Archive For The “Business & Tech” Category

Mornings with Mayesh: June 2018

During June’s Mornings with Mayesh episode, Yvonne & Dave discuss the world of flowers. See a great selection of flowers that are available now and learn more about some great large blooms that are available each month. In addition, they answer some great audience questions like what are good subs for eucalyptus, providing an overview of how grading works, explaining why we stream on Facebook, how to update your category listing for Instagram to “florist”, and much more. Also, be sure to watch/listen to the entire show because at the end, Yvonne will discuss Instagram’s algorithm and what it means for you. Enjoy and don’t forget to send in your questions for our next show on July 10th!

 

Here is the podcast replay, video and show notes:

SHOW NOTES

FLOWER QUESTIONS

  • Fresh flowers straight from our cooler today and here is the link to latest flower 411:
  • Roxanne G Boerke: I’m based in Chicago. What is one go to large bloom by season? ie peonies for spring
    • Here are a few seasonal ideas for larger focal flowers by season:
      • Summer: Dahlias (Dave’s pick), Anthurium, Artichokes, Buddleia, Calla Lilies, China Mums, Eremurus, Eucomis, Gerberas, Giant Alliums, Giant Coxcomb Celosia, Giant Poppies, Ginger, Heliconia, Liles, Phalaenopsis stems, Protea, sunflowers.
      • Fall:  Chrysanthemum disbuds (Dave’s pick), Amaryllis, Anthuriums, Calla lilies, Cotton on the stem, Dahlias, Gerberas, Ginger, Giant Coxcomb Celosia, Heliconia, Kale, Lilies, Marigolds, Phalaenopsis stems, Peonies, Protea, Sunflowers.
      • Winter: Amaryllis (Dave’s pick), Anthurium, Calla Lilies, Cymbidium stems, Gerberas,  Giant Gloriosa from Japan, Giant Ranunculus from Japan, Ginger, Heliconia, Kale, Liles, Phalaenopsis stems, Peonies, Protea, Vanda stems.
      • Spring: Anthuriums (Dave’s pick), Artichokes, Banksias, Calla lilies, Giant Coxcomb Celosia, China Mums, French Tulips, Gerberas, Ginger, Heliconia, Kale, Lilies, Peonies, Phalaenopsis stems, Protea, Sunflowers & Vanda stems.
  • Don’t forget to check out our Mayesh Floral Meme Instagram Challenge that is happening right now: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/mayeshfloralmeme/
  • Here’s the link to our Flower Guide: http://info.mayesh.com/flower-guide-offer
    • Be sure to download our ultimate flower guide. it is 12 month of flower availability lists in 1 handy document! It great to use for consultations, planning product palettes and for new employees to reference.
  • Kelly: What are some good subs for Euc?
    • Bay Laurel, olive foliage, purple acacia foliage, grevillea foliage, green nandina, nagi, camelia. Please be aware that from around late April through early June a lot of these greens start their new growth cycle and are too tender to cut. Eucalyptus can have brown to purple soft tips that wilt very quickly but due to their enormous demand, they are being harvested in this delicate state anyway.
  • Kelly: I’m having trouble understanding quality tiers on product and how to request higher grades on certain items. Can you explain?
    • Grading is used to indicate the stage at which a flower is cut (aka it’s open-ness) or to indicate the stem length (which in some cases will translate to a larger bloom head).  For instance, carnations are graded by “standard, select and fancy” which translates to short, medium & long stem length. Alstroemeria is graded by fancy, select and super select meaning short, medium & long stem length. Learning the dialogue used with different flowers will help you navigate the ordering process. Roses are graded by centimeters for their stem length.
    • Mayesh is known for our higher end “Luxe Blooms” procurement. We pride ourselves on carrying the best of the best.
    • Mayesh reps know their clients well and accommodate you based on your personal preferences and needs. For instance, most of our wedding and event clients only want the best! Tall sturdy stems, large blooms, in vogue colors and varieties and we are experts at making your installations truly magical.
    • We also offer more economical choices by keeping a well-stocked online inventory in our Mayesh market. On Mayesh market, you are buying full boxes of flowers so there is a bulk purchase discount on the cost. The quality is still excellent but geared more towards the frugal buyer by utilizing growers from all over the globe.
    • We are able to quickly assemble a purchase order “quote” with our best guess on pricing that can be e-mailed for your approval. This ensures you are in budget and are able to make alterations before the product is in transit. This saves everyone money in the long run by reducing excess inventory.
    • Always discuss the particulars with your sales rep including budget. We work hard to get you exactly what you need!

 

MARKETING NEWS

  • Heather: Why do you stream on FB instead of YouTube?
    • Mainly because I use BeLive.tv for this show, which gives me features that I need and BeLive connects to Facebook. Another reason, though, is that I find our community on Facebook to be more engaging with live content than on YouTube.
  • Charlene: How do you change your category listing for Facebook and Instagram?
    • Charlene saw that we are listed as a “Florist” and wants to know how to get that for her pages, right now her profile says “Artist”.
    • Instagram instructions state: “…if you want to change the category that appears on your Instagram business profile, you’ll need to update the category from the Facebook Page associated with your business.”
    • But that may not work for you and if it doesn’t try the following:
      • Reset your Instagram to a private account. Select the category you want on Facebook, like Florist (which is not listed in IG’s categories for some reason) and then switched your Instagram account back to a business profile and that should do the trick.
    • I sent Charlene the instructions, and here was her response “It worked! thank you so much for taking the time to help a stranger. I really appreciate it.”
  • Instagram Algorithm – With 800+ million users the newest algorithm allows you to see 90% of your friends posts and spend more time on the app according to the stats.
    • Post link: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/01/how-instagram-feed-works/
    • IG reveal how their algorithm works and I thought it would be informative to review the main points.
      • Interest – IG predicts what you will care about based on rankings of what matters to you.
        • as you may know, if you watched past shows, is that I have dogs that includes a sharpei puppy, so I follow some doggie & sharpei pages and their posts always show up in my feed.
      • Timeliness or Recency – you will see posts that were created that day over posts created last week.
      • Relationship – how close are you to someone. For example, if you comment on someone’s post or if you are tagged in photos – Instagram will use relationships to figure out what to show you.
    • These are the 3 factors and nothing really surprising. It makes sense, but good to know. And beyond these factors, they use:
      • Frequency – how often you go into IG and figure out the best posts to show you since your last visit.
      • Following – the more people you follow the wider the breadth of people and pages IG will be using to pick from which means you will see less of any specific author. It’s common sense, but something to keep in mind and this is something that I feel like hinders me from being able to keep up with some designers that I like to follow.
      • Usage – how long are you spending on IG will affect what IG will show you – if you are on longer then IG will have to dive deeper to show you more content.
    • IG also revealed some myth busters!
      • IG does not hide posts in your feed – if you keep on scrolling you will eventually see everything from everyone you follow and get to the end. Has anyone seen “the end of the feed”?
      • Feeds do not favor photos or videos, but rather what you engage with the most. So if you watch lots of videos, then they will show you more videos.
        • Brands should have a good mix of both because your followers will have different preferences.
      • Also, IG doesn’t favor authors who use Stories, Lives, and other special features. But just because it doesn’t affect the newsfeed algorithm, there are still benefits to use the features to engage with your audience.
      • IG doesn’t give preference to business accounts or personal accounts. Just have the right account for your purpose – if you have a business then for me, it makes sense to have a business account.
      • A few months ago, I saw a bunch of content created around shadowbanning, but I never saw it happen or experienced it myself, but according to IG, shadowbanning is not a real thing. So use as many hashtags as you want, but again be smart, don’t be spammy, and make sure they relate to your posts. That is just good business.

 

If you think of new questions for our next show, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for July 10th at 10 am EST for the next Mornings with Mayesh – see you soon!

 

Mornings with Mayesh: Mood Boards & Debra Prinzing

Mornings with Mayesh

During Part I of this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, I demonstrated our custom Canva mood board templates that we created just for you. I review a very basic overview on how to update the templates with your business logo, inspiration text, images, and flower pictures. This easy to use app is great because you just need to upload your picture files or use the built-in stock photos. Another favorite tool that you can use to grab images, figure out color hex codes, and more, is SnagIt and I will give you a brief overview of how to use it.

To save a copy of the three inspiration boards to your own Canva account, click here.

For the second half of the show (Part II), our special guest, Debra Prinzing of SLOW Flowers, joined us. Watch or listen to learn more about Slow Flowers, American Flowers Week, the Slow Flower Summit and so much more. If you are interested in flower farming or just want to understand more about our the evolution of our industry, then you don’t want to miss this in-depth conversation.

 

Here is the podcast replay for Part II of the show. Part I is so visual that a podcast would not have made sense.

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

PART I: MOOD BOARDS & INSPIRATION BOARDS

  • Demo Canva mood boards.https://www.canva.com/mayesh
    • NOTE: I realized after the live demo that you cannot use our design as a template directly from Canva, so I created live links for you to use and create a copy of the templates to your Canva account. Please visit the following link to get the links emailed to you: http://info.mayesh.com/mood-boards
  • We recently just published 3 mood board templates created specifically for you and your floral business.
  • These mood boards/inspiration boards/vision boards are perfect for planning flowers for weddings, corporate events, baby showers and everything else in between.
  • Another tool that my team loves, SnagIt

PART II: SPECIAL GUEST – DEBRA PRINZING

Today, we have a special and talented guest, Debra Prinzing. You may know Debra, as she is the creator of SlowFlowers.com, which is a free directory that helps consumers find florists, designers, studios and farms that supply American grown flowers. But did you know that she is also an award-winning author and speaker? Debra has written 10 books, contributes to many top publications, and is a wonderful speaker as you will soon see and someone that inspires me in my own floral career!

Here is her favorite quote is from Beverley Nichols, “…surely, if you are privileged to own a plot of earth, it is your duty, both to God and man, to make it beautiful.”

  1. Do you want me to start by telling everyone about what is SLOW FLOWERS?
  2. How did you become so obsessed about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers in the first place?
  3. What have you seen in terms of changing consumer attitudes about local and American grown flowers?
  4. What have you seen in terms in terms of changing focus on product sourcing among florists, retailers, wedding/event designers?
  5. What kind of metrics back up these conclusions?
  6. You’ve published an annual Slow Flowers forecast each January for the past four years. How do you track trends and/or predictions that influence the Slow Flowers community?
  7. Are you looking for suggestions? How can people share their ideas/predictions with you?
  8. You produce a lot of content — from your podcast and blog to print and digital stories for Florists’ Review. Tell us about your floral journalism? What gets you excited about writing or interviewing someone for a story?
  9. You have two big events coming up in late June. Tell us about American Flowers Week first — what is it and how can people get involved?
  10. What are you most excited about with this year’s American Flowers Week?
  11. Last year you started the Slow Flowers SUMMIT — tell us what that is?
  12. Who are some of your guests — and what’s got you excited about the event?
  13. How can people get involved in Slow Flowers? Where can they plug in?
  14.  Are you a floral designer yourself?
  15. Tell me something that you are obsessed with right now that is floral related?

Where can we go to find out more information about Slow Flowers and your other projects that you have going on? http://www.debraprinzing.com/

 

if you think of new questions for our next show, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for May 29th at 10 am EST for the next Mornings with Mayesh featuring special guests, Greg Campbell and Erick New, co-owners of Garden District who traveled to specialty farms throughout the U.S. and abroad to create, Florists to the Field, a stunning coffee table book that was recently published.

MDS Seattle Workshop Vendor Feature: Metropolist

 

Guys! We’re so excited that we were able to add an extra Design Star workshop in Seattle with Kaylee Young, and we wanted to share the exciting news that we officially have a venue! The workshop will be held at Metropolist in SODO on July 16th & 17th. Here’s a little information about the space:

 

Metropolist is housed in the historic Ederer Building on 1st Avenue South. Built in 1919, the Ederer Crane building was used to manufacture large-scale cranes for construction projects around the area. You will discover one of the cranes remains in our space and adds an industrial and urban vibe to events and parties.

Metropolist is fully customizable, making it an ideal location for a Seattle wedding, celebration or company event. Metropolist evokes the dramatic effect of an urban industrial warehouse with 14 foot walls and vaulted 25 foot ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, exposed piping overhead, warm and bright wood floors.

 

Metropolist has held many beautiful weddings and styled shoots, one of which was recently featured on Magnolia Rouge! Check out some images of the space and some gorgeous events they have hosted…

 

 


 

 

Design Star Seattle Workshop Venue Metropolist

 

Design Star Seattle Workshop Venue Metropolist

Photo: @whiskersandwillow 

 

Design Star Seattle Workshop Venue Metropolist

 

Design Star Seattle Workshop Venue Metropolist

Above two photos: @omalleyphotographers

 

Design Star Seattle Workshop Venue Metropolist Photo: @bluerosepictures

 


 

Save your seat today!

 

WORKSHOP TICKETS

 

Mornings with Mayesh: April 2018

Mornings with Mayesh: April 2018

We covered some great content during Aprils’s Mornings with Mayesh show. During Part I, Dave, Shelley, and I talk about some of the amazing products that are available now and answered your flower questions. The discussion included: exciting filler flowers, Flannel Flower, using Pieris Japonica in bouquets, greens/pods for boho weddings, attaching/installing flowers to a tree, tools to help book wedding clients, and more.

For the second half of the show (Part II), our special guest, Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business, joined us to discuss minimums – how to set them, when to raise them & more. Enjoy and keep on scrolling down for the show notes.

 

Here are the podcast replays – Part I and Part II:

 

PART I SHOW NOTES

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

 

What is exciting in the world of flowers?

  • Latest flower 411: https://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-april-2018/
  • Monthly availability list: https://www.mayesh.com/flower-availability/ 
  • It’s a heat wave out there! And we’ve got some hot stuff to show you today!
  • Domestic Snowball viburnum from Oregon has arrived and is in Mayesh coolers across the country. A big fluffy fun filler or focal flower BUT it won’t be around long so grab it while it’s hot!
  • Californian Boronia has just come into season and it is truly a super fragrant pop of hot pink color that everyone loves.
  • Giant coxcomb celosia from Holland is back in abundance and comes in all the bright jewel tones we love. Just look at the size of these guys.
  • Domestic Lilac is making it’s short but sweet debut available now from California and will bloom its way north along the west coast for the next few weeks.
  • Dicentra or Bleeding hearts are Dutch Imports right now but look at how cute this is…
  • From Penny – What are some new awesome different fillers that is not gyp??
    • It is easy to get in a rut using the same flowers as fillers but there are a lot of options both old and new available now.
    • Some old fave’s are asters like solidago and montecasino but thanks to growers hybridizing larger varieties we have these giant mardi gras asters and golden glory solidago which look like they are on steroids.
    • Check out this twist on queen annes lace, chocolate lace, it goes from cream to mauve to brown tones.
    • When you think of snowberries you usually think fall BUT these beauties are seasonal in Chile and being imported to us right now.
    • Astilbe is super popular right now, as is astrantia. Both are delicate with a feminine vibe that goes perfectly in wedding work.
    • California riceflower is blooming now and a perfect pop of color.
    • Last but not least, Thlaspi aka Penny Crest… I thought I’d finish with this cool textural Penny Crest to thank Penny for asking some great questions for the show this week! A relative to the Mustard family, it was introduced to the United states in the 1700’s and is found in almost every state.
    •  I also love Boronia heather, wax flower calycinia and eriosteman and pieris japonica.
  • From Penny – We are losing our gerbera daisy growers to another crop…. is the future of the gerbera going to be all imports??? 
    • It’s not just gerberas! Our ever-evolving political climate is making it more and more difficult for some local growers to stay lucrative without changing their business models. It is unfortunate that a lot of what used to be domestic crops are now being grown in other countries where the overhead is lower. The plus side is a more consistent year-round supply and a huge increase in novelty colors and varieties for our market in the USA.
  • From Jayme: My question is regarding Flannel flower, does Mayesh ever have them? Do they import from Australia?
    • DAVE: Flannel flower or Actinotus is available sporadically throughout the year. Mayesh imports this flower from Japan via the Naniwa flower auction starting in early December through Early May. Last year it was also sourced through the Dutch auction in Aalsmeer in May & June then again in September & October. As with any novelty flowers, Flannel flowers availability is inconsistent making them a true gem when they are available.
    • Shelley: Fun fact: this flower is also known as Edelweiss and is native to Austria…if you remember The Sound of Music this is the little flower the song references..Woops I stand corrected. Flannel flower: Acitnotus helianthi are Flannel Flower or sometimes called Australian Edelweiss is a different genus than Austrian Edelweiss which is Leontopodium. My apologies for the misinformation! We are getting that now and it is coming from Japan.

FLOWER CARE

    • From Kristina: Do you know how Pieris Japonica holds up in bouquets and is it available right now?
      • Dave: Pieris goes in and out of season depending on country of origin throughout the year. They tend to shed once the blooms are fully open. A cool use for these is when they are harvested in bud form eliminating the shedding effect. Their natural blooming season varies from year to year based on weather & temperature. This year we saw good production February through April. It will gap for a bit and then we will start to get it in budded form from New Zealand around June. Sporadic production will continue July through October.
      • Shelley: yes it does and it is a beautiful textural accent.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • From Penny: Are you finding more different greens/pods for trending boho weddings??
    • Shelley: yes, actually drieds have made a big comeback for weddings and we are seeing more of our florists buy product to save and dry. Seed pods from Eucalyptus, scabiosa pods, even dried poppy pods. Tumbleweeds, dried palm branches and lots of unusual seed pods like old man’s beard are fun alternatives
  • From Rebecca: What are your tips for doing flower application directly on an element like a tree?
    • Shelley: First of all, always make sure you have permission from the venue to decorate the tree. I find doing the least invasive techniques work the best.Hanging a garland by using zip ties or using a decorative ribbon to hand a wreath or cage also works. you should never nail into a tree unless the venue already has one in place

 

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Summer: What are your favorite “tools” for booking potential bridal clients?  
    • Shelley: Nothing beats good word of mouth and referrals but sometimes that just doesn’t get you enough business when you are new. I always connect with venues and send an arrangement and card and ask for an appointment with the banquet manager. Let them know you are interested in their business. Churches are also a good place to get your foot in the door. Most have a preferred vendors list. I good church coordinator on your side can net you a ton of referrals. As always you will have to put yourself out there as there is competition in your demographic. But being persistent will pay off. Asked to be invited to any meet and greets or bridal shows that these venues may have.If you already have spoken to a bride and would like to book her business, ALWAYS answer emails and follow up quickly with a proposal. I have booked many weddings just because I followed through with the client and showed them I wanted their business. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from brides who made their first appointment with me just because I responded to their initial inquiry…so many florists have auto-response set emails or don’t reply at all. If you want the business, show them! And while we are on the subject of auto-response emails like” thank you for your inquiry but we are currently out working on a wedding or we are traveling” or whatever your excuse is, and you are just too busy to answer..it is a little frustrating to potential clients. Get thee an assistant or intern to promptly respond to emails. You will come off as professional and on it! This is so refreshing to a bride, especially when she has received several of these replies already.  this alone may be a deciding factor for her..because she knows you are attentive from the get-go and won’t be receiving these the entire time you are working with her.
    • Yvonne:

 

Part II

SPECIAL GUEST – ALISON ELLIS

 

Alison Ellis 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 24 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.

Alison’s business tips & teachings can be found at realflowerbusiness.com, which is listed in the top 40 of the “Best Flower Blogs on the Planet”. She’s been featured on FlirtyFleurs.com and is currently a regular business contributor to Florists’ Review Magazine.

She has a wealth of knowledge to share with you and I’m so happy to have her on today’s show!

 

  • Questions from Arbella: I know you got started with several restaurant accounts. How did that work? Did you have 2 sets of bud vases that you would just switch out? Or did you design on site during times the restaurant wasn’t open? And do you have any tips on how you built those relationships?
  • Question from Carie: Lately I have had more brides wanting me to do a mock-up of their wedding flowers so they will be able to see what they will look like prior to the wedding.  When I tell them that I charge for this service they are appalled and decide against it. I haven’t lost any clients over this yet, but wondered how other florists handle these type of people and are there florists out there that do this for free??  
  • Why should florists set a minimum?
  • If they’re just starting out, should you start with a minimum?
  • How do you determine what you minimum should be?
  • When should you raise your minimum?
  • Should you post your minimum on your website?

 

Where can everyone find out more about you and Real Flower business?  https://realflowerbusiness.com/

 

If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for April 24th at 10 am EST for a special Mornings with Mayesh featuring Gretchen Sell from Design Master.

 

 


The Mayesh Experience

The Mayesh Experience

We offer you high-quality wholesale flowers to fulfill your every day & event design needs along with knowledgeable salespeople to help you every step of the way no matter where you are nationwide. Not only do we offer you great products & services, but we strive to provide resources and connections to inspire!

Learn more about: Mayesh Luxe Blooms, Mayesh Market, Mayesh Pulls, Destination Events, Commitment to Education, Mayesh Gives Back, and more!

DOWNLOAD GUIDE HERE

Why You Should be Using Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories

 

So you’re on Instagram, but so are 700 million other people, with 25 million of those being businesses. How can you make yourself stand out in a sea of literally millions of other Instagrammers? (Yes, it’s a word, we checked. Merriam-Webster is more than likely adding it to the dictionary as you read this.) One word: Stories. You’ve most likely watched Instagram Stories from some of your favorite ‘grammers, be it other florists, bloggers or friends. And you’ve probably loved them, right? Instagram Stories are a great way to not only be seen on Instagram, but to connect more personally with clients as well.

 

According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform are from businesses – a huge number when you consider business profiles only make up about 28% of the total users on Instagram. And even better news, two-thirds of visits to business profiles are users that don’t already follow that business on Instagram. With 300 million Instagram users viewing Stories daily, that’s a lot of opportunities to get your content before the eyes of potential customers, and current customers that you want to keep coming back for more of your floral magic.

 

Instagram Stories

 

We know, we know, we’re total data geeks and we just threw a lot of numbers at you! But aside from all of the technological reasons (changing algorithms, engagement, etc.) there are so many other ways and reasons to be using Stories for your business. So now that you’re on board, we want to share some of the different ways you can use them to your benefit and achieve the engagement you need to run a successful business in the age of Social Media!

 


 

One of our most asked questions when it comes to Instagram is whether or not to share BTS (behind-the-scenes) and personal images on your business feed. Well, when answering that question, there are many things to consider. The Instagram feed has now become your portfolio… brides will scroll through yours and decide within SECONDS if they like your work and want to reach out to you. And with all of the beautifully curated feeds out there, you do want to compete with those and make sure yours is consistent and representative of your brand. However, with all of those beautifully curated feeds, how do YOU stand out? To a potential bride or customer who doesn’t necessarily look at flowers and weddings all day, it can be overwhelming to differentiate between all the pretty! Well, Stories are a great way to set yourself apart and show the world a little bit about the designer behind the flowers.

 

I don’t know about you, but when the time comes for me to choose all of the vendors for my wedding, I not only want to love their work, but I want to love them. Stories is a space to share your personality – if you’re a big goofball in real life, show us! Are you witty and sarcastic and have an opinion on just about everything? You bet there’s going to be someone out there who connects with that. Instagram users and potential clients love seeing little pieces of your life outside of work – it helps them feel like they know you even if in reality, you’ve never met.

 

Stories are also a great place to share some BTS of your day-to-day life as a florist… the “ugly” stuff. We know that gorgeous centerpiece on that carefully curated tablescape didn’t just appear… show us how it got there! The process can be just as interesting for your clients or fellow vendors, and as an added bonus, it shows them just how much hard work goes into being a florist, something people don’t always realize! On top of potential clients, this is also a great way to network and connect with other vendors in the industry, making “Instagram friends” if you will, who want to work with you in the future and will direct their clients to you. Win-win!

 

Instagram Stories

 

Okay, so let’s quickly recap the WHY’S of using Stories:

 

  1. To show off that sparkling (or goofy) personality of yours
  2. To show your process and a little BTS of your life as a florist
  3. To increase engagement on your content
  4. To network with industry vendors

 

So now that you have a little more insight into some of the benefits of using Stories, here are some tips, tricks and how-to’s to achieving that.

 


 

Instagram Live

 

Going live can be super intimidating, but Instagram has made it so easy that it’s really not that big of a deal! We’ve seen florists use Live videos in a number of ways… from live design demonstrations to Q+A’s (both personal and business related), Live stories are a great way to interact in real time and allow your followers to ask questions for you to answer right then and there. If you’re not already following Ponderosa & Thyme, she uses Instagram Live all the time and is one of our favorites to tune into.

 

Links

 

If your Instagram is a business account (which it should be) one of our most utilized features is the good ‘ole “Swipe Up!” for links. Whether you want to share new content you’ve posted to your blog or website, or you just want to direct customers/brides to your contact page, this feature is exclusive to business profiles and sees really high engagement. When we started linking our new blog posts on Stories, we saw a huge increase in link opens and people reading and commenting on our blogs, and it makes complete sense with how convenient it is – a simple swipe and they’re right where you want them.

 

Polls

 

In the most general sense, polls can be a great way to find out WHAT your followers are interested in seeing. If you’re still struggling with determining what to post on your feed and/or Stories, do a little crowdsourcing!

Polls can also be used as fun little ways to interact with your followers, even if you’re not *really* looking for an answer. For example, posting two arrangements and asking them which they like best. Or maybe you DO want an answer! Your followers’ input could be just what you need to answer the important questions in life…. like blush vs. millennial pink 😉

 

Story Highlights

 

It’s both a blessing and a curse that Stories only last 24 hours… but that all changed when Instagram introduced Highlights. If you went on an Insta-Rant (not yet a word, but it probably should be) about pricing and you want everyone to hear what you had to say, make it a Highlight! You can really use them for anything – a portfolio of your best work, a BTS of an event from start to finish, upcoming events or workshops – and you can add to individual highlights even after you’ve already posted the original one. If you need a little inspiration, Shean Strong has some great ones – from “Five Fun Facts” to our personal favorite, “Driving with Shean,” the possibilities are endless.

 

Instagram Stories

 

Fight the Algorithm

 

We’ve all heard about the changing algorithms, and because of them you might sometimes notice less engagement (likes & comments) on your posts. One way to help guide followers to new posts on your feed is to use Stories! Many bloggers & Influencers do this by screenshotting their feed and literally just saying “NEW POST!” as a way to direct them there and increase engagement. And in doing research for this blog, we learned that there might be some new features on the way to make sharing new posts even easier… stay tuned!

 

Insights & Tutorials

 

We’ve talked a lot about engagement and insights and all this technical stuff – but what does it all mean?! To find out how to analyze all this data, check out this article from Social Media Examiner… they can explain things a bit better than we can 😉

And if you’re looking for some more technical help on how to use all of the great (and constantly evolving) features, check out these two helpful visual guides to help you master your Insta-Story game!

The Preview App: New Features Instagram 2018

Hootsuite: How to Use Instagram Stories

 


 

If you weren’t already using Stories, we hope you’ve convinced you by now! If you have any questions or comments, or have discovered another creative use of them, share with us in the Comments below!

 

The Floral Podcasts You Should be Listening to Right Now

 

Podcasts are all the rage right now. They’re informative, educational, and even fun – what’s not to love? Plus, you can find a podcast on pretty much any topic that interests you. As “experts” in the floral industry, we get asked all the time what floral podcasts we listen to. So we decided to pull together a list of some great podcasts about the floral industry – from wedding flowers, to interviews with top florists, to marketing your floral business, to growing your own flowers, and everything in-between.

 

Check out some of our favorite floral podcasts below, and let us know what podcasts you’re loving right now in the comments!

 


Team Flower

 

Listen as we talk with influential florists, growers and flower industry professionals. Be notified when new podcast episodes are released and receive fun video tutorials when you sign up for our Pen Pal Club for free at www.teamflower.org

Also available on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.

 

 

Botanical Brouhaha

 

Amy McGee of Botanical Brouhaha and Maria Maxit of Maxit Flower Design co-host a podcast for the floral industry, where you can hear floral industry friends sharing their stories and discussing anything and everything related to the flower business.

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

 

She Creates Business

 

How to start a wedding planning business? How do I market my wedding business? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Maybe you’re wondering if you’re the only one who still has questions about starting, growing and scaling your wedding business. I’m here to tell you, you’re absolutely not alone. Every Tuesday & Thursday, She Creates Business, a Podcast for Wedding Pros interviews women entrepreneurs just like you. We share personal stories, business-building strategies, marketing tips, how to use social media in your wedding business & more. From wedding planners to florists, from venue owners to calligraphers and beyond, no topic is off limits. Join us for community and conversation!

Also available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and Spotify.

 

 

Slow Flowers

 

SLOW FLOWERS is about making a conscious, sustainable choice in how you choose flowers. The podcast introduces listeners to the leading voices in the SLOW FLOWERS movement, from the field to the vase. Meet American flower farmers, eco-couture floral designers, innovative Do-It-Yourself designers and pioneering farmer-florists. Debra Prinzing, the leading advocate for American Grown flowers, hosts the conversation and encourages you to join the creative community.

Also available on iTunes.

 

 

Weddings-Ish With Jove

 

A podcast on all things weddings-ish including a special guest each episode! Brooklyn based wedding planner and designer Jove Meyer will share wedding planning tips and trends and dish on all things wedding-ish! Each episode we will cover a different aspect of wedding planning (budget, flowers, food, music, etc.) and feature a special wedding industry guest! You will laugh, learn and fall in love with wedding planning!

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

 

And of course, don’t forget…

 

 

Mornings with Mayesh

Mornings with Mayesh

 

Each month, Yvonne Ashton and her flower friends get together to chat about flowers and floral design, answering your questions, discussing top social media news, and interviewing special guests to help keep you inspired! If you are a floral professional be sure to subscribe to this podcast.

Also available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and Spotify.

 

Beyond the ‘Gram: I Didn’t Choose the Florist Life… the Florist Life Chose Me

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

Before you dive into part two of Beyond the ‘Gram, make sure you’re up to speed and have read part one first, Let me Introduce Myself!

 


 

What led you down your current flower path? Can you recall what first inspired you to become a floral designer? If you read most florists’ bios, they start something like this: “I grew up with flowers,” ”I played in my grandmother’s antique rose garden,” “I was raised a heathen wild child amongst the fairy folk in the hills of the shire…”

 

Me? Well, not quite…

 

Granted, I was a child of the late 60’s (born in 1967) on the cusp of the Summer of Love. The Flower Child generation. Except I was a baby… I missed alla that. By the time I was ten it was disco fever and the totally awesome 80’s were looming. I collected Unicorns and if it was purple and had sequins on it, I was all about it. My father was a military man and I moved every year from birth to my freshman year of high school.

 

My first dream was to be an ice skater (obsessed even today) or a prima ballerina (having never touched the ice or donned a pair of pointe shoes mind you). You see, I was a chubby little thing. But I could draw really well and paint. So instead, I spent endless hours alone  in my room painting ballerinas in graceful arabesque positions on pointe. My favorite color of oil paint was Alizarin Crimson. At ten years old, I found an illustration of a couple disco dancing from an Arthur Murray print ad in the newspaper (it was 1977 after all) and I had an epiphany.  I decided I wanted to be a famous fashion designer instead! I loved illustrating people, period. By the time I was twelve I was hooked on fashion magazines and had moved on to illustrating models. At sixteen and a junior in high school I applied and was accepted into a very respected fashion college in Dallas Texas (what? They were all the rage!)  but I never made it… I got pregnant. Dun, dun, dun.

 

Don’t worry, I did indeed  graduate high school even with a baby on my hip, but went to community college instead. I focused instead on getting a degree in Art. Nothing was going to stop my dream. I was set back, but determined. After a failed attempt at an almost marriage and WAIT for it:  (oh-dear-god-no-aren’t-you-on-the- pill-yet??) Baby #2 was on the way. My valiant attempt at trying to do the right thing and get married because I had a baby with my boyfriend had resulted in another pregnancy for us knuckleheads. Needless to say, things didn’t work out. I found myself alone, unemployed and a very young mother of two by the time I was nineteen years old. I was on my way to becoming a statistic with big hair… I needed a job, stat.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

What exactly was I qualified to do? When I was a little girl we lived in Virginia Beach, VA. I loved to make flower necklaces out of camellias and the pretty azalea blooms that grew everywhere… Ok, so there was that one time I dabbled in flowery stuff as a kid. It was hard not to. I was artistic after all and we lived in the azalea capital of the Atlantic seaboard. Virginia had the most giant, magical azalea bushes you have ever seen, and those big blooms called my name. Later, when I was in high school, we ended our years in the military living in, of all places, Arkansas. It really is like the Oregon of the south; a gorgeously lush, mountain deep in pine trees, beautiful state. Arkansas really deserves  the moniker “The Natural State.” I am pretty sure that this is where my true love of nature and floral was born. I would go deep in the woods and collect grapevine branches in high school. The locals made muscadine wine out of the grapes that grew on them, and I would make cute country style wreaths out of it. Yes, I was foraging back in the day y’all. I wish I could tell you I left it at that but no… this was the 80’s. I glued little country, wooden, Christmas cutouts all over ‘em. CRINGE. Then I’d plop a ribbon on my creations and sell those wreaths to folks. You guyyys, we are talking EL-E-GANT..They sold like hot cakes! (My other “hot seller” was puff paint sweatshirts with Care Bears I hand painted. Naturally, I cut the sweatshirt neck out a la Flashdance style and at five bucks a pop, I barely covered the cost of my paint). I was a baby entrepreneur in the making!

 

Thinking back on my booming wreath business gave me the idea that I must have some kind of knack for floral arranging, so of course I applied for a job at the only place that was hiring and that appealed to my artistic side – the local grocery store floral department.

 

It may not have been the most glamorous place to start my floral career but, I will have you know, I got some pretty decent training there. My manager, a woman who had worked for years in the floral industry, had taken a job at that Safeway because like so many others, after years in the business making slightly above minimum wage and not having any insurance or benefits to speak of, decided she needed the stability of a more corporate job. She taught me the basics. One day I will share with you a HI-larious story of my first corsage ever, when I was left on my own one day…hijinks!

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

If you have been in the business for a while you are probably not doing it for the big money either and if you have just started in this business you are definitely not doing it for the money. It is for THE JAW DROPPING BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS, THE ART, THE CREATIVITY, THE FREEDOM, THE EXHILARATION  you feel at making something with your hands, THE KUDOS that slowly feeds your small doubts about your ability to design, the, the, (insert your desires here)…

 

But probably not the money.

 

Eventually you want to earn THE MONEY. Don’t you? You do right? I am going to talk to y’all a bit later on this subject in a future post. Because it is a business and not  just an expensive hobby.

 

Unfortunately, we don’t actually get much in the way of real training to become a florist. It has always been a learn as you go kind of job. Most of us just kind of happen into it. As a matter of fact, this might seem at times to be the world’s most difficult job to get hired into. Amirite? Ever tried to apply for a job at a flower shop?  Some of you know what I’m talking about.

 

I only worked at the grocery store for six months because I landed a job at a really nice flower shop in a wealthy suburb of north  Dallas. The owners, who shall remain nameless, were, let’s just say, challenging to work for. I was barely twenty years old. But, this is where I learned to appreciate a wealthier clientele. Sophistication, elegance and style and people with THE MONEY. And LOTS of it. This is also the year Martha Stewart “Weddings” came out and changed the floral industry forever. If you don’t believe me, go back and take a look at floral designs pre-Martha 1987… TACK-O-RAMA. There was A LOT of glitter ting-ting flying around (you might wanna google that).

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

Now don’t get me wrong, there were some folks out there doing good work (Pure Madderlake in New York and many European designers come to mind) and of course all the classics we have already discussed, but in the US, floral designs were heavily influenced by wire service designs and our own floral industry publications.

 

Martha set off a cultural revolution not only on the domestic home front, but she had a major impact on the wedding industry and the way we designed flowers.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

Up until that point being a florist was just a fun, crafty job that appealed to my artistic side while I went to college to become a real artist. Until that publication pushed a button inside of me and appealed to something much higher to attain – being a floral artist. I wanted to be better. I quickly decided I only wanted to work for the best shops. To hone my craft. Since I was already working for a really good shop at the time (but my bosses weren’t the nicest couple of guys to work for) I decided to go for it and applied for a job at one of the most highly respected florists in Dallas at the time: Mille Fleurs. I thought, if I wanted to take my floral career more seriously I needed to only work for the best designers. I was lucky to start my career in Dallas, some of the best floral talent set up shop there back in the day.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

My new employers were hot, uber talented, German and gay: Friedhelm Schnitzler and Heinz Reifferscheid. They became important life long friends and mentors before they both passed away. They taught me the art and craft of Floral Design. They taught me everything I know about flowers and then some.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

As florists, we are artistic types, we yearn to create something beautiful  with our hands, create inspiring pieces that are real and just might move people. A kind of living art  that sells, art that we actually get to make a living at.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

 

We may not even have even realized that what we are doing is art. Back in 2004, when the Design Museum of London decided to showcase a Constance Spry exhibition, the Museum’s original co-founder’s actually threatened to resign. They  claimed that flower arranging was merely shallow styling and not truly design. How Rude! Try telling that to a Japanese Ikebana master Toshiro Kawase or German Master designer Gregor Lersch. Or what about  Daniel Ost? Ost is a virtual floral architect!

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Work from Gregor Lersch

 

I theorize that designing with flowers  is like creating a kind of art on demand. A client calls that morning and places an order with you to be filled that day delivered for his wife’s birthday… and it must be breathtaking! A wedding coordinator calls and need a spectacular arrangement for a last minute photo shoot, her florist cancelled at the last minute, can you help? A bride is planning a real wedding ceremony a few months away but she needs small bouquet for their civil ceremony this afternoon and can you make something small and lovely for her? She didn’t think she wanted flowers but now she does… She will pick it up in an hour, do you have gardenias? You must be “on”  as an artist at all times. And that is absolutely what you are, an artist. What other artistic profession demands so much from its artist at any given moment? And there are those days you have an off-day and don’t do your personal best work and man, does it bug you for days, that one arrangement you sent out that wasn’t perfection.

 

We take our kind of art so for granted because we pop it out every day, day after day, that we even start to devalue it ourselves. And so does everyone else. We sigh at that customer who whinges on at the price of that garden rose or our minimum or that “yes we charge a delivery fee.” No other retail product is processed, designed/manufactured and delivered all under one roof quite like flowers are. They deserve so much more respect than they are given. From the growers to the wholesalers to designers who ultimately work with them… it is a labor of love.

 

On the flip side, we have been our own worst enemies too. There have been some hideous creations thrust upon us from some rather creative, kitschy types, from flower mum poodles to carnation ice cream sundaes (my horrible 80’s wreaths included), but there is a place for everything and I look at it all with a fine sense of humor.

 

Why do we not consider florists real artists? Because the medium of flowers are essentially perishable? An arrangement simply does not last. Fleeting beauty that we can’t put a lasting monetary value on. It’s a big reason consumers are less likely to see them as a tangible asset –  flowers die. So they have spent hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars, in the case of a wedding or event, on something they can’t keep. Other than drying it, the only way to preserve that floral design is with photos.

 

But my friends, “Flowers as an Art form “ is back. We are in the dawn of a floral revolution not just in design but where and how they are grown. When you hear that Saipua’s images look like Dutch paintings that is really saying something. Because they do. There is a thoughtfulness put into everything like never before. A new aesthetic has emerged. Because we are finding out that you care and that not only will the recipient see it, THE WORLD will see it. The challenge lies now in getting them to appreciate them again. And I think you are doing it.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Left: A still-life from Dutch painter Rachel Ruysch in the 1600 & 1700’s | Right: Arrangement from Saipua 

 

Your generation is elevating the art of floral design even more today than ever before. What once only showed up in fancy coffee table books – books put out by florists that frankly were mostly only seen by other florists – now appear on the ‘Gram daily. Florists today have access to the most luxurious product in the world and are not afraid to use it, no matter what the cost might be, as long as it reflects the quality of the product. Because this new generation of floral designers is starting to understand that they are expressing themselves through the art of floral design with flowers as their medium. You are now curating your own aesthetic.

 

The flower world is catching up too… because of you. You are talking to each other through social media. That’s very important. Where once change took years, it can now take just hours or days. Showcase that one perfect ranunculus in your arrangement in Australia? I will hear about it from my client within hours. She wants it for her event in two weeks, make it happen please.

 

Just like what has happened to the produce world, where “organic” has become the buzzword, flower farmers are now what the organic vegetable farmers were to us a few years ago. I could write an entire post about Floret Flower Farm. Most of you know who she is by now, but if you don’t, look her up. Mindfully grown, slow grown and organically grown fever has crossed over into our world now, as it well should. Consumers are also beginning to care where in the world their flowers are coming from. This is huge and it has brought the focus back to growing flowers in America. It is still going to take a while for consumers to get on board, and it’s up to you to educate them. We will have to do this together.

 

Floret

Erin Benzakein of Floret / Photo by Joy Prouty

 

You see, for years South American and Dutch flowers have dominated the floral design world. Long stemmed, rigidly grown flowers that are easy to ship, like roses, stargazers, callas, poms, carnations and more, all mostly devoid of fragrance and any natural curves or lines bred out of them. This was necessary in order to make them last longer and transport them, easier en masse. And what about floral design? Beautiful flowers stuffed tightly into unnatural forms were de rigueur. It was clean and modern… and well, maybe a bit cold. And while overall the flowers have gotten better (especially the Dutch spring varieties, South American grown garden roses, and unusual novelty carnations in subtle antique colors) you can now find local American flower farmers growing heavy headed, heirloom style garden roses and giant dinner plate dahlias, sweet peas with gorgeous curly tendrils and playful anemones again. There are amazing Italian cloni, fluffy ranunculus that look like beautiful petticoats grown right here in California. Elegant, spindly spirea from Oregon. The Japanese have entered the market with luxury Japanese flowers like we have never seen before. Flowers are wild again and unstructured. The demand for different and unusual flowers, grasses, branches and foliages has exploded. Even that 70’s staple, “Drieds,” have made a comeback with millennials who favor the boho look. Your mother’s pampas grass never looked so good. And YOU did this. The young new generation of women and men in this movement and our older OG florists who have always stayed ahead of the trends with timeless designs, because we long to be close to nature again. It feels right.

 

Floret dinnerplate dahlias

Floret Sherwood’s Peach dinnerplate dahlias / Image from @floretflower

 

There is so much going on my fellow flower friends! It’s an exciting time to be a florist, floral designer or floral artist… whatever you want to call yourself.

 

And what about me? Did I ever get that degree? Well, 3 kiddos, 6 grandkids and 2 flower shops later, I did not. I got bit by the flower bug, too. But, I did become a floral artist and you can’t argue with me on that. I may not have become that famous fashion designer, but I still love to paint, draw and craft (no wooden cutouts I promise) and now I am beginning to write again. My old high school teacher Mr. Guess would be so proud! He was my biggest cheerleader, and I ended up becoming editor and illustrator of the school newspaper my senior year, even with that sweet lil’ bambino of mine.

 

Join me next on part three of my series Beyond the ‘Gram as I discuss how to grow your baby business or enhance your existing business with “Collabs are Fab.” There is a new generation of young, female and driven floral designers who have taken over the floral industry and are working together like never before.

 

Beyond the 'Gram: The Flower Industry IRL with Shelley Anders

Mornings with Mayesh: March 2018

Mornings with Mayesh March 2018 with Jodi Duncan

We covered some great topics during March’s Mornings with Mayesh show. During Part I, Dave and I talk about some of the amazing products that are available now and answered your flower questions. The discussion included: reviewing some regular roses that are similar to garden roses, ideas for good corsage/boutonniere flowers, thoughts on hardgood investments for budding businesses, sources for large containers, how to attract luxury brides, ads in Instagram Stories, and Youtube updates.

For the second half of the show (Part II), Jodi Duncan, of Jodi Duncan Designs and Socialjodi, joined me to chat about her thoughts on social media with a focus on how to get started, content ideas, and what social platforms you need to make sure you are utilizing. Enjoy and keep on scrolling down for the show notes.

 

Here is the podcast replays – Part I and Part II:


 

PART I

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

 

    • From Gaye: What are your favorite “regular” roses that open up nicely to look similar to the expensive garden roses?  Any tricks of the trade when substituting? I know at the end of the day, there ARE no substitutes really!!
      • Hi Gaye, Great question! Actually yes, you can create this look with just about any nice standard rose that has a high petal count and opens nicely. I demonstrate a technique in my workshops on how to do this and I can show you guys here too. The standard white rose Polo opens up really nicely like a garden rose and so does Playa Blanca. Shimmer is another favorite of mine. The trick is to get your roses opening up ahead of time and gently use your fingers to relax them more.Also removing the center petals and exposing the filament, anther and seed grains gives that illusion as well. This is an excellent trick for wedding and event work and yes the roses will hold up.
        Polo Rose

        Polo Rose

        Shimmer Rose

        Shimmer Rose

        Playa Blanca Rose

        Playa Blanca Rose

        Peach Finesse Rose

        Peach Finesse Rose

         

    • What is exciting in the world of flowers?
      • http://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-march-2018/
      • When we think spring, we usually envision pastels and girly colors but there are so many cool spring flowers in the on-trend muted tones available now.
      • Butterfly ranunculus are gaining huge popularity. It is unique in having a having a lower petal count than the typical varieties we know. A more open aperture reveals the dark center and can somewhat resemble an anemone though come in a much larger range of bright and muted colors. Their petals are slightly reflective giving them a silky shimmer.
      • Tulips are always a spring favorite. I remember their little leaves poking out from the snow at the end of winter in Indiana and looking forward to warmer weather. Their fragrance always brings me back to my childhood in my mother’s garden. This variety is a Dutch grown black parrot. I love the dark moody aubergine tone and the scalloped texture of the petals.
      • My next superstars of spring season are the Fritillaria: I have 3 uniquely different varieties to show you, all imported from Holland via the Aalsmeer auction…
        • First is Fritillaria Meleagris. This varieties latin name is derived from Dicebox & spotted Guinea fowl and It is native to Europe. They have dainty little bell-shaped flowers born on short stems perfect for tucking into bridal work or short bud vases.
        • Second is Fritillaria Persica. This variety is native to Persia thus the latin Persica. It comes in shades of purple to greenish brown and this variety is fairly hardy.
        • The third variety is Fritillaria Imperialis also known as the skunk lily due to its pungent aroma. It is said that planting these in your garden will repel moles and mice. Folklore around this plant says that they were growing near Christ’s crucifixion and to this day still hang their heads in sorrow.
      • Check out these giant kale varieties grown in California. This giant cruciferous rosette is related to the cabbage family and loves this time of year for the cool nights and warm sunny days. It’s even kinda cool when they bolt out and get this oblong shape.
      • Peach Lisianthus from Japan… words just cannot do justice to this baby…
      • Lisianthus is native to the Southwest United States through Mexico to South America and is commonly known as Prairie Gentian.
      • Not a typical spring flower, I just wanted to share this moody, muted carnation variety called copper extasis
      • Last item comes to us from Chile. These blackberries add the perfect amount of texture and are cut at a young green stage to maximize vase life. This finger-friendly variety is thornless and has long sturdy stems for your designs.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • From Gaye: What are good flowers to use for corsages and boutonnières that will last a long time out of water, other than the usual suspects of spray roses, eryngium, waxflower, etc? I was surprised to see bracelets and bouts made with ranunculus and just wonder if there are some favorite “soft” flowers that last a long time out of water.  I like to make them up a day ahead…I loved the dog collar Kaylee made from sweet peas, that would be a beautiful crown. I’m guessing that would need to be made the morning of the event?
    • Almost any flower can be wired and made into a corsage true. As we know some flowers hold up better than others. Ranuncs actually are great for corsage work because of their high petal count and timeless garden look. Hellebores, nigella blooms, scabiosa blooms, blushing bride protea, strawflower, hyacinth and nerine blooms are all great and more unusual softer looking alternatives. Delicate flowers like sweet peas need to be definitely made the day of and spritzed with a floral sealer like Crowning Glory or similar. It essentially keeps the flower from transpiring as quickly. Most flowers hold up about 2 hours out of the water. You can get almost 7 with a product like Crowning Glory. If you want to see how this product works check out a post done Alicia of Flirty Fleurs. Alicia did a test on some notoriously difficult flowers out of the water and the results are impressive. It’s an OG product that has been around for years and I think every florist should learn how to utilize. Oasis brand makes a Foliage spray sealer as well.

 

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Sarah: Started my business for 4 months. Work out of my home. Do you think it is worth investing in a lot of hard goods? rentals and have a wide variety. Obviously close to my style?
    • Hi Sarah, Congrats on your new business! I would start slowly and build up your inventory based on your needs right now. I would also create a business plan and decide who your bride is what kind of market you are in first.Do you want to get into props and rentals as part of your business? Remember everything you buy for one wedding needs to make sense for future weddings or events. Props like Large urns, stands or columns which are usually a safe bet are things you can feel confident to invest in and know you will probably use repeatedly. Often centerpiece containers can vary bride to bride so you either can decide on 2 or 3 styles that you offer and leave it at that( a wide variety is not necessary) or you can end up amassing a collection of vessels you may only use once or twice. I think it’s best to begin curating your look and stay conservative initially. As a side note: It’s also a plus if you can sell the container with the design too. So many people like to take the florals home after an event.It’s often a challenge for florists at the end of the evening to get their containers back without destroying the flowers. This is why it’s always a good idea to use a liner that you can lift out of the original rental during strike.
  • From Gaye: What are good sources for large containers to be used for ceremonies? Statement pieces that don’t break the bank?
    • Hi Gaye, This has always been challenging for florists. You need something that looks elegant and weathered but not too heavy, waterproof with a deep enough bowl to hold the proper sized mache container that doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars. There are many companies that make urns and the trick is finding the perfect ones. Besides our usual wholesale floral suppliers like San Diego Wholesale or Floral Supply Syndicate my go to’s has always been Lowes or Home Depot for large outdoor garden urns. These are usually very sturdy are made out of faux stone material and are waterproof.  Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and any home decor company Like Park Hill Collection (one of my favorite companies) as well.
  • From Rebecca: I’d love to get more higher-end bride’s who are not on such a budget. Any tips?
    • Hi Rebecca, What I am hearing is that you would like to attract higher-end brides.  There is an old saying “ Wealth attracts Wealth”  If you want to appeal to this kind of bride then that is the kind of business you need to be projecting. Are you yourself High-end? How have you curated your brand? What kind of work does your portfolio show? A lot of DYI or low budget weddings are not going to bowl over potential high-end clients.What is your minimum? Do you say yes and take every wedding that comes your way? Learning to say no to the wrong work for you is saying yes to the work you want. Target your focus to working with vendors who only work with high-end brides themselves. You will have to work hard to break into these types of circles. You have to think like the wealthy think.  It’s possible you may have to rebrand yourself and overhaul the look or work you are currently doing.Burn this word into your brain: Luxury. There is nothing cheap or budget-friendly about it. And another thing to remember, this is a very small part of the overall wedding market so you have to really have to take a laser focus to your approach here and make sure that you become the Luxury Vendor these brides want to talk to.  Make sure this is actually want you want, because working in this upper echelon of the bridal market is a whole different world.

 

MARKETING NEWS

  • Ads in Instagram Stories
    • https://business.instagram.com/blog/creating-compelling-ads-in-stories/
    • I’ve been stressing the importance of utilizing IG Stories and their latest biz blog post had some very interesting tidbits.
      • “As more than 300 million active Instagram accounts around the world watch and create Stories every day,2 Instagram Stories is becoming an increasingly powerful way for brands to stand out and inspire action.”
    • Quote from OpenTable: “Our Instagram Stories campaigns have proven to be some of our highest ROI campaigns to date, while also driving a significant volume of reservations. This ad format not only delivers performance but also effectively engages our best customers with crave-worthy content.”
  • Youtube adds new live streaming tools and features.
    • https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2018/02/updates-to-youtube-live-streaming.html
    • when you watch the replay later, the comments replay as well in conjunction so that you feel like you are watching live.
    • Youtube offers a live auto-captioning to live videos.
    • Adding new metrics –
      • unique viewers – can take a look at this number vs. how many subscribers you have, which videos that you have posted that your current unique videos are into and then keep on hitting hard there.

So I don’t have time for other questions today because I am bringing on our special guest. 

 

 

Part II

 
Ok, it is time for our special guest, Jodi Duncan, of SocialJodi. Welcome Jodi!
 

SPECIAL GUEST – JODI DUNCAN

 

  • Before we get started, tell us a bit about yourself.
    • I’ve been hanging around flowers since I was seven. So that’s 40 years…more than 3/4 of my life! I have way too much I still want to do and there are way too many people that I still want to help. Creativity is my oxygen. That process has given me longevity & passion that is sustainable. I think with the integration of AI and VR, the touchy/feely side of artesian creativity will be more important than ever. I am super intuitive & curious. I am also easily bored. In the past year, I got bored telling my own story (which is what every entrepreneur really does whether they recognize it or not….) and after the success with helping my Design Master account achieve some of their goals, it became clear I was pretty good at it.  I developed Socialjodi as a social media consulting agency to scale my ability to help other people with social media because it’s not going away. It’s going to get bigger and more important. I’m a practitioner. I’m doing it. I have case studies and things I have learned and applied that have gotten powerful results. I have accounts ranging from huge corporations to not for profits to small startups. I’m not just somebody that signed up for a few webinars and decided to start teaching this, although I do love a good webinar! I am in the trenches. I’m not removed from the process. I’m living it too. We are doing a live webinar on my Socialjodi facebook page at the end of the month where we are going to explore these things, so you can check us out there for more info.
  • Question from Jessica: I would like to hear from other floral artists on their favorite way to capture their work. I have a nice digital camera with DSLR but I feel like my images don’t capture my designs well and soI’m constantly trying to get the professional’s images hoping they were able to capture it.
  • What advice do you have for our viewers who want to get started in social media but aren’t sure where to start?  
    • JUST START. Don’t overthink it.  Get people to know, like and trust you. If you can’t create content because you think you have nothing to say (a LIE) then just document others content, and give them credit. If you don’t have confidence in your ability to DO, then DOCUMENT. Ask permission to use their content and give them credit. Social media is SOCIAL. People make the mistake of thinking is technical. IT IS NOT. I’d rather train your spunky 70-year-old meemaw on social media than your 27-year-old tech genius. Tech people are usually not very socially intuitive. Give me the person with the best personality…they will be your best person for your social media.  Social media is not a tech function. It’s a marketing function. People who misunderstand this make a huge mistake. It drives me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. And it is shockingly common.
  • Do you think that all content that is shared by a business needs to be professionally created?
    • Depends on the content. If it is graphic design, fonts, logos than YES.  If it’s not, it at least needs to LOOK like it was professionally created.  There are lots of apps that make that possible. Weird design, blurry graphics and comic sans fonts are NOT ok. Bad design that is hard to read and has too much info, weird clip art, and no focal emphasis is a mess. It’s hard to overlook bad design in an industry that is aesthetically based. And there is no excuse for it.

      For video, there is a place for the polished and the precious. But keep in mind that society today understands reality TV. And most understand Snapchat. It’s not either or, but both. And if you can only do one, do the raw, shot from your phone.  Unless its just horrible, viewers will look past the imperfections. Engagement is more important than perfection. If you can tell a good story, your audience will love you no matter what.
  • Speaking of content – besides sharing pictures of finished work, which is probably the #1 piece of content that is easy for florists to create & share – what other content ideas do you think could work well? For example, what would be good video subject matter for florists to produce?
    • Cooler tours are awesome. Shop tours. Venue tours. Just quick videos on your phone. The quicker the better.  Goldfish have a 7-second attention span. Humans are 6 seconds. Keep it brief. Facebook LOVES video content that originated on their platform.

      The Mayesh rack pulls are perfect example of behind the scenes and telling a story. Or…how about pulling together elements of a tablescape? Walk them through the process…boxes arriving, piles of stems from processing, 24 hours of hydration. Behind the scenes. Transparency. The stuff that is white noise to us is fascinating to others. We are blinded to the magic of what we do. We take it for granted.
  • What social media platforms do you think is most important to florists?
    • Instagram, Facebook. Pinterest. BUT for the record, I think they are all important…it’s like asking me which child is my favorite.  It depends on the long game, of where you want to go, who you want to influence, where you are on the spectrum of social media. Beginners need to focus on Instagram & Facebook. People who have a good grasp on those 3 and are engaging consistently seriously need to look into youtube and podcasts and livestream. Instagram is HOT HOT HOT.
  • What social media platform do you think isn’t too important now, but will be important in a few years?
    • Podcasts. It’s time arbitrage. You can listen while driving, cooking, taking a shower, working out.  It’s efficient. It makes you smarter. It’s a win-win. If you aren’t listening to podcasts & subscribed to them, you should be. There are some brilliant people putting out amazing content. Go learn. It is an investment in yourself. Never stop learning.
  • Not related to flowers, what are you obsessed with right this minute?
    • Spring. Because I want to landscape my yard & finish the final stage of our construction/renovation project.  I want my yard to look like a dreamscape on the prairie. We have several acres with a large pond. I am beyond ready to get in the dirt and plant and groom and turn it into a sanctuary. I want to plant a few things to cut from along the way! Dahlias, peonies, hydrangea, cool foliages and branches too.
  • Find out more about Socialjodi at www.socialjodi.com!

 

 

If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne. 

Be sure to mark you calendar for April 10th at 10 am EST.

Mornings with Mayesh Podcast

Mornings with Mayesh Podcast

If you are a fan of our Mornings with Mayesh show, then I have some very exciting news …. you can now listen to the Mornings with Mayesh replays via podcast!! You can find the podcasts in each of our show replay blog posts as well as here (see player below) and on podcast platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

If you have not heard of Mornings with Mayesh, then I hope you check it out. It is a show where I get together with my flower friends, Shelley Anders and Dave Tagge, to disucss what is currently happening in our flower world, what flowers you need to check out, and answer your floral related questions – ranging from flower care, floral design, flower business, and marketing. In addition to including all of that great content, I try to bring on a special guest, as well, to discuss a variety of topics.

This is a show that you get to direct so I hope you can join us and always feel free to send in your questions, thoughts and ideas for the show.

 

 

5 Tips to Elevate Your Social Media Presence

social media tips for florists

 

Preface: Below is an article that I recently wrote for the WFFSA blog and I wanted to make sure that I shared it with you all! I hope that you find it helpful and if you want marketing/social media tips, let me know what you are looking for and I may create a blog post just for you!


I literally just wrote the title and now I’m thinking, “ONLY 5 – how am I going to pick just 5 points to focus on”??? Because if you have ever met me, then you know that one of my passions is social media and inbound marketing. I could talk about it all day long, but I know that you have just a few minutes to spare and I don’t want to waste your time. So let’s get to it!

 

TIP #1: DEFINE YOUR POST FREQUENCY

I’m assuming that you have already found which social media platforms you want to utilize because that is where your core audience is hanging out at. Now you need to figure out how often to post. Personally, I try to post once a day with the exception of Instagram, which I post 1-3 times per day. For businesses, the bottom line is that it is imperative to be consistent. So set a schedule and try very hard to stick with it. If you are looking for a more scientific approach, then be sure to check out CoSchedule’s “Social Media Posting Frequency Kit” that summarizes 14 different studies.

 

TIP #2: BE SOCIAL

Yes, be social on social media! It sounds simple, but this is sometimes the hardest part to keep up on because you need to check back on your posts. If you are working hard on coming up with great content to post on to your social media pages, be sure to follow through to gain the most from your efforts. That means be social, respond and interact with your fans who take the time to respond and ask questions. It is a great way to establish authority over the subject matter at hand.

 

TIP #3: EARN THE RIGHT TO SELL

You read that correctly – all brands need to earn the right to sell to their community. Social media is NOT like other marketing engines because the content here should be focused on educating, starting discussions and entertaining. You might be tempted to keep on blasting your fans with product promos, sales and the like but please don’t because you will lose your followers or at the very least, they will tune you out. Get together with your team to brainstorm content ideas – company culture, industry news, informative posts, product information, job postings, etc. Then post using your rich content and sprinkle in your sales, promotions, etc. Another way to think of it: jab, jab, jab, punch!

 

TIP #4: RESEARCH HASHTAGS

If you want to expand and grow your audience, then you need to be using hashtags. People love to follow rabbit holes to see where they lead them, and that is one of the many benefits of using hashtags. I cannot tell you how often my team uses hashtags when planning our events. We have found great resources this way that would have been virtually impossible using just plain old Google. If you aren’t using hashtags, then sit down with your team again and do some research on relevant hashtags for your brand and for your geographic area. Instagram, I like to strive to use up to 10 hashtags per post. Also, if you are worried about doing the whole hashtag thing correctly because this topic is new for you, then take a look at this article from HubSpot that talks about “How to Use Hashtags on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram”.

 

TIP #5: REVIEW & UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES

I saved this one for last because I review a ton of social media pages and websites and this is a pet peeve of mine. Take time to review your profile to ensure that it is complete and that items like your username, profile and header photos, bios, descriptions and links are consistent across all of your social media channels. You want to ensure that no matter where someone is looking, that your brand is consistent. If someone clicks from one page to another, they feel safe that they are in the correct place. Also, if you are a local brand, make sure you have where you are in your descriptions and that that same geographic information is somewhere easy to find on your website. I cannot tell you how many times I have visited an Instagram page, then tried to click over to their website and still couldn’t figure out where the business was located. Your profile is very important and helps get your fans into your sales funnel. If you want a great checklist to utilize, then be sure to check out Hootsuite’s “13 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Profiles in One House or Less”.

 

 

Well, those are my top 5 tips – what are your top social media tips that help you stay on top of your game?

 

Love learning? Then be sure to check out our 2018 Mayesh Design Star Flower Workshop! Kaylee talks flowers and design, but we also have on the agenda to talk about taking your best photos and social media!

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