by Evan Weiss
I have to admit, I’m a guy and order a shocking amount of flowers. And not even because I’m terribly romantic — whether it’s personal or business, I’ve found they’re the easiest, no-brainer way to brighten someone’s day. Promotion, new hire, birthday, wedding, new child, hospitalization, great first date, anniversary or just because? Flowers are perfect, no social grace required.
What I don’t like is spending time dredging through a website of flowers to find an appropriate bouquet. If there’s a “local florist picks” button, I inevitably click on it...and then worry that my accountant with the broken leg will end up with 12 long-stemmed red roses from me. Decision fatigue is real...but you do want your flowers to send the right message.
That’s why I was intrigued when Real Men Buy Flowers approached us with their startup flower delivery service designed specifically for men. The idea is to simplify the process of ordering flowers so it conveys your intention — minus the mind-numbing selection process.
Founder Gillian Harper was inspired by watching a Jerry Seinfeld comedy routine on men and flowers. She explains, "we know our husbands, boyfriends and partners truly want to make us happy and find small ways of showing us how much they appreciate all that we do. So what we want to do at Real Men Buy Flowers is make that easier for them." Knowing men make up 35% of flower buyers, she set out to create a unique flower buying experience that caters to men. I was eager to try it out.
Sending Flowers: First Impressions
First off, I was impressed with the straightforward design of the site. I was in it for a single bouquet to test the service but those ready for commitment have the option of planning out their flower giving on a subscription basis (and saving themselves a lot of headache and time going forward).
RMBF say ordering takes about 90 seconds — it took me closer to 3 minutes but that was because I had to look up an address and was taking screenshots. At any rate, definitely the quickest I’ve been on and off a flower delivery website.
Choosing Your Bouquet
The next step is the Choose the Bouquet section. This is where Real Men Buy Flowers shines. You choose your intention behind sending flowers with handy categories like Get Lucky, Just Because and I Screwed Up (who hasn’t needed that one?). Then the florists, who actually know about these things, translate your message into the language of flowers.
The only thing you have to decide is the size of the bouquet: Great, Better, or Baller. I opted for Baller, obviously.
Generally this selection process would be perfect for me. The less I have to worry about peonies vs hydrangea the happier I am. However I had a hot tip that this particular recipient likes roses so I ended up going through the options to find a category that had roses. RMBF does warn you that due to seasonality, the exact flowers included in the bouquets might change. However roses seem like a safe, year-round bet.
Buy Those Flowers: Checking Out
Next step is check out. This is where most flower ordering websites truly aggravate me. Just when you think you’re in the home stretch, you have to deal with upsells, weird payment options, a chatbot that pops up every 5 seconds and 500 page step checkout process in which something always goes wrong in the last page. Shockingly on RMBF, I filled out one page, got an order confirmation and was on with my life with my life within seconds. Awesome!
Scheduling Your Flower Delivery
Due to the nature of flowers and shipping, RMBF delivers via FedEx overnight shipping Tuesday-Friday — so plan accordingly. In my case, I was ordering on a Friday which meant the bouquet would be delivered the following Tuesday. Slightly anti-climatic but understandable, plus I wasn’t dealing with a hard deadline.
On the other hand, if it’s Friday and you screwed up big, you’ll still be taking that trip to the florist. The good news is their subscription service takes all this into account and errs on the side of being early for scheduled events like anniversaries and birthdays (unfortunately no AI can predict your screw ups...yet).
Delivery and Customer Service
Generally with flower delivery services, the florist provides a tracking number and then is out of the loop — you’re stuck dealing with FedEx if anything goes wrong. So I was pleasantly surprised when I got an personal email from the co-founder of RMBF, Kenan Hill telling me that FedEx was having trouble delivering. Unfortunately double checking the address was a bit of a surprise killer (and the problem turned out to be a driver error). However things do go wrong and I appreciated RMBF’s handling of the situation.
But What About the Actual Flowers?
Despite the rocky start, the roses were finally delivered. RMBF’s flowers come from the same Southern California flower farm and importer who does the Oscars, Grammys, U.S. Open, and Bellagio Las Vegas, so you don’t have to worry about them looking like some scruffy bouquet from the gas station.
RMBF does warn that the specifics of each bouquet might change with seasonality but they give you a good idea of what it'll look like on the website. The arrangements themselves are modern and elegant with natural colors and none of the kitschy elements that put me off on some other sites.
Of course, how you present the flowers is half the issue. You don’t want your recipient to just get a random cardboard box stuffed with flowers. Fortunately RMBF has thought of this — the box is elegant and while the flowers don’t come with a vase, they do come elegantly swaddled and tied in a bow.
- Simple, intuitive interface makes ordering quick
- Buying based on intention removes the guesswork and saves time
- Subscription service makes flower buying set-and-forget
- Fresh, high-quality flowers presented elegantly
- Excellent, personal customer service
- Female CEO and co-founder
- Delivery windows are only Tuesday - Friday, plan ahead!
- Lack of specificity, not ideal if you need a certain flower, color or number of blooms
- Heteronormative — minor changes to the site's wording would make it feel much more inclusive.
There’s something amazing about a start-up that takes something I didn’t even recognize as a problem, solves it and makes my life better in the process. I love the concept of ordering flowers by intention and saving myself a lot of time in the process. Real Men Buy Flowers has an ease of use that puts it head and shoulders above other flower services I’ve used. For the average guy who wants flowers without the headache, it's perfect.
Check them out at Real Men Buy Flowers