19 Softwares We Use To Run Our Floral Studio, by StemCounter

Hi Flower Friends, today we are sharing a post by our friends Ryan & Rachel over at StemCounter. They are sharing 19 Softwares they use to run their floral studio –

Four years ago my wife, Rachael, and I (Ryan) started Twisted Willow Design, a St. Louis wedding florist, from the ground up. Most people just think of me as the Stemcounter guy, but Stemcounter would have never existed had we not been so frustrated with some of the difficulties of running a floral company. One of the coolest things we hear from other florists is how much they appreciate us being candid about our shop in St. Louis and sharing our ups and downs in our blog, The Business of Flowers. In keeping with that, we wanted to share some of the softwares and apps that help make us more effective in our business and save us countless headaches.

General Business Management

  • Pandora – Yes, this takes the top place on our list. Having music on while designing, or even while doing the more mundane tasks like accounting, sets the mood for a great day at work. On our Pandora you’ll find Brandon Heath Radio and Tauren Wells Radio.
  • Google Drive – We keep our files in Drive so all of our team members can access them when needed. We have everything from our marketing materials to employee/freelancer contracts to our client contract templates in Drive.
  • Gravity Forms – We use Gravity Forms to power our Budget Calculator and Check My Date tools on our website and to collect additional information from our clients. Gravity forms is a plugin for wordpress.
  • WordPress – Our website, TwistedWillow.co, runs on WordPress. It makes managing the site a whole lot easier and the fact that we can integrate Gravity Forms with ease is a win for us. Here are a few tips for the florist website that dramatically increased our conversions.
  • Google Forms – We use google forms to get a more detailed questionnaire from our clients. Not sure what to include in your client questionnaire? We’re sharing ours with you as a free, downloadable template!

Download Our Client Questionnaire Template

  • Stemcounter Forms – We’ll keep our budget calculator on gravity forms but soon there will be a new forms tool in Stemcounter Studio that will eliminate the need for Gravity Forms and Google forms. We’re SUPER excited to have this seamless integration coming so clients can put inquiries directly into our system.

Finances and Payments

  • Wave – Wave is a free accounting software. While we don’t subscribe to the theory that everything free is better, in this case Wave is far simpler to understand than other softwares. Some other tools that we know florists use for their accounting are Quickbooks and Freshbooks.
  • Wave Receipts App – With the Wave Receipts App, it’s easy to keep track of business-related receipts by simply taking a picture of them and uploading them to Wave. It can then even automatically match up the receipt to our bookkeeping record.
  • Stripe – We accept credit card payments through Stripe. It’s integrated into Stemcounter, which makes life much easier for us. We do know other florists who use Square and Paypal.
  • Banking App – Some clients still prefer sending in hard copy checks, and that’s okay. Our bank has an app that allows us to take a picture and deposit the check immediately. Unfortunately there is a limit to how much so we have to literally go to the bank with our checks. (We sound so helpless without our tech, don’t we??)
  • Stemcounter Invoices and Payments- We utilize Stemcounter for our proposals and our invoices. Because of how it’s set up, the proposal actually doubles for the invoice for most of our clients. When clients (especially businesses) need to see the word “invoice”, we just use a separate link that is the invoice link. Stemcounter also sets up the payment schedule for our clients to follow and with Stemcounter Studio we have the ability to generate a payments report to keep up with when certain payments are due.

Marketing

  • Instagram – Because of the visual nature of this social platform, this is a great way for us to show off our work while giving our best wishes to newlyweds. It serves as inspiration for brides around the globe and gives potential clients a taste of Twisted Willow Design’s style. For the most part, Instagram is a ancillary tools because most of our clients only use our services us once. So we treat it as additional proof for clients who are already looking into us. (Though…we have gotten a client or two from it.)
  • Facebook – Similar to Instagram, Facebook allows us to share our unique style with potential clients but because our Facebook profile has room for more information about us, potential clients are often quicker to initially reach out to us through this platform.
  • The Knot – The Knot has been the best online tool we’ve used to gain clients. I’ve spoken with thousands of florists and from those conversations it seems this is really a decision that varies depending on region and tier of the market. Other tools that florists use are WeddingWire and Thumbtack. One of the keys to finding new clients is to have a completed profile on The Knot with reviews that sing high praises of our work.
  • Wedding Shows – Okay, so this one isn’t really a florist software we use but it is a very important part of our marketing plan because it gives a chance to personally connect with brides and employ Rachael’s genius trick for getting more leads.

Booking Clients

  • Stemcounter – We use only one app for booking clients (often on-the-spot in a consultation). It allows us to create beautiful proposals that include our contract on them, which clients can sign directly from the proposal. We can also send a digital link to the proposal that’s accessible on any device they’re using. With that, they can view the proposal, view the inspiration photos full screen, sign, and pay from the same screen.
  • Contracts – We now use Stemcounter for contracts. We used to use to just mail our contract or email a pdf and have them mail it to us signed. We’ve tried Docusign but didn’t use it that much before we shifted to Stemcounter.

Communicating with clients

  • Gmail – Our business email addresses are powered by Gmail and google apps. Our custom email addresses come off as more professional than having a standard “@gmail.com” address, which is an important thing for us. Not only that, we have full access to all of Google’s tools.
  • Google Voice – Rachael and I aren’t from the St. Louis area. We knew that we needed a local number to help earn clients’ trust but didn’t really want to change our phone numbers. Google voice solved our problem by giving us a free local business number where we can get texts and calls. As an added bonus, because clients don’t have our personal numbers, we’ve been able to put a line between our business and personal lives.
  • Streak Snippets – Streak is a CRM software but we only really use Snippets, which allows us to create and use template responses easily, rather than having to write the same “Thank you for contacting us” email over and over again. We do plan on introducing some email template tools in Stemcounter before long!
  • Pinterest – Some florists may use Pinterest as a marketing tool. We actually don’t do many boards ourselves. We use it to access to our clients’ boards and then we use Pinterest Drag and Drop directly to Stemcounter.

Execution

  • Awesome Note – There are ten million things that need to be done the week of an event and Awesome Note helps us keep track of them all, even syncing time-sensitive tasks to our calendar if we’d like.
  • Word – With our list of tasks in hand, we develop a game plan for the week to give to our team members that includes what needs to get done and who is responsible for each task.
  • Stemcounter – We use Stemcounter to create our wholesale lists a couple weeks ahead of time. This saves us HOURS in itself. Probably our biggest time saving feature. We also can generate out our recipes for our freelancers to have access too.

I hope these help!

-Ryan with Twisted Willow Design

P.S. You’d also love our blog that focuses on The Business of Flowers, where we give away advice on cool topics on anything from what makes an awesome florist logo to great wedding florists websites and give-a-ways like a free wedding florist contract template.

Foliage Focus :: Popcorn Viburnum

PopCorn Viburnum - Bella Fiori Arrangement1

Have you seen and worked with this accent foliage? It’s called Popcorn Viburnum. I picked up the above bunch at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, and a luscious bunch it is! It’s a fabulous accent with a range in colors on the “snowballs” – white, green, pink, blush and almost lending into a burgundy hues at points. Would work well in many color palettes and it does fill in arrangements nicely. In my experience the vase life looks to be 5 days and it is a heavy drinker so make sure the buckets and vases don’t run out of water.
You can read more about the plant here on Monrovia’s website.

Here I have the popcorn viburnum arranged with poppies, peonies, and ranunculus:
PopCorn Viburnum - Bella Fiori Arrangement1

PopCorn Viburnum - Bella Fiori Arrangement2

Photographs and Floral Design by Alicia Schwede, Flirty Fleurs/Bella Fiori.

My Favorite Gardens

Sharing five of my favorite flower gardens to visit, wonderful places to gather inspiration and be surrounded by immense beauty. The gardens are located in America, Canada, The Netherlands, and England.

Butchart Gardens
Victoria, Canada
The manicured sunken garden at Butchart Gardens is one of a kind. To be on the upper section of the garden and looking down onto the winding paths and perfectly manicured flower beds is an impressive sight. I am also a big fan of the rose gardens and recommend visiting when the roses are in bloom.
Butchart Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens
The Netherlands
Perhaps my favorite garden of all, I first visited here in 2011 at the suggestion of a friend. I had no idea what was in store, no idea I was about to view the most beautiful, large garden filled to the brim with bulb flower displays, floral arrangements, and variety displays. I’ve now visited the gardens twice and can only anticipate future visits!
Keukenhof Gardens Holland

Lotusland
Montecito, California
37 acres of amazing landscaping and gardens are what’s in store with a visit to Lotusland. This stunning garden is located in Montecito, California, just south of Santa Barbara.
Lotusland

Roozengaarde
Mount Vernon, Washington
I had no idea what to expect the first time I visited Roozengaarde and I most certainly wasn’t expecting such a glorious display of tulips. A truly pleasant surprise when I realized how many beautiful displays of tulips, daffodils, and muscari they had tucked in behind their garden walls. The tulips festival takes place each April and I highly recommend a visit.
Roozengaarde Skagit valley

David Austin Roses
Albrighton, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Located in the English Countryside are the beautiful gardens of David Austin Roses. The gardens are behind brick walls giving it a secret garden feel. I could barely contain my excitement as I turned each corner to discover more perfectly laid out rose gardens. We visited just before the gardens were in full bloom, I do hope to make it back there one day when the roses are in full bloom.
Beautiful Garden space seen at David Austin Rose Gardens, England

Have you been to any of the above gardens? Which are your favorites and why? Do you have gardens to suggest I and others visit? Please leave your suggestions in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

10 Florists to Follow on Instagram

Today I’m sharing a roundup of 10 floral designers that I truly enjoy following on Instagram. They post beautiful floral designs, gorgeous photography, and inspiring glimpses into their flowery lives!
Click on any of the images and you’ll be taken to their Instagram pages –

Workshop :: Floral Arches & Chuppahs, June 4, 2017

Modern Floral Arch with coral fabric, green, coral and peach flowers for the Flirty Fleurs Floral Design Class in Washington.

www.bjonesphotos.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017 | 10am until done, this is an all day class!
Arches brimming with flowers is my absolute favorite piece to design — gotta love a happy bride standing underneath her flower arch! In this hands-on Floral Arch & Chuppah Workshop we will work together to create two arches & and two chuppahs. We’ll have a lot of flowers on hand, and will work on different techniques for building chuppahs and floral arches. This class will take place outside where we’ll have plenty of room to spread out our floral projects! (Please come prepared to work outside). Previously this class ended between 5-6pm.
Lunch & refreshments included.
Location: Flirty Fleurs World Headquarters, also known as my home & property in Arlington, Washington (one hour north of Seattle)
Investment: $650.00
Register HERE

Beautiful Compote Designs

wild organic floral arrangement

Designer Unknown

Garden Party Rose Stripper

Sharing my new-to-me favorite rose stripper:

It was designed by a local Washington floral designer, TJ of Garden Party. I picked up a pair recently while talking to TJ at our local flower wholesaler. I was intrigued by it’s design and wanted to give it a try. sure enough I like how tidy and fast it is and my hands stay clean!
So if you are looking for a new rose stripper you might want to give this one a try! They are even sold via Amazon.

Fabulous Florist :: Flowers by Lady Buggs

Flowers by Lady Buggs - orange and white bouquet

Your name: Davida Buggs
Your Business name: Flowers by Lady Buggs
Your Location: Los Angeles, California

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

How did you start your business?
I was getting married in 2009 and decided that I wanted to design my own wedding flowers. Yes, I was that DIY bride! I did some research and took a bridal bouquet and boutonniere/corsage course given by Casey Schwartz of the Flower Duet. Casey also met me one early morning at the Los Angeles Flower Market for a tour. It was on that visit to the market that did it for me–I was hooked!

And how many years have you been in business?
I’ve been in business for 8 years

Flowers by Lady Buggs - Los Angeles Florist

What is the most satisfying part of being a floral designer, and why?
I love seeing my couples grow in various stages of their lives well after their weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to transform my clients visions into something special for their weddings but some of my clients have become friends and I’ll get calls for baby showers, births and birthdays. Knowing that they trust me for the special moments in their lives is extremely satisfying and rewarding for me.

Flowers by Lady Buggs - flower arch

What is the best part of being your own boss? The Worst?
Having come from a corporate environment I enjoy not being behind someone else’s desk. Floral design allows me to do something that I absolutely love and I’m able to run my business my way. There are challenges being a floral designer with long hours, heavy lifting, tons of paperwork and proposals to get out, however, the hardest for me is the time away from my husband and young sons on wedding and event days.

Flowers by Lady Buggs - gold and white bouquets

What is your design aesthetic?
I’m drawn to textural, lush designs with depth, layers and movement.

Flowers by Lady Buggs - peach and burgundy bouquet

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Many times, I draw inspiration from the elements that are going into a wedding or event. It could be as simple as the lace on the bride’s gown, the style of the venue or the feeling that my bride wants to convey to her guests through florals.

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Being in Los Angeles we come across it all from the large scale, over-the-top events to everything else in between. The same can be said for the use of color and design—one wedding can be more modern and streamlined where the next can be loose, rustic and organic. The blush wedding is clearly still ever present and just as popular and I can’t get my hands on David Austin Roses fast enough but again, we come across it all.

The one trend that I’m always happy to see are couples requesting and in search of locally grown or California grown products. There are more farmers that provide locally grown flowers and it’s refreshing to know that there are options grown here in our backyard as opposed to coming across the globe.

Flowers by Lady Buggs - bridal bouquet

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based? My business is home based

Flowers by Lady Buggs - black and white flower arrangement

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Still in the floral design realm…initially we focused our efforts primarily on weddings and events, however, we will be expanding the delivery side of the business and look forward to growing in that area.

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

Andie Freeman Photography | Southern California Wedding Photographer

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my Ohana floral shears, Oasis cold glue and zip ties.

Flowers by Lady Buggs - Rob Greer Photography

What’s your favorite flower?
I couldn’t possibly choose one flower over another, there’s way too much pretty out there, besides for me it’s more about my favorite color which is the deeper, darker, red-tones. So, the red charm peony, burgundy dahlia, black magic rose—those are some of my favorites because of their strikingly bold color.

Flowers by Lady Buggs white bouquets

Contact information: 818-808-9476
Website: www.flowersbyladybuggs.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/flowersbyladybuggs
Instagram: www.instagram.com/flowersbyladybuggs/

Flowers by Lady Buggs - orange and blue flowers

Workshop :: Floral Arch & Chuppah, June 4, 2017

Modern Floral Arch with coral fabric, green, coral and peach flowers for the Flirty Fleurs Floral Design Class in Washington.

www.bjonesphotos.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017 | 10am until done, this is an all day class!
Arches brimming with flowers is my absolute favorite piece to design — gotta love a happy bride standing underneath her flower arch! In this hands-on Floral Arch & Chuppah Workshop we will work together to create two arches & and two chuppahs. We’ll have a lot of flowers on hand, and will work on different techniques for building chuppahs and floral arches. This class will take place outside where we’ll have plenty of room to spread out our floral projects! (Please come prepared to work outside). Previously this class ended between 5-6pm.
Lunch & refreshments included.
Location: Flirty Fleurs World Headquarters, also known as my home & property in Arlington, Washington (one hour north of Seattle)
Investment: $650.00
Register HERE

Chairs decorated with Flowers

Wedding Chairs with garlands of italian smilax and orchids

Designer Unknown