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
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.
- 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.
- From Kristina: Do you know how Pieris Japonica holds up in bouquets and is it available right now?
- 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
- 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.
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.
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