Service – The Bouqs

3.11.2016 (2)
Winston loves my Bouq

I am a sucker for a deal.  Ok, maybe not a sucker, but when I am offered a free thing, I like to find opportunities to take advantage.  Free event?  Yes – I am there.  Free ice cream?  Don’t have to tell me twice!  So in a recent box from my wine club (which I’ll post about later), I was offered the chance to get a free Bouquet from “The Bouqs”, a service that’s trying to disrupt the floral industry the way that other tech companies are trying to disrupt the way we get rides, borrow cars, cook, buy clothing, etc.  I’d seen a few bloggers write them up in sponsored posts and was skeptical because of the price (and also sponsored posts usually get my spider-sense tingling), but figured – free is awesome, I wouldn’t give up this opportunity otherwise, and heck – it would be a good experiment to report back to y’all.  So consider this a #notsponsored post, where I lay out the real deal.

But first, what is “The Bouqs” exactly?  Well, if I sound like an advertisement for a second, it’s because I’m going to pull information from their site.  Some of the flowers are grown in eco-friendly farms in the U.S.  But a portion – including their roses, I believe? – are grown on the side of a volcano near the equator.  How cool is that?  They provide competitive wages for their employees, along with providing childcare onsite, healthcare and adult education.  And they’re independently certified as eco-friendly and sustainable by Veriflora and The Rainforest Alliance.  Which is kind of cool.

So – I started looking at their catalog.  My coupon was for one regular size bouq, worth $40.  A lot of the really pretty bouqs (especially those that contain roses) aren’t even available for $40.  So I had a limited choice to start.  Upgrading to a more expensive bouq or a larger size would mean paying an extra $10 or $20 which wouldn’t be so bad…except that free shipping is on that $40 purchase (or the regular bouq that I got), so I wasn’t able to upgrade in any capacity.  My biggest problem with grocery-store bouquets is that most of the time they feel sort of stingy – the flowers spread out in the vase, and while they’re very pretty, I’m left feeling like there aren’t enough.  So the goal was to find a bouq that would feel full.

3.8.2016 (5)

I ended up choosing the Infinity Bouq, and would have it delivered in early March.  It arrived early in the day, and I had a call from my apartment complex as it was marked perishable.  When I got home, I took it upstairs, and began caring for it as the instructions laid out on the box.  The flowers were still mostly closed, and a little wrinkled, but the paperwork said that it might take a couple days for the flowers to open up fully.  And boy howdy, did they.  I was super impressed at how much they opened up over the course of time that I had them.  But since I didn’t quite follow the directions when it came to changing the water and trimming the stems every couple days (I did change the water twice and trim things once), by the time it got to be day 12, the flowers were starting to feel soft and droopy, and I decided to toss the entire bouquet at day 14.

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That’s right – it took nearly 2 full weeks for the bouquet to start looking pitiful (the slideshow above is a timelapse from days 1-12), and I’m 90% sure that if I’d followed the care directions more closely, they would have lasted well beyond that, and likely opened to the full extent that you see in the catalog picture and other people’s photos.  That said – it’s a $40 bouquet.  Which feels a little excessive to me.  Grocery store stems start in the $5 range, and while they may not last as long, you could buy a few at a time for the fuller look and replace them for as many weeks as the bouq would last.  Would the flowers be as decadent and pillowy as the ones The Bouqs features?  Probably not.  I loved the look of the Lisianthus I received, and am pretty sure I would have to go to a farmers market or floral shop to get something quite as beautiful.

3.16.2016 (2)

So it’s a toss-up.  Do you choose the inexpensive blooms of potentially dubious origin that are actually affordable?  Or do you choose conscientious stems that are amazingly beautiful and will last longer, but hit your bank account harder?  I think for me, I’m generally going to stick with the grocery store flowers.  But if there’s a special occasion, and I want something amazing…I wouldn’t mind trying another bouq.

If after all of this you decide you want to try out a “bouq” of your own, you can use my link here you get $10 off your order.  Not enough for free flowers of your own, but you can definitely upgrade your bouquet to a bigger size, which is always appealing, and something I almost wish I’d done.

Details: The Bouqs

4 Comment

  1. Nicole Holstein says: Reply

    Pretty! Glad you are enjoying them. I share your determination to take advantage of free offers 🙂
    But I am highly skeptical of the “sustainability” of any flowers grown in a far away country, and then SHIPPED across the world….

    1. maggie says: Reply

      I wonder about how “sustainable” they are too, but I also don’t know a whole lot about the flower industry in general. Obviously there are no roses in bloom in the DC area for most of the year, so when people purchase those, where do they come from? Chances are (and I’m guessing, but I think I’m guessing right), that they’re going to be coming from places that are constantly a good temperature for growing, so the sustainable aspects that the Bouqs is talking about are going to be more along the lines of caring for the long-term prospects for the land, and for the people that tend the flowers.

      It’s not a good answer, but until people stop wanting flowers when they are not in season…it’s something to take into consideration.

      1. Nicole says:

        Yeah. There are tons of farmers and plantations in Central America that exist to supply the flower demand in North America. I saw plenty in Costa Rica. Those plantations are, predictably, very beautiful…huge fields of brightly colored blossoms year round. People make a good living off that business down there, which is another thing to consider. But the water transfer of the industry is inherently unsustainable. And it’s questionable whether the environmental footprint of the industry, including the GHG emissions and the pesticide/herbicide use, isn’t ultimately costing the growers more in terms of climate change, water stress, and pollution than they are getting from the sale of their flowers. It’s almost impossible to determine whether it’s “sustainable” or not because calculating environmental costs is so difficult, and externalized from the system that values that industry. But I tend to fall on the side that it can’t be sustainable.
        There are ways to supply the off-season demand for flowers locally though; they CAN be grown in greenhouses in the northern climate. But because environmental costs are externalized, it is “cheaper” to import them from Central American nations (where labor is also cheaper and environmental regulations more lax).
        It sounds like Bouq is a service that gets what it can locally, and only sources from abroad when they have to. That’s a step in the right direction I guess…

      2. maggie says:

        And another reason why I would probably only use them for special occasions that require more spectacular flowers, and instead try to patronize local growers for my more regular floral decorating.

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