After the vows are said, the dress is oogled and the first dance is had, the floral arrangements are usually left behind. Each year, tons of flowers are disposed of after weddings, conferences, and other events. Frustrated, one entrepreneur, considered, "what if there is a way to allow individuals to enjoy the beauty of bouquets and then, after all the guests have gone home, deliver the arrangements to a pediatric cancer patient and her family, an elderly individual unable to leave their home, a hospice care patient or a senior in a nursing home who hasn't had a recent visitor?"

Jennifer Grove, who is Founder at Repeat Roses, a sustainable floral waste removal business that gives back to people and the planet, decided to she would do just that and spread joy and sustainability throughout the country at the same time. Here, she explains:

Project Entrepreneur: What inspired you to start your business?
Grove: Before launching Repeat Roses, I owned a high-end boutique wedding and event design company and spent my time organizing underground dining events, philanthropic fundraisers, hotel openings and weddings. I collaborated closely with brides and florists to turn the "Big Day" dreams into a reality, which typically included lots and lots of gorgeous flowers.

Over time, I grew frustrated with what I saw as misguided misuse. Time, talent and resources were spent designing stunning centerpieces of beautifully styled blooms, which were then simply disposed of at the end of the event. When I recognized that this heartbreaking insight was happening in every hotel across the country every night, I saw an opportunity to change the status quo and founded Repeat Roses.

What's been the greatest reward?
While technology plays a significant role in our business, it's the human factor that creates the memorable, emotionally engaging storytelling moments that resonate on a deeply rewarding level. When we receive handwritten thank you notes from nurses thanking us for thinking of their patients who may not have had visitors, or, when we hear from facility coordinators who want to express their gratitude for the colorful flower delivery to their shelters, it speaks to the business mission. It's exciting to see our team feel appreciated, recognized and rewarded not only with financial compensation as the company grows but from the people who truly benefit from their dedicated efforts.

What is the biggest thing you'd like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
My mission is to shift the paradigm by reimagining and capitalizing on the single-use and straight-to-the-landfill concept to instead spread joy and ensure sustainability has taken root across the country. We're working to inspire and educate individuals and businesses to use Repeat Roses as a solution to pay-it-forward, reduce waste and improve the bottom line. Win-win-win. Ultimately, we want to be a must-include vendor on every wedding planning guide and as an enterprise solution for businesses with mandated ESG and CSR components.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Don't be afraid to make tough decisions when there are clear challenges holding you or your company back from success. Overcome any despondency, develop a plan, and act. Often times these are the decisions that create new paths for the company to move forward and thrive.

This article originally appeared on the Project Entrepreneur website and has been condensed for clarity.

Published on: Sep 30, 2017
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