This is the story of how an experienced florist and an ex-banker partner up to breathe some fresh –and scented – air into Bronx’s floral space.
What happens when twoBronxites –an experienced florist and a successful ex-banker – partner up to play with flowers? Read on, and find out.
Bronx floristLea Davis is partnering with her best friend, ex-banker Erika Moncada, to revamp Bella’s Flower Shop – a high-end luxury floral shop in the Bronx located at 288 West Fordham Road.
“We are very excited about our upcoming partnership,” says Davis. “We will undergo a full storefront renovation, and the name of the company will change from Bella’s Flower Shop to Bella’s Flowers. We plan on expanding to other boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.”
Bella’s Flower Shop has serviced the Bronx and its surrounding areas for 12years. They are the first Bronx flower shop to create fresh flower arrangements in Parisian hat boxes, inspired by European sophistication and elegance. They also offer an entire collection of preserved roses and roses that last a year without water or maintenance.
Erika Mondada (L) Lea Davis (R)
“I have decided to partner up with my best friend of over 25years to serve our community even better,” says Davis. “We believe that with my expertise in marketing and product development and her competence in operations, we will make an A-team!”
Davis and Moncada first met in their local church 25years ago. Both partners immigrated from Honduras, were raised in the Bronx, and went to Baruch College in New York City. After college, Moncada went into banking and eventually managed a Chase Bank in the Bronx, while Davis went into the real estate industry.
Before the real estate market crash of 2008, she was buying inexpensive properties, refurbishing them, and selling them for a profit. After the market crashed, her successful business came to a screeching halt.
“We had two properties that we couldn’t unload,” says Davis. “I felt lost and broke.”
Feeling like any opportunity would be better than none, Davis started browsing Craigslist for a solution.
“I clearly remember going through Craigslist and seeing an ad for a small flower shop,” says Davis. “The asking price wasn’t much, so I just went with it. My mother was with me, encouraging me and telling me I could do it. She was the only one that believed in me. I will never forget that!”
Davis purchased her flower shop in 2010 and named it after her beloved niece, Isabella. Back then, it was a small and unprofitable business – but not for long. Davis worked hard and quickly transformed the Bronx flower shop into a flourishing business. Just two years later, the business outgrew the space, and she relocated to a larger storefront, where the store thrives today.
“Erika and I love the Bronx. We grew up here and have worked here all our lives,” says Davis.“We want to bring the best and innovative products to the people of the Bronx.”
The transition to Bella’s Flowers will allow Davis and Moncada to improve their customer service experience.
“We want the interactions our customers have with us to be positive throughout the entire customer journey, from first contact to becoming a happy and loyal customer. We also want to continue being that innovative force in the flowers and gifting space in the Bronx and branch out to other areas in New York City,” says Davis.
“Customers want to gift something different to their loved ones, and we like to be at the forefront of innovation. We have customers coming from all boroughs of NYC looking for our exclusive and bespoke flower arrangements. They tell me all the time, ‘I come from afar. My local florist doesn’t sell this!’”
Although Moncada is just officially joining the business, she is no stranger to the floral industry. She is used to helping her best friend run the flower shop during the busiest times of the year.
“Erika has helped out during big holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and we have always bounced around the idea of partnering up,” says Davis. “Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice-versa. She excels in the organization, logistics, management, and operations. My strengths are in marketing and advertising, e-commerce, and product development.”
Davis, Moncada, and Bella’s Flowers are testaments to what is possible with hard work and perseverance – even when facing a real estate market crash and a global pandemic.
“As minority women, we are grateful to this country, and specifically to the Bronx, for being so good to us,” Davis says. “I remember seeing the struggles my immigrant parents went through raising us in the Bronx. They sacrificed a lot, and we won’t let that sacrifice be in vain. We want to do something recognizable – something of category and prestige – that comes out of our home, the Bronx.”
About Bella’s Flowers
Bella’s Flowers is a full-service, family-owned, and -operated Bronx flower shop. Services include Bronx florist delivery, funeral flowers, flowers in hat boxes, preserved roses, wedding flowers, assorted plant arrangements, birthday arrangements, anniversary bouquets, and more. The staff at Bella’s Flowers is always happy to create custom arrangements based on their customers’ desired color schemes, personalities, or event types. To learn more about Bella’s Flowers, readers are encouraged to visit https://www.bellasflowershop.com. Orders can be placed online, in-shop at 288 West Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10468, or by calling 347-577-5300.