Stop and Smell the Roses
Joyce Bos is from a mid-sized city in Europe called Amsterdam. It has only 800K people in it before she and her husband decided to move to Miami 4 years ago for a new job and the weather. During the midst of the pandemic, she shifted her gears from working in travel to taking care of herself and her neighborhood by becoming a social entrepreneur. She does this by preparing and selling (and walking, sometimes bicycling over) Sustainable flower bouquets in her community. This is the story of how 1 woman who is passionate about people and sustainability is making a difference in the small neighborhood of Midtown Miami.
Joyce, thank you for sharing time with us today at MMM. First question, why is sustainability important to you?
Because the earth is very important. We call it mother nature, it brings us so much and I believe we should at least take care of it so that the next generation can enjoy it. Treating it right is important, and it’s easy to be sustainable in our daily lives. For example, whenever I see trash I pick it up, it’s very simple thing to do. It’s the little things you can do to make it all better.
That’s a good point. So why did you start Midtown Bouquets?
I started a year ago during pandemic as I moved out of the travel industry from Excursionist to become a small business owner and to prevent myself from going crazy (laughs). I had a very simple but powerfu thought. How can I make the world a better place and be very happy myself. As a ‘Dutchie’ I had connections within the flower industry, and I knew bouquet producers had leftovers. I bought the leftovers and I started placing notes under my neighbor’s doors to see if they wanted flowers. They all said YES! So I started selling flowers to raise funds for local charities and those that needed to be uplifted. Some of these are the Miami Rescue Mission, nurses at the COVID unit in Jackson Memorial.
Wow, what an incredible origin story. So why flowers?
Flowers are the cheapest luxury product because everybody likes to receive them. But usually, they don’t last long when you buy them from the store. I get them closest to the source here in Miami and have the freshest flowers in town, so they last longer than traditional flowers. I keep the prices very low. Prices are always $15 and all the proceeds are donated. The reactions I get from people are all completely worth it. It makes a whole room smile and honestly what makes it all worth it to me. Happy neighbors, happy vendors, happy charities, happy me!
How have you made Midtown Bouquets Sustainable?
I am a one-woman shop and I tend to walk them or bicycle them over to the destination of the recipient. Our distribution partner also uses sustainable resources for the sleeves of the bouquets. I am very flexible as a small business so I get to choose responsible partners and I only buy what I need so our ecological footprint is also extremely small.
Why do you love most about Midtown Miami?
I landed in Brickell a couple of years ago. I needed to find a place to buy a home so I went to Midtown on the weekend to go shopping and do a brunch. My husband and I fell in love with the outdoorsy vibe and fantastic restaurants. If you want to be cool you walk across the street to the design district where there’s great art. With art, you can visit Wynwood. I love the mix of the Latino culture in Midtown Miami, but we’re also so close to the bay and just 10 minutes away from Miami Beach. It’s a very international and friendly neighborhood where you have everything!
How did the Pandemic affect you personally? Did you find any magic?
That’s a good question. I took some time to stop and find out what I wanted in my life. When the pandemic hit, everyone was forced to a moment to reflect, and conversations changed from productivity to feelings. It was scary at first, but it ended up bringing so much depth to my relationships. While I had most of my friends in the Netherlands I was able to stay in contact with them via Zoom over some virtual wine hangouts. My husband and I were able to stay at home and cooking at home allowing us to bond more after traditional 60-hour a week workers. We also enjoyed ordering wine from around the country to experience all the areas. I’m really happy that I can contribute to my neighborhood toda. The value of family and friends has really become more important for me. We just have to go through this together.
You can find bouquets for Easter through Joyce’s Instagram Midtown Bouquet where you can find her phone number, e-mail, and is open to receiving your direct messages.