Are you expensive? A question for florists. by Alison Ellis

Thank you, Alison, for this fantastic educational video!
Floral Artistry, Vermont

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  1. naturegirl says:

    Great video, Alison. You made all the important points for anyone in service business’ to think carefully about. The race to the bottom is a surefire way to end up out of business. I realize with all the social media ideas out there that never include the price of what just made them go “wow” – matching spending money with the “gotta have thats” will always be an issue. I am glad you also reminded all that time is just as important as the flower cost. We have to value our talents.

  2. This is great to remind ourselves of. Thanks! I am a lot (loads) more expensive than my competitors but only in one sense. I am based in China but the only one offering bespoke floral services to an international English speaking clientele. I do not keep flowers in stock, every bouquet is made to order which means I visit the wholesale market and the entire bunch of lilies (10 stems), roses (20 stems) etc goes into each arrangement. I engage in lots of communication for each order and personally deliver the flowers. So am I ‘expensive’? Yes, but I deserve to be.

    Michael Gaffney’s book (and videos online) ‘Design Star’, is really good at giving you a pep talk and the confidence to charge what needs to be charged.

  3. david dahlson says:

    This is a powerful video, and Alison makes some tremendous points. Whenever one makes price the focus of a discussion about products and services there is only one way that can go – down. This is because there will always be someone who can sell something cheaper than you can. I was so intrigued by this presentation that I went to her website. There I found a blog post that is potentially more powerful, and offers an insight on what I think is one of the major problems facing the floral industry today; and that is the loss of spirituality. Alison writes that many people getting married today spend little or no time on their vows, focusing too much on decor, wedding bands, the dress and so forth. As she rightly points out, the whole point of a wedding is the celebration of the union of two people who love each other, and who want to commit to living together for the rest of their lives. By addressing the spiritual aspect, then the focus can be upon genuine intimacy, and a discussion about suitable decorations for the celebration can ensue. One of the wonderful things about flowers is that they are ephemeral. yet beautiful, and they remind us to live in the moment: As Jesus is often quoted; “Consider the lilies of the field they spin not nor do they toil”. They just are! Glorious! And yes. expensive!

    • Well said, David. Sometimes it seems destination weddings are spiraling out of control.

  4. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!! This is life changing.


  5. We own a garden center (Chattooga Gardens in Cashiers NC) and floral business (Bare Foot Flower Girl, Highlands, NC. Clients asking for discounts are such as issue that we have discussed it in counseling with our psychologist. We live in an affluent area and many people here have a sense of entitlement. I come from a lower income bracket and have allowed myself to play the role of the codependent as a merchant willing to accommodate this behavioral habit. This video is really empowering by providing an appropriate answer to this question.

    I have come to look at like this. If I charge 100 dollars less than I should, my income is $100 lower and they have $100 more in their already full pocket. I have just fed the great income inequality machine.

    Now to put my money where my mouth is. Busy season here so it has been difficult to return phone calls and get the website right. Charging enough allows me to hire some help for menial tasks.

  6. All of your comments are both humbling and day-making. It means a lot to me to know that this resonates with my fellow floral designers out there. It isn’t easy to own our place in perpetuating the myth of “cheap flowers”, but we can certainly move forward knowing that we are worth what we charge.

  7. Hi Alison,
    I really enjoyed your video and kept nodding in agreement. I’m in the UK and have just returned from the wholesale flower market. Our customers do not see the hidden time spent driving to the market, cutting and strimming then conditioning flowers. I don’t know about America but in England many supermarkets are selling flowers at even lower prices than wholesale. It is impossible to compete on silly prices so I won’t . I sell hand crafted bouquets, many flowers are home grown and scented, the flowers are fresh and loved ! Thank you for your inspirational video.