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Meet the woman digitally disrupting the flower industry

Meet the woman digitally disrupting the flower industry

Lana Elie | CEO + Founder, Floom

In a former life as a PA at fashion label Burberry, Lana Elie sent a lot of thank you flowers to clients. Yet the online options for florists were completely archaic, and so the seed for an idea was planted—literally. After working on brand campaigns for Gucci, Marc Jacobs and i-D, Lana left to launch Floom: a hi-tech, highly curated floristry marketplace. Here, she shares her daily routine.

I wake up...

"Around 6:40am most days. I’m straight on emails and spend 20 minutes sifting through them from bed. I look forward to the weekend from Monday, with hopes of a lie-in, but these days that never extends too far past 8am."

My morning routine...

"Takes about an hour. I open my laptop before showering so it loads up. I try to get my emails in some sort of order while my hair air-dries. Then I'll make either a tea or conjure up some weird green-juice-with-vitamin-powder concoction."

My most-used apps...

"Momentum tracks your phone usage (mine's always in the red). Front is great for email and collaborative team-working. I don’t use Headspace as religiously as I'd like, but refuse to cancel my subscription because I swear by the sleep and anxiety ‘quick fixes’."

How I handle emails...

"I'll often snooze emails until I have a block of time to tackle them. Can I respond with 2-3 words or do I need an hour to build up to a reply? I have the bad habit of being stuck to my phone pretty much until the moment I shut my eyes."

A typical morning...

"Tends to be meetings before heading south to the office, as it makes more logistical sense. If one of our florists is local to a meeting, I’ll pop in. I love accidentally walking past one and recognising they’re on Floom."

Where it all began...

"I grew up in Bali so have an affinity with nature and plants, especially the more wild and weed-like varieties. While researching the flower market and what competitors were lacking, I saw a real opportunity and felt pressure to move fast."

The gap in the market I wanted to fill...

"Was providing better products through a seamless, convenient online experience. Seeing exactly what you get before you order. Telling you when it's delivered—and all while supporting independent florists."

Being my own boss means...

"Not having a blocker to learning new things or making my job exciting when I feel bored of it. The best part of my job is how personal achievements feel. The worst? How personal failures feel."

I’m currently reading...

"The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It was gift from another founder/CEO and I can genuinely say it’s one of the best ‘business’ books I’ve read (and I’m only half way through)."

The best business books for entrepreneurs...

"Do Protect: Legal Advice for Startups by Jonathan Rees was a quick and easy read about the legal process of setting up a company. The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman saved me from a fair few potential failures and Lean Analytics is a great book to dip in-and-out of when you want to be more data-driven."

I suffer from self-doubt...

"But I’ve got a close group of friends who've also founded their own businesses—many of whom are years ahead of me—and I sense-check my thoughts with them. The best thing is they often admit they don’t know what they’re doing either."

I came up with the brand name...

"While texting my friends. I'd typed: “nothing with flower or bloom in because that’s what everyone does.” By writing it out, I saw the words blur together and there it was. Everyone unanimously loved it—or they just wanted me to stop texting them about it."

What I know now that I wish I’d known then...

"Very few other people know what they’re doing either. Know your market and believe in your idea so much that assume anyone who doesn't is crazy."

My favourite phrase to live by...

"Mantras aren't very 'me', but something like: just get sh*t done!"

Article written by: Natalie Wall
Photography by: Liz Seabrook

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