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.

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