently moved to Seattle two years ago, which means my sibling relationship is now conducted via Whatsapp and Instagram rather than in-person, card-playing weekends with the rest of my family back in Stroud. On the plus side, he is excellent at remembering birthdays, which was my first experience of flowers being delivered in a box, rather than bouquet. Except, when he sent them, they were left in the box on my doorstep. Shockingly for London, no-one filched them.

Aron Gelbard, the founder of Bloom & Wild, would say he’d simply used the wrong florist. Born in 2013, this clever online service makes sending flowers as easy as posting an image on Instagram, and – here’s where it gets really clever – fits its bouquets into letterbox-friendly packages. No worries about the recipient being home. No worries about quick-fingered London flower thieves. And no hassle when you order.

I caught up with Aron to get his tips for entrepreneurial success.

How do you describe what do you do for a living?

Brighten people’s day across the UK with flowers through their letterboxes!

What’s behind the success of your business?

We’re a small group of people that care deeply about the experience we create for our customers, and go out of the way to do the right thing by them

Tell me about a failure, and what you learnt from it…

We didn’t get our tech or branding right for the first year or so of the business. We embraced the concept of Minimum Viable Product to start with, but in those areas I think we over-embraced it and should have set ourselves a higher budget to start with – it’s taught us to be discerning about where to save money and where to invest in the best quality

Do you believe in light-bulb moments?

No! I wish they existed but I think the reality is that we make tiny improvement steps each day – luckily they all add up though…

Where do you do your best thinking?

When I’m on my own and it’s quiet!

When you get creative block, where do you turn for inspiration?

We’ve got a great creative team – they’re always my inspiration

How do you celebrate?

If it’s for work, then our team loves going out and exploring new and exciting food together!

Who or what makes you most happy?

Happy customers and a happy team – it’s simple but it’s a good test to ask myself every day

And saddest?

I hate it when we disappoint people. We try so hard to always do the right thing by people and I’m devastated when they don’t think we have the right intentions or we don’t care

What would be your best advice for today’s 16-year-olds?

Get real work experience with real responsibilities at an organisation you’re passionate about, as soon as you can – learning by doing is the best way. I got lots of work experience. My first job was ordering, scanning and shredding documents in an office for a summer – not the most glamourous work but it’s just so important to learn professional skills as early on as you can and to appreciate the value of hard work!

Can creativity be taught?

I don’t think so – but I also think everyone is “creative” in different ways and it’s about finding your creative space

And what about business nous?

I think that comes with experience – the more of it you get early on in your career, the better you’ll be at gauging a situation and making the right decisions

What constantly surprises you about the world at large?

People constantly go out of the way to help others that they’ve never met or barely know – it’s amazing how kind people are

What is the biggest change we’ll see in business in the next 5 to 10 years?

We’ll truly do all our work on our mobiles (in the same way that non-work computing has gone entirely mobile)

What are we losing that we’ll regret?

Ability to communicate live – we’re becoming more comfortable chatting to each other digitally (and in writing/images) than in person

What’s your best prediction for 2030?

There’ll be some high profile inventions that we all love, but a surprising number of things will still work as they do now! I still expect website and mobile apps to be a really central form of shopping – while there will be new interfaces, I think on screen visualisation and ordering are here to stay.


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