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My Luve’s Like A Red, Red Volcanic Rose: Interview With John Tabis, Founder Of The Bouqs Company

Chances are high that anyone who has ever felt a romantic impulse has had the… umm, pleasure? of choosing flowers. Thought so. Flowers are beautiful, the process of ordering and sending them, traditionally – not so pretty.



Allow me to paint you a rosier picture. Send flowers online to anywhere in the U.S. in three steps. For $40. Send beautiful flowers, instead of dying petals, sourced from sustainable, eco-friendly farms in California and the slopes near an Ecuadorian volcano – via a direct supply chain that dramatically eliminates both energy and floral waste while filling vases nationwide with arrangements no more than 4 days old.




Feeling the love yet? Wondering if we’re still talking about flower bouquets? We’re not. The next time you need to send flowers, consider sending a bouq instead, a bouquet simplified. To do so, visit the cheerful and innovative The Bouqs Company at The John Tabis, Founder and CEO, tells us more:


What inspired your current startup?

I hated sending flowers online. The bait & switch pricing, misleading images, cheesy brands and confusing options frustrated me when I was buying. For me, it was all about a frustrating consumer experience.


My co-founder, JP Montufar, saw the challenges on the farming side. Inefficient supply chain, outdated processes, lack of transparency, and old-school technology made flower farming more difficult than it needed to be.



JP Montufar, Co-founder of The Bouqs Co.

JP Montufar, Co-founder of The Bouqs Co.



We put the two together and The Bouqs Company was born.


What makes your startup so killer? How is it different from the competition?

When we launched the business, we looked at the big players in the space and said:  how can we be as different as possible? And that’s what we did:


  • They have thousands of options, we’ll have 40.
  • They have hundreds of prices, often tripled from advertised to checkout. We’ll have 1 price: $40. And it will be all-inclusive with no hidden fees.
  • They use a network of florists, we’ll use a Volcano.
  • They stand for “sending flowers”, we’ll stand for pure emotion.
  • Their flowers are 17 days old upon delivery, so we’ll go straight from the source farm.
  • You have no idea where their flowers come from. We have complete transparency into ours.


Many people believe that flowers are a commodity. But Bouqs? They’re most certainly not. We drop-ship flowers from the side of a volcano to your loved one’s door for $40 flat. No commodities here.






What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are struggling to get their businesses off the ground?

Figure out the story you’re telling. Then practice it over and over and over again on people. People you know, strangers, anyone that will listen. Don’t hide your idea. Trust me, nobody else you know is interested in doing it, or has the ability to do it. If those you tell the story to don’t react with “that is awesome!”, it’s time to practice some more. Once you have that story down, write it down. Then build your business from there.


What has been the biggest startup surprise for you (good or bad)? Have you had any incredible/funny/challenging experiences that you can share with us?

There is no silver bullet.



flower fields in Ecuador

flower fields in Ecuador



Andy Dunn, a member of our Board of Advisors, passed this nugget along. It’s obviously something that’s been around in the tech community a lot lately, but it was still a huge surprise for me personally. And it took me a while to truly internalize it. It’s human nature to look for the knockout blow. The grand slam. The quick and easy fix. Realizing that there literally isn’t one is a process. Then learning how to succeed in a world with only lead bullets? Even harder.


How has being an entrepreneur changed you for the better? How has it enriched your life?

Oh boy, so many ways so many ways!




John Tabis, Co-founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company



I’m smarter. I have to tackle more challenges in a day than I used to have to tackle in a week or a month. I’m more “alive.” When it’s your baby, and it’s all on you, you can’t help but be 100% engaged. I’m a better manager. I think I was a pretty good manager before, but now I know that my business lives and dies with the people I bring in, and my ability to get the best out of them.


What is the tech scene like where you live?

Silicon Beach [L.A.] is alive and kicking and seems to be growing like mad. More startups, more angels, more community, more parties, same beach! We’re located just off Abbot Kinney in Venice, and I would guess there are 20-30 startups within a 10 minute walk. It’s an awesome community. Smart people, a ton of creative talent, the cool Venice vibe, and the beach! Can’t beat it.


 Where can our readers find you?


How can the KillerStartups community help YOU?

Buy flowers from the new guys! Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, you name it. You’ll have to send flowers at some point this year. Help the little guy out! Send a bouq!





On top of that we are always looking for new, exciting, innovative ways to market our products. If you have something, get in touch!


How in the world can you drop-ship flowers from an active volcano in South America to anywhere in the country (including Hawaii) for $40 Flat with Free Delivery?

I’ll never tell.


Photo Credits

courtesy of The Bouqs Company 

Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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