By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
Possibly the world’s most colorful corporation, Crayola LLC has launched a vibrant new flower business in partnership with Mrs. Bloom’s License Corp.
Mrs. Bloom’s is an importer and distributor of fresh cut flowers with offices in New York and Quito, Ecuador. For the past two decades, Mrs. Bloom’s has been working with many of the most upscale wedding and event planners in the United States to provide beautiful flowers from growers in Ecuador, Colombia, Holland, Italy, Thailand, Israel, South Africa, Japan, Canada, and other countries around the world.
We got our first hint of what was coming from this partnership in June, when Crayola put up an explosive floral display around a branded flower truck at this year’s Licensing Expo, as seen in the photo above.
Crayola has now carried through on the program, announcing the launch of Crayola Flowers, with Mrs. Bloom’s and Crayola activating an eye-popping “Crayola Flowers Giving Garden” in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, where commuters and visitors alike had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a colorful floral display. Hosted in Vanderbilt Hall this week, the interactive event showcased beautiful blooms and highlight nonprofit organizations and their amazing causes.
There’s a lot more to the partnership than just selling flowers, however. In fact, Crayola and Mrs. Bloom’s describe it as more of a collaboration meant to help non-profits raise funds for a cause.
Crayola says the partnership is a “pioneering platform” developed by Mrs. Bloom’s, through which consumers can purchase floral bouquets, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to a participating non-profit of their choice.
In that sense, it’s an important licensing move for the partners, as it will obviously encourage licensing deals with a large number of non-profit organizations.
“Mrs. Bloom’s and Crayola believe in the profound impact that color and kindness can have on the world,” said Oren Shapiro, partner and president of Mrs. Bloom’s. “Crayola Flowers is an innovative business model that empowers consumers and non-profits to spread cheer, inspire kindness and affect change through the joy of giving and receiving flowers.”
Someone who doesn’t know Crayola well might find it odd that the 120-year-old crayon maker is going into the flower business, but in recent years the company’s senior VP of business development Warren Schorr says the company has expanded its brand beyond crayons to embrace the very idea and concept of color in people’s lives, and particularly in terms of promoting educational and creative opportunities for children.
“We are dedicated to helping parents and educators raise creatively alive children because we believe these children will grow into innovative adults,” Schorr said. “Our collaboration with Mrs. Bloom’s not only extends our brand into the flower industry, but more importantly furthers our mission by supporting non-profits and consumers who share our passion to make this world a better, brighter place.”
In fact, Crayola Flowers is already well along in making the world a better place, as it launches with a long list of non-profit partners and causes, including: 4-H, A Kid Again, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Heart Association, Autism Speaks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Hawai’i Community Foundation – Maui Strong Fund, On Our Sleeves, One Tree Planted, Operation Homefront, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The Humane Society, and the Wounded Warrior Project.
“With Crayola Flowers, we are sowing the seeds of change and nurturing the growth of positive impacts that reach far beyond beautiful petals and stems,” said Ari Shapiro, partner and marketing director of Mrs. Bloom’s. “We’re not just sending beautiful, fresh bouquets, we’re also educating consumers about organizations whose work likely benefits someone they know and love, reinforcing the idea that kindness can flourish in even the simplest gestures.”
Geared toward nonprofit fundraising administrators, the Crayola Flowers platform enables any nonprofit—from national organizations and their local chapters, to schools, animal shelters, historical societies, religious groups, and more—to create and share their custom flower shop with anyone passionate about their cause.
Proceeds donated to the organization can range from 10% to 50% or more, depending on which of the three fundraising options the non-profit chooses. The platform also provides fundraising administrators a suite of tools to make creating, sharing, managing, and tracking fundraisers easy.
Mrs. Bloom’s sources all the flowers from responsible growers around the world and ships via FedEx directly to consumers in the continental United States.
To learn more, you can go to the new Crayola Flowers website, at http://www.crayolaflowers.com