Kate Gilman had just finished law school when she got an idea. She loved shopping in farmer's markets, carefully selecting food from the very farmers who grew it. She wanted to buy flowers the same way, but found it was much harder to buy bouquets with an “origin story;” a clear line from a local farm to her kitchen table. People should know where their flowers come from, she thought, and even as she prepared to start a new job, she couldn’t shake the idea for her budding business plan. She started talking to farmers, who were excited to pick up weekly wholesale orders. Pretty soon, Gilman was leaving law behind for the world of sustainable floral design.
Petal by Pedal launched in 2014, promising locally grown flowers to customers in New York City. Gilman and her lead designer, Julio Saenz, assemble the bouquets in glass mason jars, never using any plastic or boxes. The notes are typed via a Brother SX 4000 electronic typewriter on seeded paper. Even better? Customers can plant this paper, rather than throw it in the trash.