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How the Founders of the Venus et Fleur Floral Brand Blend the Personal and Professional

"Most people will say it’s tough to work with your family or significant other. We beg to differ"

Seema Bansal Chadha & Sunny Chadha / Illustration: Joel Kimmel

We started our business, Venus et Fleur, when we were newly dating, so everything happened simultaneously. Through the evolution and growth of the business, from building the brand online to adding physical footprints, there’s been so much change since launching in 2015—both professionally and personally. We’ve moved a few times, grown our family and now have a son.

We have a common goal, which is to create this heritage luxury floral brand. We want this business to be the best it can be. Venus et Fleur has evolved in the last nine years: We’ve grown our species of florals and vessels and have expanded into candles and room fragrances. Our goal for the brand is to be part of people’s lives, whether it’s for a gifting moment or home decor item. We want to leave a lasting impression. It’s scary to own and run a business, but to run it with the person who shares the same vision as you is exciting.

Trust is the most important pillar, and from day one we identified our strengths and weaknesses and how to collectively work on those weaknesses to be successful in business and life. It’s important for any entrepreneur to remember you’re going to make mistakes in business. It’s how you learn from those mistakes that will allow you to come out stronger. Working with your partner, you have to have a clear idea of what each of your roles and responsibilities is going to be. One of us handles the operations [Sunny] and the other focuses on product development [Seema]. We stand behind each other 100 percent and support one another—even through disagreements.

A few years ago, we were working on vessels for our candles, and the vessels ended up being too tall. They were taking up a lot of space in the warehouse, and one of us wanted to throw the entire shipment away, while the other said, “Absolutely not—we’re going to make something out of this.” That vessel became our Fleura product, part of our porcelain collection, and it’s a bestselling item. We joke that it was our mistake baby. But that’s an example of one of us developing a product that the other might not agree on at first and proving the other one wrong. Trust is the biggest element, being able to say, I may not agree 100 percent with you, but I’m going to support you.

Clocking Out

It’s tough to disconnect from work. We’re so passionate about the business—we live it, love it and it was our first baby together, essentially. It’s very hard to turn off, but after a while you start to realize you need that balance. We’ll set up date nights together, but also carve out time independently and follow through on that. We’re together 24/7 so it’s important that we give each other space when it’s needed. And we have a son now, and it’s essential to us that he sees a healthy balance at home. Although we’re so dialed in, and love our company, we’ve learned over the years the importance of personal time and letting that pressure loosen. Most people will say it’s tough to work with your family or significant other. We beg to differ. As long as you have the right boundaries and the trust, it’s actually one of the most beautiful things that you could fall into.

Seema Bansal Chadha and Sunny Chadha are the founders of Venus et Fleur, a floral company that provides long-lasting bouquets and home decor items. Venus et Fleur products are available for world-wide shipping and sold in department stores. Seema and Sunny are married and live in New York City.