By some floral-industry estimates, 45 to 60 percent of fresh flowers die before getting to your doorstep. The ones that remain alive, meanwhile, only last seven to 10 days before wilting and being discarded. It’s a wasteful practice, yet there’s no good alternative… or is there? Ethereal Blooms proves yes. This small business preserves real flowers that last upwards of six months, supplying arrangements to superyachts, private residences, and designer shops. In fact, about 70 luxury yachts are currently customers, enjoying bouquets that look as beautiful as freshly cut ones. What’s more, yacht crews assert they’re spending far less than they did in flower shops, for far more benefits.
Ethereal Blooms got its start in 2019 through co-founders Kathryn Popplestone and Erni Visser (below, left and middle). Popplestone is a biochemist and florist, while Visser left a career as a veterinarian to pursue a passion for floristry. They established the company to combine their respective backgrounds and passions with a more sustainable mindset. When Joanna Hirst (below, right), a former superyacht stew, joined their team two years later, that opened the door to the yachting industry.
Don’t confuse “preserved flowers” with “dried flowers.” Ethereal Blooms uses a bio-preservation process that replaces the water in each flower with natural oils. While other companies offer preserved flowers, too, they can look or feel fake. Furthermore, some lose their vibrant coloring. Ethereal Blooms avoids these issues through its own processes, but also by beginning preservation as much as possible at the source, the flower farms. This allows flowers, down to the tiniest delicates, to remain as soft and colorful as if they were just cut. In fact, when we met at the Monaco Yacht Show, Hirst was carrying a striking floral arrangement that I nearly bent toward to smell. At six months old, it was still fresh-looking.
Results like this are why yachting customers are on the rise, and why Burgess recently partnered with Etheral Blooms to supply its fleet. Regardless of being a fleet client or an individual client, yachts gain benefits beyond mere looks. Firstly, preserved flowers don’t need water. This in turn means crews no longer struggle with lifting, moving, or spilling heavy vases. They also don’t need maintenance: no cleaning up of pollen or fallen petals. Yet another benefit, Ethereal Blooms can supply arrangements in a variety of vases and other displays. Additionally, and significantly, crews have told Hirst they’re spending 50 to 75 percent less thanks to its offerings.
“Yachts want to make sustainable choices, but it’s often difficult to know how to do this without compromising on luxury,” Hirst explains. She adds, “Fresh flowers fly under the radar as an unsustainable product a lot of the time, but crew know all too well how disappointing it is to throw away stunning florals week on week and how difficult they are to source and maintain mid-season.”
Ethereal Blooms can deliver arrangements wherever couriers like Federal Express go. Even its packaging is more sustainable, including materials that dissolve in water or are recyclable. Now with offices in London and Fort Lauderdale, it’s able to grow its reach even more into the superyacht sector.
Ethereal Blooms etherealblooms.com