Flowers For Dreams
In our latest episode of Conquer The Noise, Jonathan sits down with Steven Dyme, founder of Flowers For Dreams. Steven found himself in the flower business by accident. During his teen years, just after graduating high school, he started selling flowers at graduations and other school events to help pay for college while donating a portion of the profits to help outfit Chicago area students in need with school supplies.
Jonathan and Steven talk through how this evolved into Flowers For Dreams after he and a few friends from college joined him in selling flowers on the street, eventually taking over the whole Chicago area, while also selling at high schools during graduations and big events. He eventually became the schools’ florist of record. The first summer they did this, they gave 500 backpacks to 3 different schools in Chicago.
Steven talks about how they give away 25% of profits to nonprofits in each community they serve, totaling $750K to date. As Steven dug into his founding story, they talked about the power in not knowing and how naïveté actually helped him early on.
When Flowers For Dreams was founded, social enterprise/entrepreneurship wasn’t popularized the way that it is now. The program allowed them to tell a well integrated and authentic giving story with a clear mission.
“Flowers are fun, but the thing that woke me up every day and got me excited was hand delivering those backpacks to kids,” said Steven.
As the conversation continued, they talked about ethical consumerism, corporatism and capitalism. Steven points out that change starts with everyone – humans, regulators, companies and asks, “How do you figure out what you can give, but also maintain the business/staff and growth as well?” At the end of the day, they do need to make money and that’s what’s unique about their story. Performance matters; sales don’t measure the holistic performance of a company.
As the episode closes, they dig in to brand and how that has given them a leg up. Brand is everything – not just about how beautiful products are, but about how they tell the story. Early on they understood the power of brand. One tangible way they grew was by being an early adopter of Instagram. They are now trying out Tiktok and the best type of content for them to create. Steven’s parting message is don’t be too patient and wait to launch your business or idea. You need to be clear with your vision and take the first step forward.
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