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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!

Big Congrats To Our Winning Members

Way To Go Florists!

Floral convention season is just kicking off and already our florist members are making their presence known! Check out all of our member’s latest great accomplishments in today’s post!

Florist Awards

  • Big congrats to Norton’s Flowers & Gifts in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, MI for being voted Retailer of the Year at the Great Lakes Floral Expo 2013.

Doug Bates - 2013 Young Person of the Year

Doug Bates of Designs by Vogt’s in Sturgis MI

  • Congratulations to Doug Bates of Designs by Vogt’s in Sturgis MI for being voted the 2013 Young Person of the Year at the Great Lakes Florist Expo.

This young person has been excited about the MFA since their first conference and has never stopped.  Their energy has just kept growing. To watch them participate in classes and then in design events and competitions you can see the passion and energy in their eyes and it is contagious.  Always with a positive attitude toward the industry they have nothing but great admiration for their peers and respect for their fellow florists. From the Michigan Florist Association Press Release

Design Contest Winners

  • Way to go Debbie Royal of Royal Expressions Flowers & Gifts, Blissfield, MI for winning 3rd place in the Great Lakes Floral Expo professional division design contest themed Loving Memory. Debbie also took home 2nd place in the professional division design contest themed Surprise, Surprise.
  • Congrats to Robbin Yelverton of Blumz… by JR Designs in Detroit MI for taking home 1st place in the Great Lakes Floral Expo academy division design contest themed It’s A Party.
  • Big congrats to Rae Roberts-Griffith of True Colors Artistry for winning 1st runner up in the prestigious 2013 Lincoln Cup at the 2013 Illinois State Florist Association Convention.
  • Congratulations to Judy Fitzpatrick of Just Judy’s Flowers in Pensacola, FL for winning second place in the Northwest Florida Florists’ Association’s February Design Contest.
  • Congratulations to April Ridge of Alyce’s Floral Designs in Ft Walton Beach, FL for winning third place in the Northwest Florida Florists’ Association’s February Design Contest.

Congrats again, everyone!

I do my best to find our florists’ achievements through various association emails and online posts. If I left you out, please let me know and I will add you ASAP!

Local Florists Promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Roses For The CureBreast Cancer Awareness Month is something florists do not take lightly. Many go above and beyond to do their part to raise awareness of this disease in their own creative ways.

Here are just a few of the ways florists all across the nation are helping out:

  • Bayberries Flowers & Gifts in Caldwell Idaho is giving $5.00 to their local breast cancer screening center for every “pink” arrangement ordered through the 20th of October.
  • Clark Flower & Gift Shop in Clark, SD is doing a ‘”Bra”vo For A Cure’ Decorated Bra Contest during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness. So far, they’ve got 32 entries, and have them displayed in the front window of their store. (photo below)

We have having a People’s Choice vote during October for the winning entry with a $1 donation per vote. Proceeds will be donated to the local Relay For Life. Also, we took photos of all our entries & put a photo album on our Facebook page. The entry that gets the most likes during October will win a prize.

We also have pink rose specials for the month, & are donating $1 for each pink rose sold to our local Relay For Life. We are also giving out [FSN’s] Think Pink flyer to customers during October. It’s fun to watch people looking at our window display; laughing and having fun with it. We got so many cute entries. The decorated bras will be donated for an auction to be held later to benefit our local Relay For Life

[Read more…]

Flowers For Food At Posey Peddler

“Two Sundays ago, in our church bulletin was an announcement saying the Jonesboro Women’s Shelter was in dire need for food. That they were full to capacity with women and children and they needed help.” That is when Bridgette Arnold of Posey Peddler in Jonesboro, AR decided to take action.

Bridgette and her staff started a Flowers For Food program in their shop. For a bag of (10) groceries, customers received a bouquet of roses. “Food isn’t something they should have to think about, in this great country we have. And flowers are such a beautiful thing, and sometimes that can motivate someone to do something they normally wouldn’t have,” says Bridgette.

Posey Peddler - Florist Food Drive

“There’s just no reason for us to have hungry children here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We are too blessed and too profitable.” She says she started the food drive because it’s the right thing to do.

[Read more…]

Superman Florist Of The Year: Bob Buettner

Bob Buettner, Connecticut Florist of the Year

Bob Buettner from Paul Buettner Florist Inc. was recently named 2010 Connecticut Florist of the Year, but after our recent conversation, I think he should be titled, Superman Florist of the Year. He has done more in the past year than most people accomplish in 10! Congratulations Bob. No one deserves this honor more than you!

This award is given for more than just being an accomplished florist, it’s about all of the contributions made on both a local and state level. Bob is truly a man who goes above and beyond his call of duty.Working as a florist is great, but Bob’s true passion is helping others in need. He does an incredible job of merging his two loves.

Bob helps organize a special flowers for kids program in his community, where he shows children how to make bouquets. Each kid gets their own flowers to arrange and by the end of the day, they have their own bouquet to take home. There is also a story that goes along with it about growing flowers. What a great way to get kids interested in plants and flowers!

Flowers For Kids Program

Bob Buettner also has a big heart for charity. He sponsors a booth at the Connecticut Women’s Health and Wellness Expo where this year they helped raise $1,400 in 1½ days for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. (Last year they raised $1,200!)

Flower Fundraiser For Susan G. Komen Foundation Flowers For Breast Cancer Awareness

For Christmas, Bob helps his team decorate childrens’ hospitals to, as Bob puts it, “bring [the children] a little bit of brightness and cheer.” He works with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and others. Each hospital gets it’s own theme and they decorate multiple floors. Bob says they start planning in August and begin decorating right after Thanksgiving. What an amazing effort to bring joy to the lives of sick children who are stuck in the hospital for Christmas.

In February, Bob helps out at the Connecticut Flower Show. Here, he raises money for charity by doing multiple flower arranging demonstrations through the event.

Flower Arranging Demonstration

He also plays a vital role in the North East Floral Expo in March as trade fair chairman. Bob spends much of his time working closely with the Connecticut Florist Association. He is proud to be on their board of directors and is also marketing chairman. Buettner does as much as he can to proactively promote his industry.

Somehow, Bob also finds the time to teach floral design at the Manchester Community College.

Scuba Diving For Kids With Terminal Illnesses “One other project that is dear to my heart,” is surprisingly his role as a scuba instructor. For the past 22 years, Bob Buettner has spent his summers teaching scuba lessons to kids with terminal illnesses. These are kids who otherwise would never have the chance to be a part of something like this. It is clear Bob is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping others and is truly an inspiration to us all.

Surprised by his overwhelming selflessness, I asked “When do you have time to be a florist?!” He responded, “There’s always time to do new things that are worth while. All of these projects are very worth while. I have a lot of good help behind me. My committees work very hard and we all support each other.”

Bob Buettner is a 2nd generation florist who’s been in the business for over 50 years. His daughter (3rd gen) is now the shop manager and is slowly taking over his day-to-day practice. He says proudly that she is an excellent designer. When I asked about his family business, he said, “It’s nice to have family, because we all work so closely together. Sometimes there’s a problem at family dinners. We all start talking about business and things like that. It’s a very personal business and we pride ourselves on service.”

“I’m 66 years old and people keep asking me, ‘When are you going to retire?’ I will retire the day I don’t want to come to work. I enjoy the business. I keep telling people, ‘Grumpy people don’t buy flowers.’ It’s not always a happy situation; obviously we deal with a lot of people that have had death in the family, but we can give them a little peace and a little bit of beauty and know that we have brought a smile into their lives.”

The Connecticut Florist Association could not have picked a better choice for the 2010 Florist of the Year. Thanks Bob for being such an inspiration to us all.

This post is brought to you by local Hartford CT florists.
Not in Hartford? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory to find a florist near you!

What Does an Animal Shelter, Recycling and a West Virginia Florist Have In Common?

A Dream For A Better Life

I may be the plant expert for Flower Shop Network, but my other passion involves dogs. Every dog I have ever had has come from a shelter. Including our latest member Quincy (an Austrilian Shepard mix). I passionately support my local humane societies and The Best Friends Animal Society. So when I received this email from one of our members, I knew I had to help get the word out.

Pat at Cross Lanes Floral in Cross Lanes WV has applied for a grant to help her local animal shelter. We can all help Pat by voting for her proposal. Pepsi is offering a $50,000 grant to the top 10 proposals submitted. To help you understand the program, I am including the email she sent me.

Hello everyone!  I desperately need your help.  I recently wrote a grant proposal idea and submitted it to the Pepsi Refresh Project on behalf of the Kanawha Charleston Animal Shelter.  The grant is for $50K that will be given to our shelter to start a project called Cans for Companions.

In order for the shelter to receive this grant, they need your vote.  Pepsi has agreed to put my idea in the running, however, in order to win the money, they need votes.  The voters will decide who wins.

Right now, this idea is ranked at 225.  We need to be in the top 10 to win this money.

You can help me make this idea a reality by going to http://www.refresheverything.com/cansforcompanions
and vote for my idea.

You need to register to vote.  You will receive 10 votes per day but [Read more…]

A Quick Note From A Happy Customer!

Here’s a quick note from a happy customer of one of our exceptional florists!

This was passed along to Flower Shop Network from Rebecca who used Flowers By Pat a  Jacksonville, Florida florist:

“My mother loved the arrangement. It looked exactly like the picture except the vase was a beautiful raspberry pink which made the item even more striking. The flowers lasted about 2 weeks! Thank you so much for making her day special!”

Suddenly Spring Flowers

This is one of many great testimonials we receive everyday about our exceptional local florists like Flowers By Pat who is pleasing customers left and right!  Located in Jacksonville, FL, Flowers By Pat has served the community for over twenty four years. They provide beautiful flowers for all occasions and also provide a variety of vases, baskets, scented candles and more!

Their latest best seller is the Suddenly Spring Flower Arrangement! A combination of beautiful bright flowers are perfectly designed to brighten up anyone’s day! If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area be sure to stop by Flowers By Pat and enjoy the beauty of spring!

This Testimonial is Sponsored by Flower Shop Network’s Jacksonville, FL Florists!

Florists Share The Importance Of Funeral Flowers

Sometimes to make a point you have to put your money where your mouth is and that is what a handful of florists did last week. Cheryl Bakin of Parkway Florist, Clay Atchison of McAdams Florist and Lisa Greene of Nunan’s Florist have been long-standing proponents of funeral flowers.

However, simply stating a fact — flowers are comforting or flowers make a funeral service special — doesn’t always effectively make the point. So these creative florists, along with Melissa Mega of The Ivy Green and Kathy Dudley of The Bloomery, decided a picture was worth a thousand words.

Contemporary Funeral Spray

Contemporary Funeral Spray

Last month they attended the National Funeral Directors Association convention in Boston, painting a very important picture — flowers and funerals go together like peanut butter and jelly. Each taste good on its own, but together the taste is awesome.

With the kind and generous support of Smithers Oasis, Delaware Valley Floral Group and Pioneer Wholesale, the florists created several sympathy flower arrangements which gave the attendees a better picture of why funeral flowers are important.

Although I didn’t attend the convention, I know the attendees experienced a WOW moment at the florists booth. If the flower arrangements were half as amazing as the descriptions Cheryl gave me, anyone walking up to the booth would be blown away.

Cheryl was kind enough to give me a run-down on the events at the convention. I thought I would share an excerpt of the design process. Maybe this will give you ideas on how to effectively communicate the importance of funeral flowers.

Contemporary Casket Spray

Contemporary Casket Spray

In less that 5 short hours, including the time to decide what containers we were using, what vignettes we were making, and which [Read more…]

Seattle Florist is Busy and Happy – Hard Work Is Paying Off

Being a member of Flower Shop Network is like being part of a great big family. When someone in your family perseveres through hardships to make their dreams come true you can’t wait to tell everyone. Nick (one of our FSN network coordinators) has always told me that Justin and Heather at BiZi Bee Floral and Gifts; (one of our Seattle WA florists) were amazing people. Until I read Justin’s blog last Friday, I didn’t really understand how amazing. In his post, Justin details the journey they took to achieve their dreams including the good, the bad and the ugly events. Just like a flower, Justin and Heather are blossoming into their dream of a lifetime. From humble beginnings and through the hardships with love and hard work on their side, Justin and Heather have become an inspiration. I thought everyone in the FSN family would enjoy reading the great story of how the hard work of a family member is paying off.