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Feathers: Biggest Trend of the Year

Hair Feather ExampleI don’t know about where you live, but here I can’t go 50 feet without spotting someone with a hair feather extension!? Not just teens either — kids, moms, grandmamas, even DOGS are getting hair feathers! It’s definitely the biggest new trend this year! Why not add a little feather to your summer flower power?

Feathers have been taking over hair accessory trends since January. Everyone, including Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Selena Gomez, Ke$ha, Hilary Duff, “Glee” actress Jenna Ushkowitz, and many more stars have been seen with them. You can wash and even curl the feathers, and they will last in hair for months.

The feathers are real rooster tail and hackle feathers that are normally used for fisherman bait. The way they are placed in the hair is by using a metal bead in the hair and clamping it down on the feather. Check out this YouTube video for how to clip in a hair feather.

The purpose of these hair feathers is to add just a little more PIZAZZ to your hair; the same thing can apply to floral design. Don’t get me wrong, florists have been using feathers for years, but why not play up this trend of small colorful rooster feathers?

Feather Flower Arrangement

Feather flowers make fantastic gifts for kids, teens and young adults. Imagine a brightly colored arrangement filled with hot pink Gerbera daisies and thin, spiky blue feathers.
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Fruit & Veggie Floral Design Trends

Oranges and Cloves used in Floral Design

Using apples, oranges and limes in floral design has become increasingly popular over the past few years, but now florists are finding new and innovative ways to use fruit like never before! At the recent Tennessee State Florist Convention, fruit and veggies in flower arrangements seemed to be a reoccurring trend, let’s take a look…

The best thing about using fruit in flower arrangements is the incredible smell. Check out the above picture of oranges and apples being used. Notice not only are the oranges being used in whole forms, they are also sliced or have been covered in delicious smelling cloves. This adds a bit of spice to the mix.

Orange Clove Arrangement Oranges and Cloves used in Floral Design

How absolutely perfect would this look adorning your Thanksgiving buffet table?

Hedge Apple Texture With Flowers

So, just what is it that draws florists to fruit? Well, the smell for one is fantastic, but also texture is a big part of design. Florists look for textures they can use in anything and everything, and fruit is another available resource for them to use to construct their floral masterpieces.

Take a look at the above picture, do you know what those green fruits are? Hedge apples! While they aren’t readily available, I can see why a florist would actively seek out this fruit with such incredible texture. It’s rough surface is a direct contrast to the delicate petals of flowers, which creates interest, while keeping it all natural.
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7 Great Ways To Keep Up With Trends

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In this fast-paced world, it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest floral design trends. Here are 7 easy ways to keep up with the latest in the floral design industry.

1. Attend Design & Trade Shows -Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like attending a design or trade show. Being in the presence of industry leaders and talented designers you are sure to bring home tons of new ideas.
2. Follow Industry Leaders on Social Sites
– Are you into social networking? So are you favorite florists and others involved in floral design! Flower Shop Network on Facebook is a great example of a Facebook Page every florist should follow. We update our page daily with great tips, ideas, pics and even videos. (Our design videos on YouTube are a good way to learn new techniques from expert florists!) Other great Facebook Pages to follow are: AIFD Group, SAF Page or check out Flower Shop Network’s Favorite Pages for more.
3. Attend Workshops & Educational Classes – Just like with any type of art and design, the styles are constantly changing. A floral design class or workshop is a great way to stay in touch with the latest trends in the industry. Floral design schools, universities and even conferences can be a great place to look for floral design classes. Most of these workshops you can finish in a weekend, but you’ll return with a lifetime of new design ideas!
4. Subscribe to Floral Magazines – An easy way to stay up to date with trends is by subscribing to floral design magazines. [Read more…]

Riding High in Hybrid Delivery Vehicles

Ok, small or hybrid vehicles.

Thankfully, some very efficient florists have found a clever way to save money and go green at the same time. Many florists are turning lemons into lemonade by switching to smaller or hybrid delivery vehicles. These smaller vehicles save on fuel costs for day-to-day deliveries. This also makes it very cost effective to simply rent a large van for major events.

The ability to save money by lowering fuel costs is a huge advantage for any florist. Consider the amount of fuel used to power a large van during the course of a year. Even a five or ten mile-per-hour (mph) difference can add up to hundreds of dollars during the year! That’s reason enough to switch to more fuel-efficient delivery vehicles.

Just as many local florists want to “green” their flower shops. The trend toward smaller delivery vehicles is one that can be adapted rather quickly and with little more hassle than any similar activity for the shop. With all that extra moolah at stake, switching to fuel-efficient delivery vehicles is well worth the consideration!

I recently spoke with David Strong of Piano’s Flowers & Gifts in Memphis, Tennessee about his recent switch to a more eco-friendly delivery vehicle. According to Mr. Strong, his customers have only rave reviews about the new van, citing things like “Leave the van. Keep the flowers.” Mr. Strong was very pleased to be getting 29 miles to the gallon for his in-town deliveries. Having spent a significant amount of time in Memphis traffic, I would be too!

What I found very interesting was that the design of Piano’s new vehicle was actually a customer’s idea. Knowing a little bit about your customers is what keeps them coming back, and apparently creating fantastic designs for each new delivery vehicle!

Have you already adopted these trends in your flower shop? Tell us some of the ways that you are reducing your fuel costs with “green” vehicles or send pictures of your hybrid delivery vehicle.

Florists Can Blossom During Prom Season

It’s hardly news to anyone that prom remains one of the biggest events in a teenager’s life. These young adults, with their mass of disposable income, spend months planning the perfect evening for themselves and their prom dates. To them, prom would be incomplete without the perfect dress or tuxedo, shoes, hair, ride, and matching corsages and boutonnières. This is where the florist can make the difference between fancy trimming and shabby accessories.

Prom Wrist Corsages

Florists often pass on prom business while many realize this sudden inward cash flow to be a profitable staple from year-to-year. The March 2008 issue of Floral Management includes an article that showcases some of the reasons florists may want to reconsider this youthful venture. Teenagers still have extreme purchasing power and choose to spend a hefty chunk of it on prom and homecoming. Being the chosen local florist is not only a profitable honor in that year but for the remainder of that teenager’s life. Taking the time to nurture the desires of your young customer will bring him or her back for their wedding, birthday, anniversary, and other floral needs.

Now that you are assuredly on the prom flowers bandwagon, here are some tips for making this prom season a big hit.

  • Be prepared! Phone a contact inside the local schools for the event dates, colors and themes, and other things that may make preparing easier.
  • Make the most of the Internet! This generation’s prom goers are increasingly tech-savvy. Most are more comfortable shopping online initially. This is a convenient trend as it reduces many costs to the florist including manpower and sales tracking.
  • Spice it up! Proms and prom attendants are now decorated to the hilt with lavish colors, sequins, glitter, boas, anklets, jewelry, and other accessories to make every vision of the evening a creative statement about themselves.
  • Show off your ideas! Let your customers see a line of possibilities first, then sell a more personalized version if necessary. Be creative! Make it fun! Organize a Corsage Bar!
  • Get your customer involved! A popular practice among florists is to let the females bring in their dresses to get a better match or to test different ideas.
  • Get to know formal wear and dress shop owners! An alliance with local dress shop owners is a fabulous way to get your name known. The customers are already in prom shopping mode and reminding them about their need for prom flowers while in the store can’t be beaten as the way to stand out.

When attracting prom customers be sure to capitalize on word of mouth. Parents, siblings, neighbors, and friends have a huge impact on who the teenager is likely to choose. You’re likely already the best around so let them know! Also, great tips for targeting young people in your area may come from the same people that give you the color scheme, themes, and dates of the proms. These people are sure to know where these young people hang out and where they’re going for their prom needs. Now you’re ready to take center stage as the go-to florist for prom and homecoming needs!

Flowers Add Pep To Life

Flowers empower according to recent studies published by Prevention magazine and Redbook magazine. While an old adage has long suggested that stopping to smell the roses will brighten one’s day, new evidence concludes that even casually glancing at flowers has the same uplifting affect.

According to Prevention magazine’s April 2008 publication, a study at Texas A&M University compared the productivity of two women in a room decorated with abstract sculptures versus the productivity of two women in a room embellished with two potted plants and a floral bouquet. The women in the room with flowers produced 13% more ideas than the women surrounded by abstract art.

April 2008’s edition of Redbook magazine cites a study conducted by Harvard University that asked 50 female participants to keep mood journals during a single day. Half of these women were sent flowers. The leader of the study, Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., noted that—not surprisingly— these women began the day anxious, nervous, and worried but those who had received flowers noted elevated and more compassionate moods throughout the rest of the day. Ms. Etcoff goes on to suggest that having a visual reminder of life and health “may have a calming and positive effect on the brain.”

With these and other studies suggesting flowers as a way to boost productivity, lift and brighten moods, and put a positive spin on the day, it is no wonder that so many people surround themselves and loved ones with beautiful bouquets, colorful blooms, and decorative green plants. Imagine the smile on the face of a child who receives a birthday blossom at school or the debonair gentleman who places a small flower in his lapel before presenting his beloved with a loving bouquet. The spring in the young man’s step and the glow of the child’s heart are simple expressions brought to life by flowers. Let flowers like these invigorate your day today.

Tickle Me Pick Tickle Me Pink Bouquet.

Want to send someone a little FLOWER POWER? Click Here to find a local florist and send flowers today!

Brynn – FSN Support Staff

Spring Into Prom With Flowers

Prom is almost here. You have the date, the dress, the shoes, the hair, and the car. What’s missing? The prom flowers!! The perfect corsage or boutonnière makes the difference between a fun yet elegant statement and a shabby accessory. Here are some tips for finding the perfect floral decorations for your night!

  • Prom Corsage InspirationFind a decorative, matching corsage wristband! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but funky sequins, elegant gems, coral, and pearl with your corsage make just as beautiful a statement.
  • Small flowers or floral hair accessories are definitely an up-DO! These become an eye-catching way to show off the hair and makeup you worked so hard on, not to mention the aromatic fragrance they give your date when you’re dancing cheek to cheek.
  • Talk with your florist! These experts are sure to have creative ideas and unique arrangements to bring out even more beauty.
  • Know your budget! Don’t risk spending too much or passing over the perfect bouquet because you don’t know how much you would like to spend.
  • Doll up your date also! Matching boutonniere and cummerbunds not only are a stylish look but announce to prom guests that you and your date are the perfect stylish prom couple!
  • (Guys) Surprise your date with a bouquet! It’s an unexpected twist that your date will remember and probably brag to her friends about for days. Face it; she’s expecting the corsage. Go the extra mile for a date that she’ll love!

Find a local florist to design your perfect corsage or boutonniere.

Create a Unique Prom with Flowers in this Flower Shop Network newsletter you’ll find a variety of ways to make your prom special.

3 Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas Involving Chocolate, Flowers, and Wine

Chocolate that tasty little mood-lifting relaxing treat seems to be the focus of everyone’s attention at the moment. In fact, the latest issue of Fine Cooking has an interesting article featuring the pairing of wine and chocolate.

The combination of wine and chocolate creates a sensuous pleasure for our taste buds. A little port wine with a piece of dark chocolate is a culinary experience that shouldn’t be missed and one of my favorites. Fine Cooking pairs different kinds of chocolates with the appropriate wine to ensure a delicious experience. But, wine isn’t the only thing you can pair with chocolate to create a sensory delight. Pleasure is multiplied when you include more than one sense. Pairing flowers with chocolate involves our sense of smell, taste and sight – a triple indulgence.

The Flower Shop Network February newsletter, The Mystique of Chocolate & Flowers, describes the allure of pairing flowers with chocolate particularly for Valentine’s Day. Guys or gals looking for Valentine’s Day gift ideas will find a multitude in this newsletter. Creating the ultimate romance with chocolates and flowers is detailed in length; all you have to do is go for it.

With all this talk of pairing chocolate with flowers and wine, it occurred to me the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift lies somewhere between the Fine Cooking article and the FSN newsletter. Flowers, wine and chocolate – what more could your sweetheart ask for? You might ask, shouldn’t the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift appeal to all of the senses? With the right combination of wine, flowers and chocolate – bells will go off and hearts will be touched. So, here are three ways to combine wine, flowers and chocolate to achieve the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift this year:

The ultimate luxury Valentine’s Day gift idea – Send a dozen red roses and a large box of milk chocolates to your sweetheart; include a note suggesting an evening sharing the milk chocolates over a bottle of Pinot Noir.

The ultimate dreamy Valentine’s Day gift idea – Send a bouquet of ‘Stargazer’ Lilies to your sweetheart; include a note suggesting an evening viewing the stars while sharing a semi-sweet chocolate mousse and a bottle of Shiraz.

The ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day gift idea – Meet your sweetheart at the door with a silver tray containing a vase of tulips, two glasses of a fine ruby port and a bowl of gourmet bittersweet truffles. Be sure to whisper, “Just a little something for the finest two lips in the world”.

With these ultimate Valentine’s Day gift ideas, amore will definitely be in the air along with the aroma of fresh flowers, the taste of chocolate and wine, the expression of love and the warmth of the heart. The possibilities are endless and I’m sure everyone has their own ultimate combination. So with Valentine’s Day just around the corner – let your imagination go wild with flowers, chocolate and wine.

21st Century Poinsettia Trends

It may seem a little early to talk about poinsettias. After all poinsettias are a seasonal plant used as Christmas decorations. Or are they? This past July, Florists Review had an interesting article called 21st Century Poinsettias. Accordingly, this lovely Christmas favorite is making a showing year round. In fact, in Japan and Korea a significant quantity of poinsettias are sold year round as potted plants. Poinsettia visibility is on the rise in the United States as well. Spring and early fall availability is increasing as poinsettia color choices reflect the season rather than the Christmas holiday. Look for pastel colored bracts in the spring and intense orange, red, purple and yellow colors in the fall.

As a complement to seasonal decorations or even as an alternative, non-traditional poinsettia holidays may see a new face emerge with these color choices. Picture Halloween decorated with ghosts, witches, hay bales, and orange poinsettias. If poinsettia colors and blooming times change, allowing us the opportunity to use poinsettias year round, think of the possibilities. For example, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) pink poinsettias could be sent to survivors as a symbol of their cause.

If you believe poinsettias should only be used during the Christmas season, but feel that they don’t reflect your holiday color theme, there is hope. Another 21st Century Poinsettia trend is customization. A poinsettia can be customized to fit your décor and color scheme. There are several types of spray dyes, translucent colorants, glitter sprays, shimmer sprays and floral fragrances that are safe to use on poinsettias.

The 21st Century Poinsettia trends are not just about color change; form and uses are also changing. Poinsettia hanging baskets, miniature poinsettia trees and column shaped poinsettias are taking their place beside the traditional ones. One of the most successful trends for the 21st Century Poinsettia is cut flower production. With the Paul Ecke Ranch ‘Winter Rose Renaissance’ and ‘Jester’ series poinsettias, consumers will see more cut poinsettias used in floral arrangements.

So for consumers and florists, the 21st Century Poinsettia trends should provide an exciting and thrilling potential for the future.

Permanent Botanicals aka Silk Flowers

If an interior living or working environment is going to be comfortable and inviting, the space almost always calls for the addition of some sort of flowers or plants. However, living plants or fresh flowers are not always practical in every situation. Fortunately, today’s silk flowers… or, more appropriately, permanent botanicals… are better than ever.

How To Choose Silk Flowers aka Permanent Botanicals

Wedding Centerpiece With Permanent White Flowers, Foliage and CandlesIn just the past few years, new production techniques and more realistic features have vastly improved the quality and variety of fabric flowers available from your local professional florist. When shopping for permanent botanical materials, keep in mind than not all silk flowers are created equal. The lowest priced blossom is not always the best bargain when we pay attention to quality, workmanship and botanical realism. Some factors to consider include:

  • Stem Length – A longer stem allows for more flexibility.
  • Stem Thickness – Is it appropriate for the species?
  • Leaf Count – Additional leaves may be added separately to fill in a design.
  • Leaf and Petal Edges – Are they crisp and fused, or will they fray?
  • Wiring – Fully wired leaves and petals permit better options for shaping.
  • Blossom Attachment – Do the flowers pop easily off the stem?
  • Coloration – Are leaves, petals and stems realistic and natural in color?
  • Detailing – Does the shading, texture and anatomical parts, such as stamens or thorns, look realistic?

Quality of Good Silk Flowers

Better quality silk flowers will appear the most botanically accurate in all respects, and will be well-constructed for long durability. They will allow the most flexibility for positioning the blossoms and stems. Whether they are created in a casual style or in a more formal design, the most pleasing permanent arrangements will be those that appear the most realistic.

Shaping Silk Flowers Like A Professional

Savvy designers are aware of how plants and flowers grow, and will spend some time shaping their silk flowers to reflect that natural energy. For example, living plants exhibit a phenomenon known as phototropism, which is the tendency to grow toward light. Thus, the leaves of most growing things are usually positioned with their faces upward, facing the sun.

Flowers and plants are subjected to rain, sunlight, wind, gravity, and insect attacks in nature, and consequently every single fresh flower, no matter how much it resembles a thousand others, has its own unique character. A professional floral designer understands these natural forces and strives to breathe life into artificial flowers by shaping and arranging them accordingly.

A rose’s head may be so heavy that it causes the stem to bend. Ivy will cascade down over a ledge but the tip of the vine will curve upward for the light. Delicate poppies seem to sway in the slightest of breezes. Peony flowers open and develop at differing rates. Remembering these characteristics will prevent silk designs from appearing static and lifeless.

Benefits & Trends of Silk Flowers

Permanent arrangements will remain pleasing for a long time to come if we choose flowers that are realistic in color as well. It’s not necessary, or even advisable, for silk flowers to match the color of your upholstery or wallpaper…..especially if it’s an unnatural hue for the species. No one has ever seen a teal colored rose or an avocado green lily in the garden. Better to choose colors that accent or complement the room rather than try to duplicate it.

Monofloral Style

An emerging trend is silk floral design is the so called monofloral style, which features just one variety of flower used en masse in a container. These are often created in clear vases with the stems showing, so natural looking stems are important here.

Zen-style Grasses

Another popular look is simply a thick clump of artificial grasses appearing to be growing in a bowl, displaying a Zen-like sense of freshness and purity.

Flemish Still-life Floral Designs

Of course, classically styled arrangements which resemble the lush floral compositions of Flemish still-life paintings will always have their place.

Whatever your preference, your local professional florist can readily create a new custom-designed permanent botanical arrangement for your home or office, or update an older one for you. Stop in soon.