How Whitney Port and Laurenne Resnik Started a Fashion-Forward Floral Brand
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a floral designer, you’ll want to know how former reality star Whitney Port signed on to be the creative head of Bloom2Bloom, an online floral delivery company. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with the lifestyle maven and new mom Whitney Port and her co-CEO Laurenne Resnik (also a new mom!) about how they’re bringing a fresh perspective to the floral industry and giving back to teens at the same time.
Meet the Flower Pros: Whitney Port & Laurenne Resnik
For Resnik, the inspiration to create Bloom2Bloom was two-fold. She wanted to bring consumers a flower brand across retail channels and also generate a flower-buying experience that had a social impact. Bloom2Bloom supports local flower growers in the United States, and for each bouquet or succulent purchased, a portion of the proceeds is given to Wish Upon a Teen, a nonprofit that helps design personalized hospital rooms for teens who have life-limiting medical conditions.
1. Understand your impact. When they started Bloom2Bloom, Port and Resnik wanted to work with a charity that inspired people in the same way quality flowers can. “Flowers are one way we can make ourselves and others smile, and they so beautifully capture the human gesture of showing another person that they are thought of. In choosing a nonprofit organization to partner with, we really wanted the opportunity to extend that same gesture, even after the blooms are gone,” says Port. By connecting Bloom2Bloom’s profits to a worthy cause, Port loves seeing that the growth of her floral brand means that they can extend their impact for Wish Upon a Teen.
2. Build key relationships. Part of the Bloom2Bloom mission is selling US-grown flowers that are sourced directly from farmers. Connecting and cultivating those partnerships takes time and effort, but for Resnik, it’s vital to the brand. “We really take time to build relationships with some of the nation’s most experienced flower growers so that we may bring the most beautiful and fresh flowers to consumers as possible,” says Resnik.
3. Be inspired by what makes you smile. When browsing through Bloom2Bloom’s online shop, you’ll find fresh blooms that pop and on-trend succulents in stylish pots. Port emphasizes that she and Resnik are involved in every step of creating the bouquets. The duo draws inspiration from the natural California landscape, fashion, design trends, and what makes them smile. “Much of what we design, or of the styles we offer customers, reflects what we want in our homes, and what brings us the most joy,” says Port.
4. Persistence is key. If you want to start your dream business, but fear making the leap, Resnik has some great advice. “Find that balance between being unbelievably relentless in making your vision become a reality and in having the patience it takes to learn from your own mistakes and from others who want to help you.” She shares that being persistent is essential, but possessing the ability to step back and see what you’re doing from multiple perspectives is also helpful.
5. Rely on your support system. For two women running a company and newly embarking on the journey of motherhood, it takes a good team to keep everything running smoothly. Running Bloom2Bloom is a “constant work in progress” confesses Resnik, but she recommends “finding your support system and recognizing what you can do yourself, and what you need help with, so that everything is done to the best of your ability.” Resnik credits her supportive husband and her amazing co-CEO for helping her to grow the business.
6. Have backup plans. As the CEO and co-founder of Bloom2Bloom, Resnik has learned that you need backup plans in place for anything that comes up. “It’s nearly impossible to foresee all that can happen when you are growing a company. I like to say be as prepared as you can possibly be, but know that there is a solution for every problem,” says Resnik.
7. Love what you do. While running your own company comes with its challenges, you’ve got to adore what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis to stay fueled for every setback and success. Resnik loves the fact she sells flowers, which makes her happy every day, and that they give back to an “amazing organization that helps teens across the country.” Connecting with that passion makes the hard work worth it for Port and Resnik.
Perfect Your Skills
1. Intro to Floral Illustration ($29): Illustrator and author Peggy Dean will teach you the basics of turning real-life botanicals into beautiful floral paper illustration. You’ll use colored pencils and brush pens to add pops of color to your flowers and turn them into watercolor-looking final pieces.
2. Design Your Brand Identity Online Class ($29): Creative designer Meg Lewis will help you develop your brand’s mission statement, create a mood board that represents your brand identity, and choose the right colors and fonts for your brand.
3. Start Your First Creative Business Online Class($39): Headbands of Hope founder Jess Ekstrom will help you overcome your fear of getting started, draft a business plan, and figure out if your business idea is profitable.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Photos via Cole Moser)