Hitting The Mark

Hitting The Mark

Conversations with founders and investors about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success with your host, brand strategist and author Fabian Geyrhalter.

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EP057 – Emmanuelle Magnan, Founder & Creative Director, Pampa

Strategic Clarity + Verbal Clarity + Visual Clarity

Emmanuelle Magnan is the Founder of the Parisian flower studio Pampa.

 

Those of you listening to the show frequently know that I love to talk with founders of internationally known brands like Rotten Tomatoes and Evernote just as much as with smaller brands that are unknown to many of you, but that I feel are doing something unique in their space or with their brand.

 

Pampa is doing both as they disrupt the traditional flower business with a splash of color. Once you see their brand and their bouquets, you can not unsee them. That’s what happened to me as I scrolled through my Instagram feed and I stumbled upon the brand and sure enough, here we are today chatting with Emanuelle about how to stand out in a crowded space, how to navigate sustainability, and why branding is all about creating self-identification.

Notes

Visit Pampa on Instagram

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Fabian Geyrhalter:

Welcome to the show, Emmanuelle.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Hello, thank you for having me.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Absolutely. It’s a great pleasure. You are calling in from Paris, and almost guaranteed, most of my listeners will not be familiar with your brand, Pampa, and that is because you are a boutique floral arranging and delivery service in Paris. So, not US-based or international, but your Instagram is exploding, and the New York Times has even found you, and now so have I.

I even believe that this is your first solo audio interview in English, which flatters me. This is really cool. I read somewhere that you or your partner, one of the two of you, said, “We are always trying to twist the flower world. That has been old school for a while.” Tell us a bit about how Pampa started in 2016, what the inspiration was, and why you and your co-founder thought Paris needed yet another flower store.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yes. Well, I should start by presenting Pampa and telling you a bit what it is exactly, because precisely, I think we’re more than another flower store. We are a new kind of flower brand, englobing a flower shop and a creative studio that is dedicated to companies and brands. We started out in 2016, as you mentioned. We started a small, online flower shop.

And really quickly, we started working with the coolest and most prestigious brands, artists, et cetera. And I’d say we have a new approach to flowers and the flower industry, more modern, more colorful, more eco-friendly, also, as much as we have the possibility to be.

Concretely, what do we do? We are a B2C and B2B company. On the B2C side, we are a flower shop. We sell fresh flowers on weekly arrangements we have … Sorry. We have weekly arrangements available in three sizes, that’s it, and we also deliver dried flowers. And on the B2B side, we are a studio, as I said, and we have three types of services, which are design, gifting, and even workshop animation.

Basically, when we started out, what we wanted to do first was disrupting the online market. At that time, it was dominated by three major competitors that had been there for ages, and that were, in our opinion, not really in phase with the needs and tastes of our generation. They had been on the market for … Some of them 20 years. They were one of the oldest companies on the internet, maybe one of the first companies, e-commerce companies.

When we were developing the business and benchmarking, we had four main observations. One, there was no clear differentiation from a competitor to another, like they were … If you went from one competitor to another, they had the same website, same kind of products, same level of services. Secondly, their product offering were always on the … built, sorry, on the same model.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

They all had dozens of different arrangements in different shapes, colors, with various types of flowers. Some were exotic, some were red roses. You didn’t … It was kind of slow and tedious customer experience. You would arrive on the website, and you would be like, “Oh my god, there are so many different kind of arrangements. I don’t know what to choose.” And we figured out that there was another problem with that, that was stock management issues and high waste potential.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Right. So then, the third observation that we had is that there was a big lack of transparency. You didn’t really know who makes the arrangements, how are they delivered, who is behind those big platforms, et cetera. And finally, we figured that there were actually no strong brands. Yes, there was Interflora, that is one of the oldest … It’s the oldest service. It was there before the internet, by phone and so on.

It’s a brand, because everyone knows it, but there was no … For us, it was missing this modern thing about it that we, the young generation, wanted to identify with. You know?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

So, we thought, “Okay, competition is strong in this market. There are already hundreds of florists on the streets. Our value proposition should be, first of all, one weekly arrangement, available in three sizes, delivered by bicycle.” Actually, nobody did that at that time, it was really bold to go on the market that way, because … Well, we didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes.

For us, it was a kind of mistake to propose on the internet so many different arrangements, right? So, we thought we could do as new … In restaurants, the new kind of chief, what they do is that they go to the market, and they see what is available at the market, and they come back to the restaurant and they just design one single menu. You know?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Farm-to-table. Yeah. Exactly.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

You know what I mean?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And so we thought we could do the same with flowers, so that’s what we wanted to … the spirit of what we wanted to design. And secondly, we thought, “Okay, let’s do a mobile-friendly website on which you can order your arrangement in three minutes.” Thirdly, we wanted to have a more humanized and less product-centric approach, be it on the communication or customer support level. Those brands were … Well, those platforms were a little bit on Instagram, they were starting to be, but everything was so product-centric, you would see the arrangement, that’s all, on a table in a vase.

And what we wanted to bring was people in the way we would communicate around the product. It’s not just about flowers, it’s about people who make them, people who consume them. Consume is maybe not the right word, but people who buy them, et cetera.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And also, we wanted to be really close to our customer, and be at their service. At the beginning, we did … I mean, we still do that, actually, we do everything we can to deliver an arrangement, because it’s so important. When you want to offer flowers, you’re putting your heart into it, right? So, we will do everything in our power to make this delivery possible.

Lastly, what we wanted to do was an emphasis on branding, with our brand codes coming from other disciplines, like fashion, for instance. That’s what we … I mean, that was the basic concept. And that’s how we launched. I don’t know if it’s clear.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

It is very clear. You just checked off all of the boxes that new companies and startups need to check off when they launch a business, so this is really, really great. And I mean, it’s music to my ears. When I said, “Why did you think Paris needed yet another flower store?” Right? Because it is so well known, the Parisian flower markets, and it just … It goes hand-in-hand with it, but everyone is doing the same, and you just really looked at every aspect of the business and said, “How should this be done in 2021? What would people really need today, and how can we work on sustainability? And how can we bring up a different style?”

Talking about your style, your actual brand style, that’s how I found you. I literally think I was just scrolling through Instagram and I found one of your arrangements, and then I saw the logo and I saw the colors and I’m like, “Wow, that’s wild. That’s different.” And that’s how I literally reached out to you, without knowing too much about the brand. Then, the more I read, the more excited I got to have you on.

Your style, the brand style, and the style of the bouquets, it is super eccentric. It’s loud, it’s graphic, and the New York Times had this article where it said … I don’t know exactly what the article was, but it basically talked about, “Here are 10 cities,” and the best, most different flower shops in each one of the cities. And Pampa is part of it, and when you literally scroll through that article, yours is the only brand that stands out.

I mean, you scroll through it, and suddenly it’s like, “Whoa!” Because it is, it is so loud. Right? You can’t mistake your bouquets for anyone else’s because they’re so distinct. So, I’m wondering, since you are also … You’re a co-founder and you’re a creative director at Pampa. Tell us how this unique style came about. I mean, it is very specific. It’s very distinct.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Right. Well, first of all, thank you for saying all this. You can’t really see it, but I have a big smile on my face because it’s such … It’s all my work and all my heart are into this, and we worked so hard to develop this brand, and this new kind of product, and to innovate and to be singular and one of a kind. I mean, we work a lot on it, but it’s also so natural. I think our team is made of people from various horizons, and they have been working in different disciplines before. They come from architecture, interior design, circus, so it’s … My co-founder, she comes from the events … How can I say that?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Event coordinating?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

… for big events and yeah, event organizations, right? So we are all very creative, and I think it’s also thanks to that team and this mix of profiles that we are able to create such powerful brand. But where it came from, I think … Well, so I’m the creative director, right? And I co-founded the company with Noélie, and when we started working on the project I had already so many mood boards, and I had been thinking about this project for so many years, because I was a flower lover, and I was also very …

Well, I wanted to create a brand, that was my passion, also. Anyway, I’m color obsessed and very sensitive to color schemes and harmonies, so there’s a big work on color associations. Everything we do is a research in colors, there’s a big work on color associations. Everything we do is like a research in colors, and another big characteristics of our style is that in every arrangement we do, we mix a dozen of different flower varieties. It gives these wide, large spirits, and I think it’s a real, and that’s what we wanted to create, it’s a real experience to look at our arrangement, because you have so many things to look at.

I think what we’re looking for is what we say in French, [French 00:13:48], this extra-special something that will twist an arrangement. Sometimes, we put disco balls or feathers, glitter. We are playing with flowers as … And thank you for saying that, I think it didn’t … It hasn’t been done before, I think. We are exploring creativity in flowers, we are-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

It’s your canvas. The flowers are your canvas, right? And then, you just start-

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yes, it’s …

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Exactly. It’s colors and flowers, and I’d like to say that you can actually think of our arrangement a little bit like an outfit. It’s a set of colors that go together. Imagine if the stripes of your shirt was matching your shoelace, and your hat was matching your belt, et cetera. We like to create … Yeah, a color scheme and the flowers are a big inspiration. We are trying to find the most singular and always with small details, that maybe we are the only one to see, but we are trying to …

There are thousands of different flowers, and we are trying to show the variety of it, and we are trying not to use what every florist use, actually, and has been using for so many years. We are trying to show the beauty of flowers with our arrangements.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I saw one interview with you in a French publication, I believe it was, where you talked about how one of your bouquets was inspired by a Nike Air Max. And I’m wondering [crosstalk 00:15:51]. So your inspiration, really, comes from anywhere. And like you said, it’s very close to fashion, and you talked about you have an architect on the team, and it’s really…It’s kind of like this multi-art-inspired endeavor when you start working on your arrangements. Are those moments of inspiration, like a Nike Air Max, are those being shared with your audience? Do they actually weave into your storytelling, or is that more something that happens behind the scenes?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

I think it’s both. Sorry. I think it depends. About the Nike shoe, actually, it’s because Nike launched a shoe that was designed by women, for women, and they contacted us to …

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, how cool.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

… to launch for the … Yeah, we were so proud.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That is awesome.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yeah. In terms of branding, it’s like Nike is the …

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s it, that’s the Holy Grail. It can’t get bigger than this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you literally did an actual project for Nike to create arrangements.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yeah. We worked in one of their Parisian store. We made a flower installation, and we were also there to … for giveaways. If you would buy this pair of shoe, of Nike shoe, this precise pair of shoe, you would get a Pampa gift, a Pampa flower gift. So, there was this activation. And also, they partnered with a fashion Instagram magazine. Well, fashion magazine that is based on Instagram, and they asked for artists to create a piece inspired from the shoe.

I was one of the selected artists, and it was so fun to make. And so, everything can be an inspiration because I think it’s, again, this work on color and texture, and we are also very … We come from, as I said, Noélie come from the music industry, the events’ industry, and I used to work also in that industry when I was in agencies, and we love music. We love party, we love celebration, and all this kind of … We take inspiration in so many different things, actually.

And yeah, we share that with our community, to answer your question. On Instagram, we share a lot of things. We show a lot of behind the scenes, and at some point … We don’t do it that much anymore, but I think I should do that again at some point. Each time we would do a new weekly arrangement, each week we would associate it with a music that we like.

So in our newsletter, it will have the song of the week, and stuff. And yeah, and sometimes I can be inspired, sometimes … I don’t know, we did a ’90s-inspired arrangement with psychedelic colors and … So yeah, I think it’s a mix of pop culture and arts, visual arts, and flowers-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And I think knowing that story behind the bouquet it’s just so exciting, and it’s so much fun to know that there’s actual thought being put into it. Right? Which is the exact opposite of those Interflora, huge floral shops, because there is no … I mean, yes, they work together and they’re all nice, but there’s no huge inspiration behind it. There’s no story behind it, and I think that’s what … That’s what creates brands, period. Right? When there is a story behind it, so I think that that’s really exciting.

I love how you started talking a little bit about your background, because you come from the agency background. You worked at TBWA, which is actually where my wife also worked, but she worked in the LA office, and you worked at all kinds of fantastic agencies. And that career, actually, being organized, overseeing projects in the creative field, I’m sure that shaped the ability for you to create, but also to run Pampa, right?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Right, for sure. Exactly. I started working in agencies as a project manager after I graduated from business school. During that time, I worked with such talented creative directors, communicators, brand strategists. It really allowed me to build myself a brand culture, also have a keen eye on aesthetics, actually, and a sense of style in all direction.

I was working with people who have such an incredible taste, and educated me in that way. That’s when I started doing mood boards, and that’s also where I learned how to code CSS, how to use InDesign, Photoshop and so on. I learned by myself, because I was … Actually, I was just dreaming to be on their side. I wanted to be the art director or the creative director, but I was a project manager.

And actually, it was such a good training. I mean, being a project manager gave me this ability of anticipating everything and every problem.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Totally.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yeah, and it gave me the skills of prioritizing, organizing, working with methodology and excellence, because you always, when you work in an agency, you have to be very exigent so that your client is satisfied, and you have to be very … rigorous? I don’t know if-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rigorous, yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And yeah, and it helps me every day in my job, in management, and also in creative direction. I’m so glad I did that in my previous professional life, and yeah, when I was in … I think it was before I went to TBWA? Yeah, I started thinking about this flower project. I was passionate about flowers, I used to offer a lot of flowers to my friends, my mom who was not in Paris. She was in another city, so I experienced a lot those websites we were talking about before.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

One of the first agencies I worked at, I met Noélie, my co-founder. We were together working on a music festival, and we actually run into each other few years later, and we started talking and we figured we both wanted to launch a product in the flower industry, a project, sorry, in the flower industry. And that’s when I decided to stop my … Well, I found this job.

I had this job at TBWA, so I went there, because I thought I could learn … still learn so much, and … Sorry. I got a little bit lost. I took this job at TBWA because I thought I could still learn and have some money, save some money so I could start my business.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And then, I decided to quit and to launch Pampa, because we had this idea and we believed in it so much that I told myself, “Okay, we only live once. You have this idea, just go for it, and go express your creativity,” because yeah, being a project manager was great, but at some point I just wanted to be on the creative side and express myself.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Well, and being a project manager, it’s stressful, but you don’t see the rewards as much, right? Now, it is stressful, but you actually see the rewards. Right? You create your own journey, which is just amazing, and that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship. Right? I think it’s really interesting that you actually quit your job before you really started the project.

I mean, you always thought about it, but to me, this is so important. I did things like that in my life, where I basically had to completely quit something and have this risk, this huge risk of like, “Well, what if it doesn’t work out? What if the next thing … “But because you have that, that fire behind you of, “Okay, I only have that many months to go,” financially, “This really needs to work out. I’m putting money in, I put all my energy in.” I think you have so much more of a drive than if you do two things at the same time. You still have your day job, you start working on it at night, like it’s a very, very different thing, so it’s cool to hear that.

Let’s move over to social media, because that’s a huge part of … In my eyes, I believe, but I’m not sure, I believe that that’s a huge part of the success of Pampa. You have over 73,000 followers on Instagram, which is huge. I mean, for any US-based consumer brand, but for a small brand from Paris that is working very regionally, this is really, really remarkable.

Obviously, as you said, you launched digital-first, but how did it get there? How did it explode that much? And what did you learn from it? What are some secrets you can share of how you guys actually pulled off your Instagram following?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Well, it’s one of the things we are so proud about, is that we gained each of these followers organically.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

We never acquired any follower base, or never used any bots. I’m so glad we did that. One third of our audience is from Paris, the rest is from diverse cities in France, because actually, we deliver outside of Paris. We deliver our dry flowers outside of Paris.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s a really long bicycle ride.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Right. More on that later.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Okay, okay.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

No, but I will explain that to you when we get into that subject, but yeah, we don’t deliver in bicycle-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yes, I had a feeling.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

… outside of Paris. But yeah, one third of our audience is from Paris, the rest is from other cities in France. And actually, 25% is from abroad, and 4.5% is from the US, actually. When I was-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

There you go, I’m one of the 4.5.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Actually, I saw that while I was preparing the new podcast, and I … Yeah, actually, you are 4.5, from the US, so I think it’s [crosstalk 00:28:15]. Maybe if there’s anyone listening that already knows us, hi. How did we get there? I think there have been a few levers that I’m going to list, but I think the quality of the content that we are producing, posting, is key. We always put a lot of efforts in using our own content, and we created something that is very eye catching and it hooks people.

So many people tells me about our Instagram grid, actually. And actually, so many [inaudible 00:28:55] repost our contents. Anthropologie in the US once regrammed one of our posts, which is totally crazy-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, that’s cool.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

You’re a small brand from France, from Paris, Anthropologie is so big. Anyway, there’s also tons of people telling us that we put color in their feed and in their everyday lives, so I think they just enjoy getting shots of nature and color and that’s also why they follow us. They don’t necessarily buy from us every week or every month, but they just are so glad to receive this positiveness into their everyday life.

That’s one part. And in terms of actions that helped us grow our community, we did work with influencers, but for free, though. They loved our brand and product so much that even big influencers that are … The maximum that we did, she had like one million followers, and they were happy to collaborate for free, actually, because they … Yeah, they love the product and the concept, so that, I think, that for sure helps us grow the community.

We also did some sponsored campaigns on Facebook and Instagram that were product focused, but I think it naturally generated following, because even though it was product focused, it also worked on awareness, so we gained a little bit of them like this. But mostly, it was organical, real organical word of mouth. And also, we have had a lot of amazing PR opportunities that came to us also organically, if I can say.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

If I can say it like that. We had the 8:00 PM TV news broadcast in France, that generated a lot of awareness, and a lot of following. You mentioned New York Times. We have been twice in Teen Magazine of the New York Times, which is crazy for us, and very soon, when we started the brand, very quickly we were in Architectural Digest, and other French TV shows, so I think it really helped us grow the community.

But we never really … It came to us, really, because we were so focused on operating the company and just … How can I say that? Sorry. Responding to the demand, we didn’t … We never really invest that much in communication. We developed our content, and we shoot everything in-house, so that’s a kind of investment, but actually the communication itself-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s amazing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. PR just came to you [crosstalk 00:32:19]. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, you didn’t have a PR agency at that point, right? It just all came to you. It was all … And a lot of that was, most probably, through you being out there, on social media. Right? Then, it just started spreading, and then you started getting into TV and all of that, that’s just … One thing leads to another.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Exactly. At the beginning, the first thing was word of mouth. As Noélie and I came from other networks of … We used to work in agencies, we … other companies, et cetera, so we knew people from other past experiences, right?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

So I think at first the word spread in Paris, and each time someone needed flowers, they would say, “Oh, you should go to Noélie and Emma’s project and you will see, Pampa, it’s really cool, it’s new, it’s fresh,” whatever, and it started like that. And yeah, and then I can remember the first influencer who talked about us on Instagram. We had like 800 followers, we had launched one month ago, and suddenly, it was 10:00 PM and I remember I was going to the market that night and had to wake up at 3:00 AM. And I was watching our following base grow and grow, like, “New follower, new follower, new follower.”

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, wow.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

She had just done one [inaudible 00:33:58]. Out of the blue, because a friend of hers who knew us talked about us on his Facebook page, and she reposted it on Instagram, and we gained 1,200 followers in one day. That was amazing for us at the time. And it’s still quite amazing, because today things changed, and it’s really difficult to gain a lot of followers in one shot.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, yeah/

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Things evolving on the Instagram game, and I think it’s not really the case … It’s not really as it was four years ago. But yes, so it’s that mix of things that … And we have now this incredible community, and we want to take time to share more with them. We want to do more. Actually, we do a lot of content that is purely visual, that you look at and, okay, it’s nice to watch.

But we want to make more tutorials, we want to make more things that are interactive, so I hope this year we will have some time and some … Yeah, some time, actually, to put that into place.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

To get the community more involved [crosstalk 00:35:24]. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

…and to grow it even more. Yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Before we talked for a second about the delivery method, because you pride yourself in the bicycle delivery, but on the other hand, you also scaled, you’re now in different cities within France. I do know that sustainability is important to the brand, right? You’re trying to leave a very small environmental footprint, you’re composting green waste, even though you’re trying not to have much of it, because your whole company, the way that you have that one bouquet, basically, a week, it’s already all made for that. And then, of course, the deliveries with the bicycle.

How do you push sustainability? And talking about scalability, how scalable is that as you expand?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Well, your question on scalability is actually super relevant, and I’m going to explain why. But first, I’d like to just introduce … make an introduction on what is sustainability in the flower business. There is A, a notion of origin of supply, right? Well, if you do work with local growers or not. B, there’s a notion of green waste management.

Like you said, we compost our waste. What is waste in the flower industry? It’s of course the flowers you cannot sell, but it’s also everything you … When you receive flowers, you have to prepare them, you have to cut them, and there is all the parts … There are all the parts that don’t go into your bouquet of flowers that don’t pass the … Sorry. There are other parts that don’t go in your bouquets, or don’t pass the quality test that go into a bin.

And in Paris, actually, there is no green waste management for free, so we work with a special company who comes every week and take our-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, wow.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

… waste and compost it. C, in sustainability in the flower industry, there is a notion of delivery process. Right?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Do you deliver by truck, by scooter, by bicycle? There is a notion of durability. Fresh flowers are so ephemeral. How do you cope with that? And there’s also a notion, I think, of wellbeing of your team, and create safe and … a pleasing space to work in.

As far as origin of supply is concerned, [inaudible 00:38:05] small, and at that time 90% of our supplies were super local. We worked with producers around Paris, when the season allowed it. Otherwise, it came from European countries, but mostly from end of winter until middle of autumn, at the beginning we were working with French growers.

But during the first two years, each quarter of our business grew by 20 … Sorry, each quarter of our business grew by 25%-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, nice.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

So, sometimes we had so much work, so many orders, that logistics couldn’t keep up. Going to the flower market at 3:00 AM, three times a week was not in this instance sustainable, no?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Business-wise, but also on a personal scale. I mean, it was-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, it’s killing you. Yes.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

I was so tired.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah, of course.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And it’s also less time to manage your company, and to create other things than the arrangements. And deliveries from the flower market here are really uncertain, they are expensive, and they are often late, and we work on a very tight schedule. Every morning, at 9:00 AM, we have dozens of orders leaving our studio, and at the time we were doing a lot of events when … Well, before COVID.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

We had sometimes 10 different projects for 10 different brands in 10 different venues in one day.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Wow.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

It was madness, so at some point there was no way we could remain profitable and healthy without working on a proper supply chain. And we wanted to work with our local growers, but unfortunately, we didn’t manage to create a system where we could be … we could have supply on a regular basis, because we are so … We look so much into quality, we want to deliver the freshest flowers as possible to our customers. It’s so important for us, that we need the flowers to come, but come in our workshop every two days, maximum; because we don’t want to deliver flowers that have been in our workshop for five days and they will last three days at our customers’.

It’s no question. So we figured we had to start working with most organized people in the market, and that is Holland. They are really good and they are specialists of flowers for … It’s been like that for centuries. And so, we have been working with them for two years and a half now, and we have flowers that come from France, Holland, and Italy. We have buyers in Holland that connects us with very good producers from those countries.

And we try to be as local as possible, as close to our studio as possible. We would love to have our flowers coming from France only, but it’s actually impossible. The scalability you were talking about, at some point you have to make choices. Actually, we opened a physical shop a few months ago … In December, so actually one month ago, and in that shop we will be more flexible and we will have less time constraints, so we are aiming at a super local supply, with flowers being grown by a new generation of growers who know our constraints and can adapt easily.

But as far as our website is concerned, we need to have something that is very organized. It’s always, you have to make choices so that you are … You do the maximum bet. And beyond flower supply, because flower supply is one thing, but … It’s important, of course, but it’s not everything. So, we are developing an eco-friendlier system as a whole, so we sell this one fresh arrangement online to reduce waste.

When we launched Pampa, we directly started working with Olvo, who’s a bicycle delivery cooperative. They are specialists of urban, eco-friendly logistics. And all their courier are actually wage-earning employees, so they are not like freelance who struggle and … It’s very important for us that everyone is well … [French 00:43:26]. Well paid for their work-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Well taken care of. Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Yeah. And so, in Paris 95% of our deliveries are made through them. And in the rest of France, there’s no way for us to do that, unfortunately, so when we’ll find delivery partners who can guarantee a delivery with electric vehicles, we will for sure start working with them, but we’re just being patient and wait for the rest of the chain and industry to evolve, so we … For sure, I mean, the deliveries we do outside of Paris are made in a traditional way-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

We finance the compost of our green waste, and also another way of reducing carbon footprint is to work with durable flowers, right? We work with fresh flowers, but also we work with dried flowers, and silk flowers that are seen as very old fashioned, but that for us can be amazing, aesthetically speaking. But also, because we can do rental and amortize their carbon footprint, and use them maybe like 20 times. So it’s really interesting. We’re trying to innovate in that sense, also.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

And then, we created 10 sustainable jobs, and we try to give a correct lifestyle to our employees by paying them a notch above the rest of the market, and we provide them with pleasing work conditions and good hours. They don’t have to go to the market during the night. Yeah, we are trying to be conscious on every side of the company. You know?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Sorry, that was a very long answer.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

No, no, no. It went into all aspects of keeping a brand sustainable and building a business in a certain way, which is fantastic for everyone to hear. We talked about Pampa for a good 40 minutes or so. If you would take the entire brand idea and entire brand story and what it evokes, and you would have to put it into one word, right? Like big brands, usually you’re able to define a brand in one word. For Cola-Cola, they want to be seen as happiness, for Everlane it’s transparency. What could it be for Pampa, in one word?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

I think that would be colorful, without any doubt. Because yeah, colorful is … Sorry. Concretely speaking, yeah, it’s the use of color, but for me, it conveys so many things beyond the actual … this actual meaning. It’s a spirit which conveys joy, emotion, celebration, and-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Optimism.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Optimism, positivity, and positivism. I think it’s so important right now in the context we are in. It’s our mission. Our mission at Pampa is to really change someone’s day by bringing joy and color to their everyday life. That’s our mission statement. So, by all means, we are aiming at surprising people, and I think the color helps changing their day, and helps them … It’s like a therapy, you know?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

It totally is.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

It’s a therapy through color.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I think it’s funny [crosstalk 00:47:33]. It’s so funny that you say that, right? Because, really, when I think about how I got in touch with your brand, is because I saw one of your bouquets on Instagram, and I just stopped in my tracks. And it was because it was so colorful, right?

And then I went to the site, and it is so overly colorful and joyful and different and fun, and that’s … It’s so great that that is your brand’s DNA. It’s your mission, it’s your vision, that’s what you want to provide people with. I think it’s fantastic.

I think this is interesting because you come from the world of brands, right? Working in ad agencies, and your co-founder with event coordinating and all of that. This is all very intrinsically about branding, but now that you’ve been running your own gig for a couple of years now, what does branding mean to you now, now that you’ve actually done it? What does it mean? How would you describe branding?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

I would say that I think it’s absolutely central, especially in B2C. For me, it’s partly how you will hook your audience, and create a community around your product and service, because you can have your product and service, right? They can have all the features, all the technical features they need to have to be attractive, but with a brand, it’s how you’ll create emotions. It’s how you will create self-identification. It’s like, “I want to be part of the gang.” You know?

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

For us, and for me, it’s a guidebook for everything we do. Everything we create, everything we communicate, I’m like … Every time, I’m like, “Is that Pampa? Are we creating enough?” Sorry … I can’t find my word in English. “Are we game-changing?”

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

“Are we game-changing enough?” And at the end of the day, I think it’s also very, practically speaking, it’s a way to exist on a highly-competitive environment flower market is, and flower industry. So, when we started, it was very competitive, but now so many projects arrived on the market since we arrived on the market.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Emmanuelle Magnan:

You need to stand out. And for me, branding is … Yeah, it’s about creating something higher than just a product. It’s more than something commercial. It’s a belonging, I don’t know if it makes sense-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

No, totally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I always say it’s infusing soul into what otherwise is just a product, right? Then, I think people feel that, that it has heart and soul, versus your competitors who might just … Yeah, those are nice products, those are good products. There’s nothing wrong with them, but would you follow them on Instagram? Would you engage with them? Would you be excited about the product?

It’s a different kind of aura that you put around yourself that attracts people, which I think is wonderful, and that’s why I love being in the business of branding, because I think it’s actually very meaningful. It’s not at all something that is just fake. It’s actually the opposite of fake for the ones that make it as a brand, like you and your partner, so … Great, well-

Emmanuelle Magnan:

…and it’s so interesting to explore how you can create a brand and make it … always make it evolve, and yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

No, exactly, and it has to be … You have to be repetitive so that people know this is truly your brand, but you constantly have to innovate, right? And how do you do those two? And I totally agree, it’s super fascinating. All right. We have to come to an end here, we could talk for a long time, but listeners who fell in love with your brand just now, how can they get Pampa if they’re in Europe? Do they only get it in France, or do they get it in other places in Europe? And for those of us in the United States, and other places around the globe, where can they follow you on social media?

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Actually, we just launched the deliveries in Europe, so-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, great timing.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

… get our dried flowers, they can go to pampa.co, on our website and order. And to follow us, so there’s Instagram, of course, Facebook, Pinterest, and you can also subscribe to our mailing lists, because this is a good way to get information and new products and stuff like that.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Perfect, perfect. And for those of you who heard us talk about Pampa, I just want to mention it is actually spelled P-A-M-P-A, so Pampa for you guys, just so you know who to follow. Thank you, Emmanuelle for having been on the show. I know it was not easy for you to go through this in perfect English. You did so amazing, we’re so appreciative of you doing this interview in English as a second language. It’s really amazing, and thank you for all of your insights and for your time.

Emmanuelle Magnan:

Thank you for having me, and giving me this opportunity to speak about Pampa.


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