John Tabis of The Bouqs | CEOs You Should Know

 

If you've ever needed to order flowers online, chances are, you've heard of The Bouqs. Launched in November 2012, The Bouqs is an online market place created by two friends who noticed several problems within the floral industry and decided that they could do better. John Tabis and his partner, Juan Pablo Montufar, set out to create an online experience that brought the farm-to-table philosophy to flower deliveries.

"Bouqs is the modern, digitized version of the florist," Tabis says describing his company. "But, what we do that is really different, is we connect the consumer to the farmer at the other end of the supply chain. A typical florist might buy flowers from a wholesaler, who buys flowers from an importer, who buys flowers from an exporter, who buys flowers from a farmer, we're always getting our flowers directly from the farm so we can ensure a level of freshness and quality and sustainability than is typical."

Cutting out all those levels has allowed Tabis and his partner to reinvest into the farms and pay their workers more money, faster.

"We pay our farmers 20-25 percent more than anyone else and we pay them twice as fast," Tabis said.

Tabis wasn't always a budding online florist. When asked how he went from Bain Capital into a flower delivery business, Tabis said he has no idea.

"It's one of these things that happens," Tabis says with a laugh.

With plenty of experience in advertising and marketing, Tabis says he decided to focus on the things that really mattered to people.

"What we focused on heavily in the beginning was, 'What's the story?' and 'Why are people going to care?'" Tabis said. "You need people to buy your product so investors want to give you money."

That patience paid off. Nearly seven years later, the company has grown to 80

"It's about sort of, being patient, and it's about being obstinate, and refusing to accept all the no's that you get," Tabis said. "When I raised my seed round, the $1.7 million seed round, I had at least 120 pitches before I got anyone to commit, and that was still a soft commit."

"The first one was really hard, the last one is so easy and in between is this curve," Tabis said.

"What I love about this business is that it makes the world a better place through sustainability and waste management," said Tabis. "And we intersect at some of the most poignant moments of people's lives."

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