Q&A :: “Finders Fee”

The Question:

My friend was responsible for bringing in a referral for a wedding that we booked. He asked if he got a “Finders Fee”. Does anyone pay any type of incentive to people who bring in weddings, if so, what. And if you pay a percentage what percent is common?
Designer in California

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The Answers:

Different communities handle this differently as far as I understand. Kickbacks and finders fees are not standard practice where I am (Oregon). For my friends in the industry, I try to reciprocate with well-matched referrals or help out with photo shoot flowers or something similar. For friends not in the business, I say thanks with gifts, usually a restaurant or spa gift card or a bottle of their favorite spirit. Nobody has ever asked me for a finder’s fee though, and I feel like that would be bad form!

anastasia ehlers, Oregon

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There is no such thing as finders fee unless you are selling real estate. If someone sends you a referral it’s because they appreciate your work, think that what you do is amazing, love doing business with you, know you will handle that person with kid gloves and make them happy. OR that you will be paying them a so called finders fee….. or a referral fee, or what it really should be called a kickback. If you really want to know most people pay 10% of the total amount. So if they spent $200 then you would pay then $20. But in reality you would have to increase your price by $20 in order to keep your profit margin intact. We all know that margins in the floral industry are already pretty tight as it is because so many things can go wrong in floral. I live in a town that many before me expect that, and ask for it without batting an eye. It has gotten so bad that a lot of the venues ask for 10% from the florist, the caterer, the rental company and even the entertainer. So as you can imagine in the end the client ends up paying that 10% finders fee in additional costs that they never even knew they were paying and in the end they are either getting a lesser amount of flowers, food, service, one less musician, etc.

My advice to you, don’t do it. Don’t open the door to it. If one vendor does it, the venue/planner/caterer will expect it and it will become the norm as it is in my town.

anonymous, Illinois

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Paying a finders FEE – NO way. I would never pay someone a fee to send someone to me. My venues are always good about sending brides my way. BUT, I have built a great relationship with them, too. I also send a nice gift card to anyone who is sending me business. Its shows I am thankful.

Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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If it is a colleague or business associate, maybe a nice floral arrangement would be in order.
Laurie of Fleurie, California

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If a friend refers a wedding I will drop off extra flowers to them as a thank you.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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I recommend other vendors all of the time–planners, music, cake makers, lighting, officiates, etc. And only vendors that I know are good, reliable, etc. I only ask the bride to tell the vendor who did the recommending. I do not expect any finder’s fee. Nor do I pay a finder’s fee when I am recommended.
Kitty of Jubilee Flowers, Alabama

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I never pay a finder’s fee. If this person is really a friend, then they would want you to succeed and sending business your way is something a true friend would do. When a friend sends a piece of business my way, I thank them with words, flowers and perhaps take them to dinner.

Melody of Fleurish Floral Designs, California

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Wedding Wednesday :: White Bridal Bouquets

Erin Adams Events, white bridal bouquet of gardenias and tulips

Erin Adams Events

United By Design, By Joseph Massie

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joseph Massie

Joseph Massie

Last January while at The Chapel Designer & Florabundance Inspirationdal Design Days Event I had the pleasure of meeting Joseph Massie, who had flown in from England. Now I’ve been a fan of Joe’s for quite sometime, really ever since seeing that dress created from Red Rose Petals – you know the one I’m talking about, right? Well, I was quite excited to spend some time with Joe and watch him do his thing –

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joe Massie's Installation

I asked Joe what inspired him to make this art piece -
“It all really started with Holly’s invitation to come out to SB to be a part of the conference. Holly had seen some of my art pieces previously, and we thought it could add a nice twist to the event to have something a little different for the designers. We started brain storming ideas, thinking of themes, and naturally, we were led to thinking about the conference, and ultimately about connection ~ about how we were all coming together for this event, all participating, and how we’re all always learning and developing as we go.

I suggested working with circles ~ symbolic for connection and continuation, and poppies were a natural fit as they can be so different in colour, energy and in what they say, but still they’re all the same flower ~ which fitted really well with our ethos for the work. The poppies also fitted as we were in SB, and although the poppies we used weren’t the actual official state flower, it was a nice touch to work with them ~ a nod to our environment as it were. The wheat weaving technique fitted beautifully with both the poppies and our connection theme ~ and it was also practical to teach based on budget and time restrictions. We needed something that we could build up relatively quickly (as we only had half a day with the participants) but something that everyone could contribute to equally.

If I had to sum it up in a sentence or two, ‘United by Design’ was a true collaboration from every participant who attended the conference. We supplied the original idea and the technical guidance, but frankly this work could not have been constructed by one person alone. It’s a work literally made from connection, equality, growth and contribution, which I feel was reflective of the energy from the group. ”

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joe Massie

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joe Massie

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joe Massie

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference -

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference -

Dana adding more wheat to the design.

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Victoria

Victoria wiring on the water tubes to the piece

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Poppies

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Francoise Weeks

Francoise Weeks peeling back the covering on the poppies

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Poppies

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Poppy for Joe Massie's Design

My addition to the piece..

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Katie Noonan AIFD

Katie Noonan AIFD adding her poppy to the piece

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference -

Kristi adding water to the tubes

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Poppy Installation

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Poppies

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joe Massie's Poppy Installation

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joseph Massie's art installation with poppies

Florabundance Design Days & Chapel Designers Conference - Joost, Holly & Joe

Joost, Holly & Joe

Contact Information -
Joseph Massie Creative
The Chapel Designers
Florabundance Wholesale

The Blush Pink Rose Study

Flirty Fleurs Pink Rose Study

Here it is!! The much anticipated Blush Pink Rose Study!
A special thank you to Florabundance Wholesale for providing these lovely roses for the Blush Study!

Flirty Fleurs Blush Rose Study

Flirty Fleurs Blush Pink Roses

Flirty Fleurs Blush Pink Roses

Let’s take a closer look at these roses~

Florabundance, Bridal Akito Blush pink rose
Bridal Akito Rose
Bridal Akito
Vase Life: 8 Days
Width when open: 2″
Bunch Size: 25 Stems
Origin: South America
Details: A small sized bloom that maintains its closed, rose bud shape. Bridal Akito is perfect for Boutonnieres and Corsages with its petite size. The rose is sturdy and long lasting, nice vase life at 9 days. The blooms are a lovely blend of white that turns to blush pink in the center of the bloom.
A great rose for both event work and everyday shop orders.

Florabundance - Bridal Piano Pink Garden Rose.
Bridal Piano Rose
Bridal Piano Rose
Bridal Piano
Vase Life: 6 Days – good for Event Work. Leaves dry out after a few days, but flowers remain in bloom. The small side buds do not open.
Width when open: 3″
Bunch Size: 12 Stems
Origin: South America, Colombia
Details: Beautiful garden rose bloom, with a consistent rounded bloom. Each stem has the main large bloom with 2-3 additional small buds. This rose is grown by Alexandra Farms, one of my personal favorite farms in Colombia as they are known for their great quality. As you can slightly see in the photo, the outer petal is a very pale pink, but the open blooms on the inside are a brighter pink – they play perfectly with the lighter, blusher pink roses! The one slight drawback to this rose is that the petals do tend to tear, perhaps because there are so many petals?

Florabundance - David Austin Charity Garden Rose, a lovely pink garden rose, formally known as Auswasher
David Austin Charity Rose
Charity
Vase Life: 5 Days, and by day 5 the petals are starting to drop. This beauty is truly a rose for Event Work! The perfect stage appears to be days 2-3
Width when open: 4″
Bunch Size: 10 Stems
Origin: South America
Details: Ahhh… the David Austin “Charity” Garden Rose, previously known as “Auswasher”. I’ve wanted to get my hands on this rose for quite some time, she is such a beauty and there is no other rose quite like her! Beautiful, round bloom full of petals with an interesting center. How gorgeous is this rose when ever included in a bouquet or centerpiece?! I would definitely use Charity in Event Work. However, be warned, she is a finicky thing and not a very long vase life! I’d highly recommend keeping this one in the cooler when not in the process of designing.. and perhaps add this rose in last to the design, the less handling the better.

Florabundance - David Austin Keira Garden Rose, a lovely pale pink garden rose
David Austin Garden Rose
David Austin Keira Rose
Keira
Vase Life: 6 Days
Width when open: 3″
Bunch Size: 12 Stems
Origin: North America, California
Details: Keira is a David Austin Garden Rose! Like many designers, I feel happy when I hear the words “David Austin Garden Rose”! I’ve heard about Keira (Ausboxer) and have wanted to see this rose in person, sure enough she is quite the little beauty. What is interesting is how each blossom in the bunch can vary a bit in coloring and size. Some blooms stay petite at 2″ or so and others blow open to 3″+. I like how some have touches or brighter pink in the center of the blooms. All the blooms keep a sweet, rounded shape. The stems are delicate and may need some extra soft hands when designing with this rose.

Florabundance - Garden Spirit, blush peach garden rose
Garden Spirit Rose
Garden Spirit
Vase Life: 8 Days
Width when open: 3 to 3 1/2″ when open
Bunch Size: 12 Stems
Origin: South America
Details: This is my first experience with Garden Spirit and I have to say that I’m quite impressed. I think this may just be my new favorite rose. (isn’t that the point of these studies? to find something new & interesting? ;) ) Garden Spirit has solid blush coloring on all petals. As you’ve seen in this study a lot of the blush comes in hints across the petals, whereas this rose doesn’t vary much from petal to petal. The color is a blush-peach-pink hue. I like the shape of the blooms, somewhat reminiscent of Finesse roses with its packed petals, the blooms don’t open super wide, but the packed petals give it a very lush look.

Florabundance - La Perla, petite blush pink rose
La Perla Rose
La Perla
Vase Life: 10+ Days, long vase life
Width when open: 2″
Bunch Size: 25 Stems
Origin: South America
Details: Easy rose to clean as there are practically no thorns! The bloom itself doesn’t open wide, it stays in a tighter rose bud shape. Perfect for boutonnieres and when a smaller bud is needed in a design. Very similar in size and shape to Bridal Akito, the main difference is that La Perla has a more cream coloring in the petals with hints of pink in the center. (Bridal Akito has the brighter white outer petals.) By far the longest living rose in this study, still going strong at day 10!
A great rose for both event work and everyday shop orders.

Florabundance - Martine Guillot, a blush cream garden rose grown in Santa Barbara California
Martine Guillot Rose
Martine Guillot with Buds
Martine Guillot
Vase Life: 6 Days
Width when open: 3″ Wide, this is a very shallow rose. Most of the roses in the study are 2-3″ deep, this one is 1″ deep.
Bunch Size: 10 Stems
Origin: North America, California
Details: Martine Guillot is a true garden rose, grown in the outdoor gardens of Rose Story Farm which is located just outside Santa Barbara, California. This rose is for the designer that likes the unexpected and likes some whimsy in their designs as there is a range in the bloom size and each petal can have a different tone of blush. Each stem has the main blossom and is surrounded by 2-4 rose buds. These side buds do tend to open which is quite nice. A great rose for a Garden Style arrangement.

Florabundance - Pashmina, California grown blush pink and green garden rose
Pashmina Rose
Pashmina Rose
Pashmina
Vase Life: 7 Days, on day 5 the blooms & buds are still quite tight. By day 7 the center rose is bloomed out and the side buds did not open.
Width when open: 2″
Bunch Size: 7 Stems
Origin: North America, California
Details: Pashminas are grown by Green Valley and they are considered a garden rose. With garden roses come a lot of thorns, so be ready to clean the stems! Each stem has the main blossom which is white with tones of blush pink in the centers. Each blossom is surrounded by 5-8 rose buds, which have green outer petals. The stems are strong and long. Would be a great rose to pair with other larger and full bloomed roses as the buds on these stems would add a nice “garden style” element to the designs. There are a lot of guard petals on this rose that should probably be removed as most were bruised, keep that in mind when calculating time for processing.

Florabundance - Prince Jardinier, large pale blush pink garden rose
Prince Jardinier Rose
Prince Jardinier
Vase Life: 5 Days, Best for Event Work
Width when open: 5 1/2 – 6″
Bunch Size: 12 Stems
Origin: North America, California
Details: The scent from this rose is intoxicating, it is the perfect scent of a rose. Highly recommend adding it if your client would like an arrangement with a garden feel, including a true rose scent! This rose is also grown by Green Valley (they grow the Pashminas) and really would pair well with the Pashmina in arrangements. The open blossom is huge, by far the largest in this whole group coming in at up to 6″ wide! Short vase life, best to use in event work and kept in the cooler when not designing with it. Truly a real beauty!! Did I mention the blooms are HUGE & smell wonderful?!

Florabundance, A pale lavender rose
Secret Garden Rose
Secret Garden
Vase Life: 8 Days – sturdy cut flower
Width when open: 3-4″, definitely varies from bloom to bloom
Bunch Size: 25 Stems
Origin: South American
Details: More of a lavender blush rose, as opposed to our other more pale pink roses in this study. Opens nicely and the blooms do range from 3 to 4″ when open, some even show the centers which gives a nice “garden rose” look. Hardy rose with strong stems, few thorns to remove. A great rose for both event work and everyday shop orders.

Florabundance, White O'Hara Garden Rose, a blush pink cream large rose
White O'hara Rose
White O’Hara
Vase Life: 6 Days, good Event flower
Width when open: 4″ Wide
Bunch Size: 12 Stems
Origin: South America
Details: Great rose for special event work, it opens up large and takes up a lot of space in arrangements! It has a great hue of blush pink even though it’s called White O’Hara. The outside starts white and the center goes to pink. The petals are ruffly so it has a great “garden rose” look with a better price tag and stronger vase life. I know this rose is a favorite of many designers and it is understandable, it has the elements many of us desire – it’s big, looks like an expensive garden rose without the price tag & is sturdy with great blush coloring!

Flirty Fleurs Blush Pink Roses

Details about all the roses in this study:
-The Roses were never placed in the cooler once I received them!
-The Roses were set out in the house for the course of the rose study.
-I did not use quick dip, flower food or crowning glory, or any other “helpers”. Just freshly cut stems placed in clear water.
-You’ll notice a variety in stem counts for each of these roses. When you do place an order for any of these roses I would highly suggest mentioning the actual stem count that you desire to confirm you receive the correct amount!!

A HUGE thank you to Florabundance Wholesale for providing all of these roses for the Blush Rose Study. Please give them a call if you’d like to order and have any of these roses shipped directly to you!
800-201-3597 or email – info@florabundance.com

1296 Cravens Lane, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Flirty Fleurs Pink Rose Study

Fleur Friday

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

Florali, Jewel toned floral arrangement wiith burgundy, purple and hot pink flowers

Florali, California

Q&A :: “Where is your shop located?”

The Question:

How to kindly and effectively answer the question of “Where is your shop located?” I am a studio-based florist and frequently, when asked that question, (I answer proudly, and without apology) “I have a studio at my home” I have had the experience that people seem to think it is inferior to a brick and mortar retail shop. They frequently respond with “oh, how nice” in a rather condescending tone. I go on to talk about my wonderful studio I have set up, with all the amenities of a retail store, but still I can see a bit of hesitation. How can we help solve this mindset?
I don’t want to hear about how a studio is so much cheaper to run, so my prices should be lower; after all, it takes up a considerable amount of real estate to store the inventory associated with floral design, extra water and electricity to conduct business. I attend seminars and workshops for self-improvement just like retail establishments.
Designer in California

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The Answers:

I think you’re on the right track with your unapologetic response. You can’t manage people’s reactions, and the clients who are right for you will understand and appreciate your value. And no, you definitely shouldn’t lower your prices.
anastasia ehlers, Oregon

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NEVER be sorry if you work from home, I did it for YEARS until I was able to move into a store front. I too had a time where I was kinda embarrassed to tell people I had a home studio. BUT got over it. MANY great people have started from their garage. Bill Gates, Dave Ramsey, Amazon, Apple, Google, Yankee Candles, just to name a few. If your work is good they will see that your a pro and not just a “Basement Betty”.
Tracy, Park Place Design, Michigan

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I started out in my mom’s home years ago (27 years ago) and it is considerably different than running a rented space. This is coming from having been in several types of spaces over the years and now running my business out of two locations. There is much more required money-wise to run out of a retail or warehouse space that an in-house studio. People often do expect there to be a price difference for that reason. This by no means indicates how hard you may work or how talented you may be. Let your work shine and continue the path of professionalism in design and demeanor and it won’t matter what people think of where you’re located. You only want the clients that love you and your work anyway! Don’t let it hinder you…continue saying with pride where you are located! You’re on the right path!!
Christi of Bergeron’s Florist, Virginia

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I too work out of my home and so far, this has not been an issue.
Dee of Wildwood Watters, West Virginia

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Being a home based studio affords me the luxury of flexibility in various aspects of both work and family.

As a private studio I am able to dedicate myself to specific events without distractions of running a retail shop.
Julie of Simply Regal Events & Florals, California

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I think you need to not worry about it. You may be reading more into there reactions. I also work out of a studio and honestly I am so busy I don’t care what they think. I have based my business to ensure this is comfortable as I am called Budget Blooms and it totally goes along with working out of my home. I have meetings in my converted two car garage. If you are selling high high end then maybe that’s why and setting up your studio to be gorgeous might have to be the next step. If you already have a gorgeous studio then truly don’t sweat it. People who want high end don’t want a home, they want a stylish studio.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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I struggled with this for the 10 years that I worked from a large studio that was based in my home. I was nearly apologetic in how I responded to the reaction that I got from people. Ultimately, I developed a very loyal and “freely recommending” group of customers that I treasure who appreciated my talent and didn’t care where I worked from. I have since moved to a rented studio for four reasons: My growing family needed my space, I didn’t want so many strangers having consultations in my personal space, I didn’t fit with my ever-growing amount of vases, buckets, chuppah, props, and – most happily – I couldn’t execute some of our larger scale events from my space.

My advice: Don’t apologize and let your work speak for you. More importantly, don’t undervalue your worth. During the process of meeting with many clients, I had many comments about how they knew my prices would be less because of where my studio was located. Ultimately, it became something that I stopped “outright” responding to. “We offer an excellent value” is all you need to say. We’ve always worked within our brides’ budgets and they’ve never once felt that they didn’t get a value. It becomes a non-issue when you’re able to fulfill their dreams within their budget.
Julia of The Petal Lady, Michigan

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I loved this question because it just happened to me again yesterday! The email inquiry asking if I had a “storefront” in downtown McKinney. And as always, the dreaded thought that races in my head, “Oh how do I answer this”? Over and over again! I have had my studio business for 13 years and I’m not sure we can educate them. For me, once they are here on the property, all anxiety about “my studio” is alleviated. It’s a wonderful, fully equipped area and I am surrounded by things I love….that very feeling is easily communicated to people once they are here. I have learned to say that my studio is built on our property. It is always that simple! I love this blog and cannot express how it has helped me and sometimes just makes me laugh! It helps knowing there are lots of you out there facing the same realities of this crazy business and our love affair with flowers! I’m anxious to hear other responses to these great questions!
Jan of Thistle Floral Design, Texas

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I have an office I meet my clients for consultations in Mid-town Sacramento.  I think having the office, even though I actually do all the designing from home, gives me a more professional appearance.  I have never had a client think twice about my set-up.  If you are meeting your potential clients at their house or in a coffee shop, you might want to consider getting a more permanent and professional meeting space.  In Sacramento there are several “collectives” where creative professionals pay to use the space, offices and meeting rooms  That might be just the solution you need!

Shannon of Flourish, California

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I used to get this a lot, but now I think the savvy bride realizes that the independent floral designer has great pricing, flexibility and isn’t worrying about the random birthday or anniversary arrangement that needs to be delivered. She realizes that she will get personalized attention from the owner/designer and that is important. I am sure I lose weddings from time to time because I am a home based workshop, but I often feel like they may have been a difficult bride if they want more in appearances than content. Once clients arrive, I usually get responses like, “Wow! what a great place!” “How luck you are to work from home.” “This place smells great!” I also have pets and my cats and my old dog usually greet everyone in the driveway and I know immediately if I want to work with them or not – if they are animal people, they must be good! We don’t always get every piece of business, and sometimes that is a good thing.

Melody of Fleurish Floral Designs, California

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Wedding Wednesday :: Blue, Lavender & Purple Floral Inspirations

Photography Paulette Tavo, bouquet of blue and lavender hydrangea

Photography Paulette Tavo

Fabulous Florist :: Sweet Pea Flowers

denver wedding florist
Your name: Lisa Anderson
Your Business name: Sweet Pea Flowers
Your Location: Denver, Colorado

How did you start your business?
By accident really – I worked at a local wholesaler for many years, and saw a little shop for rent and decided to try my luck at starting my own business.

Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver, Colorado - elevated floral centerpiece with white and peach flowers, seeded eucalyptus, white hydrangea, football mums, campanella peach roses, white stock, chamomile, peach roses

How many years have you been in business?
This will be my 13th year

What is your design aesthetic?
I love a lot of variety. I tend to be drawn to textural things. I love a little bit of whimsy, romance and attitude.

Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver, Colorado - Green, pink and touch of blue bouquets with proteas, pink roses, green amaranths, green hypericum berries, ferns

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
I create my style based on what a particular client desires. I like to think that I’m pretty flexible with my overall style, but I do tend to add fun pieces in through greenery or a fun flower that catches my eye. I draw my inspiration from a lot of my local florist friends, as well as blogs, magazines and, of course, pinterest.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Since we are located right in the heart of mountain country here in Colorado, our trends tend to stay within the rustic, country feel. We do tend to go more on the romantic side of those trends (by adding in lots of muted tones, as well as fun greenery and herbs). Colors vary every season, as well as the flowers that we use.

Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver, Colorado - Bridesmaid bouquet with white peonies, peach ranunculus, blue berries, seeded eucalyptus, lysimachia

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We are a studio – by appointment only

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
No

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My clippers.

What’s your favorite flower?
All of them!!

Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver, Colorado - White ranunculus and blue cranberry viburnum boutonniere

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Trust and communication are such big things when choosing your vendors. You have to make sure that you do, in fact, trust who you are working with. If you don’t, don’t use them.

Your contact information:
Sweet Pea Flowers
www.sweetpea-flowers.com
303-635-6868
https://twitter.com/sweetpeadenver
https://www.facebook.com/sweetpeaflowersdenver
http://www.pinterest.com/sweetpeadenver/

Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver, Colorado - bridal bouquet with pink proteas, green hanging amaranthus, blushing bride protea, ferns, blue tweedia

Are you a People Pleaser, or a Pushover? by Alison Ellis

In an effort to provide outstanding customer service it can be hard to navigate the line between being a people pleaser and a push-over. Here are some tips that can help you make your customers happy while staying true to your needs as a business owner.

Visit Alison’s Blog for more inspiration -
Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry, Vermont
http://floralartvt.com

Fleur Friday

A sneak peek of the Blush Pink Rose Color Study! Results and lots of pictures will be posted here on Monday, August 18th!! Be sure to check it out!
All these gorgeous roses are provided by Florabundance!!

Florabundance Pink Roses