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Shop Talk: A Flower Shop Promposal

With prom season upon us, we wanted to share this great story with you about a unique promposal! Our friends at Heather’s Way Flowers and Plants in Jonesboro, Arkansas, participated in a super romantic promposal that involved a fun scavenger hunt that had a big surprise!
1. How did you assist in this promposal?
We assisted in the scavenger hunt of the promposal and it ended up with a very special young man asking a lovely girl to prom.
2. Have you done this before?
No. It was a lot of fun and so sweet! We love helping out our community in these neat ways.
3. Why did you decide to assist in the promposal? Did you benefit marketing-wise from this?
We were just lending a hand to the community and any sort of marketing that occurred from that was purely by accident. It was a great way however to kick off the prom flower season.
4. What ways do you market your shop for prom?
I do radio. It’s worked very well. I target the kids and their moms.
5. What tips can you give teens when it comes to ordering their floral pieces for prom?
Bring the girl and the dress to match colors and to try on the wristlet to make sure it fits.
6. Any tips for florists during prom season?
Always up-sell. Show all the add ons like lights, stones, more ribbons, etc.
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For more great tips on prom and other floral events, check back with the Bloomin’ Blog!

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.

62nd Annual Arkansas Florist Association Convention

The Arkansas Florist Association is throwing their 62nd annual convention “The Splendor of Christmas” this August 15-17 in Hot Springs, AR at the Hot Springs Convention Center!

The Classes

splendor2You will definitely want to attend this year’s convention for the educational opportunities. There are some incredible designers on tap this year, including Marie Ackerman AIFD, PFCI; Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI; Jackie Lacy AIFD; Ann Jordan AIFD, Mandy Majerik, AIFD, PFCI and the 2013 Arkansas Cup Winner, Kathy Rodocker. The shows will include hands-on prom designs, Christmas, sympathy, and many other topics.

There will be something for everyone!

The Company

Beyond the numerous opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry, you’ll also have the chance to meet other florists from around the state and surrounding areas. You can reunite with old friends as well as make some new ones.

And speaking of friends, don’t forget to go by the FSN booth to chat with Shelley and Krystal. I’m sure they’ll have some goodies for you as well as all the information you might need on Flower Shop Network.

The outside temperatures may be high, but the beauty of the Christmas season is sure to keep things cool. Come on out for a great time!

FSN Booth Flowers at the Arkansas Florist Convention

FSN Booth Flowers at the 2012 Arkansas Florist Convention

Aren’t these flowers beautiful? When FSN has a booth at a florist convention or show, we always order display flowers from a local florist in the area. This arrangement was for the 2012 Arkansas State Florist Convention‘s Diamond Jubilee by Terry Bates of The Arrangement in Hot Springs AR. The white and silver arrangement is filled with subtle details that hint at the show’s theme — diamonds!

Diamond inside calla lily. Diamond inside calla lily.

Can you spot the diamonds inside these calla lilies? Absolutely beautiful details.

[Read more…]

FSN At the 2012 Arkansas Florist Association Convention

2012 Arkansas Florist Association Convention Entry Way 2012 Arkansas Florist Association Convention Entry Way

Last weekend, Flower Shop Network attended the Arkansas Florists Association‘s 60th Annual Convention – the Diamond Jubilee! AFA took pride in their past as they remembered their long heritage of florist greats.

Flower Shop Network's gorgeous booth flowers. Flower Shop Network's gorgeous booth flowers.

Speaking of diamonds, the Flower Shop Network booth was full of shimmer with this gorgeous silver and white arrangement by Terry Bates of The Arrangement in Hot Springs AR. Everywhere you looked there was new details to see: silver leaves, shimmery wire, and even little diamonds were used on the flowers themselves to look like water drops. It was truly something special. Thanks again, Terry!

[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…]

Bitsy Carter of Hope Floral in Hope AR

Flower Shop Network had a chance to interview the 2010 Arkansas Designer of the Year Bitsy Carter of Hope Floral in Hope AR.

Florist Bitsy Carter & FamilyWe asked Bitsy a few questions to see what makes her tick and why she feels the floral industry is a fun and exciting profession.

Flower Shop Network: How long have you been a florist?
Florist Bitsy Carter: 12 years…officially, flower shop child for years before!

Flower Shop Network: When did you open your flower shop in Hope?
Florist Bitsy Carter: Our shop has been in Hope for more than a half century, however, my parents bought it in 1995!

Flower Shop Network: What would you say are the top flower trends in Hope, Ar?
Florist Bitsy Carter: Hope is a small rural town in Southwest Arkansas, needless to say many of our customers are becoming comfortable when we take them out of their “box”.  I would definitely say that using decorative wire in designs and novelty items such as butterflies, etc… are a hot ticket item in adding to minimal designs ie cubes, etc… to give it that fun, distinctive POP!

Flower Shop Network: What are your floral specialties?
Florist Bitsy Carter: I LOVE prom work!! Love the idea of having fun with something that so many florists dread…the teens are open to new and exciting designs that challenge me!

Trendy Prom BoutonniereFlower Shop Network: Favorite arrangements or other designs you’ve done?
Florist Bitsy Carter: My favorite design currently is our new boutonniere style…I absolutely love the endless design opportunities that decorative wire has opened up for florists!! They are simple, but chic for prom!

We also have a reappearing mannequin arrangement that “pops up” at an annual fundraiser event we sponsor for our local college. It is the highlight of the party, everyone is looking for FiFi and her flowers!!

Flower Shop Network: What is your favorite flower?
Florist Bitsy Carter: I love iris, don’t like to work with them…but love the flower itself!

Flower Shop Network: What is your favorite wedding bouquet?
Florist Bitsy Carter: Fall bouquets are always my favorite!! The textures and materials are just that much more interesting and challenging! And you can NEVER go wrong with fall tones!

Flower Shop Network: How have you used the Arkansas state flower in your designs?
Florist Bitsy Carter: Our state flower is an apple blossom, saying that I have never specifically used that flower nor has it ever been requested.

Flower Shop Network: What has been the best part of being a florist in Arkansas?
Florist Bitsy Carter: Arkansas is a unique state in that most of our shops, shop owners, employees, designers, etc… are networked in someway or another. We have an awesome state association that offers many educational and competitive opportunities to get to know and learn from other florists that are in the same areas as we are! We have similar stories to share and often lean on each other for extra help in good times and bad times. I feel very very fortunate to be in the floral industry in Arkansas today!

Unique Floral Design From Hope FloralFlower Shop Network: Do you have a floral design philosophy?
Florist Bitsy Carter: YES!! Start with colors! If the color harmony isn’t there the eye is totally thrown off no matter how amazing the design is!

Flower Shop Network: What style do you specialize in–modern, traditional, romantic, etc…?
Florist Bitsy Carter: I can’t say that I specifically specialize in any type of design other than what my customer asks for!! I thoroughly enjoy modern design, very clean lines, tight mechanics, etc…

Flower Shop Network: What makes your arrangements better or different than anybody’s else’s?
Florist Bitsy Carter: I wouldn’t say my designs are any better than anyone else’s…however, I do take pride in every design that leaves my shop or has my name on it! I particularly take pride in design mechanics and understanding the design principles and elements of design so that each design is not a guessing game….but a beautiful product for someone to enjoy!!

Flower Shop Network: Do you remember the first time you received flowers?
Florist Bitsy Carter: A few years ago, one of my older customers, who picks up every order and hand delivers them himself, ordered an arrangement to be picked up. He kept saying, ” Make it fun for someone like around your age!” So I did!! It was one of the coolest, funkiest arrangement I have ever made!! He paid for it, signed the card and turned around and said, “Happy Birthday Bitsy, make sure these go home and don’t get resold!!” I took them home and actually enjoyed a beautiful bouquet for my birthday!!:)

Flower Shop Network: How did you get started in the floral business?
Florist Bitsy Carter: A second-generation florist, I came into it  by family chance! My dad has been a florist all my life and I watched him for years, never thinking it would be me someday! Eventually, my dad taught me little by little, all the time saying, ” I’m teaching you so I can actually have a vacation.” Best decision of his life, to teach me floral arts!! I love it…always said I would never do it, but love every single minute of it!! I am so thankful to be part of a shop and industry that ultimately cares for people and their needs! And I am even more thankful that it shows in our flowers and on our faces!

The enthusiasm Bitsy has for the floral industry is only part of the reason she was named 2010’s Arkansas Designer of the Year. Creative outside-of-the-box designs and strong customer relationships are what lead to her recognition.

FSN at the Arkansas Florists Association’s Nightmare on Convention Boulevard

This past weekend was the Arkansas Florists Association‘s 58th Annual Convention themed: Nightmare on Convention Boulevard. Florist’s from all over the area came together to get their ‘freak’ on— literally, with costume contests, Halloween decorating programs and other scare-themed programs and floral design workshops.

The competition for the coveted Arkansas Cup took place and we are proud to announce that our awesome member Bitsy Carter, from Hope Floral, took home the prize! (More coverage on that later!)

In this video, our rep Cindy talks with upcoming AFA President and local Hot Springs AR florist, Terry Bates, about whats a-buzz at the convention. He also lets us in on the theme for the 2011 Arkansas Florists Association Convention… Watch the video to find out!

This post is brought to you by local Hot Springs AR florists.
Not in Hot Springs? Use Flower Shop Network‘s handy online directory of real local florists to find your local florist today!

Ode To The Sweet Little Apple Blossom (AR State Flower)

Oh the delight of the sweetly scented apple blossom. Not to be silly, but it’s a beautiful thing.

I began some research on the next state flower in our series but immediately stopped when my eyes came across the apple blossom. Ranging in color from supple pink to soft white, these blooms are typically enjoyed during the late winter and early spring. This is a fascinating time for Arkansans like myself (well, close enough). The sun is out, the early spring rain makes everything grow in bright green, and people seem to whistle for no reason. Mix that with a heapin’ helpin’ of southern hospitality, and you almost have the southern version of The Sound of Music. It’s a lovely time that, at least from my perspective, starts with the blooms of apple blossoms.

Photo Credit of 50states.com

Photo Credit of 50states.com

Malus species is the scientific name for this pretty flower. Whatever you want to call it, the thirty-third general assembly did a fantastic job in 1901 when they named the apple blossom as the state flower of Arkansas.

While I’m sure information about the flower is useful to an elementary student, you’re probably reading this blog to see how the apple blossom is useful to you. Good!

Unlike many state flowers, the apple blossom is a premium cut flower that you will see in high-end flower arrangements from a local florist. Seasonal availability ranges from February through April only. The floral designers at these flower shops can find the deepest inspiration in the uniqueness of these premium flowers.

Pink and white are very popular colors and commonly used during romantic or sweet holidays such as Mothers Day, Valentines Day, and Easter. Flower arrangements designed after gazing on the variegated apple blossom delight Arkansans to the core. It’s not just Arkansas florists that enjoy drawing inspiration from the Malus species. Whether enjoying the way that the simple colors blend together or taking note of how the flowers form a beautiful bouquet, there is something refreshing about the apple blossom and you’re sure to love it!

Flower Shop Network Announces Florists Convention Winners

Flower Shop Network recently enjoyed a trip to the 2008 Arkansas Florists Association Convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Florists attending displayed their designs, network with other florists, and learn more about the latest tips and trends in the floral industry. While visiting the Flower Shop Network booth, visitors were given the opportunity to win either a free premium listing in Flower Shop Network’s online directory of florists or a complimentary website package to accommodate a directory listing. A drawing was held Monday, August 18 to determine the winners.

Flower Shop Network would like to congratulate DeAnna Allgood at The Morning Glory Flowers & Gifts in Lake Village, Arkansas on winning the complimentary premium listing. The premium listing includes a one-year membership to Flower Shop Network. Located in Lake Village, AR, this florist also delivers to Eudora, Arkansas as well as Dermott, Arkansas.

Congratulations to Carrie Skolarski at Buzy Bee in Ozark, Arkansas for winning the complimentary website package. Each e-commerce enabled website allows the holder to receive orders via the Internet. Customers also gain 24-hour access to information about the flower shop such as contact information, delivery location information, flower arrangement design styles and more. The Ozark, Arkansas florists at Buzy Bee also delivers flowers to these cities: Coal Hill, Arkansas; Cecil, Arkansas; Charleston, Arkansas; and Altus, Arkansas.

Each convention is a fun time for florists as well as Flower Shop Network representatives. Annual florists and flower shows are great times to renew friendships as well as make new friends in the floral industry. Joe Hays, one of the network coordinators representing Flower Shop Network, returned the day after the show with a particularly amazing story of goodness and generosity from one of Flower Shop Network’s kind friends in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.

2008AFAConventionFriends.jpg

Rhonda Sade (left), Joe Hays (center), Karen Williams (right).
Read how Karen Williams florist’s disaster turned into a benefit for the community.

It is easy to make quality friends such as Karen Williams of Flower Basket in Walnut Ridge, AR who met Ms. Rhonda Sade at the conference and immediately became friends. Ms. Sade is a floral designer for Northwest Arkansas Florist in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She, along with many others at the convention, was taken by the outgoing nature and shared interest in flowers of Ms. Williams. These kinds of connections are common occurrences at the annual florists conventions which is why Flower Shop Network proudly attends these conferences each year.

Flower Shop Network also visited the Texas State Florists Association Convention in July. Congratulations to Nora Anne’s Flower Shop in Sugar Land, Texas who won a complimentary one-year listing in the Flower Shop Network online directory of Sugar Land, Texas florists. Nora Anne’s Flower Shop also delivers flowers to: Southwest Houston, Texas; Missouri City, Texas; Richmond, Texas; Rosenberg, Texas; Stafford, Texas; and Meadows Place, Texas.