Formerly Flowers to the Grave, BloomBridge gained new team members and energy in 2020 to expand their offerings throughout the southern United States.
In 2019, Kristen Allen met Huey Ngo through an Innovate Mississippi mentor: Mike Morgan, an experienced technology executive and professor of practice at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Business.
At the time, Allen was looking for experienced partners to help scale her startup company, Flowers to the Grave. The idea—a service to help loved ones keep attractive flowers at the gravesites of family members who had passed on—was a solid one, but Allen and founding partner Justin Johnson needed help with strategic and operational planning.
For the past year, CEO Allen, COO Ngo and CTO Johnson have worked together to co-found BloomBridge, the successor company to Flowers to the Grave, and build a strategy to sustain growth.
“In the spring of 2020, we decided to rebrand the company. We came up with the name through a series of conversations as we tried to figure out what resonated with the spirit of what we offer,” Ngo said.
The name BloomBridge suggests the “blooming flowers” that help loved ones bridge this world to the afterlife, he said, and it represents the beauty in honoring our loved ones who have “crossed the bridge” to a better place.
Co-founders CMO Patrick Norman and Chief Digital Marketing Officer Lulu Intan round out the team. They’ll all work in 2021 to implement a launch strategy that enables customers to place orders online and have flowers delivered and maintained to gravesites in seven southern U.S. states. Planned expansion to additional states will follow.
Part of the operational challenge is that BloomBridge also plans to attract independent contract workers to deliver the flowers, ideally in regions and to cemeteries with which they are familiar and comfortable. “That’s where technology comes into play. We’ve designed and developed a patent-pending system with a database of cemeteries and a growing list of ‘Bloombridge Runners’ who are familiar with their respective cemeteries,” Ngo said. “When a customer buys flowers, we’ll have people near the cemeteries who will complete the delivery.”
BloomBridge will drop-ship the silk flowers to the delivery drivers, who then confirm their successful delivery with a photo sent to the customer. Allen, who has envisioned this working for a long time, is thrilled with her pivot to an expanded team.
“I feel amazing. It’s been a good journey, I have learned so much about business and who I am, and I’m grateful to see nothing but really big things ahead,” Allen said, describing her team as the answer to her prayers. “I’ve loved helping Lulu and Patrick come up with creative ideas for marketing, making the arrangements, sending my designs.”
BloomBridge expects to launch its services via Bloom-Bridge.com in the spring of 2021. They expect to scale quickly, thanks to their marketing plan and new manufacturing partner.
“The opportunity is there,” Ngo said. “When people hear about a service like this—we believe it’s going to go viral. There is a need for a solution like this.”