When Alice Rossiter Lewis, founder of Alice’s Table, says, “We’re looking at the floral industry in an innovative way,” she’s not kidding. Her Boston-based company, founded in 2015, makes it easy for women to host flower-arranging parties. All the hostess needs to do is to decide whether her event will be held in her home or at a local venue (usually a restaurant, bar, or retail store); choose a date; make a guest list; and send the invitations. The folks at Alice’s Table take care of everything else – providing vases, aprons, clippers and flowers, along with an “event exec” to provide instruction to the group, usually consisting of 15 to 20 guests. The cost to attend is $65 per person, and the company also takes care of ticket sales online.
An Idea Who’s Time Has Come
The idea is simple but brilliant and is reminiscent of the kitchenware and home décor parties of the past. But here’s the difference: The home parties our moms attended were focused on selling products; Alice’s Table is focused on selling an experience, which is what today’s women want.The Alice’s Table concept also seems to be filling a void in the floral industry – a half-dozen phone calls to florists in South Florida found that not one of them offers flower- arranging classes. Given the chance for women to learn flower arranging while socializing over food and drinks combines fun with a learning experience, and each guest is rewarded further with a beautiful arrangement to take home at the end of the night. Of the event experience, Alice says, “We’re providing a fun activity coupled with learning a skill so that the next time you buy a bouquet at the market, you can make it into a pretty centerpiece.”
The company works with many floral wholesalers across the country to get flowers to each event, sometimes by drop shipping them and other times by having the event exec pick them up locally on the day of the event. The company sources aprons and clippers from one supplier and obtains containers from several sources. At any rate, everything needed is conveniently delivered to the hostess’ door.
A Growing Company
Alice’s Table takes pride in offering rewarding careers to women who want to join them as event execs. For an investment of $699, an individual can launch her own business, even if she’s already working 9 to 5. She can set her own hours, and the initial investment is usually recovered by her third event. She’ll receive a kit with reusable supplies for 20 people, sales and marketing support from a dedicated Alice’s Table representative, as well as access to a four-part training program consisting of printed materials, videos, online chats and more. To date, the company has enlisted 250 event execs in 38 states.
What does the future hold? “We’re looking forward to branching out into other creative areas in the future, but for now, we’re focused on flowers,” Alice states.