it's time to talk our walk

time to talk our walk
read time: 5 minutes

we’re having what my friend paul at zingerman’s calls “a good problem” in our industry: in detroit and nationwide, more and more folks are becoming florists and plant sellers. this is wonderful, as people experience joy when living with flowers and houseplants and it’s becoming easier and easier to bring them into homes and businesses, but it can be challenging if you are already a florist and a plant seller. thusly the good, and the problem. 

hey, it’s lisa. if you don’t know me, i’m the founder and creative director of pot + box. 

i’ve always been adverse to competition, more so drawn to cooperative models of working with one another to advance the industry. i’d prefer not to say things like “there’s more competition” than ever before, i’d rather focus on the idea that each one of us florists and plant sellers brings something unique to the market, and thusly there is more access for people to bring beauty and life into their lives. 

with all of that being said, i want to differentiate pot + box from all of our florist friends and plant seller buddies by telling you a bit about HOW we manage the business and then if you see the world how we do, then you can support us through the purchase of our products and services. 

basically, it’s time to talk our walk. 

my friend elizabeth, a PR genius who oozes good ideas, recently put me through the paces when i was explaining to her our “good problem” and one thing she asked me was a standard PR question: “do you think you need to walk your talk?” inquiring if i thought our messaging to the world was true, or if we needed to step up our products and services to match what we were boasting on social media. 

her question jolted me with clarity—it’s not that what we say we do isn’t what we actually do. we’ve been posting pictures of beautiful flower arrangements and interesting houseplants because we sell those items. but we haven’t been sharing all of the truly important things that make pot + box unique. 

the four biggies that i’ve built the foundation of pot + box on are sourcing local flowers, supporting independent makers, a zero waste goal, and an empowered staff. 

i know that our attention spans are short these days, but if you will bear with me, i’d like to tell you just a skosh about each of these so you know what you are supporting when you support pot + box. 

sourcing local flowers
after a visit to the seattle wholesale growers market, i brought market founder diane szukovathy to detroit flower week in a completely selfish act to inspire local growers to create a market in southeast michigan and IT WORKED. i’m so proud to say that i’ve just begun my third year serving on the board of the michigan flower growers co-operative, and that in the summer months, pot + box sources ONE HUNDRED PERCENT locally grown flowers from farmers i know personally. i can’t really describe the elation of supporting our local farms and selling stunningly beautiful fresh flowers to our clients. 

supporting independent makers
when you shop at our retail store or send a gift, you are shopping from a hand-picked selection of independent small businesses and makers in detroit and other US cities. i know each of our makers personally, or have a special story of how i discovered the product before it makes its way into pot + box. i am proud and grateful to support fellow small businesses through my own.

a zero waste goal
zero waste is not easy—and i will be very clear that we are operating in a low waste model currently, but do envision a day when we could hit zero waste. we sort out all of our compostable materials from our fresh flower designs and the plant store, and it heads to the compost pile at our public park where flower house used to stand. we recycle everything possible, as well as reusing incoming packaging material to safely wrap up outgoing retail plants and flowers for transport. there is a LOT of waste in retail, and sadly, a whole lot in the floral industry, but we think there’s a better, sustainable, responsible way to work. 

empowered staff
THIS one is so important to me. i believe my role in the business is to serve my employees so they can serve our clients. i strive to encourage a culture of empowered and educated staff. pot + box practices open book management, which means all employees see, understand, and manage all of our finances and can effect change and learn about bookkeeping. 

if you’ve made it this far, i hope you have a deeper understanding of pot + box and what you are supporting when you do business with us. i strive to embody the three words that i’ve distilled as our ethos: oxygenating, representative, and empowering. i invite you to engage with us to bring more of each of these ideas into the world, through the currency of flowers and plants.