Each month, I get together with some of my flower friends for our Mornings with Mayesh show to discuss the world of flowers. From general flower availability and flower care to marketing for your flower business and everything in between, you don’t want to miss this replay!
This month, I invited my friend and 2017 Mayesh Design Star, Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers to share with you about her experiences as a floral business owner and as a Mayesh Design Star!
Keep on scrolling down for the show notes that contains all of the questions, answers, and resources for your reference!
Post your questions or topics for the August’s show in the comments below. See you on September 12th at 7 am PST / 10 am EST which will be streamed live on Facebook only! (We are testing out a new way of doing the show).
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF FLOWERS?:
- Instead of talking about the horrible heat wave happening on the west coast, let’s talk about the cool stuff that’s coming into season now…
- Fresh Chinese Lanterns
- Grape Vine -but limited quantity for a limited time
- Hydrangea Lacecap- available import or drop ship
- Hydrangea peegee – available via drop ship
- Hops Strands
- Lisianthus Local-back on
- Raspberry (with thorns)
- Snowberry Import
- Tree of heaven
FLOWER CARE & HANDLING
- From Dolores Vlad: How can I keep white ranunculus, white garden roses and white Ohara bouquets from browning easily especially on hot summer days?
- From Alicia Schwede, of Bella Fiori & Flirty Fleurs: I’d like to know more about the care and handling of Calathea leaves!! Used some for a wedding last week and half of them curled up and became crispy.
- DAVE: All of these problems can be related back to proper hydration practices and knowing which flowers need special care. Water PH is always key and can be corrected simply by just adding your favorite flower food. You may also have high salt or chlorine content in your water. Salt buildup is the number one cause of browning petals and leaves yellowing & curling. Excess chlorine can also burn flowers. A simple hack is to buy distilled water and add your favorite flower food. The distilled water is void of salts and added chemicals and can drastically reduce those problems. It can even prevent black spots on stephanotis and gardenias. We never recommend boiling stems! Modern research has shown that this method can actually damage cellular structure in the stem reducing water uptake.
- Shelley: White flowers generally show the most bruising of all the flowers. Most flowers will have some bruising but with white, they just show up easier because of the contrast on the petal. Take extra care not to over handle or press on the tops of your flowers when you are handling them. Remove any damaged petals or bruising you see early on because these will only get worse. If you find they are problematic for you in warmer months suggest doing a white on white look for your brides using creams, beiges and more tonal whites and not starker whites with hints of blush. There will be less obvious signs of bruising
- From April Ellsworth: Hellebores -These beauties are tricky! Any processing tips and tricks to avoid wilted and droopy flowers? I’ve tried dipping the stem into boiling water for 30 seconds and also searing the stems….but they still drooped. Because of this, I have avoided these but long to use them in arrangements. Is it possible that I got a “bad” bunch or are these just unreliable?
- It’s very possible that you just received a bunch that was stressed or aged. Hellebores, when properly hydrated should last at least a week. There are some varieties that naturally curl over so selecting the right variety is important.
- My tried and true trick with fresh hellebores that are wilting is to re-cut them and put them in super hot water…not boiling but hot enough to steep tea in…works every time. If it doesn’t then usually like Dave says they are older or stressed. Hellebores are super long lasting some will even last weeks. I jokingly refer to them as zombie flowers some varieties they never die
- Susan: How much do you mark up hard goods? If a votive costs a dollar wholesale, what do you charge the customer?
- Kimberly: floral foam for bouquets in the summer- smart idea? How much longer could the flowers last with and without it?
- Is this question regarding bridal bouquets or standard bouquets? Bouquet to me is always something hand tied or held in the hand that is why I ask.
- Floral foam is technically supposed to make your floral arrangements last longer because it has a preservative in it, BUT fresh water and a few drops of bleach in a vase will do the trick just fine. Most important thing is to change the water daily and keep your vases super clean. The problem is getting your customers to do this. I always tell them if you would not want to drink it neither would your flowers.
- In lieu of using foam, try creating an armature out of chicken wire instead. By forming it into an “egg shape” you can submerge it into your vessel for added stability.
- Kasey: Do you have a suggestion on where to find flower frogs and vases fairly inexpensive? I would like to sell arrangements but don’t want to spend too much on the vase and frog if I am going to part with it!
- I typically don’t suggest flower frogs for daily work because of their expense for most florists. I think that most consumers do not appreciate them the way we do and will not re-use them. Unless you have a customer who continues to bring back the frog with their container repeatedly, then it’s worth it.
- They have been around for centuries but mostly these were designed more for home use for hobbyists in the 1920’s -1950’s and for Japanese Ikebana style designs originally- not mass market delivery, but with the changes in the industry have become in vogue again.Very eco-friendly but pricey to use!
- I love them I have a great collection of antique and glass ones, but for your delivery and event orders best to stick with florist netting/chicken wire it does the same thing and is more cost effective in the long run.
- As you know, I’m an avid Googler of all things unknown! I found a ton on-line at places like amazon.com & Savon Crafts you could also try your local thrift shop or dollar store.
CHRISTY HULSEY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Before we get into Mayesh Design Star, tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got started in the flower industry?
Christine of Love In Bloom Floral Design wants to know if you are the sole owner?
I have another question from Christine of Love in Bloom … she says “I have a very small hand grip. Any tricks for hand tie bouquets, especially the garden style?”
How about your team? It looks like you’ve got a close-knit group of people working together in your shop!
I saw that you have a little garden by your studio from which you bring in fresh clippings everyday to design with. Can you tell me a little bit about that? When and why did you decide to begin growing some of your own flowers?
What is CHOF’s focus? More retail or do you also do weddings & events?
How would you describe CHOF’s design style?
After working with you all year, I know the answer to this, but I’m still going to ask … Which flower varieties are your favorites?
Let’s talk tools. What’s your favorite floral design tool?
Social media … I often hear from small business owners that they don’t have time to sit down and do social media. You seem to have made it a priority in your company and just recently helped one of our MDS design videos from July reach over 50,000 views in one month … which is a HUGE deal for us. Can you give us some tips on how you ensure Colonial House of Flowers stays on top of social media?
Time to talk Mayesh Design Star…. Why did you decide to enter last year’s contest? (here’s a link to find out more about this year’s contest)
What has been the most unexpected aspect of your Design Star journey so far?
What has been your most and least favorite parts about being a Mayesh Design Star?
One last question about MDS, do you have any advice for those who are considering entering the contest?
I hate to wrap up, but all good things must come to an end. Christy, do you have any thoughts that you would like to leave us with?