Wedding Wednesday :: Cascading Bouquets

Wedding Wednesday :: Just Peachy!

Q&A :: Do you send Images of Daily Deliveries?

The Question:
For those of you who do daily deliveries (ie – deliveries for birthdays, congratulations for a new baby, anniversaries, etc). How do you feel about taking a picture of the arrangement and sending the image to the sender prior to the arrangement leaving your shop? We’ve heard of more & more clients asking for this service. Pros & Cons?

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The Answers:

I find myself doing this more and more. Taking a photo with my phone and getting it to the sender is great for customer service ! Waiting to post photos on social media until the design has been delivered , in my opinion is important. The con…the time it takes.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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I do photograph each arrangement and text or email it to the client when it leaves to be delivered. I have had such positive and appreciative responses about this added service. I used to order lots of flowers in my old life and never knew what was being delivered, so I thought this would be a nice touch. It is! Just snap a photo on your phone and press send.
Tara, By The Bloom, California

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More and more I’m getting requests for photos of arrangements and many times I will ask if they’d like a picture, especially if it’s a new customer. People almost always take me up on the offer and are usually delighted that I’d do this. I think that it shows a customer that you have confidence in what you’re producing, especially if they aren’t ordering something they’ve seen on your website. I always tell them that I will send the photo after delivery and also provide them with delivery information and a description of what was in the arrangement. The other benefit of sending pictures is that you now have an email to use for marketing purposes.
Anne of Hydrangea Bleu, California

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I like to take photos of each arrangement, but don’t send a picture to the sender unless requested. If I need to give visual proof of the arrangement’s quality or contents, then I have the photo to share. In my opinion, sending a pic before you deliver the arrangement opens the door to all sorts of issues that most shops or studio florists would not have time to address. The client should trust the floral designer they have contracted to make and deliver that arrangement.
Laurie of Fleurie, California

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If you have a flower shop you should have a policy on this “photo prior to delivery” request. If you choose to offer this additional service you need to do it well. This means having a dedicated spot/backdrop where you photograph the arrangement from it’s “best side”. I think the biggest decision to make is whether you wait for approval prior to sending your driver out the door. That seems ridiculous to me, personally since when I worked in flower shops it was always a hustle to get deliveries made and out the door in the right order. If I had a shop I would offer this service, possibly even charge a few bucks for the effort and time and make it clear that the delivery will be headed out the door at whatever time works for the driver. If it is for next-day delivery or the customer requests the ability to approve the design I would allow for 1 adjustment to the design and any subsequent requests will have a re-design fee.
Alison of Floral Artistry, Vermont

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In today’s tech and visual environment, it’s so important to take images of your client’s designs. I do this daily and clients absolutely love it! I have a small area in my studio with good lighting and a small table. I just take the design to the area, use my smart phone to take the image, text or e-mail the image to the client, and everyone is a happy camper. Then I send it to my Facebook page, Twitter, InstaGram, Pinterest, and anywhere else I can show my work…..all in a matter of minutes! I also have a higher quality (not that smart phones don’t have great cameras!) camera that I use as well just to have better focus for my website or ? What this does is reaffirm your relationship with your client…..that trust is worth years of client loyalty! Be well, and go create my friends….
Joe Guggia AIFD of JP Designed, California

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Q&A :: How do I get brides to hire me?

The Question:
Hi my name is Cheryl and I currently run a home based wedding floral business.
My question is, how do you get more brides to go with you instead of another big local florist around the area? How can I entice them more? I try to be as personable as I can with brides, but how do I get more consultations?

Cheryl in Ohio

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The Answers:

In regards to attracting and enticing more brides to your home location:
-Create an inspiring yet organized space in your home for consults
-Post your “Home Studio” pics on Facebook, Pinterest and website
-Speaking of websites… in a bride’s mind if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist
-Use your “Home Studio” to your advantage! Less overhead and more personal attention to their event!

Getting the brides to you:
–Bridal Shows…Use those lead lists! (1) Personal Phone Call / (2) Email Blast / (3) Direct Mail
–Visit all of your local Venues & bridal shops (which are usually the 1st locations a bride visits)
–Bring the Manager or main contact a little floral arrangement with your cards & marketing materials. Tuesdays are usually the best day to stop in casually.

Jennifer Mancuso, Michigan

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Fifteen years ago, it was word of mouth that got me to where I am today. Prom corsages have developed into wedding events and flowers for those families. The local Chamber of Commerce has been a effective way to advertise for a nominal fee. Being visible in the community is vital although as a studio designer it is difficult at times to be everywhere.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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You really need to brand yourself. Set yourself apart from what everyone is doing. Really stand out, if your thing is rustic make sure your work is the BEST, if it’s modern really stand out. If your doing bridal shows make your booth is the “talk” of the show. Find your niche and make it happen. My brides come to me because they love my look.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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I suggest calling around to photographers and doing some styled shoots. You will get some nice material to show your skills and then get those published, that gets your name out there. Also, advertising on local wedding blogs and/or one of the big online companies such as the knot or Wedding Wire. Then word of mouth will happen.
Buffy of Pink Posey Design, Colorado

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I think part of having a home based business is that you’re (typically) not as well known and will get fewer consults than a brick and mortar store. I don’t do any advertising. My Yelp reviews bring me most of my business, followed by recommendations from other vendors and past brides. That being said, I really focus on getting the jobs I do consults for. I go above and beyond for people that interview me. My goal is that they would leave our meeting better off than when they went in, regardless if they hire me. This means I “show my cards” a lot more than others. I do give away ideas, let them know what to expect, give sketches or photos with the estimate, etc. I try to genuinely serve them well, and in turn, they typically hire me. If I don’t get the job, they leave feeling served and don’t have a bad taste in their mouths. I have a booking rate of about 80%, so even though it takes more time up front, it ends up saves me time and money. Book the people you do interview and you don’t have to chase work! I wish there was a silver bullet that would work every time, but I find that as long as I’m listening to them and serve them well, I get a majority of jobs.
Chandin of Studio 3 Floral Design, Washington

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I, too, have a home-based wedding flower business. I have been in business for 3 years. Lately I have been getting a ton of positive feedback that a good number of brides have chosen me because of my prompt response to their emails. I started advertising with a popular and reputable vendor information site and as soon as I see an inquiry I get an email out to the bride as fast as I can, always within a few hours of me getting the email. I met with a bride the other day and she told me that of the 5 designers she contacted, I was the ONLY one that got right back to her and her fiance. She said the spoke volumes to her. That was 2 weeks ago. Apparently, she has still had no response from the other larger florists in town. I think personal, sincere and prompt responses and service are what the brides want. I also make sure that when I do have a consult that I take a tablet with me so that we can look at ideas together from my Pinterest Boards, Facebook business page and my website. Make sure you have all of those updated and have a lot of items for the bride to look at. Keep plugging away. Get better at your business and managing skills and it will come…
Lauren of Garden Gate Florals, Florida

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If you are like me, and usually meet at coffee shops or at the venue, bring a portfolio of your work in digital format, like an iPad or slide show on a laptop. Be sure to use only professional photos. I also have developed welcome letter that I send to my brides via email. I always make the appointment about theme not just solely focused on the flowers. We talk about her dreams and visions of her wedding day, and then dive into the flower part. Ask about her day, her dress, how she met her man, etc. Let her get excited and keep her excited through your appointment. I’m working on developing a catalogue of items I rent to take with me (containers, candle sets, table runners, etc) . Good luck! You can do this! And just be yourself!
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

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It takes time! Just keep doing a good job. Ensure you have a good online presence and for the first few years maybe lower your prices a little not much, but as you are not retail you cannot charge full retail prices. This has been very successful for us. We are in our 10th year of business and as our customer base grew we increased our pricing. I treated that slight savings for the Brides as an advertising cost.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Q&A :: Ethics in Designing Events

The Question:

I just met with a bride who found a wedding she loves on Style Me Pretty, and basically asked me to re-create all the florals/design concepts from that wedding. For me, this brings up a major ethical issue, and I am curious how you all deal with this: though I completely understand drawing inspiration from certain images/designs/ideas, I just don’t feel comfortable copying something made by another designer. In this case, there are some pretty specific color/flower/design choices that she wants to emulate, and to me it just feels wrong…. I also don’t understand why anyone would want their wedding to look EXACTLY like a wedding that already happened….. but I guess that is a separate issue…..

Has anyone else encountered this type of situation? How did you deal with it?

Best,

Designer in Washington

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The Answers:

It isn’t that uncommon for a bride to come into a consult with me with a wedding, bouquet or centerpiece that she wants to reproduce! The way I deal with it really depends on the bride. Sometimes all it takes is a comment that I do have my own design style that I will bring to the theme which would include using different vases, votives, etc. and switching up a few of the flowers and their placements to make the design more unique to her. If that doesn’t get the job done, I would make suggestions of ways to modify or enhance the design…again changing up flowers types, shapes, and placements, adding another layer to the tablescape, etc. I also would look for alternative designs that are similar to include in her design board to show her how to blend different designs into something that she may love even more. My experience is that all of these things that show my unique style and creativity and an emphasis on her uniqueness, as well, result in a new floral design that she loves more than the one she brought in to be reproduced.

Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

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When brides bring me inspiration photos, I typically use them as just that. I use the colors and/or the shapes to inspire me so that the design in the pictures is reflected somehow in my designs. 9 times out of 10, if I do this, the bride can see how her pictures inspired me to create her design. Every once in a while, a bride will reply to my proposal by telling me she wanted exactly what she saw in the picture. In these cases, I explain to the bride that I want her to have something unique and personalized for HER special day. I tell her that I am happy to use certain flowers, or to recreate a certain shape but that I am unwilling to simply copy another designer’s work. It’s my hope that my brides are coming to me because they want a Sweet Blossoms design. Sometimes, I just have to remind them that their wedding is SPECIAL and deserves a design that is just for them!
Blair at Sweet Blossoms, Maryland

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I tell my brides that all our work is custom, but I am happy to see inspiration photos. I don’t think it is unethical to repeat a color scheme from another designer, but I make it clear that (unless it’s a ball of baby’s breath or all hydrangea centerpieces) it’s not going to look just like the ones in the photo. I literally say, “we don’t copy the look, we look at all your inspiration photos and work from there”. There is seasonal variation, container changes, geography, etc. I also make it part of my rap that they get the best work from me when I have some flexibility in case what’s available (either from my own fields or from the wholesaler) isn’t up to wedding quality, OR if something is even nicer that what I was originally thinking. I will promise, for example, peonies in season, but my recent March bride got no such promise, and sure enough, the peonies were terrible that week so I used something else. Best of luck.
Polly, Robin Hollow Farm, Rhode Island

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You are right to listen to your “gut” on this one. I happened to be on the other side of this issue about a year ago. I developed a proposal for a bride based on her vision. She was not flexible about flower choices and her vision was more than her budget. When the proposal came in over her budget, I told her that we could revisit the proposal and make adjustments to be more in line with what she wanted to spend without sacrificing the “look.” I never heard back even after following up, and then one day I saw images from a wedding on my Facebook page. I immediately recognized the design (wheat grass in low wooden boxes with several gerberas inserted to look like they were growing from the grass). Every design element of this wedding was in my proposal. I contacted my friends at the venue to find out whose wedding it was, and low and behold it was the bride for whom I developed the proposal. I had met the owner of the local florist shop who did the flowers, at a couple of bridal shows and liked her a lot. I was surprised that she used my design for this wedding, and I have to say that I’m having a hard time coming to grips with this. Once a couple of years ago, a bride gave me a proposal from another designer, with whom I am friends, and I told her that I would have to develop my own design for her. She was fine with that. My design was completely different (and not any less expensive than her first proposal), and she went with me. I can sleep at night!
Jane Guerin, flowers, Virginia

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I think that it’s a compliment to copy and if that’s what makes the Bride happy then it’s worth doing. I get asked that all the time as they use others pictures for inspiration. As we use a natural product I do not feel there are proprietary rights on our designs and due to using natural products it will never be exact anyway. The slight differences that using a natural product create will ensure your touch is on it. Just ensure to explain to the Bride that it will be as close as a natural product can deliver. That line has never failed me.
Jane, Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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I have been doing strictly wedding and event florals from a home based studio for 23 years and I find that it is very common for a bride to give me a photo or a link and ask for her flowers to look just like that. Most brides have a problem envisioning what their wedding will look like and these photos are the best they can do when describing their wedding. Because their wedding is taking place in a different venue, the wedding won’t be exactly the same. The chances that all the product and the colors will be identical are low, so I just go with it and try to personalize the wedding where I can. In the end, my work might be submitted to a florist by a bride somewhere else in the world, and they are copying my designs. I try not to get hung up on this – we are inspired and learn from different designers all the time, I just try to look at it this way. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Melody, Fleurish Floral Designs, California

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I am asked by brides and shown pictures of things that want recreated for their wedding all the time. Nature of Pinterest and the Knot.
However, we can only recreate the style.. we will never be able to recreate the designers first work that was published. It will always have our flare on it. Plus as artist.. we all have our own eye and if 3 people copied the same bouquet .. it would turn out 3 different ways.
I also let my bride know that I will work really hard on finding all the flowers that are pictured… but.. sometimes they are just not available. I will always let them know up front that while the style will be there.. it is impossible to copy completely. Plus by the time their wedding day is there.. as long as it’s beautiful, and in the style and colors they want… in the end that is all that matters.
As for the ethical side.. great masters in the art world are copied all the time. Nothing is as good as the original work of art.. so goes it with flowers. I am sure that my designs have been copied, but style and flare will always remain with me.
Flowers by Karen, Washington

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Isn’t it the ultimate compliment when your style or design is copied?
I don’t think we have copyright laws in place for floral design. Plus, I think there are very few “original” forms of art and design. Fabulous design in all mediums repeats throughout history as trends and popularity command.
We all have our gifts and weaknesses in life. Some of us are artistically inclined and some are not. If a Bride sees something she is wild about why not copy it? She may not have the interest, time or skills to decide on her own look.
However, I do believe a great florist will get to know her Bride, read her personality and style and gently guide a Bride towards a look and style that fits and reflects that Bride.
Nancy, Destiny Hill Farm, Pennsylvania

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I’ve actually had this occur a couple of times. Now the florist weren’t in the same town, but I simply sent an email to the shop, complimenting their work & explaining that I had a bride that wanted me to recreate their design. Both shops were thrilled to get the positive feedback & the one shop even sent me their recipe for the bridal bouquets with design tips. The only thing one of the shops asked was that we’d ‘like’ their FB page & maybe leave a positive Google comment, which we were more than happy to do!
Sharon, Muffy’s Flowers, Alaska

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This is a tough situation and one I think we can all relate to! I think there are some brides/people that don’t see our craft as, well, a craft. They don’t see it as a form of expression and the ideas as of other designers as a form of “creative property”. They simply see pretty flowers and want the same thing – they don’t see it as ripping someone’s designs (or entire wedding!) off. There are also people that cannot visualize anything they can’t explicitly see, so saying “inspired” or “similar” doesn’t seem to mean much other than “it’s not exactly what I see” and can’t understand what you’re talking about. I find that trust in my capability as a designer is the only thing that will put them at ease. That being said, I try to understand WHY they want exactly what they see in a photo. Is it the color, the form, shape, movement, the “personality” of it, etc. I can typically pick up a theme in the “design language” they use as we go over photos, I interpret it and repeat it back to them to be sure I understand. When we are on the same page, I explain that what they see cannot be exactly replicated. Flowers may not be available or may be subpar size/quality, colors may not be exactly the same shade, possibly due to different lighting in the photo (a photographers skill cannot be under emphasized here! My photos and a pros photos of the same bouquet don’t even compare!), and I am a different designer. Try as we might, copying a different designer is extremely difficult. Anyone that has freelanced will tell you that! We are all different and have a different eye. Similar, sure, but all of us are different. I reiterate their “design language” again, to be sure I understand what they want (I’d hate to be wrong!), and tell them that I can do that and it will be very similar to and inspired by what they love about the photos. Typically they know that I “get them” and understand and agree and we both walk away with a better understanding of one another. If they don’t, they probably wont hire me. I actually feel more comfortable with that, if they can’t trust me they certainly shouldn’t hire me! I think all you can do is educate the client and hope for the best. I try to be sure my clients get what they want, but in the end, trust your gut!
Chandin, Studio 3 Floral Design, Washington

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With this type of a bride, I have been able to use select phrases such as: one of a kind, originally yours and individual inspiration to help the bride select elements that will define her wedding. Asking for personal items or flowers of meaning have also helped. It definitely is a fine line and one that takes time in the consultation process.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Discussing the floral industry and reality TV

Today we discuss a Content Call Question asked by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill regarding Reality TV.

Question #5
Discussing the floral industry and reality TV. One of our Brides this summer was picked for the show 4 Brides & a Wedding. My husband, our event coordinator and I as well as the caterer the couple picked all refused to permit the show. Since the farm is our home we did not want camera crews here, plus we don’t care for the negative aspect of the show and we believe a wedding day is a sacred day. I’m not sure why the caterer said no to filming but the caterer absolutely is one if not the best of our preferred food vendors in service, presentation and taste. I think one of the categories in the judging may have been flowers? But, I’m not really sure. Florist may want to think about how they would handle their Bride in a reality show with their flower design judged.

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Ugh, just say no to reality TV.
Margaret Burnette, Texas

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I did a show this summer ” say yes to the dress” and it will air this new year. I think it’s a great thing to get the word out on my blog, FB, etc, I think it depends on the show.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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This is such an interesting topic and I agree completely that the wedding day is sacred and if a show has negative aspects I probably would not want to be a part of it. Small, mundane moments can be edited to look like a huge ordeal and I wouldn’t want to put my professional image in the hands of someone who might edit me for a dramatic moment.
Alison of Floral Artistry, Vermont

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I love your reasons behind your decision and would think any bride would also want to use you for these reasons. I’d never thought of this before but it’s good to mull over and be prepared with a response if approached.
Dana of Della Blooms, Maryland

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I just wouldn’t be open to that, we go thru a lot of ugly (processing flowers, dealing with unreliable product, setting up an event, etc) to create pretty. In the end, I want to make sure my client is happy but I don’t need any negative publicity or mean spirited comments in regards to my work. My team and I work too hard for someone who is not our client to put us down. It’s just not worth it.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

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My theory is that nothing good can come from a reality show. They rarely give any recognition other than in the credits and who looks at those? Don’t do it!
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

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I think a reality tv show would be way more than I could handle,and would cheapen the event.
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

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I can’t bring my self to believe that I would participate.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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Thank you to everyone that participated!

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If you have a question you’d like us to ask in a future Content Call please Email it – info@flirtyfleurs.com

Studio Tour of KRISanthemums

My conversation with Kris started off with her answering Katie’s question that we posted yesterday and evolved into an entire blog post about her studio. Super fun to peek into Kris’ floral design studio!
This is what Kris has to say about designing your studio:

There are always things you will change in your design studio. Drawings and measurements help in the beginning … until you start moving and working in the space.
My customers like to see where I work and that is my comfortable space as well…I designed a consultation area and we seldom use it.
Top 5 in my studio:
#1 farmhouse sink , with a low front, a tall back and one side , with a fabulous faucet that you can put buckets under
#2 sliding barn door that is a chalk board, helps me to keep orders organized
#3 desk space that is an antique table, located close to my work space
#4 lighting is so important, make sure to have a beautiful one in there some place
#5 designate a spot for photos …

KRISanthemums table and shelves

KRISanthemums Office Space

KRISanthemums Counter space

This is the barn door( It actually was on a barn that the family has. It was leaning against the wall, the door part had been damaged by a bull, so we put a 3/4 inch sheet of plywood over the entire door and chalk board paint. The metal rail I just sprayed with rust proof paint).
KRISanthemums floral design studio

This is the other section of the barn door…it was in better shape so just painted the rail and left the other as it was:
KRISanthemums consulation space
(Notice the grandson’s art work and it is a great back drop for where clients sit and the grandkids take naps).

This is the sink I LOVE… the right side is as tall as the back, which works great since the door it there. I ordered the faucet after much looking, to fit my needs. The sink was at a junk barn sale and the owner traded it to me for the use of our gardens for her daughter’s wedding ceremony. I had it re-glazed, found a basket strainer for the drain. My husband built the base out of galvanized pipe ( I had seen the same kind of base at Cool Water in San Francisco, when I took a class from Paula Pryke).
KRISanthemums Sink

This is the entrance to the studio. The bench to the right of the door is my ‘go to’ place for photos, since the light there is always great!
Floral Studio Entrance

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums florist ribbon

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums ribbon racks

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

KRISanthemums floral designer studio

Kris of KRISanthemums
Hermiston, Oregon

Thank you, Kris, for sharing your studio with us!

Designing a Floral Designer Studio

Katie of Noonan Designs has a great question for all of us regarding setting up floral studios..

Question #4
I’m opening a floral studio here in San Luis Obispo, California. I’m over the moon about it, but there’s also a million things running through my mind, and questions on layout and practicality. Since I’ve been working out of the home since I opened my business, it would be awesome to hear what shop veterans have to say about opening a studio.
Floral shop owners- if you were to open your shop today or re-design your studio what are the key things, or top 5 elements you would build into the design?

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Last January, we moved from a tiny spot to a 1500sf retail spot. Things I would recommend you think about include storage space (lots and lots of shelving/storage space), a dedicated ribbon area, and easy-clean floors (concrete is great). One thing I wish I’d investigated better was the airflow in the room. My primary processing area gets the most heat in the winter while the rest of the shop is freezing.
Althea of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs, Arkansas

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Wheels!!! On your trashcan, on your cooler shelves, on your flat surface workspaces(tables, cabinets, islands) A layout that makes sense for your space. A floor sink.
Margaret Burnette, Texas

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Your sinks can never be big enough! I put in sinks that I thought were overkill, but it turns out, its awesome to have a ton of sink-room!
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

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SPACE to design in a MUST!! when I opened my studio I was limited, but that’s ok. I put in 3 work stations and they are not huge BUT they work for me. Put up shelves and ribbon holders and places to to keep tape, paints, etc at hand and eye level as I have grown my inventory my space has gotten so much smaller. BUT I would not trade it for the world.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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We moved into a real studio this past June and the key elements are – walk in cooler, roll up door that you can back your truck into for loading, drain in the floor, plentiful and sturdy storage shelving, good water pressure and very high ceilings. I keep meaning to buy a full length mirror to look at bouquets as I’m making them – I keep running into the bathroom for a peak!
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

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Easy flow is essential in any workspace. I have found ‘zones’ for different types of tasks are helpful- i.e. processing floral product and
washing/drying buckets happen in one area; while ribbons, labeling and finishing touches on product happen in another. I have a mix of
containers on display to give me ideas for upcoming event work as I work with seasonal product throughout the year, and to remind me what I have stored away in inventory. I also place miscellaneous like items into large tupperware containers so they can be easily accessed when needed.
A spot in a workspace with natural light and a simple background is a plus to have as well, to snap shots of work for portfolio or social media posts.

I prefer a clean work space, with little clutter. I believe that we are lucky to work with such beauty in our day to day, and that having a tidy space allows us to be inspired rather than distracted by our surroundings!
Tess of July Floral Design, Washington

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I would love a bigger cooler, more table space and a hot water tank! Other than that, I love my studio.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

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After 7 years in my first retail location, we moved to a bigger space and I really had a chance to mold the way operations would flow in my new space. I think this is personal for each shop owner depending on what you’d like to focus on.
For my top 5 must haves:
I had the dream of a flower room for customers to walk into and experience which came to life when I stumbled upon a used walk in cooler with windows that is the focal point of my shop.
I also wanted to have the design area in the front of the store so that customers could watch us design (also helps to be present for walk-ins even when you’re busy designing). I still think my design area could be bigger.
I never had a private office or consultation area before, so that was something I also paid a lot of attention to. I love my office and so do my clients, its really cozy and relaxed while still feeling very stylish and fun.
Other things to consider are of course window display and foot traffic outside, its really what brings people in, and then creating paths and displays through the store.
Plumbing was one thing that became too expensive in the end to make my life easier. I wished for a sink next to my design area but settled for one in the back of the store.
Amy of Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Maryland

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Is your studio open for retail business on a daily basis or just by appointment?Will you have regular hours?
Will the studio be making daily deliveries, or will your studio be for weddings and events only?
If you will be having a studio with regular hours where people can come in and buy flowers daily, one thing I would
do is consider the layout of the sales area and the work area.
I have a retail studio that is open to the public on a daily basis~ when I am there, I am not married to regular retail hours.
I do weddings and events but also daily orders and delivery.
My studio is adorable, and a good working environment, which is all blended into one. I wanted my customers to be able to be
a part of the work area, I even have a couple of bar stools where they can have a seat while I make their design. They love this!
You have to be ok with the fact that your work area is viewed at all times and keeping it super neat (and safe) is sometimes
difficult, especially when you just received your flower shipment and flowers are everywhere.
It is hard sometimes to keep it perfect for the customers….its a working studio….
If this is something that you think may be hard to do, I would strongly suggest making the work area a little hidden from the
view and traffic.
My consultation area is in a separate room, which is nice.
My work area was a kitchen area, complete with cabinets and sink and counters. Looks clean and sleek. I love having the cabinets to store my vases from view, and also have shelves that show the vases neatly stocked. I have big drawers that store my ribbon~ I am not a fan of a messy ribbon rack, it never looks nice. Love having them handy when I need them and hidden when I don’t.
Hope this helps!
Dore of Stems, Colorado

flower shop layout

Stems Flower Shop

layout of a flower shop

Stems Flower Shop

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Thank you to everyone that participated!

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If you have a question you’d like us to ask in a future Content Call please Email it – info@flirtyfleurs.com

2014 Trends in Floral Design

Hi Flower Friends!
I sent out a Content Call recently where I asked all of you — As the 2013 event season comes to an end and as the 2014 brides start to come in for their consultations, I am quite curious to hear what trends you are seeing for next year. I’ve heard that gold, crystals, opulent, elegant are in, have you seen the same? What color palette looks to be the most desired?

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Gold, gold, gold, did I say GOLD? seeing it used everywhere, as an accent, as a focal.
Margaret Burnette, Texas

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The romantic garden look is still very popular for weddings in Texas. Floral design tends to follow fashion and interior design trends and grey is the new neutral showing up in all the high end design magazines. In wedding design that can translate to a palette of white flowers and gray berzillia berries, dusty miller and blush garden roses as in my design below that won best floral design at the recent Houston Design Center “Deck the Tables” design competition this month.

I think we are finally starting to see some loosening up of the tight domed European bouquet look in Texas. High end designers here are starting to echo the naturalistic Constance Spry or Dutch Masters style from top New York designers like Ariela Chezar and Lewis Miller. With the new Pantone color of the year being Radiant Orchid, I imagine there will be more soft lavenders and blue tending pink showing up in the bridal palette.
Madeleine of Fleur de Vie, Texas

Centerpiece of anemones, juliet garden roses, berzillia berries, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus

Designed by Fleur De Vie

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Looking into 2014 I see a lot of gold as an accent. Lush elegant designs -1920’s era.
A big lean away from mason jars to wine themed weddings (not necessarily at a wine venue) but elements of wine barrels, custom wine as a signature drink, rustic elements (vines, foliage, looser garden style designs, etc).
As far as color palette; I have been getting a lot of requests for all white weddings, followed by pastels (peach/coral, blush pink, butter yellow, etc.) and purple /lavender color palettes.
Lora of Sophisticated Floral Designs, Oregon

purple and green bridal bouquet designed by Lora Losinger

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

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At this point all of my weddings for next year are diverse as the brides. I start the year with a bright pink and yellow Peruvian wedding in January…think lots of alestromeria and anemones. The next wedding is a napa/wine theme using white and purple hydrangea and succulents as the main flowers. I have a wedding in a recently renovated historical building that will use mostly white flowers that have a romantic feel, but will be more modern because the bride has long tables, instead of rounds and we will be using a lot of square and rectangle shaped vases. I have a wedding in the summer that will be using protea…kings, queens, and pin-cushions. And another that has a coral and teal look with peonies, garden roses, and succulents. AND I have a more traditional red rose wedding too! Seems like the only thing that is consistent is that the centerpieces are multi-layered….clusters of vases and lots of candles…and the bouquets are all hand-held….no cascading!
Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

peach and white rose bridal bouquet by Andrea Layne Floral Design

Designed by Andrea Layne Floral Design

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I am finally seeing blush! A lot of my fellow designers started seeing this trend last year but now it’s finally hit for us. Blush and lush with fluffy romantic flowers such as peonies and garden roses with gold vessels.I’m also seeing succulents and airplants continuing very strongly.
I’m still seeing a more elegant rustic trend, vintage touches with vintage bottles, lace etc. Mason jars have been slowly fading and we didn’t do a single Mason jar wedding in 2013! Yay
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

Vintage Wedding Reception with cream flowers and succulents

Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events

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I’ve booked several weddings for 2014. Many of which include pink & gold. However, the country/rustic trend is still hot in my area…with the majority of what I’ve booked thus far in 2014 following that trend. I think this is the case because of the area I live in too. I also believe that a softer, laid back, country/rustic wedding is somewhat an escape from a fast paced world of smart phones, electronics,and plastic/metal manufactured surroundings.
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms N Blossoms bridal bouquet of coral pink and white flowers

Blooms ‘N Blossoms

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I sure hope mason jars our going out, but seeing a lot of peach and mint with outdoor and barn weddings still big.. Also, purples are big for me. I feel Michigan is about 2 years behind the trends. I have a bridal show in Jan. and I am going to show lots of gold and mercury, tall candle sticks and black with flowers in magentas, purples, and fucshias, a good friend of mine (Holly Chapple) once said if your going to do it go big and show what you want to sell. I still will show my vintage but want to go the other way for 2014. and 2015
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Park Place Design, peach and white bridal bouquet

Park Place Design

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My clients are requesting pastel palettes. Blush pink, cream, and gold is definately the most popular. Many are requesting soft colors with a pop of a single color such as dark apricot or plum. Desired style for my clients range from vintage glamour to rustic elegance. Since, we are near the Jersey Shore, I have seen a trend toward vintage seashore themes.
Sally of Pink Dahlia Vintage, New Jersey

Pink Dahlia Vintage, Pink rose vintage bridal bouquet

Pink Dahlia Vintage
Tami Melissa Photography

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Neutrals with metallic shine of all kinds, but especially gold. Still a strong “wildflower” look, and we always have a good amount of nautically influenced weddings being on the coast. Elegant is definitely the most popular adjective for 2014.
Polly of Robin Hollow Farm, Rhode Island

Robin Hollow Farm, pink flowers in silver mercury glass containers

Robin Hollow Farm

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I’m seeing a little bit of the same with the blush, but I’m seeing a lot of requests for black/whites, lots of woodland designs and corals.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

blush, peach and white centerpieces in mercury glass

Exquisite Designs

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Trends for 2014 are purples…or should I say more purple.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums Purple and lavender bridal party bouquets

KRISanthemums

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The trends for weddings in my area are way behind the trends in other places in the country, so we are just now hitting the burlap-and-mason-jars scene pretty hard. I’m trying to push it ahead by doing a lot of styled shoots that are farther ahead in the recent trends.
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

Crabapple Floral North Dakota Wedding Flowers

Crabapple Floral

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I’m seeing more purple tones for this year’s brides and still lots of texture. Burlap and lace continue to be favorites as it mixes the perfect marriage of rustic with romantic. Last year seemed to be the year for gold/silver/crystals but I hope it continues.
Dana of Della Blooms, Maryland

Della Blooms, Flowers decorating wedding cake

Della Blooms

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We’re continuing to see consistently strong interest in vintage-inspired weddings with pale color palettes and assortments of vintage vessels as reception centerpieces– barnwood boxes are big, as are vintage white pottery and vignettes of apothecary bottles with small bouquets or single stems. No “matchy matchy” centerpieces (These are all, of course, very Pinterest-fueled ideas.) We are also seeing a trend towards simplifying the ceremony site decorations and dedicating more towards reception site decor.
We are located in the Ohio, so big trends often start on one of the coasts and take a few years to make their way to the Midwest. We look forward to reading what others are seeing for 2014!
Kay & Susan of Buckeye Blooms, Ohio

Buckeye Blooms, wood box centerpiece with foliages and succulents

Buckeye Blooms

Buckeye Blooms, Vintage Floral Design with bottles and white flowers

Buckeye Blooms

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We’re still seeing lots of blush and ivory palettes. Hydrangeas, garden roses and peonies are still very popular. We’re also still seeing a lot of burlap, lace and baby’s breath.
Althea of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs, Arkansas

peach and white bridal bouquets

Rose of Sharon

Floral Foam Garlands by Oasis

Recently I sent out a twitter request & email to our mailing list, asking for input on five different questions. Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies!!

Question 5:
I’m quite intrigued with these Floral Foam Garlands from Oasis, a few of my floral friends call them Sausages… Send us photos of what you’ve created with these Floral Foam Garlands!
Oasis Floral Foam Garland

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A classic and lush candelabra garland featured for wedding design at The Historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC.
Christi Lopez of Bergeron’s Flowers and Events, Springfield, VA and the Mayflower Hotel in DC

tall centerpiece with fall colors

Designed by Bergeron’s Flowers and Events

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So I’ve attached a picture of my “Oasis Snake” experience. The wedding was at a private ranch in Fischer, Texas. The house has 20ft tall cut ins. It was a crazy experience. We struggled with how to get them hung. We ended up with a dowl, jammed across the inside. It worked!
Sheri of Blumen Meister’s, Texas

white flower garland

Designed by Blumen Meisters

white flower garland

Designed by Blumen Meisters

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I attached the floral foam garlands to the huppah metal arch base.
Carolyn Shepard AIFD of Carolyn Shepard Design Group, Charlotte, North Carolina

white flowers on chuppah

Designed by Carolyn Shepard Design Group

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Mandap and elevated centerpiece designed by Marci of Entwined Designs, Southern California

Mandap covered with red and yellow flowers

Designed by Entwined Designs

We cut off the last two rings as it was longer then we needed but we used floral garland to build out on this centerpiece.

elevated flower design centerpieces

Designed by Entwined Designs

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I used the floral foam sausages in a design we did across the top of a pipe & drape structure. It worked great. I zip-tied it to the cross bar, covered it will smilax and popped the flowers in.
Jen of Jen’s Blossoms, Gig Harbor, Washington

purple and white flower garland on chuppah

Designed by Jen’s Blossoms

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For garlands I used to attach the oasis holder to a thin board and space them out to cover the area, then wire it where it needs to go.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

pink and green arch flowers

Designed by KRISanthemums

arch covered in flowers

Designed by KRISanthemums

flower arch garland

Designed by KRISanthemums

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This arbor design was possible by using those oasis sausage garland.
Lora of Sophisticated Floral Designs, Portland, Oregon

red and green flower garland

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Design

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Thank you to everyone that participated, we loved seeing your photographs and are sure our readers will enjoy them, too!

If you’d like to participate in our future Content Calls, be sure to sign up for our newsletter – the link is at the top right of this page.