Inventory Sale My Library About Christi Blog Floral Workspace Join My Email List! Login

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

The Wonderful World of Peonies--From Alaska

Following up from my recent Alaskan adventure, I wanted to share some information that I gleaned from my retreat on the farm of Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska.

Beth and Kurt Van Sant own acres of peony fields that they have planted themselves. From clearing the land to preparing the ground with the nutrients it needed, they found themselves immersed in the world of growing peonies! Its harvest is only for three months out of the year, although the farming of them takes many more months of planning, babying the plants and taking care of the many tasks that will await them from July-September!

There is a crew that arrives in the summer to help them through harvesting so we can get these fantastic blooms to design with! Who knew that Alaska would provide the ultimate climate for these blooms to thrive during months of the year that no florist could procure these highly sought-after beauties? From around the world, people are clamoring for their blooms to get to wholesalers,...

Continue Reading...

An Alaskan Peony Retreat

It started with just a quick mention..."Who wants to join me in Alaska for a retreat on a peony farm?" said Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore.

I jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days on a peony farm in Alaska with now new friends. What an experience it was! From the breathtaking scenery, peonies abounding, gaining knowledge to getting to know fellow florists and farmers, hands down this was an exciting trip.

Our retreat was arranged by Kelly and Beth & Kurt van Sant from Scenic Place Peonies. They couldn't have been better hosts! We visited 5 farms, took a hike to a glacier, went foraging for driftwood on The Spit, learned how to grade peonies, pack peonies and learned what the farmers go thru just to get these precious blooms into our hands!

We had a day of designing together, two florists who live there in Homer, Alaska; along with two other florists who joined us on the retreat. Sharing stories and enjoying each other's company enriched our lives. 

A...

Continue Reading...

Carving Out Time for Creativity

Uncategorized Jul 19, 2018

To say life has been a bit of a whirlwind the past few weeks doesn't even begin to say the half of it!

EMC (European Master Certification) International had the distinct pleasure of getting to present a program on AIFD's national stage July 2nd here in Washington, DC. Check out our video for the program! Also, Tomas De Bruyne was able to bring EMC's Technique Courses to life for three workshops during that week. (Oh, but wait, I don't think I've mentioned this before on my blog...I'm the Business Manager and Business Partner for EMC, so this job keeps me busy in addition to my own floral studio warehouse here in Washington, DC!)

The day before the AIFD Symposium started, I went to the Slow FlowersSummit that was at the same hotel. Debra Prinzing brought a wonderful group of speakers to program and it's inspiring to see what they are doing. I left fully inspired to add even more American Growers to my buying at Bergerons for our events. You have to check out Slow Flowers and...

Continue Reading...

Improving Your Team's Productivity

education floral business Jul 02, 2018

Ok, I'll admit it! I have a habit of listening to podcasts and videos in the background while I am working on the computer. (I'm a multi-tasker!) On this particular day, the interviewer had Tony Robbins on as a guest. She asked him about what things that most progressive people do that we might be missing to become successful. He went down a few points, and two caught my attention.

The first, "The best performers are focused on outcomes and not activities." Meaning the to-do list isn't the most important, especially if it encourages a failure mentality as it can be neverending. Yes! I hate to-do lists. Do you ever have this issue? Once I start the list, it goes on and on and on... I feel like it becomes a book. It really can make me stressed! Focusing on the outcomes...getting the event finished and delivered, spending time with family, creating a work environment that is pleasing to others. Those are the items to focus on--the activities will come as the outcome is the focus.

The...

Continue Reading...

Why I went for my AIFD, but got me EMC first!

Next month I will be inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). After testing last July in Seattle, Washington I was awarded my CFD (Certified Floral Designer) designation and tested high enough to get my AIFD. Participants have to wait until the following year for the induction ceremony. It's been a long year of waiting, and I am very excited!

You may ask, why did I wait so long? For the past six years, I had a second location at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Having two places took all my focus, and I couldn't get back into the realm of the floral industry that I love...education! I declined the additional 5-year contract at the hotel to get back to my roots in a single studio and being active in the education of flowers again.

In addition to the second location keeping me from focusing on studying, the annual AIFD Symposium falls on my wedding anniversary every year. This isn't exactly how my husband wants to spend time together for our anniversary...

Continue Reading...
Close

Let's Stay In Touch

We promise to never spam you or give away your email address without your consent. Your subscription ensures that you'll receive resources to help your business thrive!