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Christi Lopez, Business of Flowers

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020

Many of you have seen my Moving Sale and have been asking me, “WHAT’S NEXT?”

I’m super excited to announce that I’m retiring - sort of! I'm closing up my floral business, Bergerons, that I've owned for over 30 years. It's been a super successful journey and I've been so blessed by the business that I created through Bergerons. Over the years, I had so many amazing employees and fabulous clients that I won't forget! 

I'll be transitioning to a small workspace and video studio that I'm really excited about, and will be working with YOU on building your business to be a successful one! Even though it may seem like I'm just switching over to Floral Education, I've been actively involved in this realm for many years on a local level (through Past President of a Floral Association as well as teaching classes and at garden clubs) and more recently involved within the last few years on an international level (with EMC-European Master Certification programs...

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Protect Your Business

business tips Mar 17, 2020
By now, your news and social media feeds are flooded with one and one thing only: COVID-19. It is anxiety inducing and can be crippling for your business. I want to remind you to take a deep breath, sit down, and figure out a plan of action. Focusing on the stress won’t get you in forward action. 
 
I'm grateful to have 30+ years of experience to get me through this season. I wanted to take some time and share some of what I've learned with you because I believe that we need each other to get through this. 
 
The biggest thing I would recommend for you, if you haven't already done it yet, is to save, save, save. Having an emergency fund to tide you over for 3-6 months is important for a solid business continuity plan for small business. If you don’t have one, start today because it's not too late! Take a look at your financial position and ask yourself, how much do you need to maintain a positive cash flow each month? Use that as a starting point...
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What can EMC do for me?

emc Feb 17, 2020

What can EMC do for me?

Last week, I talked about European Master Certification (EMC) and how I got started with them. Some of you may be wondering, "if I sign-up for EMC, what can it do for me?"
 
Let's have a talk about what it's done for me both in the retail side of designing and in the events side of designing.
 
First of all, there is a study of nomenclature that is beyond words! You have to know your medium you are working with, am I right? If you don't know about the flowers and plants you are working with, how can you take care of them the best way? The in-depth study of the flowers, foliage, and plants is second-to-none. I would venture to say to ask any EMC graduate what was one of the biggest challenges they had, they would tell you the Nomenclature Assignment! BUT, that said, I have a reference that is beyond compare when it comes to knowing how best to care and handle the flowers I like to work with and even those that I hadn't worked with before....
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EMC is coming to Washington, DC!

emc Feb 07, 2020

If you've been following me on social media for awhile, I'm sure you are probably thinking by now, "what's all this woo-woo Christi's talking about?". Well, joining the European Master Certification (EMC), gave me confidence in knowing why I design the way I do and how to do it efficiently and beautifully as well as learning the principles and elements of design.

A few years back, I had welcomed Hitomi Gilliam AIFD to teach a three-day intensive here in the DC area. She and I had some time to spend together before she flew out and she talked about this amazing course that she and Tomas De Bruyne were working on~bringing the ultimate in floral design to North America: The study of European Floral Design! Have you ever had one of those moments where someone is talking and you just start daydreaming of what it would be like to do what they were talking about? Well, my friends, that was one of those moments. It's like an angelic glow came over her and I was mesmerized for the next 30...

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How do you handle Roadblocks?

Uncategorized Jul 24, 2019

I was talking with my Growth Coach the other day. (Yes, I did say my coach--I believe in coaching. I don't just provide coaching, I take it too! This is a topic for another day.)  Anyway, we were talking about roadblocks. She asked, "How do you handle them?"

Silence...you could hear a pin drop. Then I answered her. This was a tough question and my answer wasn't one that I excited to tell her. To answer honestly, for most of my career, I've tried to dodge them! 

I thought about this a lot since then and here's a visual that I came up with:

Imagine you're playing a video game; the road is in front of you and in the distance, you see a roadblock. You know, those concrete road barriers lined up across the road.

You have two choices:

  1. Wait until it comes right in front of you and you have to take your massive Thor-looking hammer and crush it before the time runs out. Or,
  2. You can use the Thor hammer and point it from afar and blast that thing to smithereens! 

For...

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Lessons from Mom

As I sit here at my mom's house waiting for her caregiver to bring her to the breakfast table, I'm reminiscing of the times we spent working together in my business. She was my right-hand lady for the first 26 years of my business. You see, now, she's either walker or wheelchair-bound and requires 24/7 caregiver help. I'll admit, it's extremely difficult to see her like this; not as the strong, energetic, resilient person that I got to see every day.

Time has gone by since she "retired" from physically helping me at the shop, but she's never stopped giving a listening ear or helpful support especially in stressed times when I need a person to just go over what I'm thinking. 

Often people would ask her how I was doing since taking over the shop? She would chuckle and let them know that "she worked for me" not the other way around. Little did they know that I was my idea to open a florist business in the first place. She has always been the sturdy pillar for me to build on,...

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ARE YOU A SIDE HUSTLER OR A FULL-TIMER?

clarity floral business Jun 24, 2019

So, do you have a SIDE HUSTLE OR FULL-TIME GIG in your floral business? Where are you at in your floral career? For almost the first 10 years of my business, floral design was my side hustle. I had a business license, but I got through college, worked two full-time jobs before I took more of a plunge to grow my business.

After 8 years of working floral design on the side, I took action and went for the leap to quit the safety of my full-time salary to work out of the downstairs of the house. I also strategically wanted to learn more about running a brick and mortar retail florist so I worked part-time at a flower shop in a neighboring town. Even though I worked at that job for less than a year, it helped me gain so much knowledge! 

You may look at my business today and see the success that it is, but just remember I started out for years making it work on the side. If you are even remotely feeling that this is taking forever, just remember ACTION is what will set...

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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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