Bobby Darling had been planning to relax after leaving downtown florist Grow & Bloom Co., that is until a former co-worker came calling and the opportunity to get back into the flower business was too exciting to ignore.
Together with Grace Goble, the two friends launched Floral Theory Inc. on Nov. 15, 2018. Located at 515 Richmond St, the shop is designed to not only offer unique flowers and floral designs — along with the old standbys of course — but also provide the two friends with the opportunity to once again enjoy working together.
“I sold my share of Grow & Bloom and after that I was planning to just chill,” Bobby explains. “Then, Grace approached me about doing something together and I said yes because we have a very similar vision on what we wanted to do. It’s been great and working really well.”
Grace said she and Bobby shared a vision for Floral Theory, one that included “something very classic and timeless” in a sense of what the store looks like.
While the duo wants to focus more on weddings and doing corporate work and events, the big plus is being more involved with the community and other small businesses — basically, doing what they can to get the word out around what Floral Theory can do.
“We want to specialize in more exotic florals and plants, just get different things in you don’t see every day,” Grace said. “We have different shaped arrangements, we like to do different styles, incorporate different colour schemes and use really exotic flowers. We have Protea, which is the national flower of South Africa, but yet we also carry local flowers grown in the area. It’s a nice mix of everything.”
Floral Theory is still coming together as the process from Grace’s first chat with Bobby to the doors opening happened fairly quickly. In fact, it only took about a month.
“We wanted to do something together. Then we happened to stumble upon this location and it was like, I guess we’re going to do this now,” Bobby said. “I’m not sure we expected to open a shop so quickly, but that’s how it happened. We weren’t even originally looking at right on Richmond, but we knew it had to be downtown.”
In terms of how it is at the store, Bobby said he and Grace agreed early on they wanted it to be about what they’re best at.
“We don’t want to sell chachkies and all this giftware. We want to actually sell plants and flowers and do it well. I think the store has been really accepted because of that,” he said. “I would say we’ve exceeded our expectations. We’re both pretty driven in the sense of wanting to improve and push the business forward.”
Bobby said the duo are being “very careful” with their finances in these early days, not wanting to “explode ourselves too big, too fast.”
Ironically, he acknowledges that immediate success is what everyone launching a new business dreams about. He is quick to add partnering with Grace and her business background has been a significant asset for how things at Floral Theory have launched so positively.
Bobby’s background is in floristry, but for Grace, it has been something of a learning curve.
Still, she’s been excited every day by how what she envisioned in that first call to Bobby is coming to reality.
“I just like working with Bobby and I love plants,” she said. “That’s what really brought me into this, learning about all the different plants and the care and all these facts. Slowly over time I learned more about the flowers and designing and really got into that. It’s been so much fun.”