While the startup industry is currently fixated on cannabis, it can be easier to forget that other plants still play a vital role in today’s modern startup scene and world economy. In fact, recent headlines have discussed the obstructive impact that Brexit could have on the UK’s flower industry with the effect being felt as far as Africa. But there is good news in the startup world for flowers everywhere.
Flower Secret, a service provider on a mission to change and improve the flower preservation process for the bridal bouquet industry, has been working since 2004 to perfect their preservation processes, looking closely at solar energy and nanotechnology, and has now found a first of its kind solution to further its mission. To understand more about this budding startup and its new technology we spoke with Hani Al-Hajari, the founder of Flower Secret.
Can you briefly explain what is your NanoFreeze technology and how it has been developed and perfected by the Flower Secret team?
Nano Freeze technology freezes and halts enzymatic reactions within the flower cell on a microscopic level. This alters the chemical properties of each flower and stops the rusting process, thus, ensuring that the bouquet never loses its structure. NanoFreeze technology process has 7 steps to preserve the flowers tissue from inside out by applying 2 different treatments at different layers.
We spent more than 10 years to reach the current developed technology. We focused to improve the preservation process over the years. We started our R & D in our small lab to develop new preservation process in 2005. In 2008, we succeed to introduce our first-generation preservation process. This process was good for mass production and to produce preserved flowers that last for a few years. In 2009, the second-generation process was developed which was suitable for bridal flowers hand bouquet. In second generation process, we succeeded to extend the life of flowers much longer. We utilized the recent development in nanoscience to improve our preservation. This is leading us to develop NanoFreeze technology which is considered as our third-generation process in 2017.
How do you foresee Flower Secret’s offering impacting the displays of flowers in homes, weddings and businesses?
Briefly, Flower Secret is serving 2 different distinct markets. These markets are wedding and decoration/display. There is a different impact on each market.
Our main objective was to find a solution for the wedding market. However, we discovered that we can serve the decoration market during our R & D journey. We found a first-generation preservation process is a suitable technology for decoration market. Business and homes can use our preserved flowers that have natural look and fragrance in place of fresh flowers for display purpose. They can enjoy the natural look with longer shelf life and save money.
For wedding market, Flower Secret recognized brides need to memorize everything that keeps the beautiful memory alive, so we have developed NanoFreeze technology that maintains the texture and the distinctive color composition of each flower of bridal hand bouquet. The finished work can be used for display in the home.
Recent headlines have shown that artists are becoming more creative with flower displays. Do you believe that this might be encouraged further with the help of Flower Secret?
Of course, Flower Secret can support this artist idea. The real flowers will last for years instead of days. Also, the artist is making a frame that contains printed flowers. The artist can use our real flowers in the frame instead of printed flowers.
In fact, we have cooperation discussion now with Ahlam Almashhadi (famous Saudi artist https://www.instagram.com/ahlamalmashhadi). Ahlam will use our preserved flowers and leaves in her artworks. Ahlam was born in California-USA and attended several sculpture courses in Marshalltown-Iowa state and other countries.
What was the main motivator to solve this problem, for example, did it arise from a personal experience or something you recognized others having issues with?
I have a passion for innovation and finding solutions for problems. This fact helped me to notice the importance of bridal bouquet. The brides are considering their wedding day as a new birthday for them and every item (such as bridal gown, bridal shoes, bridal hand bouquet…etc.) and moment in this big day are so precious. The bride holds the hand flowers bouquet in the entire wedding event journey. This is building a strong emotional connection between the bride and flowers. For this reason, most the brides are looking for any way to preserve their flowers hand bouquet to remember the nice moments.
You can see the interest and demand for bridal bouquet preservation in the forums discussions, published articles, YouTube, searches in Google…etc. The brides are looking for the best preservation process for their bouquets. Also, we did an official market survey by a third party to make sure about the demand for the preservation service. We found there are great interest and demand.
However, there was no solid method to preserve the flowers to meet the bride expectation. The current methods of flower preservation do not combat the aging process, but simply delay it by working around the 3 primary drivers of decay instead of finding a way to address them. Flower Secret totally changed the preservation industry by using NanoFreeze technology. We moved from a simple conventional drying process that can be done by normal people to high tier process by using advanced nanotechnology. We are the first company in the world that is using nanotechnology to preserve bridal flowers bouquet.
Can you give an example of a company or case study that has really benefited from Flower Secret?
We introduced a bridal bouquet preservation service by using our second-generation process in 2011. Several brides got the benefits of our service. Also, we did a limited introduction for NanoFreeze technology for trial purpose in 2018. We got positive feedback from our customers.
What is the main focus for Flower Secret over the next 6 months?
We care about the quality of our service. For this reason, we spend enough time on any new technology before we go seriously to market. We are testing our service in trial stage in 2018. The trial stage will be finished at the end of 2018. In 2019, we will start to market our service broadly. We will have an awareness campaign for NanoFreeze Technology.
In parallel, we are doing some researches on another new development for flowers that serving decoration market. We hope that we can introduce a new product in 2019. R & D is a non-stop job for Flower Secret.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company