Dorsey Floral was founded in 1997. The company I was working for, Florimex, was in the process of an exit and they were consolidating offices (presumably to clean up the balance sheet so they were a more attractive acquisition). Florimex wanted me to move to Canada to work in another location, while still serving the Seattle market. I already knew this was a losing proposition so I decided to stay in Seattle and found my own company, with a similar business model.
I bootstrapped and scaled Dorsey Floral from $0 to $3MM/yr in revenue. My gross margins stayed around the 25% point, life was good. My company was recognized for its fast growth and I was often featured on King 5 news during Valentines day to chat about the floral industry.
Then September 11, 2001 happened and it changed the import landscape dramatically. New security restrictions were put in place and the rules were changing constantly. Importing perishable flowers from out of the country became less viable. It got to a point where it did not matter how good I executed, there were too many other agencies who had influence on my success (mainly US Customs/USDA, aka Customs Border Protection). Dorsey Floral celebrated its last Valentines Day in 2008.
The floral industry is filled with amazing people. Although I do not keep in touch with my previous clients, I do think about them often and the impact they had on me and what they taught me as a business owner and human.