Female Founders: Talia R. Boone of Postal Petals On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
It’s important to be clear about your vision and determined in your pathway to success, but it’s important to keep your focus on the end goal, rather than the process. Sometimes you have to make adjustments along the way. Be clear about your goal but flexible in the process in case you have to pivot in even the smallest way.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Talia R. Boone.
Postal Petals Founder & CEO, Talia R. Boone, enters the floral industry after a groundbreaking career in sports, entertainment and social impact. She brings with her over 15 years of experience in brand strategy, communications, marketing, public relations, promotions, sales and strategic partnerships.
In addition to Postal Petals, she is the Managing Director of INTER:SECT, a tactical solutions agency that serves as a catalyst for pioneering ideas, collaboration and creative opportunities that exist at the intersection of sports & entertainment, business, technology, consciousness, culture and the arts to promote socially and culturally relevant conversations leading to collective action resulting in measurable social impact.
Talia’s passion to help drive efforts to achieve long-standing, systematic social justice spills over into anything she does and that includes Postal Petals, where messages encouraging consumers to register to vote and highlighting the frequent injustices against underrepresented communities can be found throughout the brand’s site and its social media platforms.
A native of a Los Angeles suburb, Talia is a graduate of San Diego State University where she earned a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. Talia is an advocate of civic engagement and collective social change as well as a lover of facts, experiences, art, culture and of course flowers.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I am the CEO and Founder of Postal Petals. I was first introduced to arranging flowers a few years ago. It began with me wanting fresh flowers in the house and being curious about what kind of arrangements I could create on my own. Almost immediately, I fell in love with it. It was so calming and relaxing that I started to look forward to the hour or two that I would get to arrange flowers and just decompress and quiet my mind. It became my go to form of self-care and a way to relieve stress.
Two months into quarantine last spring, I was super stressed and desperately in need of a floral fix to ease my nerves as the walls in my home began to close in on me. I needed fresh flowers but the LA Flower Market was closed due to the lockdowns. After looking around online for other ways to get my hands on some flowers, I came across a flower wholesaler who shipped large volumes of flowers to clients like florists, event & wedding planners, etc. all around the world. I just cold-called him hoping to convince him to reduce his minimums and ship me a small order of flowers that I could arrange at home.
Through that conversation, I learned about the obstacles that prevented him from accommodating my request, but by the end of our 2-hour call my mind was spinning. I realized that what I wanted didn’t exist but that could be an opportunity for me to possibly fill a hole in the marketplace. I immediately went to work putting together a wireframe for what the business could look like. That was in May. By late July we launched in beta with nearly 20 domestic farm partners signed up to ship for us. Today, we’re shipping flowers all across the country.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting story about this company is how I came to start in, the speed at which I was able to build it and how well it’s been received in the marketplace.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I learned very quickly that there is an art to when and how flowers are shipped. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold are not ideal for flowers to survive shipping.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Early on in the company, I met two people who were essential to the foundational growth of the company. A man who is widely respected in the global floral industry helps me to learn the ropes and establish key relationships in the floral industry. As a result, I was able to quickly build the company and learn the floral industry that, up until that point, had only service as a point of leisure for me. His assistance helped me to beta launch the company with nearly 20 farm partners agreeing to ship fresh flowers for us.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
As far as I can tell, women are founding companies, they just aren’t being given access to the funding and resources like their male counterparts. For this reason, while women are founding companies, those companies are rarely able to sustain and grow.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
That’s easy: lessen the barrier of entry for business funding and resources. Oftentimes, the criteria attached to support that could serve to help support and grow a company are aligned with businesses that have proven track record, longevity, etc. More frequently than not, meeting those minimum requirements alone takes early access to resources that many women founders simply don’t have.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
Women are natural born leaders. They know how to manage personalities and bring out the most in people. They are creative, ingenuitive and adapt at making a pathway where none seems available. They can juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time and thrive at all of them. Women are level-headed and cool under pressure. They are also skilled money managers.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
The number one misconception about founders is that they know what they’re doing. Oftentimes, we are trying to build something that hasn’t existed, meaning there’s no established pathway and we must work hard not only to build the business, but to also learn a new business, industry or skill set.
Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?
No, everyone is not cut out to be a founder. Being the captain of the ship is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. A founder must be smart, forward thinking, and confident. More importantly, a founder needs to be a self-starter and able to work well under pressure. They must also have a healthy balance of being steadfast in.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Patience — Success takes time. Just focus on your end game and trust the process. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you think it should
- Diligence — No matter what obstacles may come your way, remain steadfast in your vision for your company. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Stay the course and do what needs to be done, to see your vision through to the end.
- Flexibility — It’s important to be clear about your vision and determined in your pathway to success, but it’s important to keep your focus on the end goal, rather than the process. Sometimes you have to make adjustments along the way. Be clear about your goal but flexible in the process in case you have to pivot in even the smallest way.
- Audacity — Be bold enough to ask for what you want and believe that you deserve to have it.
- Humility — Regardless of how much you think you know, never be afraid to ask for help. You’d be surprised how much people will be willing to help you, if you just ask.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
- Helping to support and fund a number of social justice initiatives
- Taking our DIY flower arranging experience to underrepresented communities in an effort to help them experience the therapeutic and mindfulness benefits associated with the activity
- Supporting US agriculture
- Providing a fair and equitable workplace for all employees regardless of race, gender, sex, religion or age.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
As a company, we are unapologetically committed to using our resources and influence as a company to fight for justice and equality for people across the country and around the world.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and his mind for being a leader in identifying business opportunities and trends. He’s a marketing and branding genius and I’d welcome his insights.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.