Watching the recent news clip in the video, “Chicago shop delivering flowers with a side of charity,” people really get to see a valuable commerce hybrid in action. The story clip is about a florist business in Chicago that has followed the classical 2000s path of beginning as a college student startup and expanding into a full-blown operation over the years with the demand for flowers, particularly during the holidays like Valentine’s Day. However, the unique aspect about this profiled business, Flowers for Dreams, is the fact that they purposefully contribute 25 percent of their profits to charities versus just putting it back into the business or into bank account pockets. In doing so, the company has contributed locally well over $250,000 so far for local Chicago charities, showing vividly how a profitable business can also be a charitable one at the same time.
The big break for Flowers for Dreams was after they were able to get local municipal legislation through that broke what was a historical monopoly written by a previous florist to prevent competition. This sort of thing is common, where businesses that are well-established use local laws as a way to protect their market territory as well as effectively block new entrants who might be able to otherwise compete better on a straight business basis alone. It’s inefficient, anti-capitalist, and it blocks better businesses from reaching customers who would otherwise overspend on the product offered.
Once Flowers for Dreams was able to break through the local red tape, the company took off as the best online flower shop in Chicago. Normal business demand is typically about 150 floral arrangements a day.
However, during the big holidays, the demand for the company can reach the thousands. Because Flowers for Dreams remains competitively priced through it all, there is no shortage of customers or new orders coming in at any given time. And as long as they stay on top of orders and maintain the quality that is making them popular, that demand isn’t likely to weaken anytime soon.
Again, the best part about this local business success story, however, is the fact that not only are they thriving as a business, the charities Flowers for Dreams benefits are realizing the growth impact as well. Because of the profit-sharing strategy, multiple charities in Chicago are realizing new abilities to help people in need through, the best way to describe it, flower power in the 2020s.