It all started when Talia Boone was first introduced to arranging flowers a few years ago. It began with her wanting fresh flowers in the house and being curious about what kind of arrangements she could create on her own. Almost immediately, she fell in love with it. It was so calming and relaxing that she started to look forward to the hour or two that she would get to arrange flowers and just decompress and quiet her mind. It became her go-to form of self-care and a way to relieve stress.
Two months into quarantine last spring, Talia was super stressed and desperately in need of a floral fix to ease her nerves as the walls in her home began to close in on her. She needed fresh flowers, but the LA Flower Market was closed due to the lockdowns. After looking around online for other ways to get her hands on some flowers, she came across a flower wholesaler who shipped large volumes of flowers to clients like florists, event & wedding planners, etc., all around the world. She just cold-called him hoping to convince him to reduce his minimums and ship her a small order of flowers that she could arrange at home.
Through that conversation, Talia learned about the obstacles that prevented him from accommodating her request, but by the end of their 2-hour call, her mind was spinning. She realized that what she wanted didn’t exist, but that could possibly be an opportunity for her to fill a hole in the marketplace. She immediately went to work putting together a wireframe for what the business could look like. That was in May. By late July, they launched in beta with nearly 20 domestic farm partners signed up to ship for them. Today, they’re shipping flowers all across the country.
Postal Petals provides direct access to farm-fresh, high-quality flowers to those who enjoy the mood-enhancing beauty of bold blooms and appreciate the mind-calming experience of arranging them. Talia built a community of more than 20 domestic farms to curate and ship only the freshest, highest-quality flowers available. Each box arrives with bundles of blooms that clients can then break apart and design in a way that best suits their creative musings.
Before Talia entered the floral industry, she had a groundbreaking career in sports, entertainment, and social impact. She brings over 15 years of experience in brand strategy, communications, marketing, public relations, promotions, sales, and strategic partnerships.
A native of a Los Angeles suburb, Talia is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she earned a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. She’s also an advocate of civic engagement and collective social change as well as a lover of facts, experiences, art, culture, and of course, flowers.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Talia to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
I’d say it was around my third year in the workforce. My first two jobs out of college were for unconventional but large companies, but then I worked for a very small sports and entertainment company where I was empowered to do new things, build campaigns and initiatives that came to mind and find new ways to do old things. I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself beyond my own limitations. When I would succeed, I’d be drunk with excitement about what I was able to build. I’d say that this was when I was first, in a real way, introduced to the idea that I thrive as an entrepreneur. The seed was planted, and within a few years, I went out on my own and hadn’t looked back.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked in professional but quite unconventional environments. Right out of college, I started working in the NFL, and while it was hard work, it was enjoyable and light-hearted with insane work hours. After I left the NFL, I still worked in sports, but for a small agency where I often worked independently and my first taste of entrepreneurialism.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
The freedom and ability to create drive me. I love that I have almost complete autonomy and work only on projects that inspire me. I’m incredibly driven by work that can positively impact marginalized populations.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
Busy! For me, a typical workday starts with checking in on Slack for updates, orders that may have come in overnight, and setting a list of any urgent priorities for the day. Next, I check my calendar for the day, then slot tasks in between meetings. I spend the next 6-8 hours in meetings and working through the day’s to-do list. At the end of the day, I go over notes from the day, assess the work completed, and prep for the next day.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
My love for flowers
My love for self-care
And my desire to see if I could do it and how big it could be
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Vision, hard work, flexibility, and determination.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
E-Commerce, Hiring, and Interviewing.
When starting Postal Petals, I struggled (and still do struggle) with a number of different things getting it off the ground. I was new to the e-commerce space, so building a platform from scratch was a challenge. We tried numerous platforms before landing on Shopify but are still working to hire developers for customization. And luckily, I have been able to hire an amazing support team in all departments who help this business run smoothly. But finding good people isn’t always easy. I learned through the interviewing and hiring process about what red flags to potentially look out for and whose work ethic matches mine. Also, when you’re building a business, you have a limited amount of resources, so you often have to rely on freelancers and contractors. While some great freelancers are out there, some may over promise and under deliver or just disappear altogether. We work hard every day to identify solid staffing support for our team.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Collaborations are key. It’s an easy way to your brand in front of other audiences. Plus, building relationships with other brands could lead to solid expansion for your brand through unexpected avenues.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Listen. Delegate. Decisive.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Ask for help. There is absolutely no shame in saying you don’t know how to do something. The people around you want to see you win and see you succeed, so let them know if they can help you. Maybe it’s asking for help with a logo design from a friend who does graphic design, or asking an attorney friend about how to set up an LLC, etc. Don’t stress yourself out trying to figure it all out on your own. You can go so much with a supportive tribe around you.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
The number one piece of advice I give business leaders and budding entrepreneurs is to take care of yourself and carve out personal time to reset and refresh. If the leader is not well physically, mentally, and emotionally, they won’t be any good to those looking to them to lead. The last thing you want to do is burn out before you accomplish your goal.