Today we are celebrating our first anniversary of selling orchids online! We never expected to still be in lockdown after a year, however things are starting to look more positive and we also have some exciting plans for Love Orchids in the pipeline.
We have been growing phalaenopsis orchids in the UK for over 15 years and Love Orchids was created in 2016 as a source of orchid information, advice and inspiration. We won a RHS Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show and started to build our community of budding orchid enthusiasts.
In March 2020, when we went into lockdown, we were suddenly faced with a problem, demand for orchids through our usual wholesale channels dropped off and lots of plants that were already growing were at risk of ending up on the compost heap. We couldn’t bear the thought of that, especially when we knew that people needed beautiful plants more than ever.
We decided we would set up an online shop and try to get our orchids directly to your door. Within one week we were up and running. That was one year ago, on 6th April.
We started with our ‘multi pack’, offering 4 mini orchids for £20, including delivery, which is an amazing deal. It doesn’t cover our costs but it saves those plants from the compost heap, which was our mission, and also kept people in work and off furlough last year.
To our surprise, we got some orders and that’s when the fun began!
We know our orchids are top quality but how could we get them to your doorstep in the same pristine condition that they come out of our glasshouse in? We started developing packaging that would both protect the plants but also be enjoyable to receive. If you bought any orchids from us in the early days, you may remember that our first few iterations were certainly not enjoyable to open, tape everywhere and too much cardboard! We had to design boxes that could go upside down, be dropped and endure the rollercoaster ride of a courier van.
The boxes that we have now are performing very well. We have a tiny amount of boxes that do get damaged in transit, and we will keep working to reduce that even further.
PR & Customer Support
Our story got picked up by a couple of national newspapers and we also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme. This publicity helped us get going and save plants from the bin.
Customer Support was another challenge, and we haven’t always got this right but we have tried hard to answer all your questions and resolve any problems as quickly as possible. We will get better at this and appreciate your patience.
One of the best bits about the last year has been your feedback. Constructive suggestions have helped us get better and your positive reviews, emails and comments have made the whole Love Orchids team so proud, it reminds us of why we do it, which is to make people happy! In particular, hearing from people who have been cheered up by our orchids during a very difficult period has been amazing. Keep the feedback coming!
"I bought two lots of orchids for friends during this third lockdown. Both arrived extremely well packed, in beautiful condition and were thoroughly gorgeous. Needless to say recipients were very pleased too. I will buy more in future. Thoroughly recommend. Thank you Love Orchids for such a premium product!"
It’s been quite a year, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel and optimism that things will slowly start returning to ‘normal’. Looking forward, we have some exciting plans in the pipeline for Love Orchids, including sorting out our website to make it easier to navigate, refreshing our brand and launching a new product range. Watch this space for more details.
Thank you for your support over the last year and we hope that you will continue to Share the Love!