Thursday, March 14, 2013

Technology and the Flower shop

Most people assume that daily activity in a flower shop revolves around filling orders for arrangements.  While this is true, most of my day is spent on the computer in some form or another.  The floral industry has changed so much since when I began in the mid 90's.  For instance, the internet was just in the beginning stages, people still had pagers more than cell phones, and we used multiple wire services (FTD, Teleflora, etc) to get flowers to and from cities and states.
Now I am constantly uploading images to Facebook, Pinterest, and our website on a daily and weekly basis.  More than 80% of our customers look at our website before picking up the phone to place an order versus actually walking through our front door.   I email all my contracts for weddings and events versus using the postal service.  Some of my brides are across the country and all of the communication is through email...sometimes I don't even meet the bride face -to-face until the wedding day.  All of our orders are processed in a POS (Point-of-Sale) computer system.  We still have 1 wire service, Teleflora, but with the advancements in the internet, most people call the flower shop directly in the town where they want the flowers delivered.   I love most of the changes technology has brought to our industry.  (Thank goodness I took typing classes in high school or my daily work load would take three times as long!)  I spend more time dealing with computers than I was ever prepared for in the floral design & marketing classes I took in college.  Most of what I learn is on the fly.  When a printer stops communicating or modems have excessive failures, you will usually find me dusty and dirty behind a tangle of wires in the office.   I really dislike wearing the "tech" hat at the shop, but one must do what one has to.  I still design flowers, however, it only represents a fraction of my daily work.    

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When there's a florist in the family Part 2

I had a family wedding at Oglebay in Wheeling, WV.  This is the view of the golf course and it was a beautiful location for a wedding.  Unlike my sister's wedding there were not any wholesalers close enough to the location that also had enough space for me to work.  So....
I purchased all my flowers and supplies from my local wholesalers in Virginia, loaded everything in the truck and took off for West Virginia.  Luckily enough the venue had a meeting/conference room I could convert into a flower/design room for the weekend.
Plastic was laid down to protect the carpet, thermostat was put on the coldest setting possible and all the flowers were set up and ready to go.
And some pics of the necessity of plastic on the floor!
Table centerpieces waiting and ready to go.

Bride and Attendant's bouquets
The massive fireplace required I borrow a ladder from the venue which they were very helpful and even spotted me on the ladder.

Another company decorated the ceiling and this is before everything was finished and I was placing arrangements.
close up of the bouquet.  Light blue hydrangea, light blue delphinium, blue agapanthus, white freesia, white mini callas, and white lisianthus.

Low Centerpieces on oblong tables.
Lighted tall arrangements.
Dendrobium orchids attached to the venue's restroom mirrors. This is one of my favorite ways to add a little bit of fun to the restrooms- a unsuspecting place for flowers generally.  Amazing little glue dots made from the same adhesive magazines use to attach trial size products they promote.  It's especially pretty with brightly colored orchids and inexpensive also.