Beginner business | The Argonaut Newsweekly

Beginner business |  The Argonaut Newsweekly

“When COVID hit, we were paralyzed for a couple weeks,” she said. “In that two weeks, we heard about local farms who, at that time of year, were at the height of spring cuts. The local farmers were dumping their crops. They couldn’t get products to consumers. It was a disaster.” A longtime Santa Monica resident, Kassoy gathered herself and pivoted the firm, which is based in ArtStation. She teamed up with friends who own farms and created Bloom Boxes. Delivery in Los Angeles is available on Wednesdays or as a single gift. Farms, she explained, stagger their cuts throughout the year in a “massive” timing effort.

She was contracted to decorate rooms with lilacs, tulips, roses, lilies and other beauties, but the virus was preparing to annihilate 16 years of hard work. Toby Kassoy had a rough 2020 with her Santa Monica boutique floral and event styling firm Lilla Bello.

“The bulk of our business was weddings and events,” she said. “Within two weeks of COVID, the whole year was canceled. That was really hard on us. I had a moment where I thought, ‘Oh my God. What’s going to happen?’” Lilla Bello’s Bloom Boxes with fresh flowers are available for delivery in Los Angeles and make great gifts.

Soon, Kassoy had to expand to floral farms throughout the world so she could meet her customers’ needs. Peonies are only available throughout the East Coast and Oregon, while others are imported from Holland and Israel. Bloom Box flowers aren’t perfect, she added. The flowers aren’t cleaned or trimmed. Kassoy called the service an at-home project that everybody can do. Add-on services include clean stems. The boxes include instructions for conditioning the flowers and link to an instructional video for arranging flowers. The prices start at $72.25 per week at Lilla Bello, which means “beautiful lilac” in Italian.

“That’s what inspired Bloom Boxes. The whole theory was to get fresh flowers back into the homes of people and give flowers to people again.” “It was a domino effect that has on the farming community,” Kassoy said. “We started reaching out to the local farmers and tried to figure out ways to get their products directly to us.

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