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Suggest an Article: Chamber of Commerce

Our next Suggest an Article comes from Alan Sherrill of the Conyers Flower Shop in Conyers, Georgia. Alan’s idea involves joining your local Chamber of Commerce, but it doesn’t end there! Here’s a bit of clarification from Alan himself:

“If florists have not joined up with their local Chamber of Commerce … I would strongly suggest [they] join and be involved … as much as possible. [Attend] ribbon cuttings, business open houses, and various committees … offered through the Chamber. The more you are seen and hand out business cards, the more you will be remembered. [Conyers Flower Shop] has a large customer base of repeat Chamber customers. We give Chamber members a 10% discount on flower orders as well. In turn, we get a lot referral customers from our Chamber base as well as the Chamber itself. Hope you will give it a try, but don’t just join and wait, join and get involved!”

Thanks Alan, that sounds like a fantastic idea!

The Importance of Networking

Chamber of CommerceI’m sure I don’t have to tell florists that being successful is all about personal relationships. You rely on word of mouth referrals for the majority of your local business! When you work a wedding or a funeral, you go out of your way to make a connection with the family in the hopes that they will recommend you to their friends. You relish the opportunity to deliver flowers to an office building so that everyone can see your work as you walk through on your way to the recipient.

Getting your business name and the quality of your work out in the community is how you make your living. Alan’s Chamber of Commerce suggestion performs the same function, but on a more targeted scale. He is targeting business leaders in the community, cultivating their business. Having one of these individuals use his services carries immediate weight within the community. After all, if the owner of XYZ Corporation uses Conyers Flower Shop for his daughter’s wedding, it’s a high-profile endorsement!

But more than that, small business owners like to support other small business owners. The Chamber allows you an opportunity to meet other business owners in your community. You can start using their services, and they start using yours. After all, isn’t that what the term ‘business community’ is supposed to mean?

That wraps up this edition of Suggest an Article! I hope everyone takes Alan’s words to heart and begins networking in their own communities toward even more success!

Remember this column relies on you, the reader, to give us input so we can share your ideas with the rest of the floral community. Leave us some of your best thoughts in the comments section below!

Suggest an Article: Car Wrapping

HollyHock2Not too long ago, we asked our member florists to submit any ideas they had to use in future blog posts. We intentionally didn’t specify what kind of ideas we were looking for, and as a result, we received suggestions encompassing all aspects of the business. This will be the first in a series of articles wherein I take those tips and present them to you!

Car Wrapping Tastefully

As a business owner, effective and affordable advertising can be difficult to find. For Heather Aleksonis, the owner of HollyHock Flowers in Weare, New Hampshire, one solution came in the form of car wrapping. The process involved taking her vehicle to a local professional and having it covered in stickers advertising her business. This effectively turned her car into a moving billboard.

Heather says that it’s the best thing she’s done as far as advertising:HollyHock Stickers

“Forget the newspapers. You can do your car for the price of 2 ads in the newspaper. When your customers see your car all the time, they think you are busy. And then they want to do business with you also.”

Looking at her beautifully decorated ride, I can see why it works! That looks awesome Heather!

Come back soon for even more Suggest an Article tips! And if you missed the first opportunity to suggest an article, leave some ideas in the comments below. You never know, you might find your idea in the next Suggest an Article!

Posey Peddler – A Florist Improving Customer Service!

Posey Peddler FlowersAs part of Customer Service Week, (October 7th-11th) we wanted to share with you one of our members who is working hard to boost customer service and sales in their flower shop.

A Local Florist Taking Action

Bridgette Mills Arnold, a 30 year veteran of the floral industry, is the owner of Posey Peddler in Joneboro, Arkansas. The shop has been a fixture in the Jonesboro area since 1998 and serves the local community with custom gifts, flowers, plants and home decor.

Recently Bridgette brought in customer service and sales guru Tim Huckabee of Floral Strategies to conduct a workshop with her employees.

Why Floral Strategies?

Floral Strategies is the only on-site training program in the entire floral industry that teaches critically important customer care skills. This specific training empowers flower shop workers to give extraordinary customer service. As you can guess, this makes for happy clients that keep coming back.

Celebrate The Learning Experience!

FSN visited this bustling flower shop during their training seminar. Check out this video of Posey Peddler’s day with Tim Huckabee.

FSN Members: CLICK HERE to login & learn more ways to improve customer service and sales with specific tips from Tim Huckabee.

[Read more…]

Quick Tips: Sanitizing Those Old Vases

If there’s one thing with which every florist is more than familiar, it’s a dirty vase that seems impossible to get clean. Most of the time, they come to you as part of a vase recycling or re-purposing program, and we all know how important it is to get those vases completely disinfected and sanitized. The bacteria and mildew growing in an old vase can wreak havoc on anything you might wish to place in it! But regardless of its origins, nothing is more annoying than a disgusting vase that just will not come clean!

A Cleaning “Solution”

Crystal Flower Vase

Well, no need to fret. Amy Bishop of Amy’s Flower Basket in Albion, NE has found a brilliant solution! The next time you find yourself with a vase that resists the ministrations of soap and water, just fill it to the brim with hot water and drop in a couple of denture cleaning tablets. Give it a full 24 hours to soak, and then simply clean as normal. The end result will be a bright and sparkling vase, completely sanitized of any residual mildew or bacteria and ready for use!

Thanks Amy, that’s a fantastic idea!

Amateur Application

Of course, this will also work at home. So for any of you non-professionals out there, go grab that old vase from under the sink or off the top of the refrigerator and give this tip a try! Or, if you’d prefer not to reuse your old vase, you should definitely check with your local florists to see if they have a recycling/re-purposing program available in your area. Some even offer a discount on your next flower purchase, so you can get rid of the old, empty and busted to make way for some new hotness!

Do you have an idea or tip that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave your idea in the comments below, and who knows, it might be the subject of our next blog post! Also, if you’d like more information on creative ways to use vases, check out this previous post!

What Is Deco Flex Tubing and Deco Poly Mesh Ribbon?

Ask the Expert: What is Deco Flex tubing?

Rec’d a call from one of my wholesalers and they have Deco Flex Tubing that is bright in color and is flexible…I searched the net with no success..Also what is Deco Polymesh Ribbon…and how do you use it?? Gayla

Design Expert Reply:

Deco Flex Tubing (a Craig Bachman product), is a well keep secret of top floral designers.  This poly tubing comes in bright colors and is available in an 8mm or 4mm size.  The size and color variations allow designers the ability to use it in a variety of applications including underwater and outdoors.

Deco Poly Mesh WreathFrom corsages to bridal bouquets, Deco Flex tubing adds a uniquely luxurious quality to wedding work.  Tied to a Valentines Day arrangement, it adds a special touch.  When swirled on the inside of a vase, an everyday arrangement becomes extra ordinary.  Once designers work with the flexibility of this product, they discover interesting ways to use it.

Deco Poly Mesh Ribbon is another highly versatile product. If your store does alot of Christmas work, you’ll find this ribbon invaluable.  The width of the ribbon along with just the right flexibility and stiffness gives you the ability to create bows with a big impact and a minimal need for material.

In fact, you can even make an outdoor Christmas wreath for customers who want more color and less greenery. From tree decorating to flower arrangements or gift baskets, Deco Poly Mesh Ribbon makes a great foundation for most of your Christmas work.  It can be used in a multitude of applications for any holiday.

Deco Poly Mesh Ribbon Easter Basket

In this Easter basket, Deco Poly Mesh Ribbon was used in the bottom of the basket, over the basket and as the bow supporting the eggs.  So as you can see the ways you can use this product are only limited to your creativity.

Your wholesaler should be able to give you more information about the colors and availability of this product.  For anyone else interested in this product contact your local wholesaler and ask them about these products or go to craigbachman.com and they will help you find a distributor near you.

Find Floral Supply Wholesalers »

Have You Read The Winter 2009 Networker?

I just finished reading the Winter 2009 Networker. This issue is chalked full of interesting articles. The outside cover is dedicated to the fantastic new customization features available to members with the FSN E-commerce websites. It contains some fantastic topics like Eco-friendly practices, reaching the modern bride, a design tip featuring horsetail and several other noteworthy ideas and articles. If you miss placed yours or would like to see it online – here it is Networker Winter 2009.

Where To Find Plant Wholesalers In California

Ask The Expert: Can anyone suggest plant wholesalers in CA? I have a gift shop in a small community and cannot buy 1000’s of plants, but I am the sole provider to my community. At present, I am looking for Christmas plants such as poinsettias, zygos and amaryllis.

Thank you Deborah

Local Florists Acquire New Resource With Flower Shop Network’s The Networker

The Networker, a quarterly publication, from Flower Shop Network was recently launched “as one more way to help the local florist in marketing their business effectively both online and offline,” says Brock Atwill, president of Flower Shop Network.

Most successful businesses have one thing in common and that is great communication skills.Communicating with your peers and your customers is essential to achieving a higher bottom line. Communication is the basis for The Networker.

Floral trends, marketing insights, new features, new products, design techniques, informational tidbits and how to market your business are a few of the features found in the publication which will be mailed to Flower Shop Network members.

“Creating a presence for Flower Shop Network’s local florists online is something we strive for” says Loranne Atwill, FSN Vice-President. “Our marketing services for flower shops includes holiday email campaigns, marketing posters, and information resources like the Bloomin’ Blog and now The Networker.”
Creating tools that help local florists reach and provide quality services for their customers is the goal of Flower Shop Network.If you would like to learn more about this publication or other marketing services offered by Flower Shop Network you can call (870) 215-5444 or go online to Flower Shop Network Florists Only.

Read the first edition of The Networker online now – PDF download.  (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

English Garden Florist Introduces New Wedding Website

The English Garden Florist introduces TEGWeddings.com – a new website that showcases the shop’s Wedding and Event flower business.

Flower Shop Network member, The English Garden Florist of Raleigh, North Carolina has just launched TEGWeddings.com, a new online resource for couples in search of a wedding florist in the Raleigh/Durham Triangle, North Carolina area. The new wedding site offers prospective brides and grooms the ability to learn more about The English Garden Florist and their capabilities through an online gallery and testimonials from past customers.

“Our website also has a number of pages devoted to helping couples plan and budget for their wedding flowers. We have a number of sample floral designs to help inspire brides along with a planning checklist to help keep brides on track for a successful wedding,” stated owner Cydney Davis-English.

Among these features, the website allows couples to submit detailed contact information to The English Garden to aid in the floral planning process. The website also offers potential customers a chance to view sample proposals and pricing worksheets created by The English Garden, which will help couples set their budget for floral decorations. It also provides an overview of how the English Garden staff approaches the proposal and pricing process.

“We believe every wedding must be a masterpiece, and the launching of this informative website will show potential brides how The English Garden can bring this level of commitment to their wedding,” commented Ms. Davis-English, who also worked in event planning in the nonprofit sector for several years before reentering the florist industry.

ABOUT THE ENGLISH GARDEN FLORIST OF RALEIGH – The English Garden Florist is a full-service retail florist, gift shop and floral event provider located at 10310 Moncreiffe Road 107 in Raleigh, NC 27617. Customers may contact the shop by calling (919) 341-6650 or 1-888-632-5975, Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Owners, Warren English and Cydney Davis-English are 3rd generation shop owners with the experience necessary to assist customers with placing orders for local delivery or anywhere in the world. Over the last 40 years, The English Garden Florist of Raleigh has earned a reputation in the area for providing: excellent attention to detail, a high level of personalized customer care, and the ability to work within any budget.

Brenda Kingston FSN

Where to Find Suppliers of Wholesale Wreaths and Swags


Hi Lauren:
Here is where I would start: FGmarket is a directory for wholesalers who supply florists and gift retailers. They have a several natural, dried and preserved wreath suppliers and several garland suppliers as well as fresh wreath and swag wholesalers. From the FGmarket site you will be able to link to many of their sites and view their wholesale products. You will, also, be able to contact the suppliers directly to discuss pricing and to get their catalogs. Several of the wholesalers have specials and promotions shown only on FGmarket – an added benefit to using FGmarket. I know several people who have found Fgmarket to be extremely helpful in finding sources for the products they need. I have review many of the products carried by these wholesalers; finding interesting and quality products. I think you will be able to find just what you are needing. Good luck.