How’s your WFH been so far? We hope that you are safe, well & blooming brightly as you adapt to the new norm! 💪💪
With more than 6 weeks into the Circuit Breaker, we decided to take the time to step back and share a long-form update with you about how things have been on our end. It’s also our annual tradition where we share our musings and updates after major peak periods like Mother’s Day.
Things have been like a rollercoaster for us at Happy Bunch as we navigate ourselves through this pandemic. There have been a lot of uncertainties, challenges and changes on a daily basis—with unpredictable flower supply, demand fluctuations, manpower limitations, increasing cost of production and operations. On one hand, we panicked, especially from February to April. On the other hand, under these extreme conditions with limited resources, we have become (and have been forced to become 😬) a lot more creative, adaptive, bold & brave.
Our boldest move is to follow our gut, remove all the extra stuff (including some of the plans we announced in March) and re-focus 1000% on our basics—our core. For us, the basics mean staying extremely focused on our mission of bringing people closer, and inspiring an appreciation for everyday moments—big or small, good or bad—#justbecauselove. It also means striving to do things in our own signature way—keeping things simple, affordable and thoughtful. While these have always been our north star guiding us forward, it has now become even more important in the current context, where there’s much restriction on physical interaction and social activities. We want to do our very best in helping everyone connect with their loved ones and reconnect with themselves easily while we #stayhomestaysafe.
Back to Basics: What’s Blooming at Happy Bunch?
First of all, as many of you have already noticed, we’ve decided to simplify our flower selection to only one option—the Surprise Bunch. It was a bold move and there were definitely many moments of doubt. But it was a decision we made to ensure we could maintain affordability despite the current situation of irregular flower supply. It allows us to work with very fast turnaround times, to create gorgeous bunches featuring a good variety of seasonal flowers, all while keeping things pocket-friendly.
As much as the Surprise Bunch may have been a surprise for you, its launch brought on a bunch of surprises for us as well. We saw our flower wastage reduced to as close as zero. Just like other perishable products, tackling wastage is always a big challenge for flower businesses. We’re so happy that we can now use every single stem of fresh flowers that are in good condition, without having to throw them away. We are also able to change our designs super fast to introduce new seasonal flowers that are affordable. As a result, we can create gorgeous bunches of flowers faster, and include a wider variety of flower types!
As such, while we might eventually bring back our Fav Collection (where you can have a better idea of what you get) when supply is more stable, Surprise Bunch is here to stay. We’re truly thankful for your trust and support. We’re so grateful that you stepped out of your comfort zone and put your full trust in us since this change was introduced in mid-April. We know it’s tough to order a bunch of flowers for your loved ones without knowing what might come, so we would like to say thank you for taking a leap and joining us on this floral adventure! Thank you for allowing us to explore, create, and for allowing us to treasure & celebrate all flowers in their own natural beauty, shapes, and sizes.
Ever since we first launched the gift boxes themed “Happy Bunch of Things” last year, thoughtfulness has always been our key focus. It has always been about curating quality and affordable sets that recipients can actually use & enjoy. As much as we enjoy putting together gift boxes based on what we think you might like, we forgot that perhaps, you know your loved ones best!
By stepping back and putting our users first, we pursued thoughtfulness through introducing Build-A-Box. This way, we offer you full flexibility in selecting your gift items and how much you want to pay. We’re glad that you have welcomed this option with much love and support—for Birthday, Congrats or a “I’m Thinking of You” Care Package.
We know the experience for Build-A-Box is still far from perfect (but perfect isn’t what we’re after). We rolled out Build-A-Box super quickly, while tapping on our current infrastructure (which wasn’t built for this concept), to make sure we can bring you a much more thoughtful & affordable way for gifting. Rest assured that we are working on fine-tuning the experience to make the ordering easier for you.
Some of you have also reached out to ask for more gift selections, especially for the gents (since Father’s Day is coming up in June). We hear you, and we’re working super hard to introduce more gift options for the men in your life.
Speaking of thoughtfulness, DIY Flowers is also another new project that we’ve just started last week, and is currently in its testing phase! The concept came to us when we asked ourselves—how can we provide fun & uplifting flower arrangement experiences for flower lovers, who need a floral treat while WFH? No frills, just flowers—for you to get your hands dirty, unleash your creativity and most importantly, uplift the mood at home.
What’s new about DIY Flowers for us is that it’s the first time we’ve rolled out a product with a testing phase. By having a testing phase, we are able to actively engage all of you in the product development process, and include all of your feedback in the finetuning of the product before we officially launch it. It was heart-warming to receive some of your DIY Flower vase creations, and receive in-depth feedback on the areas you like, as well as the areas we should look into for improvements. While the official launch might not be able to address all of the feedback and suggestions, we will focus on identifying and addressing high-impact suggestions. Some of the areas we’re looking at right now include introducing a Flower Care Box—a starter kit for beginners, tutorials and content to introduce the featured flowers, improving packaging for fragile flowers, as well as improving flower curation.
We hope that you will join us in this conversation as we all learn something new & improve everyday together!
Building More Engaging & Informative Content
Over the past 2+ years in operations, we’ve realised that not everyone knows how to best care for flowers, or how to make the best of them. Upon receiving the flowers, quite a number of recipients leave the beautiful fresh flowers in its original wrapping, leaving it with little water source. As a result, the flowers wither pretty quickly! To help improve this, we plan to develop more relevant content, and it is currently on its way! 😉
For starters, we’ve been launching a fun project every Monday on our Instagram page @happybunchsg, where we introduce some bite-sized flower facts through the pop quiz format. In this series, we hope to introduce a variety of flowers that are gorgeous and not so commonly used & seen. On top of that, we’re also planning to develop more educational content in longform & video formats to share more information on flower handling, flower trends, the flower industry, as well as feature all the cool stuff from our growing list of beloved gift box partners.
When we first started Happy Bunch, we were simply flower lovers and we just loved the magical power that flowers have in helping to make someone’s day a better one. One thing’s for sure, we weren’t flower experts then (and we’re still not now). But we’ve learnt so much along the way through playing & exploring with flowers, talking to flower suppliers and tons of Googling and online reading 😬. While there are still so many things for us to learn, we aim to share our experiences (and hope to learn from your experiences too) as we believe that flowers & gifts shouldn’t be complicated. The joy of uplifting the spirit of ourselves & our loved ones should be simple and accessible, and we hope our series of upcoming content will be able to do just that!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela
Another major thing that made us extremely proud is how we’ve managed to step out of our comfort zone and achieve the seemingly impossible.
Firstly, we’ve had a very successful Mother’s Day this year, fulfilling thousands of deliveries without any delays during Mother’s Day week—with mostly just two flower fairies onsite and one Operations Coordinator offsite. If we were to ever tell our past selves that we’ll have to go through Mother’s Day week with a regular 3-person team, our default conclusion would definitely be “That’s impossible”, but we pushed through, and we did it! 🙌
Secondly, we’ve also gone completely out of our comfort zone by adopting the Surprise concept for both our Signature Bunch & DIY Flowers, and it has been well received. In the past, we would have definitely thought—“Impossible, customers won’t accept & buy what they can’t see”.
None of these achievements would have been possible without the hard work from everyone in the Happy Bunch Family, every delivery partner from PickUpp, our flower wholesalers Far East Orchid & GG Fresh Flowers, our gift partners—To Be Calm, Beans To Bars, Kittea, Left-Handesign and many more—all of whom worked around the clock to make things possible.
Lastly, it would definitely be an impossible feat without the love, trust, support & patience you have placed in us (and other small businesses like ourselves). We’re truly grateful for your support. Thank you a million—a zillion times! 💕
Let Positivity Bloom
As we wrap up this update (thank you for reading up till this point, we know it’s a really long update 😋), we hope we can find the strength and courage to embrace the changes, challenges & all sorts of surprises this pandemic has brought to our lives, together. We hope that we will all choose to bloom with much love, kindness and with an open mind.
If you’re struggling to adapt to the constant changes on a daily basis, below are some recommended reads we’d love to share with you. They give us much strength in the tough days and we hope they give you as much strength as you need to brace through this difficult time in your own best way. You can do it! 💪💪
“Because that’s the real challenge: deciding what our new normal is going to be and how we are going to be happy. Maybe your values have changed, maybe they haven’t. But just as we built old habits, we must build new ones. Because when we do all the things that make life worth living, it becomes worth living again.”— Matt Wallaert
“There is a famous Buddhist saying that everyone appears as buddhas in the eyes of the Buddha and everyone appears as pigs in the eyes of a pig. It suggests that the world is experienced according to the state of one’s mind. When your mind is joyful and compassionate, the world is, too. When your mind is filled with negative thoughts, the world appears negative, too. When you feel overwhelmed and busy, remember that you are not powerless. When your mind rests, the world also rests.”— Haemin Sunim
The quote is from the book titled “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World”. You can get this book via Kinokuniya Singapore or Book Depository.
Till we’re back with the next update, stay safe & healthy. Remember to live life to the fullest and appreciate everyday moments—big or small, good or bad—with an open heart. 🌻
To all our Muslim friends, we wish you a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! May this stay-home Raya be a memorable one full of love 💕
With blooming love and lots of virtual hugs,
Happy Bunch Team