Five on Friday: Ellie from Flower Haul 

 

Gold Coaster Ellie Cummins is the floral genius behind Flower Haul, where simple, natural bunches of flowers are handpicked fresh from the flower markets, wrapped and boxed and delivered straight to your door – anywhere from Mackay to Sydney!

Where is home? 
Home is beautiful Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, where I live with my handsome fiancée, Dane, and my Chihuahua, Hugo. Flower Haul HQ is based out of the flower markets in Brisbane.

Tell us the story of Flower Haul. How did your business come about?
The real seed for the idea was planted (pardon the pun!) when I had had a few busy weekends in a row, and had missed out on getting my flowers from the local farmers’ markets. I was bummed out that I had to go yet another week without fresh flowers and it got me thinking that you can buy anything online nowadays, except fresh flowers from the markets!

There wasn’t really anywhere you could go to buy simple, natural bunches of flowers just like the ones you’d pick up at the flower markets. So, we set out to create an online flower shop that offers range of fresh, seasonal bunches of flowers that you could feel comfortable buying for yourself, but are also sweet enough that you could still buy for others as well.

What had been the most challenging part of starting your own business?
There are so many! The level of hard work required – I’m a trooper when it comes to work but I really did underestimate the level of unrelenting hard work required to start the business, and keep up the momentum.

Having to make big, scary decisions (and guesses!) about things that are not really reversible! I can be indecisive and sometimes just wish someone would come along and tell me what the right decision to make is. But when you’re at the wheel, those decisions are all your call.

The third challenge is working with a product that is unpredictable and perishable. There are a number of factors that can really affect supply, availability and quality of the flowers available at the flower markets each week so each week is different.. Then making sure the flowers are kept an optimum temperature during the packing process and stay fresh while they’re in transit is a whole other challenge!

What do you think has made your business a success?
It’s still early days for us (we just turned on-year-old!) but I think we have found ourselves a nice little gap in the market, which has helped us so far. We have really just focused on simple, natural market flowers and I think this has been refreshing for a lot of people who are a bit over gaudy, fluoro cellophane bouquets that most florists sell online.

We also aren’t replicating anything else that is currently available; it’s all coming from our own vision. Having a unique offering is really important.

We also have many, many wonderful customers and supporters who believe in what we’re doing, which I’m so grateful for! We actually, genuinely care about every Flower Haul experience we provide, and do whatever we can to make sure it’s perfect, and I think this shines through.

Where did your love of flowers come from?
My favourite flower ever since I was a little girl has been a daisy. Every birthday, I would ask for a bunch of fresh daisies! As an adult, flowers have always been an affordable indulgence for me. It doesn’t really matter what’s going on in your life, flowers just make everything sweeter and brighter. Add a vase of fresh, cut flowers and the vibe of your home, bedroom or corner of the world will perk up instantly. For me, they are also a gentle reminder to slow down and make more time for the simple things in life because often those are the things that make us happiest.

What are your favourite flowers and why?
Seriously, it changes all the time! I’m a sucker for the soft and delicate types so my top three would be hydrangea, peonies, ranunculus. I still buy flowers for myself every week, too!

What do you enjoy doing on your days off?
The thing is, there is never a ‘day off’! I really do work on the business every single day. Although, on weekends I do try to balance things a little more! We’ll usually start the weekend stand-up paddle boarding at Tallebudgera Creek, then have an iced latte at one of our favourite places. We love exploring and often go on little day trips to new places. If I’m at home and have some spare time, I love simple pleasures like cooking and reading in the hammock. But in reality, you’ll usually find me at my desk!

 

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