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Local Florist Celebrates 65 Years

Flowers By Mary Lou in Springfield IL

Big congratulations to the team at Flowers By Mary Lou in Springfield IL who are celebrating their 65th anniversary! (That’s 5 years longer than the Queen’s recent Diamond Jubilee!)

Flowers by Mary Lou was founded in 1947, and just why have they lasted so long?

“Because we take care of our customers,” says Jennifer Veith, designer at Flowers by Mary Lou. “People appreciate that. They appreciate when you go above and beyond and try to get special things for them or give them the special touches or do the specific things they ask, whether it’s a casket spray for a funeral, a wedding or even a new baby. People appreciate that you take the time to take care of them and treat them like an actual person instead of somebody that’s faceless.”

[Read more…]

Rae Griffith, True Colors Artistry, Springfield Illinois

Flower Shop Network interviewed the wonderfully creative Rae Griffith, AIFD, ICPF of True Colors Floral Artistry in Springfield IL. She was chosen as our very first Illinois Florist Spotlight — congrats Rae!

Flower Shop Network: How long have you been a florist?

Florist: About 23 years, although it’s been in my heart/mind since I was a small child. Flowers have always been a passion.

Flower Shop Network: When did open your flower shop in Springfield?

Florist: Dec 3, 1993

Flower Shop Network: What are your floral specialties?

Florist: Weddings, events, and everyday… in that order. Design wise, non-traditional vased work, tropicals (I have a tropical cooler). Bright and colorful.

Flower Shop Network: What is your favorite flower?

Florist: Gardenia, although in the spring, French tulips can give the gardenia a run for the money.

Flower Shop Network: What is your favorite wedding bouquet?

Florist: Lots of silver wire, bling and crazy! Very non-traditional.

Flower Shop Network: What would you say are the top flower trends in Springfield Illinois?

Florist: Fun, bright and lush. Gerbs are the hands-down favorite, still, but customers are looking for familiar flowers with an artistic twist.

Flower Shop Network: How have you used the Illinois state flower in your designs?

Florist: I have not. It’s the wood violet. Although, I did make a large violet out of rice paper and cover it with cutup purple statice (ala rose parade float) for one of our state senator’s inauguration parties.

Flower Shop Network: What has been the best part of being a florist in Illinois?

Florist: Hmm… probably my customers. I like being close to the St. Louis and Chicago area (all within a short drive), and our floral association. I think it is one of the best in the United States.

Flower Shop Network: Do you have a floral design philosophy?

Florist: Don’t know if it so must a philosophy as a attitude. Never stop learning. I take classes, go to conventions and try to read all that I can about what is going on in the world, as far as floral design trends. To be a relevant and growing business, you must keep changing with the times, or you will be left behind. You cannot continue to do things the same way year after year and expect to grow your business. [Read more…]

No Rest For The Weary – Florists Are Busy With Conventions

Although Valentine’s Day 2008 is over, the next two weeks is a busy time for many florists. Several florists’ conventions are taking place February 29th through March 9th.

The Northeast Floral Expo will be celebrating its 75th year, February 29th –March 2nd in Hartford Connecticut. Florists attending have the opportunity to attend workshops, programs and a trade fair. Some of the Flower Shop Network staff have their bags packed and are ready to go.

Florists from Georgia attending the Georgia State Florists Association Convention February 29th – March 2nd in Atlanta Georgia. Florists will have the opportunity to network with others from across the state.

Florists from Michigan can attend the Michigan Florists’ Association Spring Conference and Great lakes Floral Expo February 29th – March 3rd in Grand Rapids Michigan. Florists will have the opportunity to enjoy many activities all revolving around the “Visionary Concepts For A Bright Future” theme

Florists from Illinois can attend the Illinois State Florists Association Conference March 6th-9th in Springfield Illinois. Florists will have the opportunity to attend workshops, competitions and other useful programs.

Although many florists are exhausted from the Valentine’s Day holiday, they can’t pass up the excellent opportunity to network and learn the latest floral trends. So for all of you attending these great conferences, remember its not all work at the conventions – you get to play quite a bit, too.  For those of you attending the Northeast Floral Expo our network coordinators look forward to seeing you. In fact if you stop by the Flower Shop Network  trade show booth, we have a great totes bag to give you.