We catch up with the co-founders of flower delivery business LVLY, Verity Tuck and Hannah Spilva and find out more about their business journey.
Tell us about LVLY and the philosophy behind the brand.
LVLY (pronounced lovely) is a collaboration between my business partner, Verity, and I. The idea for LVLY started with a purpose rather than a product. We wanted to build a business that would help keep loved ones connected and spread a bit of joy in the world.
We were living away from home, missing friends and family and saw a gap in the market to send affordable flowers and gifts that weren’t the traditional red roses and fluffy teddy bears. Our mission is to become Australia’s most loved and most used flower delivery service. We have a strong commitment to supporting local flower growers and other small businesses in Australia, as well as building our business in a way that treads lightly on the environment. Our philosophy is about being ‘lovely to people, lovely to Australia and lovely to the planet’.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After ten years in advertising, Verity and I were both ready for a fresh challenge and excited by the idea of building a brand from the ground up. We saw a gap in the market for a gift delivery service that was affordable enough to fulfil those ‘just because’ gifting moments and ‘on trend’ enough to really stand out from the big incumbents.
One of the things that excited us most was the idea of building a truly customer-centric business, a company that had customer happiness baked into its DNA. We set out with a simple purpose to ‘Make people’s day’ and because our whole team is so aligned on that we won’t stop until we make it happen.
What is different about LVLY compared to other flower delivery businesses?
It’s a combination of so many things. We’ve created a playful and cheeky brand that is as much part of the experience as the flowers themselves. We offer personalisation and customisation, which makes for a more thoughtful and unique gift – you can add a name, nickname or message to our flower jar labels and our ‘build your own’ functionality on the website lets you create your own gift box of goodies.
We’ve invested a lot into our packaging, in fact our packaging has become quite iconic – all flowers come in re-usable LVLY branded glass jars and arrive in a custom-made ‘someone thinks you’re awesome’ gift box. Our unboxing experience is completely unique in the category.
We’ve always maintained the best delivery proposition in the market, we deliver same-day, 7 days a week and our order cut off isn’t until 5pm. We have the best delivery proposition of any online retailer in Australia.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who might be interested in starting their own businesses?
Start with a clear purpose. Make sure you’re solving a problem you’re passionate about. Surround yourself with smart, honest and positive people. Have a healthy dose of competitiveness because if you’re not determined to win, you won’t. And remember that there’s no such thing as an overnight success story, building a successful business will be way harder than you thought but infinitely more rewarding than you ever dreamed possible.
Whatever you’re doing before, the transition from being an employee to running your own business is a steep learning curve. It doesn’t matter what experience or skills you have – nothing prepares you for the relentlessness of it. In other careers, you can work hard and go home, but as a founder you simply can’t unplug. It’s a new level of connectedness that you need to learn to manage.
Lastly, what is next on the horizon for LVLY?
At LVLY we’re constantly innovating to stay relevant to our customers and to be the best in our category. You can expect to see more products, more collaborations and more same-day locations across Australia and beyond.
We’ve recently launched two new collaborations – one with Hardie Grant Publishing that brings books, games and puzzles into the range. Another one with Happy Collective, wellness and self care is a hot topic and very relevant to our audience. We’re not scared of trying new things and taking risks. There’s also a bunch of stuff that won’t change, like our obsession with making people happy and our dedication to being there when our customers need us.