What is the secret to The Crate’s success so far?
CLAIRE: Our mission is to make flower delivery beautifully simple. We are a modern flower delivery business offering one style of designed and thoughtfully curated flowers that changes every week. We include unusual, seasonal stems in our weekly arrangements, adding a little surprise and curiosity to every bunch received.
STEPH: By removing choice, our offering simplifies decision making for customers and reduces waste for us, so it’s a win-win when it comes to sending beautifully simple bunches to your favourite people.
New season, new blooms. What flowers and plants can we expect to see in a Crate delivery in Autumn?
STEPH: We absolutely love the arrival of autumn as it brings lots of soft textures to the bunches. As people’s homes get warmer and cosier during the autumn months, we want our flowers to last as long as possible for people, so we will be using lots stems that adjust well to this.
You can expect lots of wild grasses; limonium that dries beautifully, scented greens such as eucalyptus and rosemary, and richly coloured Fall flowers that include (our number one favourite) ranunculus – they’re like a miniature peony with layer upon layer of petals; and anemones, which are the sweetest single layer petaled flower.
How do you balance work and wellness?
CLAIRE: It can be challenging, however we are now into the 5th year of our business, and feel like we have struck, and prioritised, a balance. When setting up your own business, you put every ounce of your energy into ensuring you can create something sustainable and long-lasting – we both worked seven days a week for the first few years, and you can only do that for so long. We now have an amazing studio team who support us hugely, so we can focus on growing The Crate and developing our concept.
I love to swim, and so I build in time during the week to do this as I find it’s a great switch off. I also have two very energetic retrievers so I love nothing more than to go up the mountains with them for a runaround.
STEPH: I’ve been practicing yoga for years and this is how I start every day. It calms my mind and allows me to start the day energised and focused. I also cycle to work, which allows for a fresh start to the morning.
During coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the plethora of floral tributes at the gates of the various palaces was potent. Why, when we’ve forgotten the ‘language’ of flowers – their specific meanings and expressions – have they nonetheless remained so powerful during rites of passage and special occasions?
STEPH: We really love the meaning behind flowers and the unsaid language that they represent and have put an emphasis on this in our storytelling. In the Victorian era, people referred to flower deliveries as “talking bouquets”. People carried floral dictionaries to decipher the message and these “talking bouquets” were then worn as a fashion accessory by the recipient to showcase to all how someone felt about them.
We don’t expect our customers to wear their flowers; however we do put a huge weight on why people send flowers, and created The Crate to service the connection between people through a beautiful living product that will be proudly displayed for all to see.
When the right words can be difficult to find, something beautiful like an arrangement of flowers, that you can watch come to life and then fade away, can be very powerful and emotive, and builds a connection between those sending their thoughts and those receiving them.
CLAIRE: For the times when you want to check in on a friend or family member, not just for a big occasion, but over a period of time, we offer flower gift subscriptions. They can offer a real lift on a regular basis, if someone is going through a tough time.
Moon + Mellow proudly uses sustainable materials and packaging (read more here), and is committed to improving its eco credentials. How has The Crate evolved environmentally?
CLAIRE: Sustainability is at the core of our business. When we were starting out, we felt like there was an opening in the market to modernise flower delivery in Ireland – there was a lot of excess; plastic-based packaging that ultimately goes in the bin after receiving your gift.
We have put a huge emphasis on this through the years, and are so excited to be launching a new suite of 100 per cent recyclable packaging this October. We’ve really streamlined what is necessary for safe transport of our flowers, removing any unnecessary packaging items.
Which are your favourite plants and flowers for bedrooms?
STEPH: For bedrooms, dried flowers are an absolute favourite. The texture they add is so gorgeous and the colours are often a little more subtle and muted than fresh flowers as their richness fades with time, so it adds a very calming natural decoration to a bedroom. They require no maintenance, except the odd dusting, and can also be coupled with a gorgeous dried wreath for a wall hanging to add some extra interior styling to your room.
CLAIRE: I have my dried wedding flowers on the mantlepiece in the bedroom and love that they’re there to look at and enjoy every morning. We launch a new dried bunch and wreath every season to reflect the colours of that season – it makes for a beautiful sustainable gift option too as it lasts forever.
Lie-ons: purely aspirational or a regular indulgence?
STEPH: Oh, a regular (and essential?) weekend indulgence! We have early morning starts during the week as our flowers get delivered to the studio at night and so with the morning light dimming during the winter months, the weekend lie-on is an essential treat. A croissant, coffee and the Sunday papers is a favourite combination.
What books are on your nightstand right now?
CLAIRE: There’s Been a Little Incident, the new debut novel by author (and one of our best friends) Alice Ryan. It’s so beautifully written, and we couldn’t recommend it more. Seriously proud friends! It’s a story of family, grief and the ways we come together when all seems lost.
Imagine long-anticipated Friday night in. Your Moon + Mellow PJs are on and you have the TV (and couch) to yourself. What is your go-to feel-good film, snack and refreshment, and why?
STEPH: Any film by Nora Ephron, especially for the cosy autumn evenings. We love both the rom-com storylines, and always beautifully styled interiors equally, accessorising with a lovely sleepy red wine and Sheridan’s cheese board – perfection!
Who would be your top three (celebrity) pyjama party guests and why?
CLAIRE & STEPH IN AGREEMENT: Dolly Alderton – we’re both such fans. We were avid listeners of The High Low podcast when it aired and have followed her work ever since. And like every woman in Ireland, we also love Joanne McNally and know she would bring the LOLs. Finally, Coco Chanel – for the chicness that she would bring.
What's the last thing you do before you turn out the lights at bedtime?
CLAIRE: Settle the dogs – they’ve been known to try and sneak into the bed, which is challenging due to their size alone – and escape into a good book.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
STEPH: Request a piping hot coffee in bed. The lovely rich aroma of coffee and the small indulgence of it when still in bed is one of life’s little luxuries.Which are you favourite picks from the Moon + Mellow collection?