AN ENTREPRENEUR is offering independent florists an alternative to delivering flowers through the online giants.

Tom Le Mesurier said he realised the “brutal truth” about how the big names in online floristry treated their members when he was a flower wholesaler.

He devised Florist Up My Street, a website designed by floirsts to promote and sell online.

The 31-year-old, from Ringwood, said: “Talking to florists day in day out, I quickly learnt that in many cases, they don’t make much money, if at all, when they receive an order via an internet giant. Why would they continue to be a member? I thought, there has to be a fairer way to support the small local businesses.”

He added: “By giving the florist more control of what they want to sell and how they want to sell it, they can actually make a living. On top of this, they don’t have the silly costs associated with it and in turn the customers get loads more flowers for their money.”

Mr Le Mesurier, a former freelance graphic designer, said he used his skills and contacts to get the idea under way.

“Money was a big issue. However, I overcame it by bringing in skilled individuals in return for company shares,” he said.

“We now have a great team of really skilled people in digital design as well as industry know-how. With the help of Phil Greeno we’ve created a really good website that has grown to host over 450 florists in a year.”

The platform was initially offered free to florists for the first six months. It was launched to the public in January last year and is still currently free for florists to use.

Mr Le Mesurier said the platform had enjoyed a good year and a successful Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

“We have had great feedback from both florists and consumers with good sales and we are more confident than ever to push Florist Up My Street,” he said.

“We are now working on a second version of the website, to boast a load more features and a great new design. We’ve proved that the disruptive flower tech platform works, there is a need and a market for it and now we want to make the best it can be.”