When you walk into the Bloom & Wild offices in Vauxhall, there’s an open space that feels like a cheery front lobby. The shelves are stuffed with a random assortment of jars and pastel vases, there are dozens of sunflowers in the sink, there’s a notice board covered with thank-you cards and an impressive supply of Freddos. Despite the seemingly relaxed setup, this is a company that grew 13,818% from 2015 to 2017 and is classed as the second-fastest-growing company in the UK, according to Deloitte. The online flower-delivery service Bloom & Wild has doubled its revenue year on year since 2015. In its fifth year of operation, it’s grown from a team of four employees in Earlsfield to a team of 65 in Southwest London.
It is aggressive growth, but this is a company that truly values “niceness” over “ruthlessness”—and no, that’s not just jumping onto corporate wellness buzzwords. On the day of our photo shoot, Sara Gordon, the vice president of brand and design, wasn’t only helping her team out with their eyeliner—she was also carrying buckets of flowers in a service lift and spent an hour making a bunch of flowers for everyone on the Who What Wear UK team. “You can’t walk back into the office with flowers just for you,” she told me. The whole idea of the business is to “make being thoughtful simple,” she says. “We literally make thousands of people’s day each day, and I’m so proud to be a part of that.”
As part of our Empower Dressing series at Who What Wear UK, I visit some of the most impressive—and chicest—offices to discover the power in creating your own dress code. I asked the six women I met from Bloom & Wild to meet me in what they would wear on a typical day in the office. From denim dungarees to floral shirtdresses, this is how women dress at one of the most innovative offices in London.
Harriet Parry, flower stylist
Flower stylist Harriet Parry is apparently known for quite literally blending into her surroundings—so much so that she has an Instagram account dedicated to her art of camouflaging. So it’s only fitting that her 10-year-old vintage Vivienne Westwood playsuit perfectly matches the buckets of sunflowers in this picture. “I love a Vivienne Westwood dress. She really does design for everyone and all body shapes. Her clothes make you feel really special when you step out in them,” she says.
Harriet’s job involves a lot of heavy lifting and early morning trips to the flower market, so practicality is key. “I wear either dungarees with a bright-coloured shirt or T-shirt or an equally colourful A-line, oversized dress—usually with Converse, which I have in so many colours. Oh, and always big earrings,” she says. As for flowers, Harriet explains, “My favourites are hydrangeas. I love the bold shape and that pop of colour. Also, because of their smell—which is kind of green, if green had a smell.”
You might expect that the VP of brand and design at Bloom & Wild would be into floral prints and vibrant colours, however, Sara wore a black jumpsuit with black Western boots to our interview. She said she wanted ferns, not vibrant blooms in her shot. “I manage everything you see, touch, smell and experience at Bloom & Wild—from our floristry practice to design and PR,” Sara says of her role.
“My schedule is usually pretty busy, so I make sure my wardrobe feels like a capsule collection that’s easy to mix and match,” she adds. “I often have to go from casual startup life to board meetings or a press event, so clothes that are flexible is important. My go-to brands are ME+EM for jumpsuits and trousers and Rixo for a pop of colour and fun. My collection of crazy trainers and Western boots ensures that nothing is too serious. Fashion should be fun, after all. Much like flowers.”
When deciding who would be included in this feature, Sara said it was really important to Bloom & Wild that we photograph some of the women in their data and software teams, as these tech roles tend to be male-dominated. “I work in the data team, analysing all of our internal and web data to make sure that we are making the right decisions,” says Mairead.
Her work wardrobe is relaxed, and these Primark dungarees with her Topshop T-shirt and Converse are a typical work outfit for her. As for the flowers that make Mairead happy, she says it has to be daffodils: “I love the heat, and seeing these in the park reminds me that winter is over and summer is just around the corner.”
In her role as a software developer, Ella builds and maintains the back end of the website. She proves that the stereotype that all coders wear hoodies and jeans is completely wrong. She’s the only one on the team who wore florals this day—a red-and-pink printed Vivetta shirtdress she found on sale in Liberty’s. Ella’s favourite flowers are white peonies because they are delicate, and it seems her fashion taste is just as pretty. The piece she wears the most to work is a pair of pink trousers from Sideline. “I bought them as a new-job treat, as the shade is close to the Bloom & Wild pink,” she says.
When I ask Zoe to describe her style, she keeps it very succinct: “I’m never not wearing trainers.” As an art director overseeing everything from packaging to videos, she spends a lot of time on set. “I tend to wear something comfortable with a bit of quirk,” Zoe tells me. “Usually trainers with jeans or a long skirt. Then perhaps a bold earring or a few gold trinket necklaces. I am off on shoots a lot, so being comfortable and being able to get hands-on with prepping flowers and arranging a shot is important. I really love my Ganni Banana and Rocket Fries tees, as they’re super comfy. I always get people asking me at photo shoots, ‘What are rocket fries?’”
“I spend my day speaking to our customers and making them happy,” Emily says of what a customer delight associate does. “With my role, I wear a headset so I can easily speak to customers, but these aren’t the trendiest of pieces, so I love to have some bold earring peeking out and always my Missoma necklaces.” Her favourite flowers are blue delphiniums, as they’re one of the few naturally blue blooms (and because they perfectly match her Zara blazer, of course).