The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
You never know where a a good idea will come from. The idea for “Idea Village” was born on a cocktail napkin at a New Orleans nightclub called the Voodoo Bar. 12 years after the non-profit launched as an entrepreneur incubator, New Orleans is being called the country’s new “business mecca”.In an article in Hemisphere's Magazine, Fertile Crescent ,Forbes Magazine calls the Big Easy a “brain magnet”. 1,600 start up businesses have turned 3.1 million in seed capital into 83 million in revenues. Maybe just as important, it has attracted new thinkers with a different way of thinking to the historic tourist attraction.
So on this Big Idea Monday, here is my good idea for the day. Someone please tell me if this should sprout wings or go back to the bottom drawer in my brain. Or better yet, steal it!
A chain of destination flower shops where purchasing flowers is an experience I envision a large open space with an open door and buckets of fresh flowers outside similar to the corner convenience stores you see on every corner in New York City. Except, instead of walking into a convenience store to buy your soda, paper and flowers, you would want to come and hang out. Grab a cup of tea. Sit on a comfy couch. Read your paper for a bit or meet a friend. Than pick up your flowers before heading out. Sort of a Starbucks of flower shops. This is not a cramped, sad florist where the smell of preservatives is almost as unwelcoming as the floral designer who is rushing to get there deliveries out. In fact, Im not sure we would offer “occasion” deliveries at all. The only thing I would want to sell is one-of-a-kind hand blown glass vases, vintage vases, organic flowers and light refreshments. The employee could assist with the arrangement or you could grab and go. The concept would be flowers should be a part of everyone’s daily life, not just special occasions. Peoplet treat themselves to daily gourmet coffee purchases. I would much rather treat myself with the freshness and beauty of flowers. There would be free wi-fi, a smart simple decor, maybe a few board games and a “bring a book, take a book” shelf for customers. I would also like to incorporate a place to donate vases for a small discount on their next purchase. Every time someone sends me flowers, I get one of those generic glass vases which just collect dust in my garage until I get around to driving to Good Will. The donated vases could be used to donate flowers from the store that are not sold while still considered fresh to local hospitals or retirement homes. The retail space could be utilized for community groups in the evening, art shows, girls nights even lecture or educational series like floral design classes and gardening experts. One possible revenue source would be only offering regular deliveries to accounts who want their vases refreshed weekly such as business lobbies and restaurants. We would not be in competition with florists because we are not doing funerals, weddings, Valentines Day, etc. We would be in competition with other convenience sources like grocery stores.
So what do you think? Do you have a a Big Idea that you want to share?