“I do not know of anything that has given me greater pleasure than such an appreciation of simple flowers in their vase breathing the air.”

-Odilon Redon, 1901

“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her. I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

-Claude Monet

For as long as we have had the tools to document our environment, flowers have inspired us. The father of the impressionist painting movement, Claude Monet, credited flowers for his creative raison d’etre. Artists from Brueghel to Warhol have drawn inspiration from, as painter Odilon Redon elegantly put it, “simple flowers in their vase.”

It’s not only artists who turn to flowers for matters of the soul. All over the world, we use flowers to express our emotions, share our sentiments, or speak when we can’t find the words commensurate to our feelings. When someone we love loves us back, we send flowers. When we want to congratulate, console, or connect, we send flowers.

If you’ve ever tried to buy flowers online, chances are that you have been disappointed. Floral e-commerce sites consistently rank at the bottom of all consumer reviews, and for good reason. You’ve probably spent more money than you expected for an underwhelming experience. That’s because the floral industry developed rapidly in the three decades before widespread internet adoption, and, in the age of the internet, established players transposed an outdated business model to the web — without much consideration for the consumer experience.

Today’s biggest e-commerce flower companies were established before telephones were common, so they relied on a cooperative of florists who subscribed to a “flower wire service”, a network of flower shops who traded orders between cities using telegraphs. While the flower wire service was cutting edge in its time, it falters in the age of Google. The florists who carry out and deliver your wire service order are often doing so at impossibly thin margins for a customer they may never see again. Customers are hit with fee after fee only to send a simple arrangement in a vase, at total costs upwards of $80.

At UrbanStems, we’re changing that.

We are an e-commerce flower and gifting company designed to make it incredibly easy to make someone’s day. Our motto, “Send Happy”, drives every decision we make, from building a streamlined and user-friendly website, to offering affordable flowers, including two-hour delivery, for $35, to offering full-time employment with health-care benefits to all of our employees, our fleet of bicycle couriers.

Flowers make their recipients happier. They improve mood, increase compassion and drive away negative thoughts. Harvard behavioral scientists have proven flowers’ positive effect of mood, but anyone who has recently had the pleasure of simple flowers in their vase on the kitchen table, nightstand, or bathroom counter will confirm it, too.

That’s why we re-built the e-commerce floral gifting experience from our customers’ perspective, so anyone can send happiness at a moment’s notice for an affordable price. We’re out to make floral gifting an everyday experience — not one relegated to a couple big holidays a year.

Which means what you see on our site is exactly what your recipient will receive — and you’ll know it, because we send a photo confirmation of your bouquet for every delivery. If something ever goes wrong with your delivery, we have a best-in-class customer happiness team at the ready to make it right. Our happiness team is made of real people with deep floral expertise and customer happiness top-of-mind. They’ve been known to run out to your local coffee shop to include a gift card in a bouquet for a coffee-loving recipient, or make a last-minute run to the pet store at a customer’s request to help congratulate a new dog owner with flowers and a chew toy.

We are thrilled to partner with Thrive Global to contribute to a world where we all take better care of ourselves and those around us. At UrbanStems, we “Send Happy” to make the world more colorful, creative, and stress-free. We are proud to work alongside Arianna and the Thrive Global team to ensure we are all not only surviving, but thriving.

Originally published at medium.com