We sat down with Ryan Primrose, owner and managing director of Flowers for Everyone to get to know him a little more. His business, Flowers for Everyone, has recently expanded into the digital sphere after realising the boundless potential there exists here.
That’s not to say it’s all smooth sailing when it comes to e-commerce, wait until you hear Ryan’s response to what he wishes he won’t be doing this time next year.
Sum up your very first job interview in three words.
Didn’t have one.
In fact, interestingly enough, I’ve never had a job interview.
If you could be in any other career, what would you be?
What song do you think sums up the digital landscape in Australia right now?
Maybe Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball – everything is crazy at the moment.
What’s something you don’t want to be doing this time next year?
Logistics. These are most definitely the worst part of the job for me.
What do you wish you’d been taught at school, but weren’t?
Maybe something about finance or commerce.
Who is Ryan Primrose?
Ryan Primrose is the owner and director at Flowers for Everyone, a Sydney-based florist that is fast expanding from a bricks-and-mortar operation with physical stores throughout Sydney, to an online delivery service.
He got his start early in the floristry industry, leaving school in year 10 to buy his first floristry courier run. His was the Sutherland Shire run. This entailed collecting flowers from all of the florists in the area, bringing them into Kings Cross and later distributing them back. This gave him some pretty early insights into what the big florists were doing not only with their arrangements but with their organisation as well.
His mum also owned a florist shop, and so he worked there in the afternoons or when she needed help with big events. He’d sell flowers on the side of the road to people as they drove past in their cars.
Ryan is a creative soul, and enjoys the earthy, organic aspects of floristry. He spends as much time as he can at the family farm in Grose Vale. He says he has an almost spiritual connection with the land and finds it easiest to relax there.
The Global Financial Crisis was the impetus for the pivot towards a bigger focus on the online aspects of the business.
In his words…
So, these days what’s a typical day at work like for you?
It’s absolute madness at the moment, I normally start at half-past three in the morning and from there it’s printing, allocating and forecasting the day ahead. This takes me until about 6am, and then, 7am until 2:30 in the afternoon, we’ve got a driver coming through every 15 minutes. This is where the logistics I mentioned before comes in.
In between all of that, there’s all the ordering and the other usual day-to-day running aspects of the business. From 3 to 4 I head off to the gym, and when I’m back there’s a couple of hours of preparation to get through for the next day – ordering produce and the likes – before I try and at least get through most of my emails.
I’m also working on relinquishing a bit of control of some of the parts of the business – especially the website.
Phew, I’m tired just thinking about a day like that. Business-wise, have there been any setbacks along the way.
Obviously, Definitely, a couple of years ago, we tried to jump too quickly and go too hard. We went from a small warehouse to a very large one and ended up really just over-complicating everything. I didn’t trust my own gut instinct but just let myself be led.
At the end of the day, our business model is very simple. We buy the flowers, add value to them and then touch the customer with the final product.
And digital marketing, then?
What about a highlight, then, career-wise?
A highlight for me has been the transition from in-store retail to online. My background has been in traditional retail, but along the way as we’ve experienced crises like COVID and the GFC, you start to realise just how many costs are built-in to operating a bricks-and-mortar store. COVID has also really forced our hands when it came to streamlining our operations and cutting back on the in-person stuff. We really had no option other than to see what it would be like to run the business without physical stores – and it ended up showing us the potential there is from running stuff online only.
Not only does it save on overhead costs for us, but we are also able to deliver fresher flowers. There are no middle-men, we literally get the flowers straight from the mountains, they arrive in our warehouse and we send them straight off to the customer.
What’s the trickiest part when it comes to digital marketing?
You’re asking me this question after I’ve just spent an hour in a meeting with Google! So, yes, that’s definitely the trickiest part, dealing with all of the rules and regulations set out by these big guys.
Have a read about how Ambire and Flowers for Everyone have collaborated to achieve some killer objectives.