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Interviews

When Bloom & Wild moved home...

Josh Roberts and Caitlin Price recently asked eporta to help them design and deliver a new workspace for Bloom & Wild, here's the journey from beginning to end.

design stories x eporta

Read time 6 minutes

Caitlin Price and Josh Roberts in the Bloom & Wild Reception area.
Caitlin Price and Josh Roberts in the Bloom & Wild Reception area.

In 2017, Bloom & Wild - the online flower gifting company - were named the second fastest growing brand in the UK. In just four years they had grown by more than 13,000%, and as the business grew exponentially, the size of the team closely followed suit. In a short period, the company had moved numerous times across London in search of spaces that could fit their whole team, floristry studio, plus their packaging and delivery areas.

Last year, they decided it was time to find a space that offered them a long-term solution; somewhere that could be - as their Head of Expansion, Josh Roberts, describes - their "first grown-up home."

We spoke to Josh, along with Office Manager, Caitlin Price about how they designed a brand new home for Bloom & Wild.

We'd never really had a home. We'd moved three or four times in the space of a couple of years, and this was a space for us to first call home and the first 'grown-up' home for us as a business.

Growing Up Fast

One of the first things that Caitlin pointed out was, "previous offices felt quite cluttered." As the company's growth had snowballed, space restrictions had been a recurring problem. This difficulty was exacerbated by the fact that the work at Bloom & Wild is so varied. With diverse functions - from flower arrangement to website design - all happening within the same space, the company had previously struggled to delegate space accordingly. When deciding on plans for the new workspace, both Caitlin and Josh knew it needed to accommodate future growth and offer spatial solutions for their team.

"We needed to give people the space they needed to work their best", stated Caitlin.

Josh's role as Head of Expansion meant he recognised the team's need to collaboratively work on specific projects. "Meeting rooms were a huge thing," he told us, "in our previous office we had one small meeting room for the team, now we have three meeting rooms alongside other meeting spaces and collaboration points. That's really helped us."

Each meeting room in the office is named and designed after one of the seasons.
Each meeting room in the office is named and designed after one of the seasons.
Each meeting room in the office is named and designed after one of the seasons.

With plans for future expansion, Caitlin also adopted a long term mindset. "We wanted to find furniture that we could take away with us. We know that we're probably not going to be in this space forever."

Sourcing Inspiration

For both Josh and Caitlin, designing an office space was a new challenge. Taking advice and inspiration from others who had completed this task before was an essential part of the project for both of them.

When they began scoping out ideas for their new home, they made sure to factor in time to take a look round the workspaces of other young, growing companies in London.

If there was an office that we had heard was nice, we went and had a look. From Etsy to Moo, there were probably five or six offices that we went to see.

For Caitlin, Moo’s London office stood out the most. Their open plan, flat office culture was something she had envisaged for their own workspace. Taking time to have a look at how other companies had utilised space was something that she recognised to have been really beneficial in their own design process.

"It was great to pick up on some of the practical stuff as well. I loved Etsy’s office, it was absolutely stunning but even more importantly it helped us identify some of the things that wouldn’t have crossed our mind, like having two dishwashers if you’re a team of 80 plus. Or having two fridges, and a large pantry to be able to store extra food for your team," said Josh.

Bloom & Wild's kitchen area, with appliances suitable for a large team.
Bloom & Wild's kitchen area, with appliances suitable for a large team.

Making it their Own

While Josh and Caitlin cleverly incorporated learnings from other workspaces, there is no doubt that the aesthetic of the Bloom & Wild offices is entirely their own.

On first entering the office, you're greeted by a warm reception area showcasing their brand logo and signature pastel pinks. Sweet scents fill the air and flowers adorn every surface. As you take a seat, you gain a clear view of their floristry studio. As you sit in this bright, welcoming space, it's instantaneously apparent that their office is a transparent reflection of their brand.

The reception area.
The reception area.
The reception area.

For Josh, staying on brand meant remembering the foundations of their company. A critical aspect for him was offering clear visibility into the heart of what they do. "The floristry studio is one of my favourite places", he noted, "as you wait for a meeting or interview, you have this huge window which looks into our studio, and you can see our florists at work, creating new ranges or just creating flowers for events. It welcomes you to our brand and lets us stay close to our product."

We worked really closely with our Head of Design, we wanted to keep things simple and stay on brand.

Not only did their design ensure that they stayed close to their product, but it also subtly incorporated ways of keeping the team close to the brand ethos. Hung on a wall above an open, elongated meeting table were framed descriptions of Bloom & Wild's five fundamental business principals which include 'Pride', 'Innovation' and 'Care'.

Creating this feature in a working area seemingly offers a great way to help employees inform their decisions for the business, while also allowing visitors to get a quick glimpse into the way the company operates.

Bloom & Wild's key principals on display in this open plan meeting space.
Bloom & Wild's key principals on display in this open plan meeting space.

Moving In

When we asked Caitlin and Josh what the best part of the project was for them, they shared a knowing look and agreed that it was the process of moving in itself.

"It was a chance for us to get together as a team. We all care so much about building this brand and making this space feel like a home for us. Putting everything together was so much fun" said Caitlin.

Josh agreed, adding that, by assisting in the assembly of the space, the team had a chance to feel connected and comfortable in their new surroundings.

The new desks sported fun headshots of the team member who would be 'moving in' to that new spot. Immediately, this brought each desk to life, infusing a little personality and individuality into the space.

For Caitlin, the desks were a priority focus when planning the new workspace. It was crucial to her that every member of the team felt comfortable and at home in the place that they would be spending so much of their time.

Our desks totally hit the nail on the head. It might sound like a boring thing to say but they’re my favourite part of the office. We spend so much time at our desks, it’s really important that they look good and feel like part of our own space.

Josh also wanted to create a space which welcomed new joiners to the company; making it as seamless as possible for them to 'move in' to their space as well.

A carpet runner had been installed 'from the entrance of the office, right through to the kitchen' to act as a central walkway. With everyone travelling up and down the walkway, employees get the opportunity to interact with their colleagues and broaden their awareness of what other team members are working on on a daily basis. It also helps new starters to see some friendly faces and settle in. In total, this addition showcases a thoughtful way of increasing visibility in the workplace and promoting the collaborative, open Bloom & Wild culture.

The walkway through the centre of the office helps increase visibility across teams.
The walkway through the centre of the office helps increase visibility across teams.

Working Together

From mapping out their requirements in August 2018 to moving in that December, Josh and Caitlin worked collaboratively to lead the project; clearly a natural fit for them both. As well as working with one another, they united with their colleagues, and with our procurement team at eporta, to help complete their design as quickly and efficiently as possible. They came to eporta specifically for sourcing advice and quick turnaround time without compromising on their budget or brief. What they also got was a creative soundboard.

Caitlin elaborated on this partnership, "I felt like with eporta, not only did we have an extremely knowledgable partner on furniture, but we also had someone to help steer us in certain directions which we didn't get from anyone else on the project because we were doing it all ourselves."

Our procurement team were delighted to have helped Josh, Caitlin and the whole Bloom & Wild team to complete their first grown-up home, and we're excited to see how their business continues to flourish there.

If you would like to learn more about our procurement team, and how they can help you with your upcoming projects, reach out to them at procurement@eporta.com.

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