Flowers provide a source of aesthetic beauty for any event, and the business has certainly bloomed over the years. In fact, for most events such as weddings, funerals or even banquets, the botanical aspect turns out to be the priciest—but also the most wasteful.
Take wedding ceremonies for example, the love-filled occasion typically costs upwards of $20,000 for an “average” price tag, and those who lean on the more extravagant side will see more zeroes added. A huge chunk of that bill goes to flowers, but typically after the event, a church or venue must quickly turnover, so the arrangements get thrown immediately into the trash. It was that fact that drove sisters Aviva and Arielle Vogelstein to launch their start-up, ReVased, and the company, whose mission is to reduce floral waste just expanded to the City of Brotherly Love.
Both sisters, who also happen to be Penn Grads, were married in 2017 just nine months apart. After realizing that their flower arrangements were thrown away almost immediately after the ceremonies, an idea sparked.
“We had beautiful, fresh flowers at our weddings, but for the most part, they were tossed out within hours after our celebrations ended,” says Aviva Vogelstein. “We knew something better could be done with these beautiful, fresh flowers, and ReVased was born. We have pivoted several times through the help of two accelerator programs to find the way we could make the most impact while bringing joy and eco-friendly flowers to others.”
The sisters partnered with Shift Ventures’ Conscious Venture Labs Fifth Cohort and the Emerging Technology Center’s (ETC) AccelerateBaltimore 2019 Cohort to launch their company in the greenest and most effective way. ReVased now sits as a subscription company, and aims to provide eco-friendly flowers and reduce floral waste, while giving back to others.
“For every arrangement purchased, we donate flowers to non-profits such as nursing homes, women’s shelters, and senior centers or frontline workers,” adds Vogelstein.
The company upcycles flowers and turns them into affordable bouquets, but with the current pandemic situation, like with many other organizations, changes had to be made with how things are run.
“Before the pandemic, we gave a ‘second life’ to flowers from events, upcycling them into gorgeous new bouquets,” says Vogelstein. “With nearly all events cancelled now, COVID-19 has impacted the entire event and floral industries, starting with the farms themselves. We are currently largely sourcing our flowers in two ways: (1) shipping flowers farm direct, an eco-friendly shipping method that also supports farms, and (2) tackling excess from farms. When events resume, we’re excited to begin ReVasing those flowers again, as well.”
Philadelphians who are interested in checking the company out can head directly to their website. The process is quite simple, ordering online will kickstart the process— ReVased will receive flowers directly from local farms or anywhere else that is still planning on throwing them out, ReVase and deliver them to your door. As soon as you make a purchase as well, ReVased also donates a bouquet, which Vogelstein says is an incredible way to brighten someone’s day.
“Flowers make people happy. This is more than just our thoughts, it’s actually proven by research that incorporating flowers and plants into our lives can have tremendous positive impacts on our mental and physical health. For example, a Rutgers University study found that flowers can increase memory and mood in the elderly. This is why we love donating to nursing homes and senior centers.”
That research has been extensive, in fact, a research article posted by Rutgers Magazine just a few years back cites a study from 2005 by researchers Jeannette Haviland-Jones and husband Terry McGuire. The husband and wife team conducted a blind study, where they presented participants with one of three gifts, spanning from a decorative candle, a fruit basket and a floral bouquet. The floral bouquet was the only gift to induce a Duchenne Smile (a smile involving the mouth, cheeks, and eyes) in participants, and three days later, the flower receivers were still cited to be happier than those who received the fruit or candle.
Research aside, it’s easy to see why a bouquet will brighten up somebody’s day. Also, with the cost-effective and green element added in, ReVased will also be eliciting smiles from those who are trying to budget and also those who are worried about environmental impacts.
Coming back to the City of Brotherly Love was also on the cards for the sisters, as well as expansion plans and improvements for the flower industry in Philly.
“Now that we’re sourcing flowers from farms, it has enabled us to unlock a lot more supply and expand our service zones. We’re really happy to have expanded to Philly. We both went to Penn and have strong ties to the city. We’re always looking for excuses to come back, and now we have the perfect one,” adds Vogelstein. “As we just expanded to Philly, we’re looking to grow our network of non-profit facilities to whom we donate in the area. If you know of non-profits who would benefit from floral donations, please don’t hesitate to let us know at [email protected]. Further, once events start-up again, please let us know if we can ReVase your flowers, and lastly, we’d be remiss without a shameless plug here — Philadelphians can purchase our flowers.”
Flowers price at $39 for a one-time purchase and $29 to start out with a subscription. Currently, ReVased operates in Philadelphia, the Metro DC area (including VA and MD suburbs), the Metro NYC area (including NY, CT and NJ suburbs), plus all of Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut (minus New London county which is limited.)
“ReVased is a win-win-win for non-profits, the environment, and our customers,” says Volgestein. “Non-profits win because they can enjoy beautiful flowers at no cost to them to brighten the lives those they serve. It’s a win for the environment because our flowers are eco-friendly. Lastly, ReVased is a win for our customers, who can enjoy beautiful flowers at a lower price than comparable online services, while feeling good knowing they are being eco-friendly and spreading joy through flowers to others.”
To learn more about ReVased visit revased.com