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When I think of florists, the first thing that comes to mind is either a young lady at her flower shop or an older auntie selling jasmines outside of Hindu temples. In either scenario, they’re both of the fairer sex.

But that’s not the case at The Bunge.

Started by Louis and Findi, this one-year-old florist’s in Ara Damansara is helmed by two friends with a shared love for blooms.

Flowers aren’t just for special events

The idea for The Bunge was simple—to provide Malaysians with a good range of flowers and customisable bouquets by the road. 

It’s similar to the kind that you’d see in Western countries and movies, where people would purchase flowers regularly “just because”.

Image Credit: The Bunge

This was something that Louis and Findi practised as well. Every week, the duo would buy fresh flowers for their shared place. Neither of them had much experience with flowers, but they learnt to care for the blooms and arrange them through online videos. 

It’s such a simple routine, yet it filled them with so much joy. Which eventually led them to thinking about sharing that with others. 

“In Malaysia, buying fresh flowers during non-special occasions is not a habit,” Louis explained, finding it a deprivation of life’s more simple pleasures. 

At the same time, both he and Findi noticed a lack of such Western-style flower markets in Malaysia. So they teamed up and decided to set up a business together to change that.

Image Credit: The Bunge / Blow The Candle

“We really want to encourage and deliver a message that having fresh flowers in your personal space can enhance the positive vibes and [that] we don’t need special celebrations to buy flowers,” Louis and Findi emphasised.

Buckets on buckets of fresh blooms

At The Bunge, you mix and match whichever flowers you want based on your floral preferences and budget. The pair will then arrange and wrap it up in a simple bouquet so you can transfer them into a vase later on.

Image Credit: The Bunge

The results are less fancy than the ones you’d find by other florist brands, but that’s actually the whole point.

Bringing flowers back to its basic concept makes it less intimidating and more approachable for the everyday person, which aligns with their goal of normalising the habit of purchasing flowers for no reason.

The Bunge currently only opens during weekends from 10AM to 4PM. This is a noticeable shift from their previous operating hours of 9AM to 6PM.

Speaking on this, Louis explained that they wanted to ensure that the team has a balanced work life. Both he and Findi have full-time careers in the retail industry while their other four team members are working part time.

Image Credit: The Bunge

By ending it at 4PM, everyone is able to head home and rest earlier.

As for the flowers, they have buckets of roses, sunflowers, daisies, baby’s breath, lilies, chrysanthemums, and other kinds for sale. Each stalk ranges from RM4 to RM20 depending on the kind of flower you choose. 

Their stocks are replenished every week on Friday night or Saturday morning before the stall opens. So you’re ensured to get fresh blooms each visit.

They’re not openly accepting special requests for specific flowers at the moment. But you could drop them a DM on Instagram a week in advance to check if their supplier has the florals you’re seeking.

Image Credit: The Bunge

Changing local perceptions and habits

With both Louis and Findi coming from culinary and retail backgrounds, starting the business was challenging. 

But the two friends took it in stride, plus they were used to working together. They used to run a few small businesses as a team before shutting them down during the pandemic.

Image Credit: The Bunge

Much of the learning process was down to trial and error. They had to learn to handle the flowers better due to the blooms’ delicate nature. After some time, they learnt to manage the stall’s set up to suit our temperamental weather.

And of course, both of them continue to increase their knowledge on customer service and floristry. All so that they can become Gen Z-friendly florists.

“It’s quite important for us to have a setup that can attract this generation to buy flowers,” they explained. 

This means picking the right flowers, packaging, floral arrangement, and learning to dress well and speak multiple languages to give assistance. “Week by week, we’ll adjust some [of these] points accordingly so that The Bunge looks attractive and friendly.”

Image Credit: The Bunge

Content with staying small for now

It was only a year ago when The Bunge first opened its stall during one fine weekend in March. 

Louis and Findi still remember how the Ara Damansara community welcomed them with open arms. Customers began queuing right away and all their flowers were sold out within an hour. 

In response, they came back with more inventory and the reception continues to pleasantly surprise them. Usually up to 95% of their stocks will be sold out and they’d just bring the remainder back home.

Most entrepreneurs might take this as an opportunity to scale up and possibly establish more outlets. Some might even take the next big step to set up a brick-and-mortar store.

Image Credit: The Bunge

However, the duo shared with us that they don’t have such big plans for the brand yet. 

They plan to focus efforts into strengthening the brand first by expanding the flower lineup, bringing in some merchandise, and possibly collaborating with other brands.

Additionally, there’s also the idea of improving their current sales channel to make it a more convenient purchasing experience.

“We foresee The Bunge to be sustainable and grow to a bigger scale, but we need to find balance in between our day job and The Bunge,” they explained. For now, they have no plans of quitting their professional careers as they’re content with both hustles.

  • Learn more about The Bunge here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: The Bunge

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)