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Persevering Through Tragedy

No florists ever want to find themselves having to deal with the loss of their shop, but unfortunately, that’s what happened recently to one Flower Shop Network Member florist. Aut and Connie Fuller, owners of Floral Expressions in Owings, Maryland learned that their storefront burned to the ground after a driver that was under the influence ran off the road.

“It was about 2 a.m. when I received the call from the county emergency system saying there was an accident in the parking lot involving smoke,” Fuller said. “On the way to the shop my wife actually saw a picture of our building burning on Facebook, and that’s when we knew it was going to be bad. By the time we got to the shop everything was gone.”

[Read more…]

Flower Shop Phone Etiquette

Answering the phone is one of the most important aspects of running a flower shop business. It’s usually how you get your orders and solve problems with customers. Sometimes one can forget the etiquette. Whether it’s stress or a split second response while the boss is busy, phone etiquette can often be forgotten and sometimes a simple “Hello, how can I help you?” can make or break a sale.

Here are our top five rules of phone etiquette:

1. Always Answer Clearly and Cheerfully

First impressions are important, especially when talking to customers on the phone. Answer in a clear and cheerful tone, ready to help the customer.

2. Never Say “I Don’t Know”

Saying “I don’t know” doesn’t solve the problem. If you don’t know how to answer the customer’s questions say “Let me find out for you.” This way you are still offering a solution rather than stopping  the communication.

3. Make Sure To Ask Questions

While customers are usually the ones asking questions, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask some too! If you are confused about something said or the spelling of the name, it’s better to double check than to get it wrong because you didn’t ask.

4. Never Be Rushed

While it’s hard not to feel the pressure on busy floral holidays, it’s important to make your customer feel like they have your undivided attention. This also causes less mistakes in the long run.

5. End With A Cheerful Goodbye

Let your customer know how appreciative you are of their business. How you end the phone conversation is what sticks with them and what decides whether they will be calling again.

Whether you learned something new or used it as a refresher, we hope this post will help your phone etiquette. Check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more great tips!

5 Tips To Decorate Your Shop

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the quickest way to market your shop is from the sidewalk. Customers are drawn in from the first look of your shop’s front window display and will remember your store from the chic interior. With that creative mind, you can make your shop look as beautiful as your designs with some easy tips! Sherwood Florist from Dayton, Ohio has shared with us 5 great tips for florist on how to make your store enticing for customers!

The Basics

Who is the main shop decorator?
Jessie Wright, Co-owner of Sherwood Florist is the main decorator and display designer in our shop. However, the team at Sherwood all tend to follow suit and put their own spin on certain displays.

How do you get inspired?
My inspiration comes from so many different outlets. The building in which our shop is located is inspiration itself. From the exposed brick to the original hardwood floors and the large open space in general. Social media also plays a huge factor for inspiration. Most of all, I like to find fabulous old pieces that are worn or bound for the trash and reinvent them or group them together for an impact display. Most of our display tables, counters and shelves are all from reclaimed wood and salvage warehouses.

Why is it important for a florist to make their flower shop look nice?
Keeping up with trends and reinventing your space is half the battle, but definitely most important for your brand and will absolutely pay off in the long run. Keeping a clean concise shop is appealing for the eye and will draw customers to want to walk through and browse your space.

Do you have a decorating mantra?
Our decorating mantra is keeping it simple. There is no place in a successful shop for clutter. We find it is good to have a few core display areas and keep the rest of your space simple and clean.

Can you tell us about your focal piece chalkboard wall?
Our chalkboard wall came about when we moved into our new space nearly two years ago. It is a wall that we built to hide our walk-in cooler. It is the first thing that your eye is drawn to as you walk into our shop because it is directly 60 feet across from the front door. So we knew we wanted something on there that was bold and a focal, but not too busy. We decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Our main design table is right in front of the chalk wall so it just made sense to add a few bar stools at the end of the table so that our clients wait on their design to be created at the “Flower Bar.” Not to mention a few tips for them to help decide what type of arrangement they would like to order.

Sherwood Florist’s Top Decorating Tips

Photos courtesy of Sherwood Florist

1. Keep it Clean!

Anything too busy or cluttered is a turn off to customers.

2. Use What You Have

Your shop is probably filled with items that are just waiting to be reinvented.

3. Keep Up with the Trends

I’m not saying completely redecorate your space with each changing season, but certainly add or update a few core “statement” pieces.

4. Identify Who You Are Trying To Appeal To

For instance, it’s the New Year, which means booking season for weddings. We’ve added a soft hint of gold with a bit of eye-catching bling to a portion of our front window for this season.

5. Step Out of Your Box!

Do something that would never normally do. You will end up surprising yourself!

From Left: Jessie Wright, Co-owner and decorator, and Bev Guy, Co-owner.

From Left: Jessie Wright, Co-owner and decorator, and Bev Guy, Co-owner.

Thank you Sherwood Florist for these great tips! Check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more great ideas!

Top 20 Creative Flower Shop Names

Here at FSN, we see a lot of great flower shop names, that got me making a list of my favorites. Combined with the ones you guys suggested on our Facebook page, I think we’ve got a great list!

  • Kabloom -  Creative Flower Shop Name1. Flowerworks
  • 2. Doris The Florist
  • 3. Dandelion Division
  • 4. Kabloom
  • 5. Floral N’ Hardy
  • 6. Back To The Fuchsia
  • 7. Posy Pusher
  • 8. Lily’s of the Valley (Owner’s name is Lily)
  • 9. The Enchanted Florist
  • 10. Petal Pushers [Read more…]

New Flower Shop Brings More Than Flowers

Flowers & Home in Bryant AR Flowers & Home in Bryant AR Flowers & Home in Bryant AR

There’s a new florist in town, Bryant Arkansas that is.

As of April 1st, Flowers & Home of Bryant have opened their doors as their community’s premiere home decorating showroom. This isn’t your typical flower shop. With it’s tall, black ceilings, stained floors, vivid color scheme and cozy lighting, it’s easy to see what makes it so different. Monroe Cranford, owner and high-end floral designer, has spent years mastering his craft and is now ready to show the city of Bryant just what’s possible in the world of floral design.

Monroe Cranford began his career as an Arkansas Master Florist (AMF), then was inducted into the prestigious American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD). He has also branched out and obtained the ranks of Professional Floral Design (PFD) and Certified Floral Designer (CFD).

“In our industry, you really can’t get a degree, you get credentials. And I have the credentials to back up the fact that they don’t just hand these things to you. You actually have to earn them,” Says Cranford. [Read more…]

Fun in the Flower Shop

Contrary to popular belief, a local florist’s work can be exhausting and stressful at times, especially for the owner. When is the last time you and your great employees really cut loose and had some FUN?

Research shows that the more FUN you have in your shop, the happier and more productive your employees will be. Here are a few tips you can use to shake things up a bit…

May BirthdaysStart small. Make a list of all your employee’s birthdays, and really celebrate their big day when the time comes! Here at FSN, we post a flyer of upcoming birthdays in our break room. This is a great way to show you care and make your employees feel special (because they are!)

Have a cookout! For lunch one day, plan a cookout! Bring a grill from home and make burgers or chicken with chips. (For your vegetarian employees, you can get a small 2 or 4 pack of pre-made veggie burgers and grill just like regular patties) If you’re not a fan of grilling, have it catered. Either way, little events like these really bring the team together!

Start a “Fun Budget”. It doesn’t have to be much, but the rewards can be fantastic! Save up a little bit and look for things you and your employees would like to do.

Having fun at work is important. Just look at Google, one of the biggest corporations in the world, inside their headquarters they offer: Foosball, pool tables, volleyball courts, assorted video games, pianos, ping pong tables, and gyms that offer yoga and dance classes. They also conduct grassroots employee groups for all interests, like meditation, film, wine tasting and salsa dancing. Of course I wish all of our local flower shops could install pool tables and offer salsa dancing, but for now a cookout and a few small adventures together will be just fine!

One of my favorite treats we were surprised with at Flower Shop Network was a masseuse! During our most stressful season, our awesome management brought in a masseuse to do chair massages (head/neck) during our break times. We each got a 15 min pick-me-up and were able to push through the day with a much, MUCH better attitude. Talk about brilliant!

Some companies plan outdoor excursions like hiking, rafting, floating or canoeing. Outdoor activities can be fairly inexpensive and a lot of fun!! Just getting together for a bonfire and roasting marshmallows will increase your teams bond.

While on these “fun” trips, take LOTS of pics and even video share on your Facebook Page. This will help your followers connect on a personal level with you and your team. It’s a great way to advertise the unique culture of your flower shop.

Florists: The Media’s Next Golden Child?

For years I have known about the fun, energetic and interesting people that exist in the floral industry. I’m sure that all of you know a little something about the personalities at your local florist. In fact flower shops are often the nucleus of event planning and celebrations for a town. The importance of flower shops to a town and the personalities that reside within have been a well kept secret until now. It looks like Hollywood has realized that doctors, lawyers and housewives aren’t the only exciting people. And of course our friend Kate Collins has known the power of flower shop personalities for a while.

Kate Collins, friend of Flower Shop Network and author of The Flower Shop Mysteries, recently released a new book entitled “Shoots To Kill”. Kate’s book brings the light and love of flower shops to the surface of popular recognition with its engaging plot line, clever twists and turns, and positive tales of the joys of surrounding oneself with flowers. Though she could’ve chosen any other profession for her main character, Kate keeps us on the edge of our seat with her tale of a young flower shop owner. Doctors and lawyers are overdone. It’s refreshing to see a spunky young woman taking charge of her own life and business. Kate has also shared her creative talent and floral insight with us as she taught us a little about the Language of Flowers.

Books aren’t the only creative medium that is putting florists on show—literally. The CBS television network is set to premier a new romantic comedy series about a flower shop owner who learns that her soulmate is one of her former flames. What a funny twist considering that florists are always the go-to people for romantic Valentines Day gifts—not the chasers! We all know about the exciting drama that happens in a flower shop. Instead of the same old boring cop shows and medical dramas, now we get to watch what happens during the crazy days blooming at her local flower shop.

In my professional opinion (as a professional television junkie and book-aholic), it’s about time that the floral industry and the entertainment industry join forces. And why not? It’s hard not to respond to the call to beautify our lives with so much interest in the wonderful world of flowers being brought to our attention.

Replacing Someone Else’s Flowers – Avante Gardens

As part of an effort by a small group of florist to help educate consumers about the quality, value, service and design that professional florists bring to the gift of flowers, Avante Gardens participated in a an unusual guarantee program whereby we offered to replace flowers delivered by drop-ship companies during the Valentine’s Day holiday.

The above news snippet was from blog post on Avante Garden’s Flower Shop company blog. It describes an interesting approach to combat the growing challenges that real, local florists are facing when trying to compete with direct ship flower companies and floral order gatherers.

Read the full blog post from Avante Gardens about Replacing Someone Else’s Flowers.

Read the Press Release on PRWeb.com.