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More Than A Family Tradition

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains is Chantilly Lace Floral Boutique, a local floral boutique with deep roots. [Read more…]

Robin’s Main Street Florist: A Living Legacy

Inspired and motivated by her grandparents and mother to join the floral business, Robin Fordham opened the doors to Robin’s Main Street Florist in January of 2016. Since her grandparents and mother were owners of a greenhouse and flower shop, it was inevitable that Robin would grow up with a passion for flowers. Always wanting to make something of this talent of hers, she finally pursued her dream and opened her very own flower shop in Marshville, NC. [Read more…]

Ewing’s Greenhouses and Florist Celebrates 60 years

It’s no surprise that Nancy and Walter Trego know flowers. With their successful floral business, Ewing’s Greenhouses and Florist, you can say they are veteran’s in the industry. This shop is not only celebrating 15 years as a Flower Shop Network member this fall, but they are also celebrating 60 years in the business.

Experience You Can Count On

Serving the Elkton, Maryland area, Ewing’s experience speaks for itself with their full-service flower shop, there is nothing this team can’t do.

From floral gifts and sympathy designs to weddings and events, their arrangements are versatile for any occasion.

Customer Satisfaction

Ewing’s makes it a point to work with the customer and strives on customer satisfaction–even when ordering online.

One such customer ordered through their site from another state for a loved one in the area. This is what they had to say about their service:

“I’m a first-time Ewing’s customer and will definitely be placing more orders in the future. Wonderful prices, beautiful flower and plant arrangements. The order was delivered between the days specified. Great feedback from recipient (plant was blooming and the perfect size). Would highly recommend.”

When sending flowers to a loved one, you want the best shop on the job. So, look no further than Ewing’s Greenhouses and Florist with 60 years of experience and love of all things flowers.

Shop Talk: Success in Design

We are always proud of our members when they accomplish personal goals and one talented florist did just that!

Doug Bates during his AIFD testing.

Doug Bates during his AIFD testing.

Doug Bates of Designs by VOGT’s of Sturgis, Michigan, will be initiated into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) this July 2015.

“It’s always been a personal goal of mine,” Bates said. “It’s like the PhD of the floral world and it’s a level of skill and ability that is recognized worldwide.”

Bates hasn’t always had this goal on his bucket list–in fact, he never thought he would be a florist to begin with!

It All Began

In March 2006, Bates’ son was born and he was looking for a part-time job so his wife could stay home with their newborn. In his teen years, Bates used to do pizza delivery, so he ventured out to all the pizza businesses for work. No one would hire him. Thinking of other businesses that required drivers, he headed to a local flower shop who was in need of a new driver. They hired him on the spot.

The second Saturday he was working deliveries, the flower shop was bombarded with orders and the only people working that day was Bates and the owner of the shop.

“I was handed a stack of orders and told to get them done,” Bates said. “That started something.”

Of course, the orders he did were fairly simple: fruit baskets, etc. But since that day, design clicked for bates and the owner saw the talent.

Setting Goals

In 2010, Bates became certified through his state association and began designing professionally. Once he heard about the AIFD certification, he attended Symposium and made it his goal to be part of the institute.

“This certification has give me confidence as a designer,” Bates said. “As creative people, we all second guess ourselves. To me, something could look good, but there is a theory to design. There is a reason something looks right.”

This designer took the three-year journey through the certification process. Throughout the course, he learned about different materials and techniques. He also learned that becoming a part of this certification also made him a part of the AIFD community. His final exam took place at the Chicago Symposium in July 2014, and he will be inducted into the institute this year.

“I never finished college, so this is my great accomplishment,” Bates said. “To think that before this, I made windows for RVs. You never know how things are going to work out!”

If you’re a florist who is interested in getting the AIFD certification, contact your state association chapters who have scholarship opportunities and information available for you.

 

The Florist With The Horse

Kimberly George has always been creative. So, when the opportunity to own Northwest Arkansas Florist fell on her and her husband’s lap in 2012, they took it.

With a team of ten designers and two locations (Fayetteville, Arkansas and Bentonville, Arkansas), NWA Florist is recognized not only for their great design, but also for an iconic statue that calls the shop home.

Artist painting horse for American Diabetes Association

Horse Beginnings
The shop began in 1978 with the Dufresne Family. When the family moved to the area, they bought a grocery store that included a cement and fiberglass horse. When the family started NWA Florist, they brought the horse over to the flower shop and he’s been an icon ever since.

One day the horse was vandalized. Someone spray-painted him and that’s how the painting of the horse started evolving and non-profits became involved.

According to George, the horse is around 50 years old, he gets painted once a month, and it’s non-profits and other charitable organizations that do all the painting. His name is ‘Ol’ Paint’ in the Fayetteville location.

He is currently scheduled for painting past 2018. It’s no surprise that everyone wants to be part of this local icon.

“Some people don’t always know the name of the shop,” George said, “but if they are told, ‘it’s the one with the horse,’ they know exactly who we are.”

Part of the Community
George said she loves being a local business. They cater to just about any event and they are able to work with any budget.

From everyday arrangements to University of Arkansas events, NWA Florist has done it all. Their manager s also AIFD Certified, which is the highest certification in the nation to receive in the floral industry.

George said it’s important to shop locally because everyone supports each other and they are able to control the quality of the flowers.

“The most important thing is that you are getting a personal touch of something that is happening locally,” George said. “You’re not getting something from overseas. It is something that is adding back to the community because we are a small business.”

There is no need to look further for a florist that will have the experience and the personal touch to focus on your needs as a customer. Just remember to look for the florist with the horse–Northwest Arkansas Florist.

More Than A Flower Shop

From the time she had her own section in her family garden, Kari knew she loved flowers. Now, after 14 years at Drummers Garden Center and Floral, Kari continues to design and knows that being a florist is her passion.

Along with two other floral designers, Kari and the Drummer’s floral team combine their 75 years of total experience to create works of art their customers love.

Local Community
Located in Mankato, Minnesota, Drummers celebrates 25 years of serving customers in all their floral and gardening needs.

From wedding bouquets to seasonal arrangements, the team at Drummers’ think the best part of being a local flower shop is their ability to get to know their customers.

“There is one family for whom we’ve done their kids’ prom, their wedding, and now their baby shower,” Kari said. “We see the family growing because in a way we stay in touch.”

Julie, owner of Drummers’, agrees that because their shop is small enough, they really get to know their customers and offer them great customer service.

Beyond Flowers
This flower shop offers a lot more than a traditional shop. Due to their garden center, this offers a greater variety of gift options for their customers.

Julie said this is especially helpful if a family would prefer to send a potted plan or a memorial tree to a funeral service.

The combination of florals and the garden center allows for community involvement opportunities. For example, Drummers offers many classes where people of all ages can learn about many plant and flower topics–like miniature gardens. This is especially popular for birthday parties where kids can make their own fairy gardens to take home.

As a local business, Drummers Garden Center and Floral has become part of the community they love to serve. Next time you need a design for a loved one in the Mankato area, take a look at Drummers Garden Center and Floral.

October Blog Spotlight: Concord Flower Shop

Blog October

Welcome to October’s Blog Spotlight!

This month we have a small blog from Concord, MA: The Concord Flower Shop Blog. This flower shop has been in business since 1898 and is in its 25th year under current owner, Helen Dearborn Halloran. They are a local, independent and green florist that carries a large selection of cut flowers from local sources and around the world. They offer both monthly specials and web specials, so if you’re in the Concord area, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their page. But what about the blog?

Concord Flower Shop Blog

Concord-Flower-Shop-Wicked-Local-Regional-Favorite--in-Acton-Chelmsford-Clinton-Concord-Littleton-Maynard-Stow-Westford-MA-4It’s always exciting to win and we couldn’t be happier to have been voted Favorite Florist in both Concord and the wider Region (Acton, Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Littleton, Maynard, Stow & Westford) by Wicked Local!

Each year the local Beacon Communications News runs this contest for their readers. We’ve won in each category before but not both at the same time. It’s great to know that our hard work and customer service doesn’t go un-noticed and we will continue to work hard to keep your business.

Right now we are offering local summer flowers from area farms. This means the flowers are picked daily and when you bring them home or send them to a friend, you can be certain they will be fresh and long lasting. Our summer specials are posted on the sandwich sign outside our shop in West Concord, on our Facebook page and the special’s page on our web site.  We hope you’ll visit  soon and see for yourself why we are the areas favorite florist!

Why It Works

The post is short and to the point, but that’s not a bad thing! It’s a public thank you to their customers, and they are using the blog as a way to communicate store news to their audience. Both excellent uses of the blog space!

Are you interested in having your blog featured in our next blog spotlight? Leave your shop name and blog link in the comments below. Thanks for reading and join us next month for another edition of the monthly Blog Spotlight!

 

FSN September Newsletter: Last Chance for Summer Sun!

Summer Sunshine

September means the end of summer, and yet there is still time before temperatures fall into the cool days of autumn. For a few weeks more, summer sunshine will grace us with warm days and cool nights. Before you turn the page to the new season, engage in some fun summer activities. Go camping, play a neighborhood game of kickball and buy yourself or a loved one another arrangement of fabulous summer flowers.

Because that’s how you celebrate the last days of summer, by enjoying the warmth of the summer sun outside and the beauty of summer inside.

[Read more…]

Starting the Right Way with Sweetbriar Floral & Gifts

Jaime Koller first worked in a flower shop over 29 years ago. She was newly married, trying to make ends meet and doing the grunt work, but she loved working with flowers. Even after she left, bought a print shop with her husband and became a success in the printing business, her flower shop experience was one she never forgot.

The Dream Lives On

Red Rover & Yellow DaisySo how did Jaime go from small town print shop mogul to the owner of Sweetbriar Floral & Gifts? It began three to four years ago when the city began expanding and making improvements to the road. Several businesses were bought out and closed up for the construction, and the local flower shop was one of those. It’s owner, Misty, continued her work in the floral industry but at a shop located over 20 minutes away.

Fast forward a few years, and Jamie and her husband decided to sell the print shop and explore other opportunities. After more than 20 years in the printing business they had accomplished everything they set out to accomplish.

They were driving through town looking at real estate when Jamie off-handedly mentioned that somebody should really open a flower shop as one hadn’t been in the area since Misty closed hers down three years previously.

Her husband was well aware of Jaime’s love of flowers and how much she had enjoyed working in that flower shop so many years ago. He immediately started looking for a building to make her dream a reality.

The Pieces Fall Together

Homecoming HarvestThey found a building without any trouble, but Jamie needed more than just a location to get started in the floral business, certainly if she wanted to be successful. After all, Jamie had worked at a flower shop before, but she knew she wasn’t a designer by any means. She was going to need someone with long-time floral experience to compliment her business savvy. And that’s when she reached out to Misty.

“Misty was the key piece of this puzzle,” Jamie says. “Without her, we couldn’t have moved forward.” As it turned out, Misty was tired of her 20 minute commute and was thrilled for the opportunity to work close to home once again. Now with Misty and her 22 years of floral experience on board, it seemed the shop was finally ready. And then one more important opportunity came knocking.

Just as they were putting the finishing touches on everything, Jamie heard that Zurawski’s Floral, a flower shop across town, was closing its doors. The owner was retiring and looking for someone who might be interested in her customer list. Jamie was quick to act. Now, finally, she had the pieces in place to create a successful shop.

A Full-Service Flower Shop

Contemporary AutumnAs of April 1st, the doors of Sweetbriar Floral & Gifts are open and welcoming to anyone with an interest to walk through them. Jamie and her staff are prepared to tackle any project and their excitement is palpable, even over the phone! So if you’re in the Plover, WI area, stop by and say, “Hi.” They’d love to see you. And if you’d like to pick up some beautiful, fresh-cut flowers while you’re there, well, that would be fine too.

August Blog Spotlight: Blossom Flower Shops

Blog

 Blossom Flower Shops in White Plains, NY provides this month’s blog spotlight. They were founded in 1925 and became one of the first 100 florists in the United States to be computerized. They began in the Bronx, but after four generations of ownership have expanded beyond that one simple shop. Still, their expansion has been slow and planned so as to maintain personal interest in every order.

And here is the most recent excerpt from their blog:

Blossom Flower Shops – 3 Fun Facts About the August Flower, Gladiolus

Every month has a birthstone associated with it. The same applies for flowers. The birth flower associated with August is the Gladiolus. The botanical name is a nod to Roman Gladiators who fought with swords.

This stately, long, elegant stem is topped with multiple flower blooms. Because of the long, thick stems, the flower is also known as the “sword lily.” Legend has it that when someone gives a gift of a gladiolus, the giver is piercing the recipient’s heart with love.

Other Meanings

In flower language, (and yes, there is a language of flowers,) Gladiolus is considered the Flower of the Gladiators, and it symbolizes character strength, sincerity, and generosity. It also symbolizes “love at first sight.”

Gladiolus is Technically Not a Bulb

Many people mistakenly refer to Gladiolus as a bulb. Although it looks a lot like a bulb, it is actually a corm. Corms are solid objects. When you look at a corm, the exterior part of the solid mass doesn’t have any defining characteristics or layers. If you cut into it, you’ll see something that looks a lot like the inside of a potato – a hard piece of flesh.

Another important distinction between bulbs and corms is that the spring bulbs are planted during the fall, allowing enough time for bulbs to establish roots, which nourish the tiny embryo inside all winter. The National Gardening Association explains that a gladiolus corm isn’t winter hardy in zones that get colder than USDA hardiness zone 7.

Bigger Corms Produce Bigger Plants and More Flowers

If you want taller flower stems and larger flowers, then you need to look for larger corms. To figure out the size of a corm, simply measure the circumference. Gladiolus plants can grow to heights of anywhere between two and six feet, but the typical range is three to four feet. Most stems produce between 12 and 20 flowers, each of which is about the size of a fist.

Gladiolus Aren’t Hardy in Cold Zones

The familiar spring-blooming bulbs like tulips and daffodils and even irises are hardy in cold hardiness zones. Gladiolus bulbs won’t withstand cold winter temperatures, so in cold climates, they are either grown as annuals or lifted from the soil before the first freeze. They are planted in spring – after the danger of frost passes. It is important to loosen the soil to a depth of 15 inches before planting Gladiolus. Add at least four inches of compost or organic matter to the soil after tilling or digging, mixing it in thoroughly. Plant Gladiolus four inches deep, and space corms at least four to six inches apart.

Gladiolus are commonly used in cut flower arrangements. If you can’t find Gladiolus, you can get the bright summery colors in other summer arrangements like Summer Samba or Summer Sunflowers. Brighten any room in your home, or bring some summer cheer to a friend or loved one with summer flowers from Blossom Flower Shops.

I love that they are so focused on providing excellent information to not only potential customers, but anyone needing flower tips. And it’s not just this post. All of their posts are useful for flower lovers everywhere. I would like to see some photos tossed into the mix, but overall they do an excellent job. I most like that they update often. Well done!