Christi Lopez—The Business of Flowers
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Solve Your Customers Problems-EAT THE FROG!

flower business Apr 30, 2019

Okay, now answer this truthfully! How many of you cringe when you hear that dreaded voicemail from a recipient that has called after hours because she has a question about the retail order you delivered that day?

OR

You get an email from that pesky wedding planner that just won’t realize that you can’t keep changing and updating the wedding every day and to boot, it’s six months from now!

You really want to just ignore them and deal with it another day, right?

WRONG! It’s so much better to “eat the frog”!

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

Do that thing that you don’t want to do first, so you can clear your mind and move along!

I just heard Casey Graham from Gravy Solutions speak at a conference I was at where he called it “The Press...

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Less is More

Today I wanted to talk about the “less is more” concept. We all know that this concept is applicable in so many ways; even in our personal AND business lives.

I want to apply this to our business today—YOUR business! Those of you that have an e-commerce website, have you ever thought about if you have fewer options that it might just be better for your business? I know, you probably think I’m crazy, right? But consider this, what if you narrowed down your offerings on your site to just a handful?

Hear me out, how many times have you gone to a restaurant that you’ve been to before and ordered the same thing? Probably almost always, right? Or, what about if you go for the first time and you see that they have 50 different items on the menu for entrees. Do you get overwhelmed? You probably narrow it down to certain sections of the menu like fish or salads, right?

The same thing might be happening to your customers. If you are clogging up your site...

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Calling all Floral Designers! First Ladies Luncheon

Uncategorized Feb 22, 2019

Hey Everyone! 

We are looking for volunteers who want to be involved in wowing the guests at the historic First Ladies luncheon by working side-by-side with some of America's talented floral designers.

I'd love for you to apply to work with Mary Kate Kinnane (owner of The Local Bouquet) and myself (Bergerons Flowers) sponsored by Certified American Grown flowers! It's a great way to work with our American growers to show off their product. And, I can attest first-hand last year, I had the opportunity to work alongside other florists and growers. Enjoy getting to network and meet other like-minded florists, while supporting our American grown flowers and farms. 

Interested? Then check out the blog post from Certified American Growers to apply. Deadline to apply is MARCH 1st!

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Valentine's Day—So How Did You Do?

floral business Feb 15, 2019

I'm just gonna ask it...HOW DID YOU DO?

Really, how did you do yesterday? Did you kill it for Valentine's Day? Was it your best ever in sales or did you struggle with your deliveries? Order too little roses? Or, for that matter, did you order too many? 

It's time to decompress, my friend! Not only do you want to take a load off your feet, but you want to do a brain dump of all that went on while it's fresh on your mind. I know, you don't want to think about it, right? 

No matter if it's your first experience with this holiday or your 50th, it's always good to take some time and write down how it went. When I had my first Valentine's in my brick and mortar store, it was crazy! No one told me really what to expect. For the first ten years of my business, I worked out of a basement. I kept a few notes, but I didn't need to think about how each year went since I only had a few deliveries on my plate that day/week. But, my first one in my shop? Well, let's just say, it was...

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I CONQUERED THE FROZEN WEDDING!

 It happened, my ultimate fear happened...

We had two very large weddings to deliver on the same day. One was about 40 minutes from our shop and the other was at our downtown location inside the Mayflower Autograph Hotel. The team had just left with two vans full of flowers for the wedding off-site and I was getting in the third van with my other designer to meet them. Then, I got the call...

A strained, panicked voice on the other end was my manager of the hotel studio. I couldn't understand what she was saying. "What, the cooler froze? All the flowers in the cooler are frozen?" I felt it in the pit of my stomach, and I'm sure all the blood drained from my face. What was I going to do? All of the flowers were designed and ready to install at the hotel for the wedding. It was 1:30 p.m. and the wedding starts at 6...what do I do now?

Well, I put my big girl panties on, that's what! I immediately told her we were going to figure it out and went into action. I called the crew...

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To-Do Lists...or Dare I Say "Not To-Do Lists"

How many of you are like me and often feel like we have to do everything as we build our florist businesses? You gotta hustle and show up every morning! Our days become filled with a list of to do's that runs a mile long. Well, I have been listening to Jay Papasan's audiobook, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. It's been great and has me shifting my thoughts on how I approach my day and even week.

What does he mean to have your ONE thing? It's Your Number #1 priority. It's the one thing or FIRST thing you should be doing. We may have lots of priorities; i.e. at work or at home, etc, but at any given point and time though, we can only have one true priority. And we all know that we need to be present on your most important priority. 

How many of you have a To-Do List? You either keep it on a notepad or on your phone. It's really just a survival list that we have to get through in a day or maybe a week. I know mine can be...

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I dreamed...I struggled too. A brief synopsis of my 30-year floral journey

I dreamed. I struggled too. Just like you, I truly wanted an opportunity to run an efficient and profitable floral business.

I started in my mom's basement over 30 years ago just doing craft fairs with artificial flowers because that's all I knew. I dreamed of owning a big retail flower shop but wondered how I would get there. My mom and I took design classes once a week for a year. You can read a little more about that in my blog from Mother's Day.

Off I went to college in Pennsylvania and would drive home on Friday afternoons to design weddings, deliver on Saturday and return to school on Sunday. Next thing I knew, I was purchasing a small two-door cooler that I could only put personal flowers into. You know, the bridal party flowers, boutonnieres, corsages, etc. And, my biggest fears were, “Are these flowers going to open in time? And, how can I make sure they don't wilt before the wedding?" (Back then, the wondrous thing called a "CoolBot" wasn't invented yet! This is one...

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So, you want to quit your day job and become a florist?

Here's the scenario...I'm out somewhere making new friends and they find out I'm a florist. Inevitably, the next words that come out of their mouth are, "I've always dreamed about being a florist! That must be so much fun playing with flowers all day!"

Mind you, I do L-O-V-E what I do. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been doing this for so long! But, there are a few misconceptions about this industry. You've got to have tenacity and grit to keep the gracefulness of the beauty you create. If you long to design with flowers on a daily basis and dream of building a flowers business, here are a few things to think about.

Start Small. Working from your home is perfectly fine to start out. Give yourself some space to work from and delve into this business by getting your feet wet! I got my start in my mom's basement as well as working for another floral shop to get an idea of how the business runs. You can't expect to put together a sizeable floral installation on your first wedding. And, if...

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Pre-Qualifying your Wedding Clients

floral business Oct 08, 2018

I know, this is a sensitive subject. Some believe that you should take any client, no matter what their budget. So hear me out...

I do believe in taking the time to get to know the potential client before you schedule an appointment. There are some ways to find out if they are the right fit ahead of time.

I personally use a form to find out more about them before scheduling a consultation. This helps figure out where the potential clients are having their special event, what other vendors they may be working with and how many guests they are expecting. All of these insights help you prepare for meeting with them.

Along with this primary form, I do provide them with our Wedding Floral Calculator. This helps me get an idea of where they are regarding the budget. This calculator is so insightful as to their needs and expectations too.

Handling inquiries can be a tricky as you peel back the layers of what they are looking for, but it can also be gratifying when you have the right...

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A Trip to Royal Flora Holland Flower Auction with Hilverda de Boer

 

So a lifetime bucket list experience came to pass yesterday! Two years ago, I set-up this trip to go to Hilverda, but due to a family emergency my trip was cut short, and I returned home. Now, TAKE 2!

Arriving early at Hilverda's large building literally across the street from the Royal Holland auction, with luggage in tow, Dalia and I got a warm welcome from the lady at reception. Come to find out, 7 a.m. isn't so early. Many of these employees are here much earlier than that to start buying on the auction.

Sander, who is our account manager for the US, was our amazing personal tour guide. He has been with Hilverda since 2000, and he knows the business of flowers, Holland flowers, that is! Our tour began with Sander driving across the street and showing us around the Royal FloraHolland. As you can see from the images, I've never seen anything like it!

 

Yes, they take live pictures of the product as it arrives from the auction, so what you see online to...

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