Name: Philomena Kwok
Current location: Fitzroy North in Melbourne, Australia
City you were raised in: Sydney, Australia
Job Title and Company name: Co Founder, BLOOMBOX CO
Please tell us more about Bloombox Co: BLOOMBOX CO started over a bottle of wine and a gasbag session with a childhood friend, and now business partner in crime, Melissa Whidjaya. We were scrolling through Facebook and came across this post by a girl from our school—a successful lawyer, who was standing outside a florist, wishing she could justify buying herself some flowers. And then she tagged her husband. We were thinking ‘What? What century are we in? Buy yourself the damn flowers!’ In fact, why don’t women buy themselves flowers? Anyway, it grew from there.
So what BLOOMBOX CO does is deliver amazing seasonal flowers to your door each week and we pair deliveries with a matched video tutorial to teach you how to style your home or workspace with them. And we team up with local creatives to come up with cool, inspirational content and tutorials.
It’s pretty simple, but our whole philosophy is completely rooted in the importance of self appreciation and embracing your own creativity.
What were you doing before you started Bloombox Co? Just before we started BLOOMBOX CO, I had a career in finance. So it was that giant leap of faith, out of a corporate career into the unknown!
But I always ran passion projects on the side, including a high end hat label, where I designed headwear for the runway, TV, magazines and for racegoers. In fact, I even had a call out from Lady Gaga’s stylist! But it was never going to be something that reliably paid the bills and ended up feeling like more of a burden than it was worth.
Could you give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to become a floral entrepreneur? I’m not exactly a florist, more a purveyor of floral goodness. And that’s definitely a misconception I have to manage pretty frequently. I’m all about DIY and the sneaky little things you can do to make your space amazing, with the least amount of effort. I’m really into casual flowers and not following any hard and fast rules.
Don’t get me wrong though, I do value the artistry that you see in floristry—in fact my sister is an event florist and the skill involved is amazing. I just don’t believe that not having learnt floristry should stop you from enjoying playing with flowers.
Though, I guess to answer your question, my one piece of advice would be to jump in and get playing, and get to understand what you like and don’t like about different floral styles. And if floristry is in your path (or even if you’d prefer to stay a floral dabbler), you’ll have a really good idea of what your aesthetic is. [Get Philomena’s top Flower Arranging Tips!]
Please tell us about the inspiration to start your @peony_addict feed: Well @peony_addict was a purely selfish endeavor! I’m amazed that so many people have jumped on board to share this crazy little obsession with me—basically drooling over beautiful pictures of peonies on Instagram.
Peonies are in season for such a short period of time (just a couple of weeks each year) and they’re also incredibly short lived—so they’re this perfect reminder to appreciate fleeting beauty while it lasts.
Anyway, I spend way too much time peony stalking on Instagram so just to amuse myself and to avoid spamming our business Insta feed, I created an extra account just to post any really pretty peony discoveries.
What is your favorite type of flower (or second favorite to peonies!)? Oooh, it’s really hard to choose a second fave flower. I love basically anything apart from gerberas. But for the moment, I’ll say sweet pea as I have them on my desk right now and they smell incredible!
I’m also really into leaves, foliage, succulents—anything green. Having greenery around is so lush and life affirming! [Find out which flowers to give for any occasion in our Q&A with Philomena!]
Anything else you wish to share about your business or your peony addiction? We’re building a floral revolution that we want to take global! And making flowers fun, easy and accessible in the process, rather than this luxurious, untouchable thing. So if you think you need a bit of what we’re doing where you are, or even if you want to get involved in some way—get in touch with me!