Whitney Bromberg Hawkings was working for fashion designer Tom Ford when she became frustrated with the cost and inconsistency of the flowers she was buying and sending.
After 19 years with Ford, she decided to start FLOWERBX, an online flower delivery services company that sources the freshest flowers, direct from growers. She specializes in seasonally optimal flowers, like peonies in the spring and in the fall hydrangea, followed by ranunculus in the winter.
“I wanted to create a branded floral offering,” Hawkings said. “As a working mom, I was buying everything online. I bought my weekly farm-fresh groceries online, my clothes online, my beauty online. Yet, I found it was impossible to buy flowers in a simple, chic and fuss-free way online.”
Now in its fourth year, FLOWERBX, as well as Hawkings, is based in London, but recently she opened an LA hub to service California, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.
Her clients include British Fashion Council, Chanel, Conde Nast, Harrods, L’Occitane and Tiffany & Co.
“My vision for FLOWERBX was always for it to be a global brand,” she said. “Interflora is inconsistent in all of the territories in which it operates, and the client is at the mercy of whichever florist is fulfilling the order.
“I wanted to create a consistent and beautiful floral experience in all of the territories in which we operate. While the entire United States has always been in the cards, we accelerated our expansion plans to encompass the East and West coasts over the past year, as the desire to stay connected with flowers and live life with beauty has been stronger than ever.”
Hawkings said she learned her entrepreneurial skills from Ford, for whom she would have worked for another 20 years. She began her career in Paris working for him at Gucci and later became his communications director upon the launch of his eponymous label in 2005.
“Working with Tom was a dream come true,” she said. “The lessons I learned from him are countless, and I couldn’t have learned from a better teacher how to build a successful, recognizable and powerful brand, among the many other lessons I learned from him.
“He taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance but also about the art of creating desire, of telling a story around a product and setting a scene to make it irresistible. I have tried to apply all of these learnings to FLOWERBX in my goal of creating what I know will be the first global flower brand."