THE desire to express our affection for the ones we love is a classic Filipino trait. Now that Valentine’s Day is near, we are once again finding unique and affordable ways to say "I love you" in the day of hearts, next week. This is the main reason why Marc Redila of Bukidnon founded the very first online flower shop business in the country, Bulaklak.com.
Bulaklak.com was established with the aim of making it easier for people to give gifts to their loved ones on Valentine ’s Day or in any time of the year. This website is patterned after online shopping sites wherein customers could select their bouquet of choice with its corresponding price and have these delivered directly to the receiver and paid through bank or a remittance service center.
The company can arrange and deliver any type of flower arrangements from the classic red rose dozen to elaborate mixed wedding bouquets with over hundreds in display in their website. People could send bouquets for as low as P300 in Cagayan de Oro.
Bulaklak.com started with only 80 florist partners in Cagayan de Oro city with their head office in Barangay Gusa back in 2014. Now, they have over a thousand flower shop partners all over the Philippines and has even served Filipinos overseas. As the foremost online flower shop service in the country, Bulaklak.com has received commendations locally and internationally.
Redila said that their business is rooted from he and his wife’s fondness of giving gifts to their loved ones. Since flowers are the most common way of expressing one's care and appreciation, they thought of using today's internet technology to make this act easier and to connect Filipinos who are far fromeach another.
According to Redila, some of their customers are Filipinos working as far as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Qatar, and Australia who want to surprise their families or lovers who are left in the country.
However, as the years passed since the start of Bulaklak.com, the company has expanded their market and has even started offering other treats such as cakes, chocolates, stuffed toys, fruit baskets, and even roasted pig or lechon baboy.
During Valentine’s day, they even have a special promo wherein a group of hired singers would serenade the customer's loved one. In its three years, this Kagay-anon e-commerce business has grown from just being a delivery service but as a way for Filipinos to connect and strengthen bonds.
Aimee Diron, who was working in Canada as a quality inspector, is one of the satisfied customers of Bulaklak.com. Thrilled with surprises and gifts, Diron wanted to surprise her mother who celebrated her 58th birthday last year here in Consolacion village. However, as she cannot go home because of her job, she was troubled on how she could make her mother happy on her special day. Through the recommendation of a friend, she made use of Bulaklak.com to send a bouquet and a cake to her mother.
"She called when they received my gift. She said that it was not only her but also my Ate who was touched because of what I did. I guess, when you are working abroad, it is easy to lose contact with your family even if you call each other as often as you can. Services like this allow people to get connected even across oceans," she said.
Now, Bulaklak.com has also set up their own foundation named “ONE BUY. ONE FILIPINO.” Through this, every flower arrangement purchased gives school supplies like notebooks, pencils, and ball pens to student beneficiaries. These students are located in remote villages in the country who are in dire need of school materials and educational support.
With the success of their online business, Marc and Annabelle have moved to New York City with their daughter who is now studying flower design. The online shop maintains an administrative team that manages day-to-day transactions.