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Local Florists Do It Better

Take a second to think about what the most important thing to you is as a customer? LinkedIn conducted an interesting study investigating the top five things customers see as important. Out of the survey respondents, 48 percent cited value for money, cost, price or competitiveness as one of their three most important things.

The LinkedIn article states that, “47 percent of survey respondents stated that customer service was one of their three most important things. The ability of organizations to help consumers at every stage of the journey is critical here, including the ability and willingness to sort out issues as they arise.”

Real local florists are experts in these two categories and blow online wire services out of the water.

What is an online wire service?

When someone orders flowers from an online wire service they order a stock photo of a bouquet and then the order gets sent to a real florist. The problem though is that the wire service will take a large percentage of the order to profit for themselves, some even up to 50 percent. This leaves florists with a hard time making any money. There are also third parties, known as order gatherers, that have set up websites to look like flower shops but are not. Order gatherers set up gateway pages and use Google keywords to make them appear to be local. Order gatherers also take a large chunk of the profits again leaving florist at a loss.

It is impossible for these middle men to provide the same type of value and service that a local florist can provide, which is why at FSN we always send orders directly to real local florists without taking a percentage of the total. Only at a local florist can you trust that your money is going directly towards a high-quality arrangement. Here is a short list of the important qualities that you can only find in a local florist.

-Customized designs
-Personal attention and connection
-On-time delivery
– Years of experience
-High-quality arrangements
-Exceptional customer service from start to finish

Spread the word
Many people are unaware of these wire services and order gatherers that are hurting the floral industry. Take a stand with us and encourage your family and friends to always buy from a trusted local florist.

At Flower Shop Network we are a community committed to supporting local florists. We connect customers to florists in our network directly and NEVER take a percentage of the order. We also ensure that each florist in our network is a true, local business.

Don’t let order gatherers and wire services take chunks of your money.

Support local florists. Spread the word.

Visit My Local Florist

New Study Shows a Growing Appreciation For Flowers

Perceptions of Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers are being challenged with a new study that was recently conducted about flower appreciation. The study published by Floral Management provides groundbreaking research that shows a growing appreciation across generations for flowers and florists.

The study found that the over the past seven years, the potential market for florists has grown significantly across three generations of consumers. From Millennials entering the workforce, to Baby Boomers basking in or entering retirement, Americans today have an enhanced appreciation for flowers, fewer perceptions of cost barriers in flower purchasing and a growing awareness of the expertise of local florists.

The 2016 Generations of Flowers Study was conducted by the Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment with funding provided by the Floral Marketing Research Fund. The study consisted of 1,557 participants evenly distributed throughout the three generations:

  • Generation Y (Ages 22-39): 522 interviews
  • Generation X (Ages 40-51): 510 interviews
  • Baby Boomers (Ages 52-70): 525 interviews

[Read more…]

FSN Shop Earns High Acclaim

Launched in the fall of 2008 out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen, Goop was originally conceived as a weekly e-mail newsletter. Now it has transformed into a popular website where readers can find suggestions about where to shop, eat, and stay from a trusted friend—not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.

Goop publishes articles about the best florists across the country and even overseas. Lotus Designs, a FSN member, made their list of the top six florists in Boston, MA.  Goop praised this flower shop for their inherent talent in floral design.

Visit Goop’s website to see the full article.

Lotus Designs is a neighborhood shop located in Boston’s South End. They welcome walk-ins and deliver all over town (about a 20-mile radius from the store) provided your flower order is a minimum of $60-plus. And you can place orders online, too. Their cut-off for same-day delivery is 3pm. Lotus Designs carries a little bit of everything but they specialize in fresh cut flowers and orchids. They also do weddings and events.

David, a dedicated and loyal Lotus Designs customer spoke highly about his experiences saying, “I always order my flowers from your shop. My wife is always completely thrilled with the beauty of your arrangements and she is a pretty avid gardener. The quality of the arrangements is outstanding.”

At Flower Shop Network we love to see our florists recognized for their dedication to superior design and quality. Congratulations and keep up the hard work!


Petal It Forward!

On Wednesday, October 9th, 2015, SAF held a wonderful event promoting flowers and making people smile in the streets of Time Square. Here are the results of this event coming from SAF’s blog, aboutflowersblog.com.

Petal It Forward! Spreading Smiles, Warming Hearts
by Jennifer Sparks

It’s all the rage – those positive acts of kindness where people “pay it forward” to make someone’s day shine just a little brighter. Because flowers are the perfect way to do just that, we — the Society of American Florists — hit the busy streets of New York City today, handing out thousands of flower bouquets (4,000 to be exact) to busy morning commuters to help brighten up their mid-week slumps. Our way of paying it forward? To PETAL IT FORWARD!

We have university research that shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and increases enjoyment and life satisfaction. We also know from a recent survey that while 80 percent of people feel happy when they receive flowers, even more – 88 percent – report that givingflowers makes them happy. So, not only did we pay it forward and make peoples’ day, but we gave recipients a chance to do the same, in a big way. They received two bouquets, one to keep (big smiles!) and one to share with a loved one, coworker, or even a stranger who needed a lift (off-the-chart smiles!).

The best part: In addition to New York, florists across the country are making the effort to petal it forward in their local communities this week, from New Hampshire to New Jersey to South Carolina to Illinois to Minnesota to Colorado to California to Alaska! More than 30 events are taking place nationwide.

To read the full article about the #PetalItForward NYC event, click the link below!

Read More

MFA and WUMFA Winners 2015

The Michigan Floral Association and the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Florists Association has announced the winners of the 2015 awards. From various areas in the floral industry, these winners have excelled in talent and leadership. We wanted to offer a congratulations to all the winners.

We wanted to especially congratulate two of our members. First, congrats to Pamela Prough of My Lady’s Florist in Westland, Michigan who received the MFA Retail Employee of the Year Award at the 2015 Great Lakes Floral Expo held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Second, congrats to Smith Floral and Greenhouses of Lansing, Michigan who received the MFA Retailer of the Year 2015 Award.


Here are the other winners:

Michigan Floral Association (MFA)

Past President’s Floriology Scholarship
Shelley Adair

Certified Florist of the Year
Arlon Slagn

National Service Award
Jack Howard

Lifetime Award
Bob Friese

Special Recognition Award
James Lutke

MFA Supplier of the Year
Kennicott Brothers

Young Person of the Year
Angela Christi

2015 MFA Wholesale Employee of the Year Award
Ric Gaunt

Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Florist Association (WUMFA)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dan Grogan

WUMFA National Service Award
Lee Sorenson

WUMFA Special Services Award
Kathleen Johnson

WUMFA Wholesaler of the Year
Rojahn and Malaney

WUMFA Young Person of the Year
Melissa Maas

It’s always a great day to celebrate the floral industry! Check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more floral industry news!

Photos courtesy of MFA and WUMFA.

Check Out This Article!

We wanted to share this interesting article by Consumerist.com. Give it a read!

How To Amaze Your Valentine Without Screwing Over Your Local Florist

Shopping online is simple: you see a picture of the thing that you want to buy, click on it, type in your credit card, and then that thing arrives on your doorstep or the doorstep of your gift recipient. This simplicity falls apart…

 Photo courtesy of Consumerist.com




Suggest an Article: Florists Honoring the Arizona Hotshots

Florists are amazing people, and if any of us ever forget that fact, this story should serve as a powerful reminder. This week’s suggest an article comes from Rakini Chinery of Allan’s Flowers & Prescott Valley Florist!

In order to get to the heart-warming story of local florists banding together to do something selfless and beautiful, we first have to recount a terrible tragedy.

This past June, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives while battling an Arizona wildfire. These brave individuals died serving and protecting their community, keeping it safe from harm.Hotshot Memorial Team

In an overwhelming response to this horrific event, the floral community in Arizona clamored to do their part to honor the noble sacrifice of these fallen heroes. Over 30 Arizona florists donated both their time and their talents to arranging and sculpting flowers provided by contributions from wholesalers for the Hotshot Memorial Service.

These tireless florists worked hard for three full days to do what they do best: provide artistic beauty and love in an effort to provide whatever comfort could be found for the inconsolable family and friends of those who were lost.

I hope you will join me in sending a heartfelt “Thank You” to the Arizona florists who did all they could for those who died so tragically on that fateful June day. It is that giving spirit which does the floral community proud. Good job, folks!

If you have an idea for Suggest an Article, leave it in the comments below.

FSN Member wins Second Annual Buckwald Scholarship!

We would like to congratulate Lavender Hill Florals of Jeffersonville, IN for winning the second annual Buckwald scholarship! Way to go, ladies!

About the Buckwald ScholarshipLavender Hill Floral

The Gary Buckwald Scholarship for Excellence in Floral Sales and Service consists of $10,000 worth of training, coaching and mentoring over the course of a year for a florist and her staff. This scholarship, the result of a collaboration between the Society of American Florists and Floral Strategies, has an application process open to any retailer who has been in business for at least 18 months. Tim Huckabee, president of Floral Strategies, says that they attempt to discover a retailer who “genuinely wants and needs the training, and is willing to put what they learn into practice.”

It is a recent award, but its lack of age is no knock on its incredible value. The tremendous benefit of having the opportunity to receive top-notch personal training from Tim Huckabee cannot be overstated. Tim will be making several trips out to Lavender Hill Florist over the next year to work with the staff on their sales and customer service skills.

Congratulations Lavender Hill Florals

This is both a great honor and great opportunity for FSN member, Lavender Hill Florals. We are excited for them and know that Tim will lead them down a path toward even greater success!

Avoid the Hidden Cost of Online Images

Hey, isn't that our image?Just like everyone else, I like to spruce up my blog posts and news articles with a few images. After all, who wants to read block after block of text with no visuals to break it up? Nobody, that’s who.

So after I compose a brilliant (even if only to me) article, the next logical step is to search for an equally brilliant image to complement. Easy right? Not exactly. While Google has made things simple by adding an images archive for us to pour through, those images are often copyrighted, and using them without permission could result in some stiff penalties!

Online Does Not Equal Free

Just because an image is posted online does not mean that it is free and clear to be used. Contrary to popular belief, that is not what the law means when it says “public domain”. In this context, public domain means that the copyright has run out and was not renewed or was inapplicable to begin with. It has no bearing on where the image is located or discovered. A photographer who posts his pictures online has just as much right to be compensated for their display as one who sells them in a gallery.

This means that it is NOT okay to right-click any image you see, save it to your hard drive and upload it to your blog or website. If you do, the copyright holder can request you take it down, send you a bill, hire a lawyer to draft a cease and desist order and/or take you to court to sue for damages! And no, attribution* will not save you. Nobody wants to be stuck paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for use of some erroneous image they only snagged because it looked good and helped illustrate their point.

Is There No Such Thing as Free Images?A stiff penalty.

Do not despair; there is hope! I’m not going to slap your hand and walk away, that’s not how this blog operates. Now that I’ve told you why it’s bad to grab random images, let me tell you where to go in order to find some images you can use. I should first say that these sites are not perfect and it’s possible to run across a copyrighted image here. However, your chances of avoiding them are much better than just pulling something you found randomly.

Also, it is a good idea to attribute back to the site you used at the bottom of your post. Some of these sites don’t require attribution*, but it’s just polite. You should ALWAYS read any disclaimers or policies around the photo or site you are using. They are pretty short, and it will be time well spent.

Free Images Online

  1. morgueFile – Free photos. Need I say more?
  2. Creativity103 – Photos, designs, and videos.
  3. pixel perfect digital – Free stock photography. This site does require attribution*!
  4. Photo Pin – Free photos!
  5. openclipart – Free clip art!
  6. pixabay – An outlet to both share and find free images.
  7. stock.xchng – Free photos!
  8. Creative Commons – This site is a collaborative page for creatives of all types. You can find images, text, and even videos with a varying level of copyright. Creative Commons offers free copyright licenses to creatives who would like to share their work on limited terms.

Don't be this guy.As you can see, there are plenty of places you can go online to find what you need. It’s true that many of these sites post images by amateur photographers or have photos that the pay sites have already rejected. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these images are bad, but they may not be up to the same level of quality as images for which payment is required. You know the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Still, there are some good amateurs out there, and every professional started out as one, so don’t discount the option of finding something you can use here.

Using online images is a dicey proposition, but hopefully this post helped you to see some of the pitfalls and provided you with a few options to avoid them. If you have any suggestions or know of another quality free site I didn’t list here, put it in the comments below!

All images are courtesy of morgueFile.

*Attribution is the act of giving credit to the site from which you uploaded your photos. The morgueFile link is an example of attribution.

Saying Goodbye to an Industry Great

Sad GoodbyeWe are so very sad to announce that Linda Reiling, owner of The Watering Can Florist in Churubusco and Columbia City, Indiana and a beloved member florist with Flower Shop Network, passed away Tuesday morning, August 27th.

Linda had been an FSN member for 5 years, and always maintained a friendly, working relationship with her FSN representative, Joe Hays. Upon hearing of her passing, Joe said, “She was a wonderful, sweet lady to work with, always happy when we talked. I will miss her.”

Lover of Flowers

Linda was a lifelong lover of flowers and the floral industry. She first developed her love for all things floral while in 4-H where she won regional and state awards. Linda attended the internationally renowned Hickson’s Floral Design School in Ohio and held a Design Master’s Certification in wedding floral arrangements and an American International Floral Design degree. Linda had more than 40 years of experience in the floral industry and her loss will be felt among the members of her local and professional community.

All of us here at Flower Shop Network offer our deepest condolences to Linda’s family in this difficult time.