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March 2022

Poppy is making the floral industry work for women

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably bought flowers from a grocery store, e-commerce retailer, or brick-and-mortar shop dozens of times.

Did you ever stop to ask where those flowers came from?

Flower farms are powered by women

The first large-scale flower farm I visited was in the Sabana de Bogotá in 2016. A highly engineered operation, the farm consisted of more than 1,500 acres of flower beds under greenhouses, producing more than 50 varieties of blooms.

The workers at this farm were provided meals, on-site healthcare, transportation to and from the farm, and even high quality on-site childcare.

Here’s what struck me about this farm: the vast majority (around 90%) of these workers were women. I learned that most of them were heads of household and primary earners, too.

This fact stood in stark contrast to the executive leadership of that farm, who are all men. And they were making a lot of money from flowers — more money than I had even imagined (like, partner at a big law firm kind of money).


It's women all the way down, but not at the top

While public point of sale data in the floral industry is scarce, our internal data show (and this was true at my last floral company) that more than 70% of floral customers are women, and 90%+ of the recipients of flowers are women.

So, we know that women are powering the consumption of flowers. We know they’re growing the flowers at the farm. Who’s making the arrangements?

Floral designer demographics mirror the demographics of floral consumers: 84% of the floral designer workforce are women (source: Zippia).

Women are growing and harvesting flowers, women are buying and receiving flowers, and women are arranging flowers. How many women are in the boardroom in the floral industry? Not many. In my seven years in the floral industry, I’ve only met two. 

The decisions about which flowers are grown, how the supply chain functions, how careers are shaped and rewarded -- all of these decisions impact tens of thousands of women. Shouldn’t more women be at the table when the strategic decisions are made?

Until now, they haven’t been. That’s how you end up with the lowest customer satisfaction rating of any e-commerce category (-2 NPS for the big retailers). If you’ve ever bought flowers from a big floral e-commerce retailer, you’ll instantly understand what I’m talking about. High prices, weird, outdated designs, and flowers that only last a couple days. Not to mention the spectrum of rose breed names, which range from just odd (“Careless Whisper”) to the truly cancelable (“Hot Lady,” “China Girl,” and “Chippendale”).


Poppy is making the floral industry work for women

We are building Poppy to create opportunity for women, from the base of the floral supply chain to the very top. 

We work with farms who prioritize the well-being of their majority women workforce, with subsidized housing, childcare and healthcare. 

We create opportunity for a workforce of 330+ floral designers--95% of whom are women--to do creative work they love. We believe the economy of the future is about unlocking the creative potential inside of each individual, and have designed Poppy  to empower anyone with a passion for floral design to earn a living. It’s not the easiest way to sell flowers, but we believe it’s the best way -- and it’s the future of the industry. 

Finally, 85% of our corporate team at Poppy are women. 25% of Poppy’s corporate team are moms, including me. With less than 2% of venture capital going to female founders, it’s worth noting that we’re working hard within a male-dominated environment to create economic opportunity for a fast-growing, distributed workforce of predominantly female creative workers. 

Whether you’re buying flowers for your wedding or for Mother’s Day, your dollars have the power to improve the lives of real people -- real women. 
Make them count!

Explore Poppy weddings or shop Poppy's at home floral arranging kits.



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