Archive For The “Education” Category

Mornings with Mayesh: December 2018

Mornings with Mayesh: December 2018

 

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:

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

  1. Flower show and tell:
    • Japanese sweet peas, leucadendron, Arena Red lisianthus, Butterfly ranunculus from California, Clooney Pompon Ranunculus,
    • Preserved gardenia colors
      • Cherry Blossom
      • Cranberry
      • Burgundy
    • New Flower 411 update from Mayesh’s purchasing department: https://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-december-2018/
  2. 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.
    • http://info.mayesh.com/flower-guide-offer
  3. **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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.

 

FLOWER CARE

  1. **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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

MARKETING NEWS

  1. 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?
  2. Homework!! Research and DM micro-influencers in your community to use in your 2019 Marketing Plan. Try it and let us know how it goes!

 

If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments below!

 

Flower Hack: Amaryllis

 

Amaryllis are one of the most popular flowers for the holiday season. However, their stems are fragile and can bend or break, making them difficult to use in arrangements. Have no fear though, for our very own Shelley Anders is back with one of her flower hacks!

 

Check our the below video to see how to fix droopy amaryllis stems step by step.

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Beyond the ‘Gram: Interview with Blush Botanicals

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

This month I am excited to share an interview I did over the summer with Alex Wise of Blush Botanicals. We have worked with this talented businesswoman and floralpreneur for several years and are always blown away by her stunning wedding and event work. She is gracious with her time and talents, always willing to mentor and share her knowledge with not only her staff but with up and coming new talent in the floral design industry. Respect is the word I hear most about her. “She is kind, thoughtful and generous and most of all she treats people with respect,” says Sara Eaton of Black Lotus Designs. In an industry that can be overrun with divas (especially for this caliber of upper echelon event companies) that is truly an indication of this lady’s character. Her work ethic and integrity are long admired and she is a pleasure to have as a client.

 

We had a passionate conversation about life, flowers, running a floral business in this current social media-driven flower climate and the challenges of being a new mom while working as a high-end wedding and event florist. Trying to find the perfect life/work balance is key and Alex is proving that you can do both and succeed in this hectic industry.

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

SHELLEY: Hi Alex, first of all, congratulations to you and your husband on your new baby! I know this is a very exciting new chapter in your life.

 

ALEX: THANK YOU!  We are so over the moon about this little gremlin but it’s A TON OF WORK (as you know!)!!!

 

S: I definitely do! I don’t think anyone can ever prepare you for it. We are so happy for you by the way. So to start, I would like to start our conversation by asking you a few questions about yourself and your background.

 

Alex, tell us, what were your favorite subjects in school?  Did you see yourself as the artistic type or a future entrepreneur?

 

A: I loved any courses having to do with art such as drawing or sculpture and also loved finance/economics and accounting.  I know this is a weird mixture, but that is the way my mind works. I always envisioned myself running my own business, it is in my blood.  Both of my grandfathers were and my father is an entrepreneur and it is the mindset I was raised with. I couldn’t imagine working a corporate job or having a 9 to 5.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

S: Same, I think when art is your calling it’s impossible to work an office job!

 

Are you a native Californian? What other places have you lived?

 

A: No, I was born and raised in New York and honestly, always thought I’d move back.  I moved to San Diego with my family when I was about 15 years old. I also lived in Los Angeles while I attended USC.

 

S: What led you into the floral design industry? Were you always a wedding and event florist?

 

A: I got into the floral design industry very randomly and with no background.  I was working at Merrill Lynch out of college and really disliked it so I began searching for other things I could enjoy doing.  After helping a friend’s mother create florals for a party I was hooked! It was always important to me to be able to be financially independent and after creating a business plan and working out the finances, it became clear to me that it could be a really lucrative and fun path so I went for it!

 

S: From finances to flowers – love it! I think it’s wonderful that you had that strong financial background going in. I know it has probably been beneficial to you as a floral business owner. For many florists, this is not their strong suit.

 

A: I had always known I would start my own business in some capacity but would have never guessed it would be in floral design.  Every time I am creating a beautiful event I think… pinch me, I can’t believe I [get to] do this for a living! I studied finance with a minor in real estate investment so I really thought I’d be doing something in that arena, but the world works in mysterious ways!

 

S: It definitely sounds like you got bit by the flower bug! What year was Blush Botanicals founded?

 

A:  2009

 

S: I saw a recent Instagram post where you gave tips on entering the luxury wedding industry. You seemed to have cracked the code on this very exclusive and finite amount of high-end wedding business. Can you give our readers some pointers?

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

A: I’m happy to give pointers!  I also have plans to launch an in-depth online course on this in the next year so look out for that as I’ll go into major detail on this process!  See below for a few pointers 🙂 :

 

KNOW YOURSELF. This entails doing major research on who you are and/or how you want to be portrayed.  What makes you unique and your brand different? What look do you want to put out there in the world and be known for? What venues would you like to work with?  What vendors would you like to work with? What colors and textures are you drawn to? Don’t be afraid to be different and not do exactly what everyone else is doing (if everyone else is doing a calligraphy logo, stay away from it so that you can be unique and can stand out and become known for something NEW!).

 

KNOW YOUR TARGET CLIENT. Research your target client and design your brand around her/him.  Give your client a name and a house and a look. How would he/she dress?  What type of car would he or she be driving? Get specific here and then be sure your brand is consistent with the client you are going after.

 

BRANDING is so important!  Invest in a logo and a website that fits your brand and your target client.  Be cognizant of colors and type fonts and never stray from what is true to your brand.

 

SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY. You’ll need to invest in yourself and your brand if you are going to play in the luxury market.  Your website is the first thing your client will see, so invest in a beautiful website. Be sure your verbiage is completely consistent with your brand and must speak to the needs of your target client.  Invest in photoshoots that are true to the client that you want to attract and SPEND on them. You’ll have to spend enough to create something dramatic if you are hoping to attract a bride that wants drama for her big day.

 

ALIGN YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT VENDORS. Find vendors you love and admire and align yourself with those vendors.  This can only be done once you know exactly who you are and have an established brand.  It only takes one perfect referral to take it to the next level!

 

PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS!  If you are creating a wedding that you feel is perfect for your brand and your website and can’t wait to show it off, make sure you know and like the photographers work!  If you don’t get good photos then you may as well never have done the wedding. If you plan to do a spectacular job (obviously you do) and are worried about the photos, HIRE YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHER!  Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money here to get the perfect photos, it is worth it! Another important side note is to ONLY use professional imagery. Don’t showcase iPhone photos on your website!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: All excellent advice, thank you Alex. So what is your take away working with this level of brides and wedding planners?

 

A: Stay humble and create a flower family.  You can’t create this type of magic on your own, you will come to find that you rely heavily on your team and on the amazing vendors you align yourself with and it is important to remember that.  Your team should be your family and you should treat them accordingly. When it comes to wedding planners, find the ones that are the best fit for you and your personality. Don’t try to work with coordinators who make you feel bad or don’t treat you with respect or who take advantage of you, work with people who fan your flame and support you!

 

S: What’s the weirdest or most unusual request you have gotten from a client so far? How did you execute it?

 

A: Hmm… this is tough… I was a bit caught off guard a few years back when a client that we have never met (booked after a short phone call and lived in Arkansas) let me know that she wanted me to design her daughter’s wedding from the ground up and trusted me to make all of the design choices from start to finish (including color scheme) without needing to run anything past them or even meeting them in person.  I was nervous to get their vision right and to respect their budget wishes without having any sort of direction. This turned out to be one of my favorite weddings to date and one of the kindest, most gracious clients I have ever worked with. It really helped boost my confidence level as well in terms of making decisions for the client when they’d like me to.

 

S: Sounds like a dream client, we love those!

 

So what’s your favorite flower? Any you’re not a fan of? Any you refuse to work with? Favorite color palette?

 

A: My favorite flower changes from month to month!  If I had to name one right now it would be white clematis.  I love how dainty the stem is, the foliage and how it naturally drapes.  I am not a fan of birds of paradise. I refuse to work with poorly dyed flowers such as a blue orchid or something that is extremely artificial looking.  My favorite color palette is a neutral palette of creams, whites, and greens. I LOVE throwing in a hint of black when I can.

 

S: Well no surprise there, elegant neutral palettes seems to be your calling card. Would you say your design style has changed over the years?

 

A: My design style has changed immensely over the years.  I think as a designer, it takes years to fully find yourself and it edits slightly through the years.  I think initially, my style was literally to cater to whatever style walked in my doors. I don’t think my brand truly had an identity until I became more confident in my designs and in who I am.  I was initially very attracted to all things glamorous and now I am more attracted to studying nature and movement and introducing natural elements.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @elysehallphotography 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

S: What trends do you see bride’s asking for in the coming next two years?

 

A: This is a tough question and we try not to get TOO trendy with our work and stay pretty timeless with a current spin, but I have come to find that fashion trends take about 2-3 years to translate into event trends.  If textures and patterns are being showcased along the fashion runways, chances are that in a few years, you’ll see those as major event trends.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: I understand Blush has a minimum for events? I know you have a sister company Parker & Posies that started as a way to handle some of the brides that wanted to work with your team but maybe weren’t quite in Blush’s minimum range. I think it’s a brilliant idea by the way. How has that decision worked for your brand?

 

A: Yes, Blush does have a minimum and we limit the number of events we take on per year. Starting Parker and Posies has truly been one of the best and most rewarding decisions I’ve made in business!  The decision was originally made because I was beginning to think about starting a family and needed to limit my involvement to a few events per year and also didn’t want to lose my amazing team with not having enough work to keep them busy, not to mention we were turning away a lot of beautiful events that we would have loved to be a part of at Blush but were already booked up with larger events and couldn’t take on more work.  The dream would not have been able to be a reality without the extremely hard work of my business partner, Brittany, who had no background in flowers when I met her. Over the years, she learned every aspect of our world through working for Blush and when I approached her about starting Parker and Posies she was as excited as I was! Together, we’ve worked to create a relatable brand that is truly “blooming” (see what I did there?).  It has been so rewarding to watch it grow and build a team out that is so incredible, thoughtful and hard working!

 

S: Do you have a Floral Crush right now. Any favs?  Or who inspired you early on?

 

A: Oh ya, I’ve got a ton!  Every time I go on Instagram I find a new one!  Mindy Rice is always impressing me with the way she takes the classic, garden look to a new level and my mind is always blown by White Lilac.

 

S: Both so good!

 

What’s your biggest floral pet peeve?  Things you don’t enjoy designing or trends you’re not a fan of.

 

A: My biggest BIGGEST pet peeve in floral is when a designer is attempting to make a piece look naturally dripping or cascading with blooms such as tulips or foliage and instead of naturally clustering them to drape on their own throughout the piece, they place them only in a single area, facing completely downward.  I am not sure if I am expressing this correctly but it always bothers my eyes. I know I’ve mentioned previously, but I try to stay away from being too trendy or to somehow blend trendy with classic. I may have a case of baby-brain right now but I can’t think of a single trend that I’m not a fan of (sorry!).

 

S: Do you enjoy destination weddings?  Any tips you would like to share? Any horror stories?

 

A: I have enjoyed destination events in the past!  I am sure I will enjoy them again, but for now, we are staying local in Southern California (LA, OC, SD) because I have a newborn baby. In terms of tips, I’d say organization is key and plan for travel time to be longer than anticipated so you’re not late. I’d also say PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING. We had a large corporate event in Santa Barbara and the client said they’d be paying for our rooms and I forgot to enter this into my contract. When we arrived I called to see where our rooms were and she told me that they ran out of a budget and that we had to get our own rooms. This wasn’t the end of the world, but it was an unexpected expense and also put a bad taste in my mouth for the event setup.

 

S: Favorite location so far?

 

A: Locally, Cal a Vie – STUNNING!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Venue: @calaviespa | Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: How do you feel about hosting workshops? Do you enjoy collaborating with other florists?

 

A: I would love to host a workshop, I have taught many of the girls at our studio.  Collaborating with other florists gives me LIFE. I LOVE collaborating and I LOVE a team environment.  I’m all about empowering others.

 

S: If you weren’t doing this what other career do you see yourself having?

 

A: When I first started, I actually did wedding cakes and desserts as well as florals.  I quickly learned I couldn’t do both but if I had to do something else I’d probably want to do amazing wedding cakes.  I am obsessed with Ron Ben Israel, I got to meet him a few years back and nearly fainted.

 

S: I just learned how to make a homemade cake last year and this year attempted real french buttercream! I have a totally new appreciation for this art. I can see where it would be a superhuman feat to try and do both!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @theyoungrens 

 

 

What advice would you give a newcomer to the floral industry just starting out? What would you tell your younger self?

 

A: It takes a really strong work ethic to be successful in this industry but DON’T BURN OUT.  Being organized is KEY. Learn when to say no and never take on too much, it only takes messing up once to get a bad reputation.

 

S: How has social media affected or influenced your business?

 

A: Hugely.  I think that nowadays all of my brides check us out on social media prior to meeting us and potentially even before looking at our website.  It is a major way that we show off our portfolio. Many times, brides will fall in love with our work on instagram and know that we are a good fit prior to meeting us.

 

S: Knife or snips?

 

A: KNIFE is LIFE

 

S: YES girl, preach!  I love to teach the proper use of a knife in my workshops. Speaking of which, what’s in your toolbox?

 

A: So much sticky clay!!!!!  🙂

 

S: Ok silly question time:  Do you like pickles? I am a fan of the famous Dave’s Sweet and Spicy bread and butter myself haha!

 

A: Uh… ya!  Who doesn’t like pickles?!  But I’ll keep it real – if I had to choose between a pickle and a cornichon, I’m going cornichon all day long.

 

S: Fancy AND  French, me likey! Well thank you so much Alex! Any final thoughts, opinions comments on the state of the industry etc…?

 

A: Love me some Mayesh!  The only issue I have with the industry currently is the whole crediting the artist thing on social media… but other than that, happy as a clam 😉

 

S: We love you too!  And we couldn’t agree more on this topic.  It all comes down to integrity and respect of your peer’s work.  It is so important to properly tag and give shout-outs to the original designer/artist/photographer. I don’t think people understand how important this is and how it harms the original creator when proper credit is not given. Hoping we will see less of this in the future.

 

Alex, thank you for your time and for all your insight and wisdom. We look forward to seeing your work on Instagram every week!

 

 


 

 

Here are some fun BTS photos I took when I visited Alex in her studio… the team was working away on an event! Scroll down for the finished event photos… it turned out STUNNING!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

 

And the finished event!

Gorgeous images by @the_grovers

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

#beyondthegram , Beyond the 'Gram , Shelley Anders

2019 MDS Workshop Dates

 

The day has finally arrived! We know how patiently you have all been waiting, and we're so excited to finally be able to announce the details, dates, and locations for our 2019 workshops with Shean Strong!

This year we're doing something a little different and will be offering two different types of classes: an All Levels Class and a Masterclass. Over the past two years we have absolutely loved meeting and working with attendees of all different skill levels, and we think that offering these two classes will provide even more value to each and every one of our students.

 

So without further ado, here are next year's dates & locations!

 


 

January 14-15  |  San Diego, California  |  Masterclass

 

May 20-21  |  Nashville, Tennessee  |  All Levels Class

 

August 12-13  |  Austin, Texas  |  Masterclass

 

November 11-12  |  Columbus, Ohio  |  All Levels Class

 

 


 

To kick things off, make sure to check out our Instagram Story tomorrow as Shean will be making a little announcement you definitely won't want to miss!

 

Introducing… A Minute With Mayesh

 

We are so excited to introduce our brand new series, A Minute With Mayesh! In this series, we’re breaking down our monthly Mornings With Mayesh content into bite-sized pieces. Each video will focus on one topic so you can get information on the things that you’re curious about. Full of flower tips, business tricks and everything in-between, you don’t want to miss it!

 


 

In this episode we talk about gold rose varieties, their availability, and more – check it out below!

 

 

 

Mornings with Mayesh: October 2018

Mornings with Mayesh: October 2018

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:

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF FLOWERS?:

  • Link to latest flower 411: https://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-october-2018/
  • 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.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • IG: How do you place flowers on a cake safely?
    • 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.

 

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • 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.
        • https://www.facebook.com/groups/676806692409010/permalink/1556621587760845/
        • 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.
        • 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:
        • A side comment is that others mentioned Bloomnation. They are NOT a wire service. I like to think of them like an Etsy for flowers that can also help provide things like a website and POS.
        • 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!

Fourteen Questions To Ask Instead Of “How much would you charge for this?”

 

We’re excited to have Curate’s Ryan O’Neill back on the blog today to revisit last month’s question about pricing, and provide insight on how to rephrase pricing questions to be more productive.

 


 

Last month I talked about why it can be dangerous to ask other florists “how much would you charge for this arrangement?” and the response to the post was incredible. Knowing how to price custom installations from the underbelly of Pinterest is why the Curate floral software was created in the first place. This month, we’re giving you fourteen questions you should ask instead.

 

1. How would you calculate the price on this arrangement?

 

2. Here’s the price I came up with and how I came up with it. Am I missing anything?

 

3. What’s the lowest number of these garden roses that would still look great in this bouquet?

 

4. Would you use a higher floral or labor markup for this arrangement because of its complexity?

 

5. I really want to do this arrangement but the bride is just shy on budget for me to hit my margins. Where can I get beautiful orchids for a more cost efficient price?

 

6. How can I best calculate my markup values to make this arrangement profitable? (Hint, you can use our handy-dandy markup calculator.)

 

Download The Free Markup Calculator

 

7. Will putting this installation together on site require having any extra freelance help that I need to account for in the cost?

 

8. This elevated arrangement is gorgeous but huge. Should I pad my recipe a little bit for this arrangement just in case?

 

9. Has anyone assembled an arrangement like this on site? How long did the installation take you?

 

10. Is there anything special about this arrangement that I need to take into consideration before pricing it?

 

11. What can be done to decrease the price point for this arrangement?

 

12. What’s the best sub for Darcey Garden Roses that has the same color but fits a more “intimate budget?”

 

13. How would you calculate your greenery needed for this?

 

14. How do I break it to my bride how much this is going to cost?

 

 


 

Have another question florists should ask instead of “How much would you charge?” We’d love to hear it below!

 

Mornings With Mayesh: September 2018

Mornings with Mayesh: September 2018

In September’s Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave & Yvonne cover a wide array of floral questions. They started the morning with Shelley and Dave talking about some of the beautiful products that are currently available. Afterward, they answered some audience questions that range from preservatives for flowers and flower coolers to wedding flower packages & more. Yvonne rounded out the show by announcing our 2019 Mayesh Design Star, Shean Strong!! Be sure to watch until the end to get to know Shean in a quick Q & A — it’s going to an amazing 2019!

Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

WORLD OF FLOWERS

  • Shelley/Dave – can you guys select a few pretty flowers to show off?
  • From Gaye: Where can we find a list of what flowers are available in each month?
  • From Suzanne:  I’m having more and more calls for gold roses. Would like more info on varieties and best farms that have long time availability.
    • There are only a few varieties of gold roses being grown and since they are treated as a “seasonal fall color” most rose growers don’t have a lot of real estate planted in this palette. There are a few great gold varieties in varying gradients of color saturation such as Cappuccino, Caramel Antike, Camel, Combo, Golden Mustard & Toffee BUT these are all difficult to get in big quantities especially for large events. That being said, we may need to piecemeal your orders together using different varieties from different sources. Best advice is to be flexible and supplement by offsetting your arrangements with other flowers in your seasonal color.

 

FLOWER CARE

  • From Joy: How do you keep the snapdragons from bending?
    • Snapdragons are both phototropic (this means they will bend towards a light source) and geotropic (meaning they want to bend away from the center of gravity in the earth). you can get them to straighten by using your favorite flower food, hydrating them standing up as straight as possible in a bucket placed directly under a light source.
    • You can also tip them out. Also, do not lay them down while working with them …as Dave says keep them upright.
  • From Hannah: What flower preservatives do you recommend?
    • Floralife & Chrysal are just a couple of big brand names that work great. It is also very important to know your type of flower. Most cut annuals and foliages can take any brand of standard floral solution BUT most perennial or bulb flowers need a floral solution intended to replace the hormones they are no longer receiving from their bulbs. Properly nourished flowers not only last longer but also look better.
  • From Darlene:  Is there a secret to keeping stock fresh?
    • Changing your water daily & re-cutting stems will keep stock fresher longer. Most floral foods already have a fungicide in them already BUT You can add a couple drops of bleach to help with problem flowers like stock. Bacteria on flower stems can grow out of control in buckets & will cause shorter flower life & foul smelling water. It is good practice to frequently change your floral solution & re-cut ALL flowers to keep bacteria levels down.
  • From Valerie: Is warm water better for most flowers when processing would you say? Than colder?
    • Best practice is always to process flowers in a hydrating solution with a temperature as close to your flowers as possible. The safest way is to prepare your buckets of floral solution the day before and keep them overnight in your cooler. When you receive your flowers, allow them to chill in your cooler for an hour or two before processing them. This way the floral solution & the flowers are at roughly the same temperature. This will cause the least amount of stress on your flowers. Conversely, you can do the same at room temperature instead BUT the cold on cold method is my favorite. When processing roses, you can leave them in their cardboard sleeves from a few hours UP TO overnight in the floral solution after cutting them. This ensures the neck of the stem just under the flower head hydrates properly, firms up & prevents head droop. If your intention is to open your flowers quickly, try using a product like Chrysal easy dip which is a  quick hydrating solution intended to speed the uptake of hydrating solutions.
  • From Valerie: Does Mayesh have any blog post or cheat sheet on processing? If not would be a great resource much like your flower availability pdf?
    • Here is some great information I got from a friend at Chrysal USA a couple years ago:
      • Never use softened water. The high salt content is deadly to flowers and potted plants
      • For some blooms, bottled or distilled water (not tap water) is the best choice.
      • Tap water contains minerals and salts that may cause “pepper spots” on petals
      • Avoid dripping on petals. Allow moisture to evaporate before placing blooms in cooler. Even a microlayer of condensation is sufficient for Botrytis spores to start germinating.
      • Keep cooler floors clean and dry. This is another place botrytis can occur and spread.
      • Clean water, clean containers, clean tools are important when preparing solutions.
      • Follow label mixing instructions–Don’t guess about the dose.
      • Under-dosing gives poor results (bacteria soup) which wastes time & money.
      • Hydration formulas are sugar-free because sugar introduced too early in the system sometimes slows uptake of solution later and can stimulate premature leaf yellowing.
      • Research proves that if only one segment of the chain uses some post-harvest treatment, longevity is still better than using no treatments at all.
      • Most cut flowers are happiest stored between 34 – 38F with the exception of tropical flowers and orchids.
      • For more information and some specific flower examples please stay tuned for our upcoming flower care guide.

 

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Eva: I always have customers ask for my wedding packages with pricing but I have been hesitant to provide that since each individual wedding is so unique. What information can I give to a client at the very beginning that gives them an idea of my pricing?
    • Aside from listing your “minimum” on your website, it’s usually a good Idea to have a questionnaire on your website that can help you find out a little more about your bride. Once you move forward to the phone interview you can decide if they are a right fit for you. I addressed this pretty well in our last Mornings with Mayesh if you want to go back and take a look at my thoughts on pricing.
    • I find that most customers who are looking for “packages” are usually more interested in price than design or your work. Back in the day, a few florists would offer a bridal bouquet, a few bridesmaids bouquets and a set number of bouts and corsages for a one budget price. You can handle this a couple of ways. Either by simply saying that you do not offer packages because your work is bespoke and tailored to each bride’S individual aesthetic or simply offer your own unique version of a package with certain guidelines in mind. “I will do this, with seasonal flowers, in your color palette and in this look for X amount of dollars.” Give them 2-3 options. If you want to work with smaller budget brides and/or possibly farm that out to one of your JR designers. Then they could order items a la carte to fit their needs. And be somewhat firm about your guidelines.  I find that most brides end up busting out of the” package mode” of thinking once they sit down and interview with you and find out what a talented creative you are.
  • From Joanne: I met a designer who is selling her cooler for $1800. The dimensions are 8×8 and it’s a walk in. However, I was told I could purchase a CoolBot and that would work just as well. What are your thoughts?
    • We have a lot of customers who use the CoolBot and I have heard nothing but good things about the system. They are cost effective and apparently better for the environment as that don’t use the same forced cooling than traditional coolers use. It basically attaches to any air conditioner. There are some downsides. For example, they take longer to cool and are not as effective if you open the door to your insulated room more than 6 times per hour. You can find out more about them on the company’s website www.storeitcold.com
  • From Hannah: If you are just starting out with a studio doing flowers for events- at what point do you recommend getting a commercial refrigerator?
    • Hi Hannah, I think it’s always a good idea to get a cooler or possibly a CoolBot (see above) right when you start your business. It should be part of the investment that you make when beginning your business. You can start smaller with a commercial beverage cooler if you can’t afford to go all out but it is important to properly store your flowers. Having a cooler really alleviates the stress of trying to keep your flowers cool during our hottest months of the year. Not sure where you are located but It used to be here in California most florists could get away without one, but as we are seeing more climate change and hotter than ever temperatures year round… it’s a sound investment. I do like the CoolBot because it is more eco-friendly than running a traditional cooler. You have to build an insulated room but I think the cost is less than a traditional cooler, which isn’t always easy to find.

 

 

MARKETING NEWS: MAYESH DESIGN STAR INTERVIEW WITH SHEAN STRONG

Announce the 2019 Mayesh Design Star! Watch the segment here.

2019 Mayesh Design Star Announcement

2019 Mayesh Design Star, Shean Strong

 

It’s mid-September, which means one thing in our world … it is time to announce our newest Mayesh Design Star! My team got together to figure out how we are going to shake things up and this time we decided that we were going to observe & select. Meaning, we were paying attention to designers who are active in our community using social media – posts, blogs, live videos, etc. In other words, we did a bit of cyber-stalking. Our method is a bit unconventional, but we are so excited to be working with this designer.

I am pleased to announce that our 2019 Mayesh Design Star is Shean Strong! He is incredibly talented, has a passion for education, and embodies charming charisma that you will get to experience through his videos and workshops.

As usual, we have big plans and are crazy excited about collaborating with Shean. Be sure to stay tuned as we will be announcing our 2019 flower workshop tour plan very soon!

Congratulations Shean!!

We made our first official announcement live on today’s Mornings with Mayesh. So I edited it down to just the part with his interview. Get to know Shean better by watching the video reply here and share your thoughts in the comments below:

 

 

Interview questions:

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and background, and how you found yourself as a floral designer?
  • What is it about teaching & education that you love so much / are so passionate about?
  • What are you most excited about for the next year as our Mayesh Design Star?
  • Without giving too much away, can you talk a little bit about what you hope our future workshop attendees will gain and take away from your classes?
  • If you could be any flower, which one would you be and why?
  • Now just tell us something fun about yourself, unrelated to flowers!

 

Photo: Shauna Veasey Photography

 

P.S. If you want a piece of the 2020 Mayesh Design Star pie, then get on our radar. Contact me, let us know where to find you on the interwebs, tag us in your posts, invite us to watch your live videos, etc. We want to get to know you and learn about what you are passionate about. Good luck!

Two Reasons Why you Should Stop Asking: “How much would you charge for this?”

 

Today we’re excited to have Curate’s Ryan O’Neil on the blog discussing a somewhat taboo topic in the industry: pricing!

 


 

If you’re on any florist forum, you’ve seen the post. It’s a gorgeous photo that some client has pulled from the underbelly of Pinterest along with a quick question,”How much would you charge for this?” If you’ve ever asked this question, there’s a high chance that the answers to the post hurt your business more than it helped. It’s time to stop asking, “How much would you charge for this?”

 

I get it. In our consults, we speak to florists every day who see arrangements and know exactly what they should cost. At the same time, occasionally they come up against a particular arrangement that’s a bit outside of their wheelhouse, and they have a bride who wants her proposal NOW, creating the need to ask other florists, “how much would you charge for this?” Even though I understand it, here are two reasons why you should stop asking it:

 

1. Your pricing should be based upon the item

 

Any time that you are quoting an item, you are always basing it off of the fact that you should be making adequate profit off of the supplies and the labor going into it. More flowers = more money. More expensive flowers = more expensive item. You’re going to want to “stem count” the item and determine how many of each type of stem you’ll want to add.

In years past, it’s been much more difficult to do these calculations since they had to be done manual. Luckily, technology has made this easier through tools like Curate.

 

2. Every florist has a different markup

 

It’s pretty simple. Everybody is different. Our experience of talking to thousands of florists has led us to believe that there is no industry standard markup on floral work. It seems like the easy route is to find out what others are doing but the reality is that their profit margins and needs are likely so much different than what yours are.

On one particular post, I saw a florist ask for help pricing an arrangement, and someone from a completely different country gave the price they’d charge — In their own currency without even mentioning it. The USD to AUD conversion rate is 1.25, so that poster was getting information that was over 25% incorrect in the simple currency value.

What one florist in South America would charge for an arrangement will not be profitable for a florist in the U.S. because the markups they use are going to be very different, as will the cost they’re being charged by their wholesaler. To ask “What would you charge?” is to neglect a very foundational part of florist business practices which says you should do what is most profitable for your business.

 

Need help figuring out what your custom floral markup should be? Check out our markup calculator.

 

Download The Free Markup Calculator

 

 

So how should you approach the situation?

 

There are some arrangements you see and can easily identify a price point for. Undoubtedly though, there will be a time when you come across an image from a Pinterest bride that has you stumped on what to charge. Rather than asking a florist friend what they would charge, ask them how they would go about calculating a price for the arrangement. Maybe they know that a extravagantly large floral arch over a mansion entryway will take three experienced helpers more than two hours to set up and you’ll need to factor in that additional labor. They could simply tell you to charge $2,000 for the installation because you asked for pricing help. Instead, they can tell you what to factor in. And if you don’t have experienced helpers, you’ll know to factor in a little bit more on the labor side for an extra set of hands or extra hours spent on the arrangement to make the arrangement more profitable, rather than charging $2,000 and barely breaking even or, worse, losing money on the arrangement.

Similarly, if you’re ever asked how you would price an arrangement, turn the conversation around to how you would calculate the price for the arrangement. What’s the base price you’re getting from your wholesaler? What’s your floral markup? Your hardgood markup? Your labor markup? Are you building labor costs into the arrangement or tacking it on at the end of your proposal? There are many parts to consider when pricing an arrangement that you should break down when explaining how you came to your suggested price.

 

This is why Curate was created in the first place. Stem counting is an incredible headache, especially with more complex creations showing up on Pinterest. If you’re wondering whether a software could help, we’d certainly love to do a personalized consultation to hear about your business and see if we can help. Let’s chat.

 

 

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