Bloomscape: Fortifying the Relationship of Plants and Humans
Time and again, science has proven that the effect of caring for plants has a beyond beneficial impact on humankind. Plant lovers are omnipresent worldwide, and as such, they thrive on revamping indoor and outdoor spaces more vibrantly, or by introducing some much-needed greenery.
Proving that life with plants is always a good idea, Justin Mast founded and launched Bloomscape - a modern, different, and unique online greenhouse that sets a higher bar of quality among ongoing horticulture trends and takes care of the process of purchasing and delivering plants as no other rival does.
Justin’s platform is super-practical: you pick your favorite bloom, order it through a few easy steps, and wait for it to arrive neatly packed to your doorstep! Where other platforms lack in product quality, deliverance and efficiency, Justin ensured that Bloomscape lived up to its name and did a superb job at helping everyone find their plant soulmate! How did Justin become the botanical business guru?
The Greenhouse Boy
Justin has been a plant lover from a very young age. It is no wonder he worshipped the horticultural industry so extensively, considering his family is composed of five-generation greenhouse owners and true pioneers in the industry. Justin’s family comes from the Netherlands, which is best known as the country of flowers.
The experience, love, and mastery of plants have been successfully translated from one generation to the next, starting with Justin’s great-great-grandfather on his dad’s side, and the three generations of plant worshippers on his mom’s side - all of whom helped make the plant business a heritage-worthy family affair.
Both sides of Justin’s family have moved to the USA to share and grow their business there. Justin grew up in Detroit, in an environment that was in favor of nurturing plants. He used to spend his days inside his parents’ greenhouse, where he would work, learn, and play surrounded by outstanding greenery.
The little entrepreneur in Justin first rose to the occasion when the boy was only eight years old. Infatuated by the beauty of plants, Justin asked his parents if he could start selling them in front of their greenhouse, just around the corner of their home. Once his wishes were granted, Justin had no time to play with other kids but set up a plant stand instead.
As time passed by, more visitors showed interest in Justin’s stand and couldn’t help but purchase a plant or two. Justin was thriving on socializing in this fashion, and deeply enjoyed the bond he had created with his customers.
By the time he turned sixteen, Justin’s little street stand turned into a famous plant hotspot, and Justin needed some help from his friends in placing pre-orders and selling the products. After high school, Justin attended Hope College from 2000 to 2004, graduating with a degree in business management, and also obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2012, in architecture and urban planning.
After college, Justin began launching smaller platforms across Detroit, including Practice Space as one of his best. It was a platform that had the goal of bringing entrepreneurs, the local community, and creatives to shape businesses together.
The young entrepreneur created the platform as a result of his fascination with his grandfather, who had succeeded in immigrating from the Netherlands to the States as a simple man whose years-long passion for plants and flowers alas turned into a national wholesale floral business.
For a while there, Justin contemplated the way he would become both a superb entrepreneur and preserve the family business values. After calculating the ifs and whys and wheres, Justin combined his family business qualities and his passion for plants, and once his entrepreneurial skills were sharp enough to make an impact - he went for the main prize!
One of the first things Justin realized was that many people were into buying plants online but only under the right approach. People valued experienced care, suitable customer support, and quality information on plants and the ways to grow them right. In the back of his mind, Justin wanted to simplify the process of online purchasing for customers, so they could leave the platform happy and enjoy the proper joy of buying healthy and gorgeous plants that would arrive intact to their doorsteps.
Recognizing the fact that people purchased plants as a lifestyle, not because of trends, Justin became even more determined to create a platform that would be the bridge connecting quality plants from his family’s greenhouse and customers willing to get ordinary and not-as-ordinary blooms in their homes.
The Contemporary Approach
On a mission to redesign the way people bought plants and introduce - products aside - tips and tricks on how to keep the plants safe and sound, in 2017, Justin founded Bloomscape.
Enriched by his parents’ past experiences and their knowledge in running a plant business, Justin turned Bloomscape into a fantastic platform that keeps plants guarded and in excellent shape. Creating the right conditions for his plants through the delivery process, and perfecting the ways of shipping, are the main goals that Justin’s platform provides to customers.
The platform is the first online shop that can deliver full-size plants, potted, and secured during shipping across the whole country. The aim is to offer people a catalog of plants they would love, regardless of the distance between Justin’s greenhouse and the delivery address.
Bloomscape’s plants are not warehouse-stored and haven't been grown under fluorescent lights. and have received all the fresh air and water supply they can get, both during shipping and upon arrival. The shipping lasts from 3 to 4 days, with plant experts and foliage leaders ensuring the conditions are optimal. Every time a shipment is ready to go - the bond between customers and the company fortifies!
Since its launch, Bloomscape has been scaling fast and growing bigger. In the platform’s first year, Justin and his team have managed to sell more than 100,000 plants over 48 states - to approximately 25,000 unique customers. The orders were far more frequent than Justin had hoped, and came from all US states, and even Ireland! The platform offers expert care instructions on how to tend to the plants, replant them, and keep them thriving.
There is another tool platform provided as well, called Bloomspace’s Plant Mom, run by Justin’s mom, Joyce. This dedicated tool platform provides customers with individualized plant care guidance and offers scheduling face-to-face consultation sessions with Joyce, where she answers FAQs on everything surrounding her 40-year plant growing practice. This main idea was to make customers feel welcomed, or as the Dutch would say, gezellig - meaning to add your own feel to the experience.
Throughout the years, the company has raised $24.2 million in total funding, done over 3 funding rounds, and sourcing from 22 investors. The most famous investors include Revolution Ventures, General Catalyst, Two Culture Capital, and Ludlow Ventures.
Creating Bloomscape was a one-man show. Justin worked on the business model alone, and by the time he launched it, three other guys joined along to help him develop the kind of platform that plant lovers deserved. Today, the platform’s offices are in Detroit and count around 100 employees.
Nourishing their motto - plants make life better, Justin and Bloomscape are making thousands of plant enthusiasts across the USA super-happy, and still keep the momentum going - from shipment to arrival!