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Innovation & Job News

D.C. floral delivery service UrbanStems expands to Arlington

District-based UrbanStems has only been in business since Valentine's Day, but the floral delivery startup is already planning to expand to Rosslyn and Courthouse within the next two weeks. According to cofounder Jeff Sheely, those areas have been consistently requested by UrbanStems customers.
"One of the biggest things we were asked [at launch] was if we deliver to Arlington," Sheely explains. If all goes well with the expansion into Rosslyn and the surrounding areas, delivery to Alexandria, Silver Spring and Bethesda won't be far behind.
UrbanStems makes ordering and sending floral bouquets online quick and hassle-free and inexpensive. For a flat rate of $35—and that includes delivery—customers can choose among three bouquets; current selections include roses, tulips or a "spring mix." A customer chooses a selection and then in fills in the recipient's name and address, and adds the day and time the bouquet should be delivered, as well as a personal note and payment information. UrbanStems can accept orders for advanced delivery or can deliver bouquets "within an hour," says Sheely.
Flowers are sourced from sustainable and Rainforest Alliance-certified farms in Colombia and Ecuador and delivered by bike messengers from Urban Delivery, a local courier company.
Sheely, who tackles small business marketing when he's not disrupting flower ordering, cofounded UrbanStems with Ajay Kori, a college friend with an e-commerce background. "We always said we wanted to [start a business]," Sheely explains, "and we decided now is the time. Ajay is in a long-distance relationship and he was frustrated by the process of ordering flowers online. It's $80–$100 per bouquet, you never know what it's going to look like, and [the flowers] are usually late."
UrbanStems takes a whack at some of those pain points, albeit with a limited delivery area for now. Sheely hasn't really been advertising and the company is growing steadily. "We've had a steady stream of orders just through word of mouth," he says.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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