Disney fans would be familiar with the enchanted rose – it’s the trademark symbol for the Beauty and the Beast film. It’s also no surprise that when the live-action remake came out, there was a surge in popularity of glass dome roses. These were preserved flowers, and could last longer than your usual fresh flowers.
The first company to provide these flowers in Singapore is none other than Timeless Fleur. In fact, the glass dome flowers were so popular that there were insufficient flowers for sale during their first Valentine’s Day launch.
I got the chance to speak to Yining, the brains behind the brand.
Now at the age of 23, she recalls starting the brand when she was only 21 – without any financial help from her friends or family members.
A Realisation That Turned Into An Idea
Two years ago, Yining was an undergraduate studying Radiography. She recalls the Valentine’s Day that year, where a best friend of hers talked about how beautiful flowers were. Yet, they were also a waste.
“After a week you have to throw them away so it’s somewhat a waste of money. Even though it’s pretty and nice to receive, having to throw it away made her heart pain. It’s like throwing money away.”
Yining then decided to come up with a solution – she found out that there are flowers which can be preserved, lasting up to a year. There was a lack of awareness of such preserved flowers in Singapore, and with it – a lack of preserved flowers providers.
As they say, the rest is history. Yining left university to focus on Timeless Fleur.
When it comes to the preservation process, Yining reveals that she tried to preserve the flowers on her own but eventually decided to work with a bigger company who has experience, a factory and a farm – which means that harvested flowers can be preserved immediately and with skill.
One interesting bit about the preservation process is that it strips the flower of its colour, and the flower has to be dyed afterwards. This actually provides endless possibilities – there could be two (or more) colours in a rose, and flowers can be dyed to other colours that you may not see naturally.
Exploring New Directions
After glass dome flowers, the brand moved on to providing bouquets, where a preserved flower is mixed with other dried flowers – making it more affordable. The brand also offers bridal bouquets that are fully made from preserved bridal flowers.
Yining has also been experimenting with other new products and business directions – including a glow in the dark flower glass capsule, which is in the works. Having witnessed the prototype myself, I was drawn to its beauty immediately.
It’s also clear that it was designed with consumers in mind – the lid doubles as a lamp that you can use to “charge” your flowers, leaving them glowing brilliantly at night without being dependent on the weather.
Previously only selling to consumers, Timeless Fleur plans to launch a flower sharing service in mid-October. This includes flower arches that are often used in proposals, pre-wedding shots and the actual wedding day.
As I walk up to one of the arches displayed in the office studio, it amazes me how the flowers on the arch are no different from a fresh flower, even though both the leaves and flowers are actually preserved.
While the leaves do retain a part of their smell, the flowers are unable to do so due to the preservatives used. Yining reassures me that clients can choose to add their own oils or essences to enhance the flowers’ smell if they wish to.
In terms of it’s pricing, a regular fresh flower arch for a wedding easily costs $600 and above. The more flowers you use, the more expensive the arch is. In fact, it is possible to spend a few thousands on just the flower decoration itself for a wedding.
Better Price And Environmentally Friendly
What Timeless Fleur offers is at least 40% lesser in price, because their flowers can be reused. It’s common for couples to discard flowers after their wedding ceremony – even the few that are kept are often throw away when they wilt.
The brand collects the flower arches back, which helps clients to not only save costs, but also to reduce flower wastage.
While the decorations are mostly fixed, there’s no need to worry. The arches available suit most wedding themes, and they offer personalization services such as laser-cut names. These forms of personalisation will be given to the couple afterwards.
On top of that, Yining hopes to provide preserved flowers to restaurants and hotels through their customized floral structures. For them, it’s a win-win situation – the businesses can save money from not having to frequently replace flowers while reducing their flower wastage.
Handling It On Her Own
It’s no easy feat handling a company alone, and Yining admits that it can be tough running a one woman show.
“At times you wish you could have people doing this with you, but those moments are fleeting. One day you wake up and you feel that way, another day you wake up and you are alright and you go back to your motivated self.”
In fact, I’m sure this rings true for many other startup owners.
While you may feel a bit demoralised on days, you bounce back the very next day. “This is something not many people talk about; they usually talk about their successes. But we do have times where we worry too,” Yining adds.
While trying to bring more awareness to the existence of preserved flowers, it’s clear that Yining firmly believes in their environmental benefits. Fresh flowers have to be imported, and their short lifespan means that they need to be shipped by air. To preserve the integrity of the roses, the flowers have to be in air-conditioned environments at all time – from shipping to delivery.
Preserved flowers are therefore more environmentally friendly – besides the decrease in flower wastage, the longer lifespan provides other shipping options and results in lesser ecological footprints.
“This is the environmentally-friendly effort that we want to sustain.”
To find out more, click here.