One of the biggest events in florist industry had passed and it made me think how all of us can help to support the local florist shop or studio, just around the corner.
First that comes in my mind is build a good friendship with your local florist. Get to know them closer. Stop by every now and then to chat or just to admire our work. We are nice people and love to communicate. Visit us on-line and leave us a note on Facebook or Twitter. Yes, most shops and studios have social media presence. That’s a fun way to communicate and get to know each other.
Second – shop LOCAL! By that I mean call or visit in person your local florist friend, not the grocery store or Teleflora web-site. Why? (This is rather long explanation; I’ll try to make it “short”)
-The main line of business for the grocery store is NOT FLOWERS. They offer flowers just for the sake of customer’s convenience. Their prices are extremely low just because they buy huge amount of flowers from the suppliers and get huge discounts. Then the flowers are just placed on the store floor for sale. Nobody takes a proper care for the flowers, maybe just change of water and that’s about it. The result is bad quality, waste of money, unhappy recipient.
-On-line florist channels, aka Wire-service. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use their service at all, just not all the time. There are a lot of local floral stores that are part of the wire service network and this can be a significant amount of their sales. The way it works is the tricky part. When you order trough a florist web-site (that is part of that network) your order goes in one central hub and then it’s redirected to the nearest to the recipient’s postal code florist. So, if you want the store next to you to get that order and arrange a delivery, just call them directly. Another very important detail is that very often you don’t get the arrangement that you see on-line. Most of the pictures that are on the web-site are Luxe or Deluxe option and are made just to attract the customer.
-There is something else about the Wire-service. Big percentage of the customer’s money is taken by fees, service charges and delivery and the florist it self takes vary minimal amount, just about enough to cover the labour and the supplies. There is almost no profit. This is true and it hurts a lot, especially during the peak season.
If you want to send flowers out of town or country, this is a good choice.
I always suggest though looking on-line for a good florist nearby the recipient’s location and calling directly.
What goes behind the curtain in every floral shop on a regular daily basis? Why we charge what we charge? Most florists receive their flowers, fresh from the supplier on a regular basis; everyday or a few times a week, depending on their location and other factors. Then every single flower is processed and conditioned by hand – clean, dethorn, recut, properly hydrated and kept in their perfect condition. The water is changed daily. It’s the same for every studio or event planning company offering flowers.
And that is just for the flowers. There are vases to be cleaned and shined, store to be kept in good looking and attractive condition. That’s a lot of heavy work. We do it with a smile, excitement and pride. For most of us this is our only line of business and for some of us a live long experience.
That’s why we charge more then the grocery store.
When a customer orders directly – by visiting in person or calling the store, we get paid for our hard and beautiful work. Most of my colleagues are well educated and certified professionals, very talented and creative hard workers.
Next time, when you need flowers for you special occasion, think about where you are going to get them – grocery store, on-line or a local artist. Think about how you can support you fellow neighbour, with the neat little shop just around the corner.
I know you will make a smart choice. Thank you for that!