Lana is the founder of Floom, an online marketplace for flowers. She started out in the digital production side of things, working at notable brands such as Burberry and Quentissentially. Before leaving the world of media, Lana worked as head of brand solutions at i-D. Using her knowledge of commercial brands, Lana founded Floom in 2016, marrying the flower and tech markets in order to create a B2C flower marketplace, which champions independent florists.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
Fire fast. Sounds super harsh but it’s so so true. The right team are everything, and you know pretty rapidly if that person is right for the role. Sometimes if you let it go on for too long, it often turns out to be really negative for both the employee and the company.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
Never cold contact an investor. I was once told that i shouldn’t reach out to any investor who i didn’t have a warm lead to. Not everyone, especially me, had access to these people. I didn’t come from VC / finance / business school and my friends and acquaintances weren’t investors. I followed my instinct, which was to not let barriers (especially political ones) get in my way and cold contacted a bunch of people who had invested in other marketplaces but tracking down their names on companies house / tech crunch, then scraped their contact details off linked in (this was pre-GDPR of course haha.) It paid off as many invested and liked the “get-sh*t-down” attitude that my little plan portrayed.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
You can do anything with the help of google. I grew up with a real complex about not having gone to university. I always thought my peers and colleagues who had gone to good schools were much more intelligent, capable and superior to me. I rapidly realised that this wasn’t always the case, and that drive was a unique skill that I did have and could inspire to me to do and learn what i needed to. Most of that information was accessible on Google.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
It’s still so so backwards and offline, and there’s really so much opportunity to create some exciting change. Not just for the people who work in it, but to overturn the negative impact that shipping flowers currently has on the world.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My inspirations change constantly. I’ve never looked up to one person or thing, i tend to have short spurts of obsession about things and then once i’ve taken what i can from it i move on. I’ve now found my own triggers to get inspired or motivated instead of relying on something external. It sounds a little weird, but i just know what i need to get excited about something so i create those little freedoms in my life so i can.
For example, it might be as simple as going for a run, or creating a side project at work like designing some team merchandise that allows me to be creative and helps makes all the spreadsheets more bearable!