Sydney flower delivery e-commerce business Mr Roses takes off and earns $5m in one year

A Sydney dad managed to raise millions selling roses and his business generated $811,000 in his best month ever.

James Stevens, 56, only started Mr. Roses three years ago, but he hit $5.4 million in revenue in the past fiscal year.

He was exposed to flowers from an early age when his parents ran a flower shop at Town Hall station in 1964.

The longtime florist told “I wanted a brand that would never be at the mercy of an owner”.

Watching his parents expand their flower shop into other busy thoroughfares to attract as many customers as possible, Mr. Stevens realized that it would be a more stable business model to deliver flowers rather than depending on the pedestrian traffic.

“I started in the flower game when I was a kid,” he explained. “I was born and raised in the floral industry, the mom and dad business model was a pretty simple business model.”

As a result, Mr. Stevens started a flower business that had no physical stores and instead offered delivery and relied on advertising and word of mouth to reach customers.

Business has grown massively, with the number of sales in February, on Valentine’s Day, a good indicator. At Mr. Roses on February 1, 2020, the company earned $203,000, but fast forwards to 2022, and it earned $811,000 that month.

He used a strategy he called the “sticky bill-factor” and credits it as one of the main reasons his business took off.

Mr. Stevens acknowledged that “Google won’t advertise for you” and decided to try everything to get his name out there, not just online advertising.

“The packaging and the way we present our roses is huge,” Stevens explained.

“I basically wanted the delivery of our flowers in the corridors of a building to be noticed by their presentation.

“I wanted them (our flowers) to be noticed when they arrived on the recipient’s desk. Then the sticky beak factor, when you get another four or five pairs of eyeballs on that freebie, that’s what (I knew) was going to grow our business.

He also used traditional methods, including television and radio advertisements and even billboards.

And it obviously paid off; in the past 10 months, 25,000 customers have purchased a long-stemmed rose from the company.

“We also sell a lot of chocolate, and candles and champagne with roses, those are the three main additional gift lines,” he added.

In a moving moment earlier this week, Mr Stevens said one of his clients had spent $1,600 on 200 stems of roses to send to his fiancé, looking forward to their wedding day in the near future.

Although Valentine’s Day is obviously the biggest day of the year for florists, Mr Stevens said people come to see him for all sorts of occasions.

“We’re a birthday business, we’re a birthday business, we’re an ‘I’m sorry’ business, it’s a year-round business,” he said.

The business has grown rapidly and can now offer same day delivery services in most capital cities and one small town – in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle.

Earlier this week, Mr Roses launched in Canberra, the Central Coast and Wollongong and plans are also in place for Adelaide.

There are 30 employers in several states, working as florists and couriers. Each city it delivers flowers to only needs one central location to prepare the flowers.

Mr. Stevens launched a crowdfunding campaign for his business that will allow anyone to own shares of Mr. Roses.

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Terisa K. Carn