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Green Box Floral Visits FSN

Luke and Nathan Harwell, the owners of Greenbox Floral, paid a visit to Flower Shop Network headquarters this week. While they were here, we took the opportunity to learn about their upcoming product release.

Lauren, Brock, and the Brothers

From left to right: Loranne, Brock, Luke and Nathan.

Experience Before Technology

Luke Harwell chose to follow his father in the floral industry in 2002, attending the Benz School of Floral Design at Texas A&M and becoming a Texas Master Florist. He assumed the role of President of Baack’s Florists and Greenhouses in January of 2008. There is no doubt that he understands the floral industry and the challenges that retail florists face.

Greenbox floral believes in the local florist. They believe each local flower shop is unique and their success should be driven by their own creativity and quality. And they believe one of the key elements needed to grow an inarguably shrinking industry is an opportunity for each shop’s artists to showcase their impressive talents to the customer.

The Value of the Cooler

The Greenbox solution begins with your unique designs.

Luke and Nathan believe the cooler is prime marketing real-estate. It showcases your work, giving the customer who walks in your door the opportunity to see current examples of your unique designs. It also allows for immediate upselling.

A customer sees that perfect item in your cooler and knows she wants to make a purchase. And because she’s already seen it, she doesn’t have to wonder if the finished product will live up to her expectations.

Or perhaps she sees multiple examples of talent and creativity expressed in your unique designs. She is impressed, and now when she has need of a talented florist, she knows to come to you.

Making Online In-Person

They place cameras in your store which broadcast an ultra-low frame rate live stream. Using Greenbox’s proprietary software, the live stream is uploaded directly to your website. The result is a live feed, allowing customers who come to your site an opportunity to click on the designs in your live stream and purchase the exact item in real time, already made and ready to go.

With the proprietary software Greenbox has developed, you are able to price each item so customers can mouse over the arrangement and see a price pop up directly on their screen. Each individual arrangement is clickable so that customers can go straight to a purchasing screen for any floral arrangement they want.

Because online shopping is becoming more and more popular, many of your customers will never have a chance to see the inside of your shop. But due to the live, interactive display designed by Greenbox, the value of your cooler is translated to an online medium. The customer can see your creative designs, can be impressed with your individual work and can see exactly what she is purchasing when she purchases it. Brilliant!

We greatly enjoyed having Luke and Nathan stop by our offices this week. They not only gave us an opportunity to learn more about their product, they showed us the passion for the floral industry that fueled them to develop it. Click here if you would like more information on Greenbox Floral, or if you’d like to see the Greenbox Floral solution in action, visit Baack’s Florists and Greenhouses here.

October Newsletter: “Boo”-licious Fun!


Say “Boo!” to someone special this year! Halloween is creeping ever closer. How are you celebrating this year? Treat-or-treating with the kids? Dressing up for a costume party? Or cuddling on the couch with a spooky flick?  However you spend your All Hallow’s Eve, be sure to share the enchantment of one of the best holidays of the year with flowers! Florists produce all manner of holiday-themed items and Halloween is no different. From the living pumpkin vase to the eerie, spiderweb-enhanced arrangement, there is no end to the wonders they can produce. So this October 31st, remember that Halloween home decoration and setting the tone for your blow-out costume party have to start with a phone call to your local florist. Happy Halloween!

Think Pink - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Bring On The Pink In October!

This month you might notice things turning a little more pink than usual. That’s because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wearing and sharing the color pink is a way to raise awareness and express moral support to women with breast cancer. [Read more…]

Florists Helping Oklahoma City

Florists, here is how you can help.

The tragedy of yesterday’s storm has left several families in the position of planning their child’s funeral with little to no resources. Realizing the need these families have, Kimbra from Enchanted Florist (Amarillo TX) is spearheading an effort to help the families and the Oklahoma City florists provide a loving tribute for each child.

Kimbra shared this information with us this morning.

“I have contacted the Oklahoma Governor’s office and we will be working with Channel 9 in Oklahoma to get the word out to the community about these special gifts for the children. I cannot bare the thought of any family not being able to have one last final memory without everything they need to do so. I am in the process of learning best how to set up this special account. If we all give some then these families will know their families have a place in our hearts. A loss of any type is a part of life, the loss of child is a special gift to God!”

She is working with a funeral home in Amarillo and others to help provide some of the services and items needed. As soon as she can make contact with the FSN members in Oklahoma City*, she will help them coordinate the effort to provide casket sprays for each of the children lost.

For those of you who want to help, contact Kimbra at 806-322-2878 or enchantedflorist_6913@yahoo.com.

*At this time, we have not been able to reach any of our members. Please keep them in your prayers.

Big Congrats – FSN Member Florist Wins 2013 Houston Cup

Big congratulations to Rebecca Sherman, AIFD in taking home the 2013 Houston Cup! Rebecca is a floral design artist with The Blooming Idea in The Woodlands, Texas, and a 20 year veteran of the floral industry.

The Houston Cup is an annual floral design competition for the members of Allied Florists of Houston. The winner of the Houston Cup advances to the preliminary phase of the  Texas State Florists Association‘s prestigious Texas Cup Competition.

Rebecca Sherman - Houston Cup Winner

From the Allied Florist of Houston:

“…the competition featured 10 professional floral designers in this year’s Great Gatsby themed competition. Each person brought 1 Interpretative Design following the Great Gatsby theme and during the hands on competition completed a floral wedding bouquet and a surprise package arrangement of a large arrangement for a grand foyer for a party. Grading is completed by a panel of 3 top rated floral Judges based on the principles and elements of design.”


Great Gatsby Themed Flower ArrangementWith F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby at the heart of the competition, decadent beauty abounded in all the contestants designs. Flowing feathers, lush greens, dramatic textures and delicate blooms reflected the glitz and glamour of the roaring ’20s and made for opulent results. Visit The Blooming Idea’s Facebook page for more great photos.

The Blooming Idea has been a FSN member for 13 years and we are very proud of Rebecca for winning this prestigious award. Her fabulous creative designs, inspired by the Great Gatsby theme, are truly breath-taking.

Best of luck at the upcoming Texas Cup Competition!


Photos courtesy of The Blooming Idea, The Woodlands, Texas

Sneak Peek: The 2012 Summer Olympics Bouquet

When it comes to the olympics, summer or winter, the entire world stops to take notice. Athletes dedicate their lives to perfection in their sport and compete to take home so much more than a medal. Their accomplishments in the olympics translate into well-deserved glory and honor in their home countries.

The London 2012 Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place in London from July 27th to August 12th. From archery to gymnastics, cycling to water polo — you can bet competition at these games will be fierce, which is why winners deserve so much respect.

In addition to the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, winners can also expect to receive a unique bouquet of flowers from the Jane Packer floral design studio. Some 4,400 floral “Victory Bouquets” will be presented to athletes along with medals during the Victory Ceremonies.

Story Behind the 2012 Olympics Bouquet

“The Victory Bouquet was designed by [Jane Packer’s] creative director, Susan Lapworth, to reflect the energy and vibrancy of the London 2012 Games. The bouquet is sectioned into boldly coloured quadrants to mirror the 2012 logo. These are separated by typical British food ingredients which also provide an eclectic fragrance.”

[Read more…]

BIG Congrats To Doug Bates, CF – MFA Designer of the Year

Rose & Tulip Arrangement - Great Lakes Floral Expo Photos Doug Bates - MFA Designer of the Year

We are so excited that one of our great member florists, Doug Bates, CF of Designs by Vogts in Sturgis, MI won this year’s coveted Michigan Florist Association’s Designer of the Year Award at the Great Lakes Floral Expo.

“In order to attain “MFA Designer of the Year” status, Mr. Bates had to enter all three professional division categories of the MFA Annual Design Contest. The five individuals with the highest cumulative points from all three design categories were selected as finalists to earn the chance to compete in a Spontaneous Surprise Package Competition.

Mr. Bates […]  received a $300.00 cash prize, recognition plaque and the coveted title of “MFA Designer of the Year.” His designs will also appear six times over the next year in the “Design Spotlight” section of the award wining MFA publication entitled “The Professional Florist.” He will also travel to the National Alliance of Floral Association’s (NAFA) annual convention this fall and represent the MFA in the NAFA National Design Competition. ” – From the GLFE’s Newsletter

All very exciting for Mr. Bates and all of the staff at Designs by Vogts! Doug is an excellent designer and full of talent. The first photo above is a gorgeous tulip and rose design enhanced with small loops of pink circles — so creative! It takes a lot of skill and experience to win these unique competitions. Once again, big congrats!

Anthuriums & Succulents In New Colors To Dye For

Something Old, Something New…

While going through my emails, I found something NEW I just had to share! In GrowerTalks‘ newsletter, they talk about a European company that has developed a way to dye Anthuriums blue, much like the way they dye the new Blue Mystique orchids. It’s a complicated process, but the results are phenomenal!

Blue Anthurium

The Blue Anthurium

As you can see, the blue is bright and vivid. This new, blue anthurium is called Princess Alexia Blue and is from the Dutch company, Rijnplant. They also offer a yellow one called Princess Alexia Yellow. From their website (and after translating) Rijnplant explains, “The plant is as naturally painted as possible, the dye leaves via root pressure and the assimilative capacity of the leaf.While I couldn’t find this for sale to florists YET, it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for.

EcheveriaColored Succulents

Another cool dyed product to look out for is the colorful new Echeverias. According to GrowerTalks’ newsletter, “One trend that’s been going on [in Europe] for years and continues strong is painting and glittering echeveria. They were everywhere, in every color. Big sellers? Heck, yeah!” [Read more…]

Photos from the 2010 Texas State Florist Association Convention

This past weekend, July 23-25, Flower Shop Network had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Texas State Florist Association Convention in San Marcos, Texas. The theme was “The Green Life” and we learned a lot about what it means to be ‘green’ in the floral industry.

For more, check out:
Interview With MNSFA President Kym Erickson at the TSFA Convention
Interview With TSFA Upcoming Vice President, Patrick Berry [Read more…]

Interview With Kym Erickson At The Texas State Florists Association Convention — “The Green Life”

Mandy Maxwell, FSN and Kym Erickson

Mandy Maxwell, from Flower Shop Network, sets down Kym Erickson at the Texas State Florists Association Convention to discuss her take-aways from the floral show. Lots of great presenters, and fantastic new info for even the most veteran florist.

Kym also talks about her work with the Minnesota State Florists Association and their upcoming conference in October. Maybe you were too far from Texas to attend this one, but there is sure to be a floral convention in YOUR area! It is important to attend these shows, not only for you as a designer, but also for the floral industry all together.

Florists: You Are The REVOLUTION!

Revolution! AIFD National Symposium

REVOLUTION! What an appropriate name for the American Institute of Floral Design’s 2010 National Symposium. Sure, being in Boston, MA on the Fourth of July put us all in a Revolutionary mood, but it was much, much more than that.

Over the past decade, the floral industry has gone through some incredible changes, and savvy florists everywhere have reacted, adapted and grown exponentially. As floral artists, we need to continue to educate ourselves and evolve. It’s our passion, creativity and innovation that enables us to thrive ourselves in this fast-paced market.

Unique Christmas Tree Decor Corporate Christmas New England Christmas

Bert Ford‘s Holiday Emotions was the first presentation I attended, and of course it blew me away! Bert walked us through a number of incredible Christmas environments, all with very different emotions. The first was Corporate Christmas. This was stylish meets sophisticated. He used lots of glass, giant ornaments and the traditional red and green colors, with a hint of electric green for kicks. He then took us on a ride of emotions: Home For The Holidays (Birch wood, hollies, poinsettias), White Christmas (Whites, silvers, birds, glitter, glitter, glitter!), Let’s Party! (Rainbow of colors, glitter, ornaments), and more!

Bert’s sophisticated, yet playful designs definitely inspired florists everywhere who are sick and tired of only using red and green in their Christmas floral designs. (Don’t worry, I will be sharing in depth what I learn in future articles.)

Fiery Funeral Urn African Funeral Tribute Deconstructed Sunflower Wreath

Another presenter, Ty Leslie proves we cannot move forward without looking to the past. By embracing our history and traditions, we can move forward with something new. Ty’s incredible presentation looked at sympathy and funeral traditions from our past and interpreted them into modern, usable designs. He began each segment by showing us a slide show of how a particular symbol was used.

For instance, the most popular symbol in the 19th century was the urn. Ty created an incredible design using an urn as the container, he also used yellow Oncidium orchids, Heliconia or birds of paradise, yellow spray roses and Protea to create the illusion of a brilliant, fiery urn. The fire represents eternal life and vigilance, an eternal flame tribute to an incredible person.

For more on Ty Leslie’s presentation, check out this interview:

Thanks again, Ty!

Felt in Floral Design The Matador Egg - Unique Floral Design

European designer, Emilia Oliverio brought us tons of new ideas and trends from across the pond. Emilia draws much of her inspiration from her home in France, but also enjoys the crafts of her grandmothers. She revitalizes old crochet and knitting techniques and uses them in her own floral art. Many of her designs involve intricate crocheted wire or wool. Her matador-inspired piece was truly a masterpiece.

A Study of Contrasts - Line Simple and Elegant Floral DesignStudy of Contrasts

Everyone was buzzing about Gregor Lersch, and let me tell ya, his presentation did NOT disappoint! Gregor is the author of 28 books, and will publish a new one in 2011 — The Relationship of Contrasts — on the same topic as his AIFD Symposium presentation.

I must admit, I wrote enough notes at this presentation to fill a book! It was an incredible explanation of how contrasts are used in floral design, or design in general, for that matter. His very simple floral art only used the basic elements of design he was pointing out. Many of his work was in groups. He would show one design in its simplest forms then add a ‘dose’ of a new element, then another, then another, until he had 4 impressive displays. In all my years of art school, I have never seen such a basic, yet brilliant explanation of the elements of design. Thank you so much, Mr. Lersch.

Brad Harnisch AIFD and Kelly Harnisch AIFD gave us an interesting presentation all about different events throughout our lives. As our lives become more engrossed in technology, face-to-face meetings become even more significant. They wanted to call attention to significant meetings, a revolution of gatherings.

They took us on a marvelous journey of celebrations: A very unique wedding filled with wire and orchid cocoon trees and a beautiful yet, earthy deconstructed sunflower mat. An anniversary filled with very special tributes. A winter solstice party. Even a celebration of the end of life, complete with a labyrinth of bamboo tubes for guests to put notes of their memories into. Having a party before ‘the end’ to celebrate a lifetime of memories is an interesting concept. With the prevalence of terminal illnesses, many people know when it’s ‘their time’ and parties like these are on the rise. (I will be writing more on this in future articles.)

I could go on all day about the things I learned at this spectacular conference. (And probably will be writing for months on the subjects covered.) As Gregor Lersch put it, the AIFD stage is the most important stage in the world for floral designers. It was an honor to be there, and I hope I can relay as much as I can to help florists everywhere to start their own REVOLUTION!

This post was brought to you by local Boston, MA florists.