Have you ever wondered how a small idea or gesture could turn into a flourishing business? Such was the story of Anthos, which was founded on a crisp October morning.
Hiking through a trail of fallen leaves in a forest led to an open pasture of foxtail flowers for Ivana Di Cosola, the founder of Anthos, Toronto, Canada. These imperfect dried weeds shaped a sustainable, everlasting, and bespoke preserved floral arrangement and home décor business.
What’s more, this business owner has only become stronger with additional challenges posed by Covid. With fluctuating supply chain, acquiring products and suitable quality vases have become difficult. Still, she managed to build a strong social media presence with thousands of followers and did a brilliant marketing job!
What does Anthos do, and what kind of products do you provide?
ANTHOS specializes in dried florals and offers bespoke dried arrangements. We sell a wide variety of dried florals and grasses, including bunny tails, dried eucalyptus, pampas grass, palms, and more on www.anthosboutique.com. In addition to this, we sell vases and dried floral bouquets or arrangements. We love getting creative by making custom arrangements that last forever!
How did you come up with the name Anthos for your company?
I wanted to make the name of the company simple, easy to say, and mean flower. It’s essential to be original when creating the name of a new business. I considered the word flower in a couple of different languages; I am Italian, so “Fiori” was first on my list, but this name is used often, especially in Toronto. When I did some more research and found “Anthos”, meaning flower bud in Greek, it just stuck! I researched the name and found that it isn’t as widely used; I thought it was simple, sounded beautiful, and stayed true to the company. I ran it by a friend who speaks Greek who confirmed the translation was accurate, and so, ANTHOS was born!
How did you set your paws into the business world? Do you come from a business background?
I wear many different hats, I am a graduate student completing my Masters of Social Work at the University of Toronto. I am a social work student in a busy Toronto hospital, I work part-time in supportive housing, and luckily because of many, I am also a small business owner! ANTHOS offered me a creative escape during an extraordinary time. After spending hours in PPE at both work and my placement, I would come home, put on some good music and create arrangements or pack orders. It’s funny how it worked out; my mom also ran a small dried flower business in the ’90s when she was pregnant with me. She likes to help out with orders when she can!
When did you think of starting a business, how did you accomplish it, any challenges, and any help from friends?
ANTHOS started when I went on a hike in October; I came across a field of foxtails, literally weeds that farmers can’t stand, and picked a couple to put in an empty vase I had in my room. I thought others might also find appeal in them, so I posted them to Facebook Marketplace, and within hours, almost 200 people had responded to the post! After that, I chose to do more research on dried florals and dedicated any second of my free time to source products, learn about dried florals and start a website! Luckily, I had support from my partner, family, and friends who help me push along when I get overwhelmed. I am immensely grateful for my partner who guided me on the financial and business side and for my good friend, who has taught me the ins and outs of social media and building a presence and community online!
Has your team adapted to the pandemic measures?
ANTHOS was born amid the pandemic, so it’s all we know. Our main goal is to ensure that we operate in the safest possible way to keep both our customers and the ANTHOS team safe! We offer contactless pickup and delivery to ensure we mitigate the spread and ensure that our customers can obtain a little piece of nature in their home through our dried florals!
What are your future plans for Anthos?
My goal for ANTHOS is to ensure that we continue to provide our customers with unique and one-of-a-kind dried florals. In the future, I would love to have our florals be part of special moments like weddings or birthdays! I also hope to collaborate with local artists to feature them on our site! More on this soon!
Anthos has made its way to a growing market, slowly spreading its wings beyond the home décor industry and pushing into a broader market of large gatherings and weddings! It is a sustainable business with products that last long and give a striking edge to a dull space at home.
Author: Sadaf Zehra, Toronto, Canada. If you have stories to share kindly email: – [email protected]