Florence Kennedy Petalon Flowers

When Florence Kennedy started using Instagram a little more than six years ago, she did so for one simple reason: “Mainly to spam friends with photos of my dog,” she says. Granted, pictures of her photogenic Great Dane, Huxley, probably didn’t seem much like spam to Florence’s canine-friendly chums. But there may be a limit – or not – to just how many photos one can endure of a handsome and huge Great Dane crossing his front paws or lounging on the couch.
In 2013, Kennedy started her unique floral business, Petalon Flowers, and Instagram took on a whole new meaning. Tired of the daily grind, Kennedy launched Petalon Flowers as a way for her to design pretty and hearty hand-tied bouquets that she delivers all across London, U.K., via her husband’s handmade bikes. The business has flourished – Kennedy now has several cyclists and a designer working with her – in part because of how word has spread on Instagram.
“I honestly don’t think Petalon would have taken off without Instagram,” she says. “It’s been a vital part of our growth.”

Who Florence Kennedy of Petalon Flowers, a floral design and bike-based delivery company in London.

why we like it Not only is Petalon a super-creative approach to flowers – hand-tied bouquets wrapped in hessian and delivered by hand-built bikes – but Kennedy also sprinkles shots of her daughter, husband and dog in with the mix of floral posts to strike the perfect balance.

Free and easy Kennedy started her business almost on a whim and without any big investment. Instagram helped her build a buzz for little expense or effort. “I started the business on a shoestring, and it was a free way I could tell people who we are and what we do. That’s huge. If someone with lots of followers receives a Petalon bouquet and shares it, all their followers find out about us – and I haven’t had to do anything to get that awareness apart from make a good product that people like enough to share.”

(Not) all business While Instagram has been helpful for the business, Kennedy says there’s more to the platform than that. “For me, Instagram is a chance to see behind a brand. I can go to a website to see all the products, but it’s nice to get a feel for a company’s personality. I love to see how other people operate their own businesses, too. I find highly curated business/sales-focused accounts really off-putting.”

Top posts Kennedy says she gets the most interaction and success with posts by mixing business with pleasure. “As my family has grown, I’ve become more of a mum bore.
I’m OK with that. More personal posts are lovely to look back on for me, but if there is a particular bouquet or installation I’m proud of, then it’s a nice reminder that I can make good things. Our two most successful posts are of a collection of our bouquets and of my kid in her Halloween costume. For me, that’s a good indication that what our followers want is a load of beautiful flowers and a little background on who makes them and what their world is like.”

Instagram advice “It should be fun and useful if you’re using it for your business. Once you start posting for the interaction success figures, I think it becomes blindingly obvious, and it’s not as enjoyable for your followers. Ask yourself why you like following whom you follow. Is it the competitions and giveaways, or is it the snippets of beauty or laughter or interest that brighten your coffee break.”

see for yourself @peltalon_flowers