Originally Published: 19 SEP 23 07:00 ET By Parija Kavilanz, CNN
New York (CNN) — Crayola, a name synonymous with vibrantly colored crayons for more than a century, is going into the flower business.
The crayon maker, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, on Tuesday announced the launch of Crayola Flowers, an online flower shop selling bright bouquets and boxed flowers.
But there’s a dual purpose to the new venture, the company said: It will also double as a fundraising platform, with 10%-50% of every direct sale donated to a participating charity or entity chosen by the customer. Nonprofit organizations can use the floral storefront, too, as part of their own fundraising campaigns.
Crayola partnered with Mrs. Bloom’s, an importer and distributor of fresh-cut flowers — daisies, mums, hydrangeas and many different colors of roses — to jointly develop the online flower shop, the company said. Bouquets are priced from $49 to $150 and are shipped directly from farms to consumers nationwide.
A colorful corporate history
Since the birth of the Crayola brand in 1903, the company has branched out beyond wax crayons into arts and crafts materials, coloring books, Crayola “experiences” and unexpected collaborations, including — according to Footwear News — a recent one with footwear makers Crocs for crayon-inspired Crocs.
But the idea here “is to extend the Crayola brand into the flowers industry in a slightly different way,” Warren Schorr, senior vice president of business development, global licensing and experiences, said in an interview with CNN. “Instead of just selling flowers when they’re needed, why not unite this idea of color and creativity with spreading kindness.”
The long menu of charities or entities a customer can donate to includes 4-H, the American Heart Association, Autism Speaks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Humane Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Nonprofit organizations can also host their own custom flower shops on Crayola Flowers. “The platform offers toolsets with which they can set the parameters of the campaign, such as the landing page, the bouquet options that we already offer, set the prices, set the beginning and end dates of the campaign, add and send automated emails about it,” said Schorr.
For-profit entities, such as local small businesses, can also create fundraising campaigns through a Crayola Flowers storefront to benefit community efforts such as soup kitchens and disaster relief. All campaigns, however, will be vetted, he said. This includes evidence of campaign need, proof of nonprofit status or proper identification of for-profit entities and administrators.
In addition to the website, Crayola Flowers will have an on-the-road component with a mobile flower truck or traveling storefront to set up at various events to support local and national nonprofits, the company said.
Schorr said Crayola Flowers’ launch was three years in the making. “As horrible as the pandemic was, it gave us time to explore and develop this innovative platform,” he said.
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