Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business joined us on Mornings with Mayesh to discuss all things pricing.
Alison is a floral designer & educator that teaches florists how to embrace the business side of the business so they can make more money and take control of their future. She’s been working in the floral industry for 25 years; after spending 8 years training in half a dozen flowers shops, she opened a home-based floral business in 2002, which focuses almost exclusively on weddings. After this show be sure to visit realflowerbusiness.com which contains Alison’s business tips & teachings.
Some of the topics that were covered during the show included whether or not you should set a minimum for weddings, how to change your pricing as it grows, how to ensure you are not undercharging clients, marking up high-end flowers, how to price out large installations, and more.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for April 16th for our next show – Dave & Shelley will be back helping to answer your flower questions.
I hope you enjoy this episode! Let us know your thoughts about pricing in the comments.
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
Should we set a minimum on weddings? I’ve done both ways. (@thewildfloweraz)
Do you price anything different with a hand tied vs a vase arrangement? (@karen_mrk7)
Best way to start and change it as your business grows! (@lovelyhuman14)
How to make sure you’re not undercharging your clients (@pierredomedesigns)
How to charge clients appropriately (@pierredomedesigns)
Do you mark up high-end flowers like peonies the same as you do a carnation to keep your margins? If you do, how do you use peonies and ranunculus in everyday arrangements? Sparingly? (@atlasfindings)
Should you charge a different markup on rentals, vases, and labor?
– Good morning everyone, Yvonne here. And I am so excited to bring you another Mornings With Mayesh, April 2nd 2019, can you believe it guys? Happy April. And I’m super excited because I have a very special guest with me, Alison Ellis, she’s gonna be coming on in a few minutes to talk about pricing questions. If you don’t know Alison she is from Real Flower Business and she has a lot of Real Flower Business knowledge that she wants to share with you guys, so super stoked. I’m gonna give everyone a few minutes to come on in, say good morning, good morning from Just Floral, thank you for joining me. And Penny, you guys are amazing, thank you literally for being here every time I go live, I love you guys. I feel like if you don’t show up I don’t know what I’m gonna do. And while everyone is coming in and saying morning and letting me know where you guys are from, and also please share, yes, that would be amazing, thank you Penny. Good morning Hailey. I’m just gonna go through a few housekeeping things, alright guys. So just keep on saying hello, if you have comments or questions make sure you post those in the comments section, I’ll be going through those as I’m talking with Alison and going over your questions, I’m sure we will have some time for that, so very exciting, that’s like my favorite part giving all the live back-and-forth. Also if you aren’t able to stay for the whole show, or you just can’t make it at all and your listening later, thank you, but we will be hosting the replay on YouTube. The replay will be available immediately on Facebook, it takes a couple of minutes for it all to process. And then we also turned the show into a podcast, so if you are into podcasts and you like to listen and exercise or design flowers, you can listen to us while you’re designing flowers, that is available for you as well, and that will be up on our blog. So that will happen in a couple of days. So keep a lookout for that. Also I wanted to make sure that you guys know about our Mayesh Design Starflower Workshop Tour. So we have three more dates left, May, August and November. And we are gonna be hitting up Nashville, Austin and Columbus. So very cool, we have Sean Strong, we have gotten really great reviews. So I do do surveys and things like that at the workshop, because while we are there in person, it’s always I think scary for people to give us real feedback face-to-face. So I always send that survey so that way people can send out their honest opinions, and we definitely are getting high marks across the board. So I promise if you are on the fence, you’re not sure what you want to do, take the jump, take the leap, invest in yourself, do something outside of your bubble, get to know some people. Travel, because I know a lot of people travel. Build up your portfolio because you get amazing professional pictures from our amazing photographer Nicole Cleary, and then obviously get to work with Sean Strong who’s amazing. So we will post the link for that, you can go and take a peek at that, let’s see where do I do this at, because I’m doing this all on my own today. There we go, I did it, yay. Also I wanted to let you know about Quito, so if you are on the live and you know that I was out of the country a couple of weeks ago, and it was literally the most amazing experience I’ve had in my life, and a really long time, besides having my babies and all of that. Work life right. And so I just wanted to make sure that you guys know about this, it’s gonna be published in Florist Review. Am I allowed to say that early, I don’t know, I just did. So super excited about that, and we’re just gonna be putting all the videos and photos out, it’s not out yet, all of our professional things that Nicole did and Logan from Tailwind Visuals, he’s amazing too, an amazing storyteller. And just excited to share this story with you guys. And also I just want to make sure that you guys know about it, because people were crying because they were so happy, and so we know a lot of our students who came to Quito with us are gonna be going to the next one. We are working out those details as we speak. I will hopefully be publishing something soon, but if you want to be one of the first people to know about our next international workshop, be sure that you go and visit our website, if you go to the MDS workshop dash Quito link, and I’m gonna post that for you as well, there will be a form so that where you can fill it out and be put on our wait list type of deal, and then I will send out an email to you guys, after I send out an email to all of the people that went to Quito first. So they are number ones, and then our form will be number two, and then I will let the world know about it after that. So cool. And Desi is here, good morning Desi. She’s gonna be helping me post links and things like that going forward, thank you Desi. Everyone say good morning to her, hello. She’s behind the scenes helping me stay sane while we’re doing this live show, so I don’t hit any wrong buttons. Also make sure you save the date for April 16th, that will be our next regular format show, I will be back with David Shelley answering your flower questions. Alright guys. Let’s see who else is here? Good morning Katie Lee, good morning Jennifer, hi guys. Shelley from Maine, hi Shelley. Shelley is one of the amazing people that went to Quito with us, and thank you for joining us Shelley. I have Tracey from Greater Omaha Chapter of the National Association of Catering and Events, hi Tracey, that’s a mouthful right. Good morning Hailey, and Amy from Grosse Pointe. Awesome, I love having you guys. So if you’re just joining me, welcome guys, I’m Yvonne Ashton, here with Mornings with Mayesh. Today I have a very special guest, Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business whose gonna be answering all your questions about flower pricing, super super exciting. If you don’t know anything about Alison, she is a floral designer and an educator, she is huge in education. That’s one of her passions, if you watch anything on her Facebook group you can just see it oozes out of her pause. And she loves to teach florists how to embrace the business side of our business so that they can take more money and take control of their future, which I love, and obviously we need strong florists for a strong industry. She’s been working in the flower industry for 24 years, it might be 25 now I think. 25 years. After spending eight years training at half a dozen flower shops, she’s opened her own home-based floral business in 2002 which focuses mostly on weddings. So after this show make sure you visit RealFlowerBusiness.com and that’ll contain all of Allison’s business tips and techniques, so let me bring her on. Good morning Alison.
– Hi good morning, can you see the top of my head?
– I can.
– Thanks so much for having me this morning, I’m so psyched.
– Yeah I just realized I used my intro from the last time, I always recycle things.
– Recycling is good.
– And 25 years is a big deal though, congratulations.
– It is, I started when I was two, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
– Awesome. There are a lot of people that start when they’re two, my husband used to ride his big wheels through flower wholesalers.
– Yeah, I started when I was 16 actually, and never left, it was really something that I fell in love with right away, and I feel like there’s two types of florists out there, there’s the florist who just loves flowers so much, and then there are the florists who are business oriented and they could do any business, it doesn’t really matter to them what type of business. I’m definitely a florist at heart, kind of floral designer, that’s who I am.
– I love it, I love it. So let’s kick things off with just an easy question, and just tell us what you’ve been up to in the past year, because that’s the last time you were on the show.
– I know, I like it, we should have an April, it’s like our anniversary show. What have I been up to in the past year, that’s a big question. Time flies by so fast, but I took a couple of notes, what I’ve been up to is weddings, teaching, I was honored to teach at a chapel designer workshop last May and I was invited to teach down in Rhode Island in December, so while I do all my teaching online, it was so exciting to get to have that interaction in person. So that’s what I have my sights on, I’d love to do some more of that. But I’ve been doing some one on one coaching and strategy sessions with florists who were interested in taking a course, but didn’t know what course. So I was doing these free strategy sessions where we were talking for 1/2 hour about their business and getting them into the right course, and that was working at so well, because then it’s not just me being like here is my website where I sell stuff for florists. It was like, what do you need, and how can I help you. It helps focus you in. You know this as someone who has specialized in marketing. It’s about the customer, and so the more we talk to the customer, the clearer we are. So I really feel like I spent the last year talking to my customers and figuring out what they really needed from me, and then making more freebies and more resources for them, lots of content creation.
– I love it.
– Blogging, blogging, blogging, you know?
– Yeah, and that’s my jam, I love all the content that you created, so powerful for everyone.
– So appreciate that, because you put it out there, and as you know you don’t always hear how many people are seeing it and liking it, they look at it but they don’t acknowledge it. So it’s always so appreciated when someone does acknowledge. I’m gonna call out Dee, she’s on this live chat, I can see her over here on my Facebook. Dee thank you so much for sending me a message the other day, she was like, your font is too small on your emails. Boom, I was like, you know what, you’re right. There are little things like that are huge. I’ve been increasing the font on my emails for the past week.
– That’s awesome. I feel like with our content I can tell when we do downloads, like the gated content and what’s popular and things like that, just based off that. But our regular content, it is sometimes difficult, it’s not always a science like everyone makes it seem like, it really isn’t. But I do find that anything that’s controversial, we always hear from people. So it’s fun to do things like that on purpose, if you know people are gonna get riled up about it. Yeah, we’re gonna hear from people.
– Yeah, get them out of their seats. Because you can create something, like I’ll create something, like this is so good, people are gonna love this, and then it’s kinda crookedly, and then you create something just on a whim, and I created something I posted a few weeks ago, or January, it’s been shared 400 times, like what’s happening here, that never happens. So you just never can tell. That’s why we just do what we can, do our work.
– Exactly, exactly. I love it. Alright, so we’re gonna start off with our first question from the wildflower easy, these are questions that we sourced from our Instagram question post story which is always fun. And they want to know should we set a minimum on weddings, I’ve done both ways.
– That’s always a really really valid question from any floral designer. And the real honest answer is it depends. So it depends on a lot of things, where you are in your business for example. If you’re busy enough where you can turn customers away, setting a minimum is a good strategy. Because if you’re getting too many inquiries coming in and you’re finding you have a lot of lower budget clients that are trying to get in the door, setting a minimum helps to weed out people that are not a good fit and set that bar. You must be this tall to ride the ride, and that’s just what it comes down to. This is my standard of the work that I do. And that can work really well for people. And then you have to decide do I publish my minimum on my website. So there are a lot of things that go into not just setting the minimum, but then how do we communicate that minimum to the potential customer. So I like to do everything, like I was just saying, customized. I think it’s really important to look at the individual. So I’ve been in business for 17 years on my own, I’m entering my 18th season. So what did I do last year? I finished season 17 of my business, which is like snaps right? And what I find interesting, because I have my Facebook group, there’s about 7000 florists in there right now from all around the world, and I asked just two questions just before you get in. What’s your ability level, are you aspiring or have you been doing this, and sometimes people have been florists for 40 years, or they’ve been florists, maybe they’ve been florists for five years, and it’s so fascinating to me to see how people will identify themselves. I’ve been in business for 40 years and I’d say I’m aspiring. Versus someone who is like, I’ve been in business for three years, I’d say I’m experienced.
– And that is often how it goes. The longer you have been in business, the more humble you can be about how much more you have to learn. And the newer you are, when you’re in business for three years or five years, you’re like look, I’ve been in business for five years, and let me tell you everything that you need to do. You haven’t been tested in five years yet, you know what I mean? Five years is great, and it’s a hump in your business where if you make to your five in your business, you should be celebrating and tooting your own horn, that you have been in business for five years. three to five years is that threshold. But when you’re in business for five years your minimum is gonna be different, or your thought process on the minimum is gonna be different than someone who’s been in business for 40 years. And again, it’s gonna depend. The person who’s been in business for 40 years, may have a really strict minimum, or they may have no minimum at all. So it’s based on your experience and what your market can bear. So if you’re in an area for example where you do tons of high end weddings, having a $5000 minimum might be just perfect for you. Publishing on your website might make perfect sense. But for me personally where I am, I’m in Vermont, we do destination weddings mostly, meaning people come here. I don’t travel, people are like, how do you do that? I am like, they come to me. So they come here, and their budget could be a huge gap. I’ve had some weddings that are $2500 really small, like really small weddings, nothing fancy. Then I have an $8000 in June that’s like all the bells and whistles and more, more, more. So if I put on my website I have a $3000 minimum, I’m missing out on that $2500 super sweet gig that I booked, and for my $8000 customer, they might be thinking hmm, is this $3000 florist gonna get what I’m looking for here. So when I used to publish my minimum on my website, which I did for years, finally you have to get brave, there’s a moment where your brave, and you’re like, I’m doing it, I’m doing it, I’m setting a minimum. That’s it, I’m doing it. And it takes bravery, and you have to talk yourself into it right? You have to talk yourself into I’m gonna set the minimum, I’m really gonna do it, I’m really gonna tell them, I’m gonna do it now, here I go, I’m hitting publish, and now my website says I have a $1500 minimum. That was my first minimum. Then it went up to 3500 or something. So finally it got to a point where my $3500 minimum was significantly below the average spent that people when they made a purchase with me. So here I have on my website $3500 minimum but my average sale is higher than that. Why is my minimum 3500? So it was a moment of reckoning, of realizing this is arbitrary, this number does not pertain to you, the person inquiring to me, this is just a number I’m throwing out there, just throwing to the wall and see if it sticks. So there is a change, there is an ebb and flow in business, so sometimes you should have an idea. I always put it this way, if you don’t have a set minimum, we don’t leave the door for less than 3500 at least have minimums on each of your itemized pieces, so your bridal bouquet start at X, your centerpieces start at X, your installations start at X, so at least when you’re putting together the pieces and presenting a budget to somebody There is a rhyme or reason for why they should be expected to spend this minimum. And the way I do it as I present it as a custom minimum, I say for your event this is the minimum that would be requested. And one of the smartest things I do if I do say so myself, is I missed that minimum on every single client proposal right in the payment terms, so before they accept the proposal, before we do anything They see right there this is what the minimum is for your event, so they know that they can’t fall below that. They can lose three bridesmaids, but you still have a $4000 minimum. You can have half as many guests, but you still have to have a 4000 minimum for me to block off my day or my weekend for you. So we have to set our rules and then we have to change the rules, and that’s my really really long answer too, should you set a minimum.
– That is great and I actually love the idea of a custom minimum. And honestly for me personally I get really frustrated when I’m on websites and I’m just trying to figure out what I like and what I don’t like, but then I have no idea how much anything costs. I get frustrated especially when it’s my first time dealing with something and I’m trying to get information and everyone has it all blocked and you’ve got to call, and I don’t like talking to people so I don’t want to call you, I just want to figure things out on my own first. So I think that’s a really great way to get started and have a happy medium, and not scare too many people off, but still give them enough information, I think that’s really cool.
– So you still set the boundary, there is still a minimum and it’s not like I’m just saying to them, so for example, I might send out a quote to somebody for $8000 but only request a $4000 minimum, because I don’t really need them to spend $8000, I just need them to be in it with me for this much. And if they want to spend more than that, great. But then there are other times where I met sent out a quote for $3000 and the minimum is 3000, like I’m not falling below this. So it just makes it really clear, makes the communication clear, and it’s that custom interaction, they feel my value because they see that they get an email from me, usually we have a conversation, not always though right, because that inquiry form that they sent to me I do my vetting through that. So I can tell do I need to present my minimum to this person before we go any further, or are there enough clues in everything that they have answered here that I can tell they’re gonna spend what I need to make this worthwhile and just hop round to the phone consultation. But we are not meeting in person, they are not taking a ton of my time before an absolute minimum purchase is established. Always.
– Good stuff. Alright, next question is from Karen MRK7, she wants to know do you price anything differently with a hand tied versus a vase arrangement, I’m thinking she’s probably trying to get a do you price it differently based off of the labor intensiveness of whatever you are designing.
For March’s Mornings with Mayesh, Yvonne, Shelley & Dave answer your burning questions …. related to flowers, of course. Some topics that are covered in this episode are anemones, King protea, garlands, dusty miller, how to handle brides that want to provide their own flowers, and more.
Mark your calendars for April 2nd for our next show with special guest, Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business answering your flower pricing questions.
I hope you can join us and keep on sending in your floral questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
Shelley/Dave – can you guys select a few pretty flowers to show off?
Dried trends, boho weddings, Joshua tree look, seeing a lot more color, tropical
Yazmine Cortez, 1/15, FB: What’s a good dusty blush rose??
https://info.mayesh.com/rose-guide There are quite a few varieties in varying gradients of blush to light pink. Some of my faves In standard roses are: Esther, Nena, Jessika, Faith, Pink Mondial & Sweet Akito, In garden roses it’s Keira, Pink O’hara, Charity, Tsumugi & Wedding Spirit, and In spray roses Star blush, Sweet Sensation & Royal Porcellina.
Shelley: I really love Madre la Perla and Sweet Escimo
Sharlet Driggs, 1/15, FB: Which months will be best for anemones?
Anemones are grown all over the world and are readily available most of the year with the exception of July & August when production dips very low. A great sub is micro gerberas.
Penny Stone, 1/15, FB: White king protea. Fabulous blooms!! Terribly expensive wholesale! Alternative??
There is nothing on earth as cool as a white king protea and subbing for these is difficult. When in season, white kale makes a great sub… but it isn’t available year round either. We are starting to import many bleached flowers and foliages from Holland and one of these might make a great impression as an alternative. Some of the bleached white products offered now are ferns, palm leaves, poppy pods, amaranthus & fillers like eryngium, gyp, misty & riceflower.
From Shelley: you could always use a queen protea and tint it white with design master spray or any of the white proteas like owl or white mink or white knight. The other option is to use a silk or artificial stem. Sometimes these can be just as expensive but if you have to have it..especially when they are out of season..this is a good choice.
Jill Mohn, 1/15, FB: I have a bride this summer looking at a showy piece using Monstera leaves but they are expensive. Can you suggest an alternative?
Large aralia leaf is inexpensive but much smaller in size. Birds of Paradise leaves have a taller linear look. Hala leaf is another tall linear foliage. We import these greens from places like Costa Rica & Hawaii. So, unless you have a secret local source for Monstera leaves, there are lots of freight costs involved in shipping. Another option would be to invest in artificial Monstera leaves that can be reused.
Kirsten Gordon, 1/16, Email: A question I would like to talk about is what flowers that can be obtained in America are good choices for spring summer and fall weddings and if we chose two or three focus flowers how we would mix these with more commonly known flowers like hydrangeas or roses. In other words, how do we best play up the stars of each season?
Talk to us, we’re always excited to tell you what’s hot in our cooler! There are so many options its mind boggling and impossible to list everything here… the best advice is to check out our 12-month flower availability list http://info.mayesh.com/flower-guide-offer and try to plan around what we have listed. My disclaimer is always to double check with your sales rep closer to your event in case there are any problems with the production of a particular item.
Kirsten Gordon, 1/16, Email: Another question I would like to hear about is for you to talk about the different types of garlands that you make and different options. I have a lot of brides asking about using greenery because they either want that look or they perceive that it is cheaper than using flowers. Need to go past the basic eucalyptus.
Garlands are a fantastic way to make a statement for any event BUT they are extremely labor intensive and even with the most frugal selection of foliage are still not “cheap”. To cut cost, start with something big & bulky yet affordable like lemon leaf or silver dollar euc. You can add bits of textural interest later with more expensive greens. I can tell you from experience that hand wiring garlands can be a lesson in humility. If they aren’t fabricated correctly they will fail and gap in sections. They are extremely difficult to repair at a moment’s notice during installation. Having Mayesh manufacture you garlands by our experienced garland machine operators will provide a super strong, reliable base.
Monica, 1/16, email: How is the floral industry evolving and working to keep up with the standards of improved environmental and health impact through our products? (Supplies and cut flowers). In other words, what changes are being made to reduce the health risks of working with commercially grown/cut flowers and the supplies like foam, etc?
There have been many positive strides in the global floral community over the past 30 years to improve agricultural sustainability. At Mayesh we do our part by purchasing from Veriflora, Florverde & Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. These farms follow strict guidelines for sustainable agriculture production. Some of these practices include biological pest controls, composting, water reclamation, safe storage and handling of agricultural chemicals, proper land management that supports healthy regional habitat. Sustainability also ensures growers adhere to fair labor practices for their employees providing better wages, a safer workplace, and resources like medical and daycare.
I try to teach my floral design students to use chicken wire instead of floral foam as much as possible. I am a big advocate of going green in this industry and having as small a carbon footprint as possible. Composting, using recyclable containers and supplies are ways that you can help. Always recycle plastic and cardboard.
Jeanette: What if any are your thoughts on Oasis solution 360, where no cutting the stems when processing is directed?
From Shelley: We use this here at our location and it works very well. We have been using it for over a year and have not had any issues with product in general. There are a few flowers that we still cut just to be on the safe side because they are delicate ( astilbe for example) But over all we love it. It’s also great because we can re-use the water several times and it can also be reactivated.
Is Chocolate cosmos edible?
As good as chocolate cosmos smell, it is still not advisable to eat them. According to Gardeners World magazine, they have no measurable toxicity. However, most commercial flower farms use some form of pesticide during production, SO, If it is not USDA certified for human consumption… please don’t eat them! We do carry USDA certified organic edible flowers, please contact a Mayesh rep for their availability.
Kelley: I would love to know the typical lifespan on Dusty Miller and how to keep it looking great in bouquets and arrangements. I feel like mine gets droopy so quickly and its very finicky.
In Phoenix, we import our Dusty miller from an Ecuadorian grower almost all year round. It has a remarkably long vase life, up to a week or more. Of course, these commercially grown varieties are selected for their strong traits and last longer than if they are foraged from your garden. In my experience, the lacier leaf varieties tend to be a little more fragile than rounded leaf varieties. When hydrating dusty miller, make sure to avoid submerging their short stems too deep or dripping water on the tops of the leaves. Their fuzzy surface tends to hold moisture that can activate botrytis spores on the leaves and cause bacteria to form in the water quickly. Using the recommended dose of flower food, recutting stems & changing the water frequently ensures they stay hydrated and firmed up.
Winnie, 1/16, email: I would like to know how do you keep Dusty Miller fresh and how do you revive it and make sure it looks good the day of the wedding. Appreciate the help.
Dusty miller has tiny little hairy filaments all over the stems and leaves called trichomes. These hairs act as a deterrent for frost damage, insects attack and lessen dehydration from transpiration. But their fur coats can become breeding grounds for stem clogging bacteria while submerged during the hydration process. Try gently scraping these off of the part of the stems that will be submerged. Hydrate them in a shallow level of fresh solution instead of a deep plunge. Recut stems and replace the solution every day or two.
Linda Sims, 1/15, FB: How do you handle Brides who say they have their own materials for their flowers but wants you to design them?
From Shelley: Well it depends on what they are talking about. A few blooms from their garden? That may be sentimental to them but address the fact that they may wilt. They have their own containers? Make sure they are waterproof and you are contractually, clearly not responsible for them.
If they have all of their own flowers ( why aren’t they getting the flowers from you btw?) their best friends dad’s in the wholesale business, yada yada…charge a substantial design fee and charge for everything you do including delivery and installation, mileage, van, rentals, extra designers or gas etc..You are not doing them a favor…it’s your business and you don’t want to pay for their wedding.
– Hi everyone, welcome to our March 19 Mornings with Mayesh show. I am Yvonne Ashton, the director of marketing here at Mayesh and I am here today with Shelley Anders and Dave Tagge to answer your flower questions. Love doing this show, I get to meet people as I travel and just meet everyone that does watch the show. So I just wanted to thank you. Gonna give everyone a couple of minutes to come on in. And just say hello and where you’re from. That would be great, hi guys and hi Penny. Penny is one of our viewers that joins us pretty much every single time so we appreciate people like Penny, thank you. Good morning, Tanya, while people are coming in and saying good morning I just wanted to mention that we have Desi in our control room. Good morning Desi, she’s gonna be posting our links for us and just kind of helping us stay all organized. And hopefully this show goes smoothly. Speaking of, I do wanna bring up that it is raining today here in sunny South Florida and my electricity has been flickering. It’s done it three times, it hasn’t officially gone out so if the show does happen to go down, I promise I will be on as soon as the electricity goes back. But because the account is through me, there is a possibility that the whole show will stop. So if that happens I promise we will be back on as quickly as my electricity goes back on, which’ll hopefully be immediately. Okay so that’s out of the way. So keep on saying good morning, hi Herman. Good morning Jamie from Portland, Leah from Memphis, good morning guys. I have another Jamie from, hold on it just moved, Adrian, Michigan and we have Jennifer Bleakley, she’s saying good morning Yvonne and crew. Again she’s one of our lovely people that is with us every single Mornings with Mayesh. Thank you so much, so keep on, Lucy from the UK, hey Lucy! I love it when people are coming in and watching from all different parts of the world. That’s just amazing to me, love social media because of that. So as we are going through the show if you have any questions while we’re talking, we will try our best to answer them. You go ahead and post them in the comments below and also while we’re at it if you can, while we’re watching, just on our Facebook page say that you wanna be notified anytime we go live, that would be awesome as well. I think there’s a little bell, or something you can say I wanna be notified. And that way you’ll never miss a show when we go live if you’re on Facebook. Alright guys, I also wanted to let you know that today’s show is brought to you by our Mayesh Design Star Flower Workshop Tour, yay! We have three dates left for 2019. We have a date coming up in May, May 20 and 21, after Mother’s Day. It’s an all levels class in Nashville. We’ll be hitting up Austin in August with the masterclass. And in November we will be finishing up in Columbus, Ohio with an all levels class. I do wanna make mention that my website is on word press and it recently had a big change on the back end of things and it kinda broke a few things. One of those things is being our ticket sales. So you might go on and try and buy a ticket and it is broken right now, I am working on getting that fixed hopefully in the next couple of days. But I have to rely on outside resources to get that done. I am very very sorry that this is happening. It’s very frustrating and as soon as it is fixed and ready to go I will definitely let you guys know. I’ll let the world know, I promise. But we will share the link so that way you can check that out. We have Jennifer from Chicago, good morning. Penny said she shared it, thank you Penny for sharing our video, love it. I also wanted to talk quickly about Quito. We had a workshop there, not last week but the week before my team was there, Shelley came with us, we had Holly, Sue, and Veronica too, amazing designers who did a workshop. We did a farm tour and we also went to old town Quito and we played tourists for a little bit. But anyhow it was truly magical. I knew it would be, right, how could it not be. But honestly so many things could have gone wrong because we were importing a lot of things into Ecuador for the show, a lot of our supplies and some flowers from Holland. We obviously had beautiful roses and summer flowers from the Ecuadorian area. But it just turned out to be magical. The people were amazing, the Hacienda Cusin, if you just wanna vacation, Hacienda Cusin is freaking amazing, the food was awesome, the rooms are so cute, we had fireplaces. They’re not fancy rooms by any means. But they’re comfortable and cozy and just the people and the atmosphere is just to die for so check them out. Even if you don’t wanna come with me at a workshop. That’s okay, but definitely check out Hacienda Cusin. And wait until you see the images that I get from Nicole. We posted some for Instagram, but I’m a big believer in the pros. So we brought Nicole Cleary to take photos. We brought Logan from Tailwind Visuals to do the story telling video piece of it. So when those things come out, you guys are gonna die, gonna absolutely die. So anyhow, I’m bringing this up because it did sell out and I think we’re gonna continue to do this. We have two more years we’re already starting to plan right now, so hopefully in the next little bit I will have more details for 2020. Can you believe we’re talking about 2020? It’s going to be, I think, a very popular destination and I’m pretty sure that it’ll sell out very very quickly. Not to mention many of the people that went to Quito want to do this next trip with us. And they definitely have the inside scoop ’cause they got to hang out with me and my team for a whole entire week. We definitely had a lot of bonding and talking about the next trip that we’re going to be planning. So if you wanna go, you will need to be on a wait list ’cause we are gonna send out the official details to our students, our past students and then we’ll send it out to the wait list. And then I will send it out to the world. Again we’ll probably only have like 20 to 24 spots. And you don’t wanna miss it ’cause it will be amazing if you’re able to go. Penny says I’m doing another show at a Hacienda here. Oh very cool, yep so fun, I love it. Okay also I wanna make sure that you mark your guys’ calendars for our next shows. So April 2nd, I have my special guest Alison Ellis. She’s gonna be on with me talking about pricing. She has a bunch of questions from her last live price talk that she did which was really cool. So she’s gonna talk about those questions that she didn’t get to and then answer your guys’ questions as well. So I’ll send something out specifically for her to get your guys’ questions. But if you guys do have questions in the comments, maybe just write Alison so that way I know you want her to answer those questions, cool? Alright and then also mark your calendars for April 16th, that will be our regular scheduled show with Dave and Shelley. Alright guys, so let me bring on Dave and Shelley. And we will get started, hi Dave, hi Shelley.
– Good morning Yvonne, how are you?
– I am good, thank you, I’m good because my electricity’s still on so that makes me happy. Yes and Shelley I couldn’t hear you just that second. Nope I can’t hear you, I know! Wait, for some reason, I don’t know. We have issues with Shelley’s things. Nope, I can’t hear you, so maybe, sorry guys, maybe do a refresh, I don’t know. I’m not sure what to do about this. We always have technical difficulties. Alright so she’s gonna figure that out. While Shelley is figuring that out, guys, we are going to have Dave show you some pretty flowers. So Dave what did you bring today to show us?
– Yeah I brought a few things. Pieris is just starting in Oregon and consequently it’s also happening in Holland. So this is the Dutch, if I can get it out of the bucket here. And it’s looking pretty amazing right now.
– Can you hear me, okay.
– Oh hey Shelley.
– Hi, sorry.
– We couldn’t hear you yet. No it’s all good, so this is the Dutch Pieris. It’s in gorgeous, full blooms. Oregon is, like I just said, just starting so we got a little bit of pink in this week. And that is gonna be hot right now. So grab it while it’s here.
– Yeah people go crazy over the pieris when it starts.
– So pretty.
– Yeah, it’s too bad it’s not available year round. Here’s an oddity that we’re getting from South America. This is Chilean grown snow berry and it is gorgeous right now.
– Wow that’s beautiful.
– So thank you South America for growing some of this novelty stuff for us. We’re gonna talk about anemones during the show today, but these caught my eye this morning. These are some doubles that are California grown and they’re just amazing, all those petals in there.
– Those are so cool, I don’t think I’ve ever seen double anemones.
– Those are from our local guy here near Carlsbad.
– Very cool.
– Well thank you Shelley.
– We decided to share.
– I like to know the origin of my stuff, too which is cool, here’s some Japanese astilbe and this is died and I am told that they actually inject the die into the soil and that the plant takes the die through the roots. For whatever reason it does not die the foliage, just the bloom heads but isn’t that a cool navy blue color?
– Very cool.
– So many died flowers now and you know, a few years ago I was so not into them and it’s kinda hard to not fall in love with this little trend that’s going on.
– They’re fun.
– Last but not least, tulips, it’s spring. The Dutch grow a whole bunch of really cool stuff. This one has been in our cooler the last few weeks and although it is extremely pricey, it’s moving very well, this is called Leo.
– So cool.
– It’s a fringe, but it’s a fringe on steroids. I don’t know if you can actually see how crazy cool that is.
– They look like flames.
– Yeah, they do exactly look like flames. They’re just so vibrant and pretty. So many tulips right now guys. They’re popping in Holland so get ’em while they’re hot. That’s all I got today.
– Thanks Dave.
– So pretty, well it is spring and it’s daffodil season, so one of my favorite times of the year so I’ve got some daffodils to show you guys. This is a very beautiful variety, if you can see that, it has a white with the pink center. Really pretty novelty daffodil, great for wedding work. I’m sorry, I think this is, I forgot the name of it. It’s not Johann Strauss ’cause that one’s the orange. But I’ll find out the name of it.
– I wanna say pink perfection.
– Oh pink charm maybe.
– Pink charm, okay.
– Thank you Lisa, here’s standard, beautiful garden variety daffodils. Ours are so luscious right now. And the doubles, the double bloom ones, they’re so pretty.
– Oh I love it.
– And then there’s the narcissist style varieties of the little mini ones, see those.
– So cute!
– They’re cuteand then the white which normally we see around the Christmas time. The paper whites, they’re forced, but really pretty for spring, I love them. Because it’s spring, I thought I’d showcase some classic spring flowers, these are forget-me-nots. Beautiful, pretty blue, everyone’s favorite lily of the valley, so beautiful. That’s my birth flower by the way.
– I love it.
– We’ve been showing a lot of the died sweet peas, but just the classic, beautiful, regular sweet peas. These are also Japanese, we haven’t got a lot of local ones yet but they’re just so precious. And so pretty for this time of year. And then this locally grown pennycress. So when you get this from Holland it’s quite expensive. But here we’re getting it in right now and it’s very pretty and it kinda will bloom out little white flowers. This is a nice filler to use. It’s not really a greenery, it’s a flower or sort of a cross between I guess. Very pretty and then one dramatic thing to show you. We have some really beautiful giant nerine clooney ranunculus, they’re so dark I don’t know if you can see them on the screen.
– Yeah I can see them.
– Yep looks good.
– So it’s that time of year for gorgeous ranunculus, anenomes, spring flowers, daffodils, tulips and all those fun things. We’re really excited for all the stuff coming in right now.
– Thanks Shelley.
– You’re welcome.
– And we just recently published a New Flower 411 so if you want updates directly from our Mayesh purchasing department, they know what’s going on in the world of flowers ’cause that’s their job and they’re good at it so check that out. We’ll post a link for that so you guys can go and see our March Flower 411. Now it’s time for our first question. Comes from Jen and Jesse and I feel like we can talk about this next couple of shows, but I wanted to see what you guys are seeing in terms of trends for the new year. And even Shelley before you talk about what you’re seeing, I’d also love for everyone else as well to let us know what you guys are seeing in your neck of the woods as well because while there’s, I feel like, some national things going on, there’s always different things happening in everyone’s different regions. So Dave, Shelley, what are you guys seeing right now?
– Yeah, pampas grass ceremony circles seem to be all over IG right now. As well as the bleached and preserved foliages and fillers. So those things are everywhere. I know we’ve been featuring these at all of our locations but the earth tone dyed brownies. These are the anemones but we’ve got tulips and a bunch of other stuff that they’re dying right now have just really blown up as far as the trend. And like I said, dyed flowers, who knew, but here they are.
– Yeah the dried trend is really big here in California. The boho wedding look here, the Joshua tree look, all the textures and fillers and things that you see with drieds have been still going strong. And this year it’s been, I think, the epic of that with the drieds. California tends to set the trends for the rest of the United States so you may not see that progressing over the country until maybe next year but they’re going strong here. I also am seeing a lot more color. I know when we were in Quito at the workshop, Sue and Holly did vibrant colors, you know this year coral’s the Pantone color of the year, but I really felt like they did a really great job showcasing that and I think people are gonna start moving away from so much nude and natural. I mean that’s still gonna always be popular and probably the most requested for brides. But once you start seeing that color hit this year, you’ll see it next year in trends even bigger. I think people are getting tired of seeing the same palette all the time. So citrusy bride, tropical, fruity tones. And tropical foliage is used more, a mixture of exotic and tropical flowers with standard garden style flowers too, that sort of tropical Hawaiian sort of feel will kind of come on as well. So those are the things we’re seeing here.
– Yeah and I definitely wanna second the tropical theme. I’m seeing it showing up even in design of interiors and things like that. Monstera wallpapers and pillows and things like that. And then I just saw on a Facebook group a groom walking down the aisle in a tropical printed suit. So that’s a lot for me, but you know, there are brides and grooms out there that love it, take it to that level.
– I think people are looking for just out of the box ideas now, I mean, we’ve been so aesthetically tasteful and beautiful for so long, I think people want to see kinda shocking things or brighter colors or things that they just don’t fit the wedding mold anymore. You know we see that with Birch Floral doing some crazy colors and things and I think that’s gonna hit in the next two years. We’re gonna kinda move away from this pretty aesthetic.
– Yeah, and we have a big designer that comes down to the Miami area. He’s from New York and he’s been here for a couple weeks now and he did a huge event and my husband went foraging for him and just got a bunch of dead palm fronds and just–
– Weird, yep.
– Yep and he used that and it looked freaking amazing so yeah the tropical, kinda big patterns, the bright colors and strong lines is definitely a thing now so definitely look out for that.
– Yeah we have a lot of people asking us to dry palm and palmetto fronds right now. It’s pretty interesting.
– And luckily around here they’re pretty easy to find ’cause they’re just dropped dead all over your yard. So you just gotta cut them down. Very cool, so Jen and Jesse, I love that question. It’s definitely one of my favorite questions for the show and with that, if you want a mug, make sure you send me your, yep thanks Dave. If you want that mug, that super cute Mornings with Mayesh mug, shoot me over your address and we’ll send you one, so thanks Jen and Jesse! Okay our next question comes from Yazmine. She says what’s a good dusty blush rose, guys?
– There are quite a few varieties in varying gradients of blush to light pink. I’ll list a few of my favorites and then Shelley you can kick in. There’s Esther, Nena, Jessika, Faith, Pink Mondial and Sweet Akito, those are all standard roses. In garden roses Keira, Pink O’hara, White O’hara, Charity, Tsumugi, and Wedding Spirit are some of the really nice blushy, kinda dusty pink tones. In spray roses, you’re a little bit more limited. There’s Star Blush, Sweet Sensation, and a new one we’ve been carrying here. It’s not really a new variety, but new for our market is Royal Porcelina which is really pretty light blushy pink.
– Yeah for dusty rose is a hard one too ’cause it’s not always a lighter pink. It’s kind of a mid tone pink so you can think of like a geraldine or a romantic antique. There’s also modular perla, I like those, sweet eskimo, so it’s, and there’s one that we saw when we were down at Greenrose, I don’t know if it was hot carpe diem or, I can’t remember the name of it. I’ll look it up and put it on our list, but I thought wow that’s a good dusty blush or dusty rose ’cause dusty rose can be kind of hard. It needs, I think that’s what the designer’s asking. Sometimes it’s a little hard to find that good mid tone pink that’s not Barbie pink, not pastel pink, not baby pink. But those are some of my favorites.
– You can look on your handy Greenrose
– Oh yeah I have that.
– Card thing which I really think this is cool, guys. Do you see this, so this is from, we did go visit Greenrose which was amazing by the way. You guys really missed out, but they gave everyone these, they’re like paint chips but with roses on them so it was pretty cool. So we can check that out for you while we’re talking. I wouldn’t know what to look for so I’ll let Shelley do that. It would take me probably forever to figure it out. Let’s see Penny, I just wanted to put this up here. Penny Stone there’s a lisianthus that’s spot on for a dusty rose color.
– Yeah there is.
– Do you know the name of that by any chance?
– I know the name of that variety, but it is like a true, dusty rose kinda can be, some people will call dusty rose mauve too. Mauve, dusty rose kinda have the, mauve has a little more purple undertone. Dusty rose is a little more red undertone. But yeah, there is mhmm. It’s an elusive color.
– And then of course, hi Brad! Brad just was celebrating his birthday, so happy birthday Bradley!
– Hi Bradley.
– And if you guys don’t know he’s from Design Master and he Just for Flowers can help shift and blend when you’re in a pinch, shameless plug. I like shameless plugs though, it’s all good. I mean that’s why you’re up here, thank you Brad. Thank for tuning in, too. Tanya says, how do I get one? You want one of these bad boys I’m assuming. I don’t know, I’ll talk to Greenrose and see if I can get some of these. And maybe I then can give them away as well. So I think that would be kinda cool ’cause I feel like people would love these. But I’m imagining that these are pretty pricey to produce. So I probably can’t get a ton of them, but I will see what I can do, sound good? Let me see, okay how do I get away. Alright there we go, alright time to, oh and before I move on to the next question, we do have a really cool rose guide for you guys. And Desi put the link in the comments below. So you guys can check that out and I will put that on the screen too just so you guys can see. If you go to info.mayesh.com, and then /rose-guide you guys can check that out. Cool beans, alright, moving on.
– Hi Nancy, Nancy’s in our comments.
– Hi Nancy, Nancy came to Quito with us. We love Nancy, she’s so sweet and her hubby. Okay Sharlet wants to know, which months are best for anemones.
– So anemones are grown all over the world and are readily available almost all year round with the exception of July and August when the production dips really low. So I had a great thought, we’re carrying these micro gerberas and they’re coming out of Canada right now. You can’t get a true blue or purple like an anemone but they do come in an array of other colors and they’re about the same size with a little black center.
– They’re cute!
– Yeah they’re adorable, I mean look at how small those are. They’re tiny, you could do a boutonniere out of that. They’re just adorbs, so anyway I wanted to bring that up as a possible sub for an anemone.
– Yeah anemones are a spring flower so they’re available naturally from December on through this time of year. We have local growers right now growing the most beautiful anemones, they’re huge. So I shoulda actually showed you guys some anemones. But we have really pretty anemones right now. So it’s this time of year, you can get them year round but just remember they’re gonna be itty bitty and not always the nicest.
– Good to know, guys, our next question is from Penny. She wants to know about white king protea. They’re very very expensive wholesale and she wants to know if there’s any alternatives for this fabulous bloom.
– Yeah there’s nothing as cool on earth as a white king protea, that’s true. But subbing for those are really difficult. When in season, this white kale is a really good sub. It takes up a lot of space like a king protea, but this isn’t available year round either. So we’re starting to import all these bleached flowers and foliages from Holland and one of the ways that you can make a great impression would be with some of that as an alternative. There’s palm leaves, poppy pods, amaranthus they’re doing all the bleaching with so you could get a similar effect.
– Good to know, Shelley you have any thoughts on this?
– Yeah you can also use queen protea when they’re not, when the king are not in season. You can tint them with our favorite design master and kind of recreate that look. There’s also white owl, white mink proteas if your bride just wants something that’s kind of big and showy and textural and is interesting looking like a protea. You can also find artificial ones if you really have to have it and they’re out of season. An artificial flower, a well-made artificial flower tucked in with fresh products is sometimes virtually impossible to tell it’s not the real thing. And you can also take dried protea that you’ve dried and take the petals off and actually add it to an artificial to recreate the texture of it. So you gotta get creative sometimes. The true season for king proteas I believe is January, believe it or not. But they’re very hard to get and they’re very limited. So it’s not, even when we do get them, we only get a handful per branch. It’s not like you can order 100 white king proteas and have them, it’s difficult. So they’re hard to get sometimes.
– Yeah and I think this would be the reason why they are expensive and hard to get because they take two years to produce one bloom.
– One plant takes two years to produce, yep right Sylvia.
– Yeah thanks Sylvia, that’s crazy to me. It really, you know, in going back, I’m still stuck in Quito, my head is still there. But just learning and hearing, you know as wholesalers we do get to learn about the growing process probably a little bit more than other people, but it’s just still amazing to see the people and the time and the effort it takes to create one bloom of anything. And just a rose and what they go through and going to Valen Fleur and they’re talking about their breeding process and how many varieties they go through to find the next new best thing that want to produce for you guys. So it’s just always mind-boggling to me and people kinda forget that when we’re on our day to day.
– Yeah I have a total new appreciation for, I mean I already did appreciate, but just seeing how these growers are producing and growing product for us and the lengths they go to and how many hands pass just to produce one flower. It’s really an amazing process that we should respect.
– Yeah and it’s not like this automated thing. I feel like with, I don’t know, with Siri and Alexa everything’s so automated and it’s done immediately, that’s not our industry. The people are planting these things by hand and picking them by hand and there’s experts for each individual variety so that they know how to cut it and get it done quickly. Everything’s done by hand so it’s again just really amazing artisan community that we are very lucky to be a part of. Alright let’s see our next question is from Jill, she says I have a bride this summer looking for a showy piece using Monstera leaves but again they’re expensive, can you suggest an alternative?
– I brought some aralia leaf, it doesn’t come in sizes quite as large as the bigger monstera, but I mean you can fill up some space with that. There’s a lot of other tropical options, but they’re gonna have a different shape and a different look like birds of paradise leaves for instance, they’re taller and linear as is hola leaf. We import these from places like Costa Rica and Hawaii so unless you have a secret local source for monstera leaf, there’s a lot of freight cost involved in shipping them to us. Another option would be, circling back to what Shelley just said would be to invest in some artificial monstera leaves that you can reuse over and over again.
– Yeah you can even custom paint artificial product to get a more realistic look. If they look a little flat, you can touch them with acrylic paint. And a lot of people are just straight painting them anyway, solid white or gold or whatever. And once you paint something it’s very hard to tell whether it’s real or not. But yeah Dave’s suggestions are great. Aralia’s wonderful to use as well. It doesn’t quite have the same pow as monstera, so you just have to start, I think when brides want that kinda stuff, you just have to explain to them that’s why it looks so amazing, and that’s why it costs as much as it does ’cause it is an unusual plant. Unusual to get as well and slow growing.
– Yeah or you can move down to somewhere like here where they’ll grow in your backyard.
– In California it grows pretty well, I’ve had luck growing them in pots so if you can do that, but it takes a while to get those big leaves, those big daddies.
– Yeah very good, very good. Okay Kirsten Gordon says, a question I would to talk about is what flowers can be obtained in America that are good choices for spring, summer, and fall weddings and if we choose two or three focus flowers how we would mix these in more commonly known flowers like hydrangea and roses. In other words, how do we best play up the stars of each season?
– Pick up the phone, call us, talk to us. We’re always excited to tell you what’s hot in our coolers. There’s so many options it’s mind-boggling. And impossible to list all the combinations here. Best advice check out our 12 month flower availability list. Try to plan around what we have listed. My disclaimer would be always double check with your sales rep closer to your event in case there’s problems with production of a particular item. Things do unexpectedly come and go out of season sometimes.
– Yeah, if you stick with your season, like California grows a lot of local product, tulips, anemones, ranunculus, so all those spring and summer flowers, we have dahlias in the summertime and through the late fall. So focus on those items to showcase your spring and then you can mix with other more common flowers. It’s kind of a melting pot right now of all different kinds of design styles anyways. So if you want it to look springy, then you wanna choose classic spring flowers like we just showed you. So summer flowers are more like dahlias, roses, gladiolas are even a summer flower. So look at what kind of overall style you’re trying to do then mix those other flower in to give you some balance and keep your cost down.
– Good advice, and our flower guide is awesome. It is our availability list put together in one handy dandy guide, but as Dave said, and just like with our flower library that’s available or any other resource that anyone else provides, all that has to be taken with a grain of salt because we’re dealing with mother nature, we’re dealing with logistics and all that crazy stuff. So it really affects what the actual data’s going to be for your real event date. Alright guys, good stuff though Kirsten, thank you for the question and you have another question. She said I would like to hear about the different types of garland that we make and different options, she has a lot of brides asking about using greenery because they either want that look or perceive that it is cheaper than using flowers. Need to go past the basic eucalyptus garlands. Guys, what do you got to say?
– Yeah garland’s are a fantastic way to make a statement for any event, but they’re extremely labor intensive and even with the most frugal selection of foliage they’re still not really cheap to fabricate. To cut your cost you can start with something big and bulky yet affordable, lemon leaf or silver dollar euc or anything that’s cheap and in season and then add bits of textural interest later with some more expensive greens. I can tell you from personal experience, from hand wiring with paddle wire and string, making garlands can be a lesson in humility. If they’re not fabricated correctly, they will fail and they gap in sections which makes them extremely difficult to repair at a moment’s notice when you’re doing an installation. So having Mayesh manufacture your garlands by one of our experienced garland machine operators will provide you a super strong, reliable base. Shameless plug.
– Love shameless plugs, yes and so Ryan says does Mayesh do pre-built garlands? I should know this, hi Ryan by the way from Curry. We love Curry and we love Ryan. Yes, we do produce garlands, custom garlands based off of request and that will be another guide that I’m working on with my team. It’s in our funnel of things that we need to get done for you guys so we’ll definitely get more information out. But is there anything that you guys wanted to, like how does that work, do you guys wanna talk a little bit about that?
– Go ahead, Shelley.
– Well we have someone make them in house for us and then also our Riverside location custom makes them for all of our branches. And I don’t know why brides think that greenery garlands are cheap to do. They always think that’s a cheaper option and it’s not. They’re labor intensive to make, they take a lot of product so it’s up to you as a florist to let people know that that’s actually not an inexpensive option. It can give you a different look than doing a floral, but then by the time you add flowers to a garland which most brides also ask for, it can be quite expensive to do. And it’s labor intensive, like Dave said, to make the garlands then they have to add flowers to them and do all that and there’s not a cheap option. You can make garlands out of any greenery pretty much. There’s some that are gonna be more tender and go down faster. Another option is if you need to do it inexpensively, is just to lay greenery down the center of a table to give a garland effect and that takes less product, but that’s still labor intensive to do that as well. But yeah you can order them from our branches.
– Yep and then, I love, again, Huntress Florals saying we only made our own garland once and then after that they ordered it.
– It’s a lot of work, it takes time to do.
– Yep, time and money, gotta love it. Okay so Monica, we’re moving on to the next question. She says how is the floral industry evolving and working to keep up with the standards of improved environmental and health impact through our products, supplies and cut flowers, in other words, what changes are being made to reduce health risks of working with commercially grown cut flowers and supplies like foam, etc?
– There have been many positive strides in the global floral community over the past 30 years to improve agricultural sustainability. At Mayesh we do our own little part by purchasing from Veriflora, Florverde and Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. These farms follow strict guidelines for sustainable agricultural production. Some of these practices include biological pest control, composting, water reclamation, safe storage, and education of handling the chemicals, proper land management that supports healthy regional habitat. Sustainability also ensures growers adhere to fair labor practices for their employees which provide better wages, a safer workplace, and resources like medical and daycare.
– Yep, things have changed quite a bit over the last 20 to 30 years. You guys know I’m a big proponent of having as much of a low carbon footprint for our industry as possible. We were very excited when we visited Greenrose and how their practices fall in line with that. Their farm was impeccable, their employees were well treated, it was a really great experience and it was a good experience for all of our florists that went to see how the changes have been made. And this provides income and livelihood for these people in Ecuador that before didn’t really make very much money or the farms didn’t really take care of them like they should have, that has changed a lot. And I was really pleased, I think we all kinda had a really good experience there with that. And I think as a florist there’s a lot of things you can do. Composting your product is one thing instead of just throwing it out in the trash. Recycling all your cardboard, plastic brads, rubber bands, anything that comes in in your packaging make sure that you’re separating and recycling that properly. I’m a big fan of using chicken wire or poultry wire or florist Oasis net instead of using Oasis or I should say floral foam. If you can use less floral foam, that’s always better as well. It’s not always necessary to use that. It’s got its uses but there’s ways that you can use less of that, I teach that in my classes. Recycling or using up cycled containers, repurposing containers, using things that you can get back and reuse again. Those are all very important things that you can do and using plants and materials that can be repurposed for the bride or your customer in arrangements, that’s always nice. So it’s a lot of things that you can do to be more environmentally friendly. But I think the floral industry is finally taking notice that you as consumers are talking about this and this is important to you now.
– Yeah, and going back to Greenrose, too. They also provide a lot of jobs for women where other companies don’t traditionally hire women in South America so that was cool. And then they had just installed a really cool water system to help recycle all of their water.
– Yeah that was cool.
– Did you get to hear about that? I was kind of on the outside, did you wanna talk like two seconds about that?
– They had a huge pond that, they have a facility where they’re taking their water and they’re recycling and reusing it to water their farm which is amazing. So they’re cleaning up their own waste that they’re using and reusing it there at the farm level. And they are taking those steps. It’s not something that they were required to do, I believe. I think that was something that they decided to do to be more environmentally friendly. It was very nice to see that. We’ve all heard these horror stories about the South American farms and how their employees are treated, the pesticides and all that, and yes there are still pesticides being used. Unfortunately American consumers want blemish free product and an organic product is an ugly product. If you look at organic apples or flowers that are grown, I mean we have American grown flowers too, they’re not perfectly grown because we have this level that we want our product to look. You want a perfectly shiny apple, that is not organic so we have to sort of lessen our expectation of what we want out of the product I think, if you don’t want it blemish free. You’re going to have to use these pesticides and chemicals to keep that from happening. But they’re doing a lot to help that. And I was very pleased to see that as well.
– Yeah if you don’t mind bug bites and ugly shaped things and stuff like that, then–
– That’s nature, folks.
– And there are designers that love that, like Christi’s one of those designers where if something came in and there was, you know, it was organic and there was bug bites on it she was all about it, she was like it makes it look like it’s from my garden. I like that look.
– It’s natural, yeah. Natural, but we are, sometimes, a hermetically sealed people and we want everything perfect and pristine so flowers are not. If you grow your own flowers you know how there’s something charming about a rose petal that has a little hole in it where a little whatever chewed through its leaf. I mean it’s just charming.
– Yep, Penny has a question on here it says does anyone use frogs anymore? And yes people do use frogs, Veronica who is our other designer for Quito, does a lot of our Spanish videos, she has a whole collection of frogs and we gave frogs to all of our attendees too and we have done, Kayley last year did a design video using a flower frog. So she loves frogs as well, so everyone else that’s watching, do you guys use frogs? And then Shelley did you wanna talk a little bit about that, I see you shaking your head.
– Yeah frogs are wonderful to use and we’ve talked about them on the show before. They are an expense for a lot of florists so some people shy away from using them, but if you, say you have a client that you always do her weekly arrangement for, you could use a flower frog in conjunction with chicken wire and both those things are great for an armature in your design and you get that back and recycle it every week instead of throwing out a block of Oasis every week. So it’s a wonderful product to use. They’re very easy to use and they’re not hard. I think one thing most florists don’t know, they need to use stick-em, the floral clay to attach it to the bottom of a container. So if you’re using the same container over and over again. But for weddings and things like that, they can be a little cost-prohibitive and sometimes not necessary, but they’re wonderful to use. I use them all the time, I collect them actually. I have a whole collection of them.
– Yeah, so do Veronica, you can walk in her studio and she’s got a big giant drawer of them, it’s really cool. And then Linda wants to know can floral foam be reused, I don’t think so.
– No it cannot, once it’s been saturated, you can keep adding water to it to rehydrate it, but if it dries out it cannot be resaturated. It just doesn’t work very well.
– Yep exactly, okay good stuff. We’re gonna move on to the next question from Jeanette. She says what are your thoughts on Oasis solution 360 where no cutting of the stems is necessary for processing?
– We actually use that in our branch here. It’s saved us a ton on labor so what that product is is a super hydrator and it keeps bacteria levels very low. You can actually have dry packed flowers out of the box and just stick them right in the water. And I, as a florist, thought what! That is not gonna work, I was like how can that even work? I was scared I have to say, but it works great and we use it here. There’s a couple of flowers it doesn’t work well with. I think it’s gerberas and sunflowers. And if you’re in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to recut the stems anyway, put it in, that water is fantastic, it helps the flowers live longer. You can even reactivate it, the company sells tablets so it’s also eco-friendly. You can reuse that water, put the tablets in it and it cleans the water and it’s reusable. The guy from the company told me that it was also safe to drink, but I don’t think I’d wanna do that. ‘Cause we here at Carlsbad were not able to, at our old location, were not able to pour water down the drains ’cause it goes out into the ocean here through the system here. And he said it was perfectly safe to do that. So I’d have to research that a little bit more to be sure but it’s supposed to be very safe for the environment as well. And it does work well and I love it. And I always tell my girls when they pick, or my florists when they pick up here, if they use buckets from us to keep the water in it and reuse it in their arrangements for processing, not to toss it out.
– Yeah, Laura Kellogg says what was that product? And we’re talking about the Oasis 360 solution. Hopefully Desi can find a link and we can share the link for that solution.
– I think it’s also called DE Express as well. We get it in huge drums and there’s machines that, by the way, one of our customers has a outdoor stand, you can attach it to your water unit. So it comes in small drums and big drums and there’s a system that goes with it. And what it does is it mixes with your actual water and then you pour it out through the hose. So you have to mix it with water. If you do use that, but everyone in my shops uses it. It saves a ton of labor.
– Good stuff, and labor is time and time is money.
– That’s right.
– Alright, next question and I’m not sure who this is from so I’m sorry guys. Chocolate cosmos, is it edible?
– Well as good as they smell, it’s still not advisable to eat them. According to Gardeners World magazine, they have no measurable toxicity. However most commercial flower farms use some form of pesticide during production so if it’s not a USDA certified for human consumption, please don’t eat them. Here I have actual chocolate cosmos and the normal red cosmos and these are coming out in Japan right now, yeah they’re gorg. We do carry USDA certified organic edible flowers. For more information you’re gonna have to contact your rep on that, I believe we have a minimum we have to bring in so it’s a little bit prohibitive. And they can be a little bit pricey. But they are available if you have a need for them.
– Very cool, yeah so don’t eat the flowers even if they smell really good. And again it ties into what we already talked about with the pesticides and stuff like that. Alright, good stuff, our next question is from Kelley. She wants to know about the typical lifespan of Dusty Miller and how to keep good looking in her bouquets and arrangements, she feels like hers get droopy quickly and it’s very finicky. What do you guys have to offer for Kelley?
– In Phoenix, we import our Dusty Miller from an Ecuadorian grower almost all year round production on this stuff. Here’s a bunch just so you can see how big it is. So this has a really remarkably long vase life. It lasts up to a week or more. These are a variety that have been selected and hybridized so that they have the strong traits and I think they last a lot longer than stuff that you might forage from your garden. In my experience, the lacier leaves tend to be a little bit more fragile than these roundier leaf varieties. I don’t know if that’s your experience too, Shelley. There’s some things that we do when we’re hydrating Dusty Miller that can help and that’s avoid, let’s see here. Sorry I lost my place, avoid submerging their stems too deep or dripping water onto their leaves. The fuzzy surface tends to hold moisture and can activate botrytis spores and cause bacteria to form in the water quickly. Using the recommended flower food and dosage on that, recut the stems, and change the water frequently. That’ll ensure that they stay hydrated and firmed up.
– Yeah I also like the bel fiore, the Ecuadorian product as well. It holds up really well, it seems to be bred to be a little stronger. It is more expensive, it can be almost double the cost of local Dusty Miller, but it’s worth it if you end up throwing out a lot of Dusty Miller. I sometimes think it’s cut too early. That seems to be a lot of the problem with it. It doesn’t have very strong leaves. Sometimes it comes in fresh and it’s just wilty looking. But Dave’s right, the fuzziness of it, the way that that leaf is, it can get all kinds of problems with spores and don’t drip water on it, like Dave said. That’s probably one of the things that causes it to get, you notice the change of the color of the leaf. But recutting always, putting in warm water will always help perk things up. It could be an issue of it not being hydrated enough or being out of water for too long, so you can try that, but ask your Mayesh rep about the premium Dusty Miller if you still have a lot of issues with it, especially if you’re in a hot climate. That one seems to hold up very well.
– Good stuff, and Winnie has a similar question about Dusty Miller, she wanted to know how do you revive it and make sure it looks good the day of the wedding, do you guys have any tips for Winnie and Kelley probably as well?
– Yeah so Dusty Miller has tiny little hairy filaments all over the stems and leaves and these are called trichomes. They act as a deterrent for frost damage, insect attack, and they lessen the dehydration from the transpiration process. But those furry little coats can become the breeding ground for stem clogging bacteria, especially when they’re submerged during the hydration process. So try gently scraping some of the fur off of the part of the stem that’s gonna be submerged is one tip. Hydrate them in a shallow level of fresh solution instead of a deep plunge, recut your stems and replace the solution every day or two.
– Yeah and clean buckets, we can’t say that enough. Make sure your buckets are clean, no bacteria. They seem to be more susceptible to that so that’s always a good tip. Wash your buckets out with chlorine once or twice a week if you can, at least once a week.
– Good stuff, good thank guys. Not that I wanna mention another wholesale florist, but they just had a show and they had a designer there that said to spray the back of the leaf with matte white paint and it helps them keep from going limp. Never tried it but we’re going to. And if Bradley’s here, I’d be curious to know if he’s heard of something like that. So there you go, thanks Leroy French Flowers. I’m hoping I pronounced that correctly. Oh and then David, hey David, he is watching. David Dahlson from our Miami location and he says bees love those hairs to make their hives.
– Oh cool.
– He always has little known facts about our flowers and things so that’s very cool, thanks David. Alright guys, on to our next question from Linda. She says how do you handle brides who say they have their own materials for their flowers but they want you to design them? What do you guys do and while Shelley is talking about this I would love to know what you guys do who are watching ’cause I know this comes up every now and then.
– I think as a florist I got this question at least once a year from a bride. If I get my flowers wholesale will you design them for me? If I bring my containers will you arrange in them for me? You have to be very careful here and tread lightly because you have to control your product yourself and there’s no telling what happened with the product before it gets to you. So if you decide to do this, you gotta have a lot of rules and parameters in place and also I would be very careful about maybe posting that work that you do with whatever they bring in ’cause who knows what it will look like. It depends on what they’re talking about, there may be a bride who has some sentimental attachment to the roses in her garden and she just wants you to incorporate it into something. That’s fine, if you wanna use, if they want you to use their containers for example, make sure you preview and see those way ahead of time and you approve them that they’re waterproof, that they’re usable. You can have a bride who you think is talking about a container that’s this big and then she brings it in and it’s this big, can you see me? So you know, make sure that you approve everything, that you go over it, you’re not responsible, blah blah blah blah blah, write it in your contract. I wouldn’t do it personally because there’s just no way to control that. If you do that though and you use all of their product and you’re a smaller florist and you’re trying to just get some experience, make sure you charge a substantial design fee. They can’t think because they’re getting the flowers wholesale that it’s gonna be cheaper for them. What I mean by that is you have to value your time and your experience. If she wants to do it expensively, then she should do it herself, or get her friends to help her. If she’s coming to you as a designer, then you should be charging your rate, your fees for everything, delivery, set up, the van, you have to itemize it all and then present her with a cost. And it may be that it’s better for her just to have you do it yourself. And why isn’t she having you do it? So you have to explain to them and not shoot them down, but explain to them why it’s important to have a professional handle the wedding from beginning to end. You know the product better, you know the amounts to order, you know the color palette. She may bring you all this stuff and it’s not the right amount. You’re gonna actually do double work trying to figure out what she has to what you can work with and do and the numbers are not gonna work for you. So I would avoid this, this is a DIY bride who’s just trying to get out on the cheap, usually. Or friends, as we were just talking about this last night in a class. As a florist you always have all these friends who want to have you do their wedding for them and you still have to charge for your time so that’s my advice on that, I hope that you think about it and make sure that’s something that you wanna do for your business.
– Good stuff, yeah we have, let’s see, lots of people have some thoughts on here. Tracy says containers maybe, flowers no way. Now we have incorporated something from Grandma’s yard which is cute. Trista says we an exclusivity policy. We provide all stems, we do all flowers at our weddings. Also, pre approve all containers they provide.
– Great Trista, that’s great.
– Let’s see, I have told brides that want me to design with their own flowers based on the same reasons you said. I also have them bring in containers a month before the event, so yeah that’s good, good stuff Susan.
– It’s really important about the containers too, because you may quote them one price and that container is not gonna work for what you quoted in your original budget. I would, if they actually are thinking that in the beginning and you’re having that conversation with them, I would say bring me in what you’re thinking about and let’s see if it’s gonna work with your budget. Because even at that point you are gonna have to renegotiate with them on the price of the centerpiece if it’s not the right container. So that’s all stuff that it’s just, be preemptive from the beginning. Control your business from the beginning.
– I have like one more minute, so let me see if I can find a question. Texanna, what rose still has the strongest scent? And I heard that the trend is smaller wedding bouquets because of the recent royal weddings. What do you guys have to say? Strongest scent rose and small wedding bouquets.
– Vitality, it’s a garden rose, and patience. Both of those have super high fragrance. A lot of standard roses don’t have a lot of fragrance. Fragrance is bred out of roses, they have to lose something to get a longer shelf life on the flower. And a flower uses a lot of its carbs in fragrance. So the vitality garden rose which, it’s probably one of the strongest smelling. I don’t know, Dave, if you have a favorite, but on standard roses there’s not any that have a super strong scent. There are some that are scented, but not super strong.
– Yeah, I think my favorite, fragrance wise, would be patience, it’s pretty strong.
– Patience, yeah. Yeah vitality and patience are about similar. Vitality doesn’t always look really pretty in the package but it opens up really gorgeous. And then on the question about the trend on smaller bridal bouquets, you will see that, it’s gonna take about a year. Because what happens is people have to get requests for that and then photo shoots are done and then all that stuff has to get published and then it shows up a year later and then brides start seeing it and then that’s when they go oh that’s cool and beautiful, I think I wanna do that. So it’ll take a year or two to go through the whole system of how things get done. You may start having some brides come in who say they want that look. But that look was so small and tight, it’s still not for everyone, but it will start. You’ll start seeing that trend where things will start shrinking back to not that compact ball we used to have, but a lot more controlled arrangements. But you’ll see that trend, everything kinda goes out and back in on floral design.
– Yep good stuff, thank guys. I’m not gonna kick you off ’cause you know, we’re at the end of the show. I don’t have anything extra to add.
– Your electricity didn’t go off and I didn’t have any technical glitches, yay!
– I know, yay! So that’s a wrap on today’s Mornings with Mayesh. Thank you everyone for joining us. Make sure you mark your calendars for April 2nd. We’re gonna be back with Alison Ellis and then April 16th I will be back with Shelley and Dave. And I hope you guys can join us. Keep on sending in your floral questions. Thank you for joining us, I will see you guys soon. Have a rocking day, bye everyone. Thanks Dave and Shelley.
At the beginning of this month, Philadelphia was host to one of the biggest floral events of the year – the Interflora World Cup. We sent our very own Mayesh Miami Sales Rep Steven Watkins to get in on the action and report back on his experience. Read on to get a peek into the incredible event that is the Interflora World Cup!
FTD World Cup, WOW! What an experience, thousands of floral enthusiasts from around the globe descended on the Philadelphia Flower Show for three days of floral competition at its highest level. Overall, 23 global competitors competed for the coveted title of World Champion, throughout this three-day event.
Part 1 – The first theme being Harmony in Architecture, the challenge was to have a 70/30 mix of botanicals to structure in a minimal two hour time limit, and to make sure that the smallest details had meaning and purpose in their architectural arrangement. Each designer created their structure prior to arrival at the competition, some as large as 7 ft by 7 ft. This left two hours to complete all florals, and what a whirlwind! Twenty-three competitors to view as they worked with the most luxurious flowers globally available, building their works of art, adding layer after layer until time ran out! Twenty-three works of art, as different as the creators who made them.
Part 2 – The second theme was Hand Tied Bouquet, Strength of Color. The competitors were challenged with creating a bouquet that speaks to an observer and demonstrates how color and light are inseparable. Additionally, the bouquet must be able to be held in one hand. All of this in just ninety minutes – flowers and hands flying, exquisite bouquets created, some with armatures, some without, tight and clustered or loose and airy -the styles as different as the countries the designers came from. Dreamy pastel colors to hot and bright, every flower had its day, from carnations to luxe vanda orchids in gorgeous color stories. The competition was strong, with everyone putting their skills to the test! At the end of day one, the crowd was as exhausted as the competitors, complete sensory overload, so much to take in, so many design styles to evaluate and consider, what a tough choice this was going to be.
Part 1 – To kick off day two, the theme was Table for Two – The Power of Flowers. The challenge was to create a complete table setting for two that interpreted life changing transformation through love and hope. The power of love to be featured through flowers and the design should stimulate at least four of the five senses. With only two hours to complete this monumental task, everyone had laser focus and steadily worked their way through the designs. From strongly architectural to completely whimsical, each table for two expressed the theme, love and emotion through flowers. Expectations were high and everyone was thrilled by the outcomes of the designs, amazingly strong competition, although leaders were certainly starting to emerge from the previous days competition as well as the morning session of day two.
Part 2 – A “surprise” basket containing American Grown Flowers, which seemed to throw a few designers for a loop, moments of hesitation and then they were off. With just ninety minutes to go, some narrowed the flower choices to a minimum, others using every item. Containers and stands provided by a sponsor were used in a variety of ways, with many people turning the stands on their sides and using them as a base to build arrangements with stems in plates of water, others taking the more traditional floral foam route, building creations in concrete containers. This challenge really separated the field and everyone was excited to attend the Semifinal Reception dinner to discover who would be moving on, from a field of twenty-three it would soon be narrowed to 10.
By the third day, the competitors had been narrowed to 10, with the cream of the crop rising to the top. This morning’s challenge was another surprise basket with a two-hour time limit, designers choice. For those in the crowd who had not attended the Semifinal Reception, it was a mad dash around the hall, checking to see if their favorite designers had made it through to battle on today. Although everyone was a star, unfortunately some had been knocked out due to flowers dying, and structures falling, making it impossible to stay in the competition with such a strong field.
At this point, at least in my mind, there were two people who clearly stood out from the others – these two would go on to win the night along with Second Runner Up, Tamas Mezoffy of Hungary. Congratulations to Bart Hassam of Australia, whose bold, clean, architectural, east meets west designs won him the title of World Champion, and to First Runner Up Natalia Zhizhko of Russia, whose elegant, feminine, whimsical designs were as delicately beautiful as Mr. Hassam’s bold architecture.
For a World Cup newbie like myself, I am now truly enamored by competition floral, and certainly intend to make a spot on my calendar (as should everyone interested in the Art of Flowers) every four to six years to attend what can only be considered the pinnacle of floral design.
We just wrapped up our 2018 Mayesh Design Star Tour last month, so we wanted to take a look back at the year and all the great workshops we were able to host! This year’s tour and workshop centered around the theme of “Curate & Create,” and Kaylee of Flourish by Kay and her assistant Jamie Heusser led students in identifying their brand and creating beautiful floral designs.
Our Seattle workshop in July was held at Metropolist, a modern and industrial space in Seattle’s SODO district. The venue was spacious and open and provided the perfect amount of natural light for our summer workshop.
To kick off the workshop, Monday began with a networking event. Students enjoyed wine and appetizers while getting to know each other and listening to presentations from our very own Dave Tagge about all the great products the students would be working with. Kaylee then led the students in a mood boarding activity in which she discussed the importance of identifying one’s individual brand and using that to guide their floral designs.
To kick off day two, the students revisited their mood boards in order to have a clear vision as they dove into a day of designing, followed by a centerpiece demonstration and then finally getting their hands on all of the beautiful product to make their own, using compotes provided by Accent Decor.
After lunch catered by The London Plane, Kaylee and her assistant Jamie worked with the students on two different installations: a ceremony setup with petite aisle pieces and a floral trellis, and a wildflower field. Assistant extraordinaire Jamie then doubled as our model for the day, posing among the wildflower “field” the students created… we’re obsessed with how those photos turned out! The student’s work was also photographed by Nicole Clarey on a minimal yet beautifully styled table by Kaylee using pieces from Classic Vintage Rentals in Portland, OR.
To wrap up the workshop, Kaylee answered floral business questions and as a special treat, her husband Landon shared his passion for brand storytelling and how he has challenged Kaylee to hone in on her brand using this storytelling strategy.
On this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave, and Yvonne answer your questions about flower product availability, Valentine’s Day flowers, proteas, floral installations, and more. Save the date for January 22nd at 10 am EST for our next show and keep on sending in your floral questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
Flower show and tell:
Japanese sweet peas, leucadendron, Arena Red lisianthus, Butterfly ranunculus from California, Clooney Pompon Ranunculus,
Heidi: I would love to have a list of flowers and when they’re available throughout the year. I totally know that it would be nearly impossible to have an accurate list of flower availability through a year, but something that’s pretty general I think would be really helpful. Like ranunculus, for example, it seems like they’re pretty much a year-round bloom, but in May they tend to get kind of spotty with their availability. Some sort of reference guide that indicated what months to expect to have trouble getting them would be dreamy. Or like peonies, I know they start showing up for real in March, but they seem to make cameos in November/December…. You know, that sort of thing. Is that possible?
We have a year-round availability list that you can download from our website but it’s meant more as a general reference guide. There are so many intricacies in growing flowers and timing harvests that you should always reach out to a Mayesh professional when planning your special events. This is especially true if the item is currently not in season locally in the USA. We import from all over the world when local crops are not available and there are usually other floral options. If a particular item is gapping or cost-prohibitive, we can offer alternative florals that work with your texture & color palette.
**FAVORITE** — Tiffany: How do you determine what new product you will begin to incorporate into your yearly offerings? Do you trial new varieties and gauge them on various levels of stability?
Yes, absolutely. Our mission statement says it all. Providing the floral professional with the highest quality, most unusual products sourced from around the world. That being said, not only do we ourselves seek out the next cool thing, but our close relationship with our growers ensures they are showing us their next cool things too! We regularly receive, vase test and photograph new varieties and try to get as much client feedback as possible, we want to know what you think! We also keep a very close eye on color trends in the industry.
Jasmine: What are some other popular flowers to order other than roses for Valentine’s Day?
The world of flower fashion is constantly in flux and depending on your local demographics just about anything goes! Popular higher end flowers we sell for Valentine’s day include cymbidium & Phalaenopsis orchids, garden roses, blooming branches like quince & forsythia, and a staple of most modern floral design are hydrangeas. Many designers are moving away from typical fillers using interesting things like astrantia & astilbe. Being in Arizona we get a lot of “desert theme” floral design, so items like pincushion protea & succulents are high on our list here. It’s really about defining your own style, marketing your brand and staying true to yourself.
Claudia: What’s the best time of the season to buy protea?
Proteas are grown in several countries and are available almost all year round depending on the variety you want. Their popularity has increased so much in the past few years that some varieties have become hard to get in large quantities, like the coveted King protea. King protea from California growers are readily available from March through May then the plants slow down and bloom randomly throughout the summer & fall. We also import King protea from places like South Africa and Australia. It’s important to talk to a Mayesh rep when planning an event with King proteas. Their availability can be intermittent as the plant produces blooms sporadically throughout the year. If there is a large demand that wipes out a growers crop, it can take many weeks for the next blooms to be ready for harvest.
Mischa: What is the best way to hold the wet foam in a container to prevent it from falling apart once the flowers are put in the container? Is there a type of tape that is best to use more than another over of the foam.
Oasis green or clear waterproof floral tape works best. Also, make sure you are cutting your piece of foam to fit snugly in the container. You can also use chicken wire wedged in the top of the container. This will help eliminate using so much foam as well.
Roger: Also, what is your advice on soaking oasis and mossing it for events that are a couple of hours away from the shop? Should you soak and moss a few days prior and transport in totes?
You can soak oasis up to several days in advance as long as it is submerged. Are you referring to a mossed ball? Or moss on top of Oasis in an arrangement? The moss will help retain water but make sure you soak moss separately and then apply to Oasis or it will act like a sponge and leech the water out of the foam.
Tiffany: What are the hardiest flowers for installations, I.e. what flowers hold up best and longest either out of water or with limited water (picks). Can you recommend two for each season?
Roses, orchids, tropicals, carnations, alliums, hypericum, pods, preserved greens, and most foliages will hold up well. It’s probably easier to tell you what doesn’t: gerbs, some hydrangeas, lilies, tulips, freesia, dahlias, sweet peas and delicate flowers that don’t have a high water content.
Roses, tropicals, and carns can stay out of water for hours without showing signs of stress. Cooler to warmer months you can use most anything in the hardier category. Stay away from the delicate category in the heat of summer.
**FAVORITE** Claudia: Would like to know care and handling for the king protea and the protea family.
Protea are also known as “sugar bushes” and true to their name they need to be hydrated in a floral food to replace their glucose. Plain water just won’t do with these! Protea are fairly easy to care for & can be stored in your floral cooler for a couple weeks. Their foliage has a natural tendency to brown after a while but they can simply be removed and this has no negative effect on the flower head.
Barbara: How do you get different Protea to open up, when purchased closed, or do they continue to open up at all?
Proteas are slow openers and usually remain at ~ or close to the aperture at which they are cut. When selecting protea you should purchase them at the stage you want for your finished design. By the time they have any significant opening they seem to already be at the end of their lives.
Can one of your experts talk about processing poinsettia for use in arrangements? They have milky sap, also do they last very long off the plant?
Poinsettias are in the euphorbia family hence the milky sap. I find cutting them the rinsing and wiping off the sap with a paper towel and then singeing with a lighter or match will help cauterize them. They actually hold up quite well in designs this way. Or you can purchase mini single 2” plants and use them intact in the design…soil and all. your client has a keepsake for afterward.
Please talk about care tips for flowers for those of us who are in areas that can experience extremely cold temperatures outside. Also if there are flowers that are extremely vulnerable and flowers that are tolerable of the cold?
Having had to deliver in freezing cold temperatures and ice storms myself I find that boxing and wrapping in cellophane does the trick. It also can be a nice presentation if done well. Phalaenopsis plants (and most orchids) and poinsettias do not like extreme temperatures and wind can be a problem for them as well.
April: I’m specializing in just a few avenues…bouquet subscription, holiday centerpieces and want to get into wedding flowers. I’m using Instagram, Facebook and a website but not getting much traffic or orders. I could use some marketing advice. How can I really capture attention and make people feel like they need a flower subscription?
First of all, I just want to say that whenever I come across sites that offer flower subscriptions I just adore the idea. It is a gift that keeps on giving and is perfect for that person who loves flowers in their lives.
On this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave, and Yvonne answer your questions about seasonal flowers, Amaryllis care, attaching flowers to stucco walls, design advice for this fall season, foam free installs, and more. Save the date for December 11th at 10 am EST for our next show and keep on sending in your floral questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
Shelley/Dave – can you guys select a few pretty flowers to show off?
Carrie: Since its amaryllis season, wondering if there is any way to speed up getting them to open?
Opening time can vary depending on the stage they are cut but 3 to 5 days is usually sufficient. As with all flowers, planning your receipt time is crucial. There are quick dips and floral foods that can help stimulate flowers opening but nothing works better than having them arrive in plenty of time. Did you know that amaryllis, like many other bulb flowers, can be dry stored in a closed box in your cooler for up to a week or more? This means you can order them a week ahead and work them open with TLC.
for sure…get these in early
Ruth: With Christmas approaching, I was wondering how long to allow for amaryllis to fully open. Using them for a Dec. 22 wedding!
I would plan for 3 to 5 days to fully open. Once they start getting close to the stage you want you can put them back in the cooler to slow their development. Best practice is to make a grid of tape over the opening of your buckets and try to get them standing straight up. Amaryllis are very top heavy when they open and have hollow stems that can crimp or crush from the weight of the open blooms if they are leaning at an angle. You might want to purchase some extra long hyacinth steaks or skinny bamboo poles to insert into the stems to give added vertical stability during hydration. The added sticks also make it easier to anchor the amaryllis stems into floral foam if you are using oasis blocks as your design medium.
Carrie: What are good options for pinks and yellow florals in the December month when everything is red, green, white, gold and silver.
Most growers won’t let us cherry pick only the seasonal colors when we purchase for our inventory. Since we can’t just buy only the in-demand colors for a particular holiday, at any given time during the year we have a full selection of both seasonal & non-seasonal colors available. Some of my fave pink & yellow flowers in December are Anthurium,Calla lily, coxcomb celosia, cymbidium orchids, Hydrangea, sweet peas & Vanda orchids. For a comprehensive list visit www.mayesh.com/flower-library
We also have a great yearly product guide download
Sharron: Is it difficult to get tall Pampas Grass with large plumes in the month of December in California?
Although the season for fresh-cut Pampas grass has pretty much ended, we are now offering dried pampas grass. Those of you who have worked with dried Pampas grass know how it can shed so get your surface sealer ready!
Melissa: Since dried flowers and greens are coming back in style, do you have any tips for handling them? I feel limited with their inflexibility and worry if I pair them with fresh flowers in a water source the stems will get soggy and fall out of place.
Yeah, so with dried flowers, obviously, they’re dried, they don’t have any moisture in them. So when you’re using them in fresh flower arrangements, you want to create an artificial stem for them by picking and wiring and taping them. You cannot put glycerin-dyed product, glycerin dried or dyed product in water. It’s very important because the dye will leech off of it. You don’t want it getting on anyone’s dress or clothing, or tabletops. Make sure you wire it and tape it, taping will seal it. If you use wire, make sure you’re using always taped wire, ’cause wire can rust in the water. Or use a wooden cowipick, the little wooden plant picks with little wire on it, and you can tape it on.
Roger: I love working with unique floral and doing things a bit out of the box in regards to fresh arrangements. I tend to forage the landscape for bits of added interest to those creations. My question is, when using fresh sprigs of berries, ie, beauty berries, liriope, bittersweet, holly, etc,, what is the best way to keep the berries from falling off the stems. besides not brushing up against them?
The trick is harvesting at the right time. If berries ripen too far on the stem they don’t hold well. This gives you a limited window for any given plant. Foraged items are also subject to frost damage and other environmental conditions that can affect their stability. If possible, try targeting the hardier plants like rose hips, hypericum, liquid amber, blue viburnum, callicarpa, and tallow berry. These tend to be pretty sturdy landscaping plants that have berries that hold better.
Holli: How do you attach flowers to a stucco wall? Some venues have a stucco wall for the “altar” and I have seen photos of large installations on the wall.
First get permission at any venue you are not used to working with. Never use nails. I find using removable sticky tabs, Command slate springs or outdoor hooks work fairly well for hanging greenery or lighter product. There are a lot of damage free hooks on the market. Also, check to see if the venue already has nails or hooks in place. For heavier objects, you can create your own trellis or stand to place in front of the wall to attach to
@themrsbacia: Also, you can give some tips for home decorating (autumn/Thanksgiving). I think it will be interesting for people.
Sure! I think using gourds as vessels instead of just pumpkins makes for a unique design. Drieds are very popular again and incorporating those with fresh gives a very textured look for fall. Carve out apples for votives or cider. Make garlands out of autumn leaves for the table. Using a clean neutral palette is modern-whites, creams, and greens or go funky with Thanksgiving “Pinks” muddy mauvey tones instead of the typical orangey fall colors. Wheat placed in wine bottles makes a very clean understated look as well.
Barbara: When working with floral foam, specific flowers are more challenging. What is the best method of insertion for Amaryllis, Calla Lilies and Hydrangea? I have generally pre-inserted a stem so that the soft or hallow stems to do not get clogged, but is there a better, newer method?
Pre-inserting a stem to create a hole is a tried and true method. Just make sure your stem is secure and not wobbly and the oasis is soaked. It helps with Amaryllis to insert the hollow stem with the cut stem of another flower ( tuberose works great for this) and then using oasis floral tape around the base to keep it from splitting or in the case of callas from curling. I find using chicken wire and cutting it open helps support these heavier stems as well.
Barbara: Working with Amaryllis, I have used wooden and plastic dowels with wet cotton pushed up to the base of the hollowed stem, near the flower head, which is better, wood dowel or plastic?
Either medium is great to add support, I like that you add wet cotton to keep some moisture and also prevent the dowels from puncturing the stem walls.
J E: How can I become a retail seller and how to buy from wholesalers?
Depending on your state and country: First, you must apply for a business license, usually post your intent in the local newspaper and then obtain a seller’s permit. Once you have established those two things you should also start your social media presence and portfolio. We like to see that a business is, in fact, a floral related business when registering with us. After that, you can simply go to our website and register and submit your resale license.
MARKETING NEWS (Yvonne)
Erica: Do we need to build an email list?
Girl, yes, you need an email list! You need some way to track all of the incoming leads that you have, and build a database, so that way you can communicate with people. And I’m not sure what part of the business you’re in, but if you’re a retailer, like a traditional retailer, and sales everyday types of things, you want to be able to communicate. And email is not dead, it’s still very important. But as you’re building an email address, then think about other ways that people like to communicate, whether that’s messaging, or through the social media type of thing. But always collect email addresses, always create that list, so that way you can reach out to people. Because it does help. And even with, for example, our things that we do, people want to know about all the different specials, so, and our new blog posts, they can subscribe to that, we send out the newsletters, all the great content, if we create a new download, we need to make sure that people know about that. So, and the same goes for your businesses as well.
Claudia: Have you set up the new list of workshops for the 2019 year yet?
Yes, we have and the workshop details will be published on this coming Monday. Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime, here are the cities and dates that we have planned:
• January 14-15: San Diego, CA
• May 20-21: Nashville, TN
• August 12-13: Austin, TX
• November 11-12: Columbus, OH
During October’s Mornings with Mayesh, Yvonne, Shelley, and Dave cover some great florist generated questions. They started the morning with Shelley and Dave talking about some of the beautiful fall flowers that are currently available. Afterward, they answered some audience questions that range from flower schools, cake flowers, wire services, increasing your marketing ROI & more. Enjoy and be sure to mark your calendars for November 20th to catch the next show. Also, don’t forget to comment with your new questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
From IG: What are some great fall flowers available now? So many to choose from, lets do these in show & tell?
From IG: When do Christmas greens arrive?
We already have some Christmas greens available and are taking pre-books now… hint, hint! We have Port Orford cedar, Douglas & Noble fir & Mixed boxes in stock and If you need to do your Christmas photo shoots & mockups, give us a call and we can bring more in for you.
From Huntress Florals: Can you give recommendations for great floral schools? I’ve taken courses at the market with American School of Floral Design, and with Shelly, as well as Phil Rulloda up in OC. I’m interested in credible International programs as well!
I found this great download on SAF’s website that lists all of the floriculture schools in the US.
But how do you know which ones are the best? Well, this kind of question is tough to answer because it is subjective. I think it all depends on what you want to learn and how you like to learn. That is when Facebook pages, groups, and Google reviews come in handy.
Based on a few FB groups, it seems that Floral Design Institute and Floriology Institute, stand out for having high-quality programs.
Dave: Most states have florists associations with extended learning programs but I would check local community colleges for classes. I found a bunch by googling local floral design schools, some accredited and others informal.
Shelley: This industry is a tough one for training, I find taking some basic classes at an adult continuing education classes are helpful. I know we have a couple of schools we work with here. Texas A&M University has a great floral program and you can get a degree in floriculture. But even having proper training and a degree will not always guarantee you a job or work. Most florists I have worked out really want to see how many years experience you have under your belt. Really nothing beats interning and learning hands-on as you go with more experienced floral designers. This takes many years and doesn’t happen overnight.
Shelley: This seems to get folks fired up a bit because of pesticides. And yes, it is a valid concern but in all my years of decorating cakes, I never treated the flowers with anything special. Just made sure they were clean and prepped. It is almost impossible to arrange on a cake and not have the flowers touch the icing. I know people who like to lay wax paper down or use a special oasis holder. There are little plastic holders but then they make decorating the cake awkward. 95% on the couples I have worked with have never expressed concern about the flowers being on their cakes. I have decorated hundreds and the couple’s who are concerned will usually ask for organic flowers or herbs or a design that is around the cake not on it.
Because there are more local and organic growers these days the option of organic pesticide-free flowers should be a little easier to come by, but it is not always possible. Most caterers will cut away the decorated part anyway because the slices are not aesthetically pleasing or the couple uses the bridal cake as a showpiece only and then a separate sheet cake is sliced and served. I have never had or even heard of anyone getting sick from eating flowers on a cake. You are not consuming the flowers after all.
If you are an eco-friendly florist try suggesting fresh herbs or locally grown flowers if you bride seems concerned.
Hydroponically grown flowers could make a better choice for cake flowers as well.
IG: What are the best wire services?
Again, I freaking love social sites like Facebook because you can learn so much from others.
Florists of Facebook group had 78 comments to a similar question.
If you go through everyone’s opinion the main theme is that you shouldn’t use a wire service.
Wire services came to be because for Google, people would go to their local florist to order flowers for someone that not local. Wire services provided a way to get those orders filled and also a way to get the payment squared away. Today, many people will just jump on the internet and find a florist in the area of the person they are ordering flowers for. It is so much easier.
the comments on this article are really great so be sure to read all the way to the end.
However, I did see a few advocate that wire services can be beneficial for newer retail shops depending on your demographics. You just need to be sure to do your due diligence and crunch those number to make sure it is a good fit for you.
I’m not sure what makes a wire service the best, but I did read in the FB group comments that people had some good things to say about Teleflora, B Brooks and Flower Shop Network:
Shelley: Yes, I am completely in agreement that a wire service is not necessary and can cost a florist thousands of dollars in fees. BBrooks and Bloom Nation are great alternatives. I have belonged to both. BBrooks if you not familiar with is a community of upscale and niche florists and you must be asked or invited to join or you can submit your work for approval and be juried in. They are more exclusive in nature, so that the types of florists they are recommending are all consistently high quality and elegant. While this may sound a little snobbish it does give you a great database of tried and true upscale shops to choose from. I was on the pilot program with Bloom Nation and they essentially were trying to do the same thing but I think they have found it more profitable to have a more general base of florists. Bloom Nation pays you right away for an order less 20% Bbrooks sends you a monthly bill and the fees are very affordable.
IG: How to get re-orders? How do you get someone who ordered flowers online to order again?
Shelley: Provide excellent customer service and do an outstanding job on their order! Really, I am all about customer service…don’t just be an order taker. Things, like taking a picture of your design and sending it after the delivery, was made, a special thank you note, a small coupon off their next order or waive the delivery charge are some customer incentives.
Once a customer finds a great florist they will usually come right back for future orders. It’s a lot like finding the perfect hair stylist…not always easy for people. Just know that not all customers send flowers monthly..it’s more like once or twice a year. I would invite them to your shop or host an open house to get them in the door as well.
Yvonne: Make sure you are collecting some information about your customers that will allow you to market to them. Name, phone number, email addresses are important, but make sure you take note of special dates and personal tastes so that you can have better conversations with them via phone/text, email, direct mail, etc. In addition, I’ve seen florists offer subscription services. So if someone is buying flowers for their partner’s birthday, what a great opportunity to upsell to make them look like superheroes and for you to have guaranteed sales throughout the year.
MARKETING NEWS (Yvonne)
IG: How do I get more clients from my marketing efforts?
I’m a true believer in inbound marketing!!
At the very high level, you need to make sure you are creating content that allows people to fall in love with you before they even meet you. You want to fill your sales funnel and push them through that funnel.
You need to ensure that your marketing has strong CTA’s (calls-to-action). What do you want them to do, where do you want them to go to get more information, etc. and then ask them to do that.
Have a top-notch website that is user-friendly and provides value to your potential customers and customers. Make sure you have somewhere for them to go on your website to connect with you, subscribe to you, get more information from you, etc.
Then make sure you collect their information – name, email, etc.
After your contacts trust you enough with some of their information, be sure you nurture that relationship by offering more valuable content and stay in touch with them via email.
Be sure to occasionally ask for the sale. “Are you ready to order your flowers? Awesome, you can do so here” and send them to your site to order your flowers.
This will get you not just more clients, but more of the right kind of clients so that you can spend your extremely valuable time with the right people.
Love Mornings with Mayesh? Leave a comment letting us know what you enjoyed most! Also, don’t forget to post your questions for next month’s show. See you soon!
In this day and age, technology is ever-present. In fact, a quarter of Americans are reported online constantly, and three-quarters of Americans go online daily. Having a website for your business is not an option – it’s an absolute must these days! Sure, Instagram can give your potential clients a great first impression and showcase your style and talent, but what about getting to know the designer more, and driving actual sales? A website contains so much more valuable information about you and your business and can help set you apart from your competitors. Read on for our top advice from our last Mornings with Mayesh to make sure your website is driving business for you!
Include your business’s location in an easily accessible spot on your website – make it obvious on the landing page.
Add a blog to your site! Posting a summary of your events with photos shows potential customers what you can do – bonus points if you include location details of the event for SEO purposes! A blog is also very important because you own it, as opposed to Instagram or Facebook, which you don’t own. If those were to disappear tomorrow, so would your content and images. If that content also lives on a blog, you will have a digital footprint as long as you keep your site up.
Have a detailed contact form – include questions that will help better qualify potential clients.
Consider creating a branding video to embed on your website so potential clients can get to know. Check out our newest Mayesh Design Star, Shean Strong, for inspiration for a great branding video.
Use a platform that is user friendly – SquareSpace is a great option that is affordable, easy to use, and has a variety of modern layouts.
Make sure all text is easy to read when placed on a photo – darkening the image or playing with opacity can help text to pop off the image.
Have any other must-have features for a business website? Share your ideas in the comments below!
As many of you know, this month we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary! We’ve talked about it here and there throughout the year, but October 1st, 1978 was the official first day we owned the company, so the real celebrations begin now!
While we’ll have some fun things going on throughout the month, it’ll all lead up to our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday October 31st! We know, we know… it’s the same day as Halloween. But hear us out! In honor of 1978, we’ll be throwing a 1970’s Throwback Themed Costume Party… so, it basically works out perfectly since you’ll already be dressing up, right?
The party will take place at your local branch during their regular hours, and refreshments will be served. So get ready to boogie back to 1978 with us as we celebrate forty amazing years as a company!
Your business is on Instagram, and you’re fairly active on the platform (and if you’re not on Instagram, what are you waiting for?!) But do you ever wonder if you could be doing anything more to really have a successful profile, one that can help drive business? Read on for a summary of our top 10 tips from our last Mornings with Mayesh in which Yvonne reviewed a handful of florists’ Instagram pages.
Editing your Profile
Make sure your Instagram is a business profile! In order to do this, you will need a Facebook page for your business, but that’s something you should have anyway!
Include your business’s location in the description – at a minimum include the city and state.
Utilize the “Contact Options” on your Instagram feed – email, address, phone number.
Make sure that if you utilize the directions button created with the address section of “Contact Options”, that it is using a real address and not just a city.
Include your website URL – it is highly recommended to have your own website as opposed to Facebook as your website. If Instagram and Facebook disappeared tomorrow, so would your digital footprint – avoid this with your own customized site!
Posting and Engagement
Utilize geo-special hashtags as well as regular hashtags.
Engage with followers by responding to their comments.
Ask questions in your captions to prompt engagement from your audience.
Include CTAs (call to action) in your Stories, such as Swipe Up, to direct viewers to your website.