Steph Douglas founded Don’t Buy Her Flowers in 2014, leaving her brand marketing role, to pursue an idea she had following the birth of her children.
After receiving eight bunches of flowers when she had her first baby, Steph realised the well-meaning bouquet soon lost its shine when you were the one filling vases, all while juggling a newborn and feeling overwhelmed.
Steph started sending packages to her friends who were managing the early days of motherhood, and she saw the real joy a thoughtful, tailored package, that was all about encouraging them to take a bit of time for themselves, could bring. With a background in brand marketing, Steph knew she could “sell” a product but the journey to building a retail business was new and unnerving; despite admitting she’s never worked harder in her life, it felt exactly like the right path.
Originally launching for new mums, the company now offers packages for all occasions, including gifts for him, workplaces, couples and more.
“Launching a retail brand was a real leap of faith for me, particularly at the stage of life I was at with a young family. The approach was one step at a time – starting small with a limited number of products and initially packing orders myself in the spare room. I chose to keep the business completely self-funded, reinvesting any profit back into the business. It was daunting but we’ve seen year on year growth since launch seven years ago and by staying focused and putting one foot in front of the other, we now have a team of more than twenty, a warehouse and a brilliantly loyal, growing customer base. We still have so many ideas – we’re just hitting our stride.
Steph now has three children and lives in London with her husband, while running the business between London and her hometown in Stroud, Gloucestershire, where the brand warehouse is located. She leads the team across all functions and her team includes her brother as Head of Operations and some childhood friends who have roles in the Stroud site too. Steph is passionate about building a business and culture that supports and prioritises the way people live today, so her team can thrive both in work and out.
When not running Don’t Buy Her Flowers, Steph enjoys weekends with no plans except the park and a pub lunch, gin, and she took up netball in the last few years (although says she is better at the running around and less good at the catching and throwing).