Celebrating American Grown Flower Month - An Interview with Kelly Shore of The Floral SourceJul 17, 2023
I had the honour of talking with Kelly Shore, the founder of The Floral Source, for an enlightening conversation about the floral business and the changes happening within the industry. Kelly, who has been in the floral industry for 23 years, shares her experiences, challenges, and the exciting transition her business has undergone in the past year. With a focus on transparency and educating consumers, Kelly's journey highlights the importance of supporting local flower farmers and the impact it has on the quality and sustainability of the floral products we enjoy.
In this blog I share some of the key highlights from our chat. You can watch the full interview here.
A Shift towards Transparency and Realism.
Kelly emphasizes the need for transparency in the floral industry, which often hides behind a facade of perfection on social media. She's passionate about florists and business owners being open and honest about the realities of the business, so that this can help others to set realistic expectations for their business and also remind them that there will be challenges to overcome for us all.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Floral Industry
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the floral industry faced immense challenges. Kelly, who was highly visible on Instagram, received messages from florists across the country struggling to source flowers due to closed borders and disrupted supply chains. Responding to the need, Kelly stepped in to connect flower farmers with florists, creating accessibility and supporting local economies. This act of community support led to the birth of The Floral Source's wholesale division.
A Sustainable Approach to Wholesale
The Floral Source is not just another wholesale business. Kelly's focus is on promoting American-grown flowers and supporting domestic flower farmers. Kelly's journey into the wholesale flower business began with her curiosity about local flower varieties in Maryland, where she has been designing for 12 years. Encouraged by flower farmer Dave Dowling, Kelly explored the unique and diverse botanicals grown locally. She noticed a shift in the industry, with designers recognizing the value of origin and the desire to support American flower farmers. Kelly's dedication to educating herself about the different flowers available across all 50 states led to the creation of The Floral Source.
She's also embarked on a journey to establish relationships with farms across the United States, ensuring that her clients receive the freshest and highest quality flowers. By harvesting flowers within one to two days of delivery, The Floral Source offers a level of freshness comparable to local flower farms.
Overcoming Misconceptions and Educating Consumers Especially on Pricing
Kelly acknowledges that many consumers are unaware of the true cost and value of flowers due to years of misleading marketing from major floral brands. The deceptive marketing practices used by mass-market brands create confusion and devalue the work of local flower farmers and independent florists.
To create a shift in perception, she emphasizes the importance of educating consumers and the wider industry about the benefits of supporting local and American-grown flowers and showcase the unique value they bring to the table. In her own experience although some may initially hesitate due to higher prices, the value and quality of the flowers quickly become apparent, which has led to a growing demand for The Floral Source's products.
Kelly Shore's journey with The Floral Source exemplifies the power of transparency, education, and community support within the floral industry. By championing American-grown flowers and connecting florists with local flower farmers, she is reshaping the way consumers perceive and purchase floral products. With a commitment to quality and sustainability, The Floral Source is leading the way towards a more transparent and ethically conscious floral industry and I love it!
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