10 Australian & New Zealand Flower Folks to Follow on Instagram

Which Social Media Platform is Your Favorite?

The Question:

Which Social Media Platform is your favorite and why?

The Answers:

My favorite social media platform is Instagram.  Like all social media, it has it’s positives and negatives. Positives: I have made some amazing connections with photographers and wedding planners – which has translated into a good bit of business for me.  I’ve also found some terrific local flower growers and can easily stay current with what they have coming out of their fields.
Negative:  If you let it, it can stifle your creativity and make you question your abilities.  Be mindful to only follow people who lift you up and inspire you.  
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Sue Prutting
White Magnolia Designs
Washington DC

I love Instagram – its visual nature lends well to the kind of work we do.  I’ve been able to run successful shop promos and contests through instagram without spending a dime.  And it links to Facebook & Twitter easily.
Michelle Hodgson
Blossom & Vine Floral Co.
Vancouver, BC.

I love using Instagram and Facebook – I can easily post current photos of weddings for prospective brides to peruse. They love seeing new ideas in the location where they are getting married.  It often leads to add-ons because they fall in love with a look.
Melody King
Fleurish Floral Designs
Carmel, California

Instagram is our favorite social media platform, because our work is so heavily based on visual aesthetics.  Instagram is the best way to give a quick and varied pitch to potential clients and brides because it shows a collection of our work in a simple and fun way.  I love setting up weddings all weekend, and then getting inquiries on Monday with pictures that I posted, saying that they want to book me based on what they had seen.
Mary Coombs
A Garden Party
New Jersey

Instagram is my favorite social media platform.  It is easy to use and I love the visual aspect.
Shelly Bagdasian
B Floral and Event Design
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Ask The Expert :: Graphic Designer Kimberly Schwede

Good Monday Morning!
Today we have a special treat for all of you, an interview with Graphic Designer extraordinaire, Kimberly Schwede! Kim is the amazing art director who designed both issues of Flirty Fleurs Magazine, plus my book Bella Bouquets, and many of the graphic images you see here on the Flirty Fleurs blog.
‘Tis the season that many floral designers are updating their marketing materials – website/blog updates, new business cards, stationary, heck a whole new business identity – so I’ve asked Kim to answer a few questions y’all have sent into Flirty Fleurs.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

Question –
When working with a floral designer, what helps you to understand the client’s brand so that you can create a logo or website for the client?

Kim – A great place to start is to research the competition. What is the competition doing? How can we improve and beat the competition! Below are some questions I often send new clients to help them better understand their business wants and needs.

YOUR COMPANY
Describe your business: What do you do? Who is your main competition? How do you differ?

YOUR PROJECT
Who is your target market? Age groups and demographics?

Who are you currently marketing to? How do your clients find you? What makes your company unique?

Question –
What type of input materials do you like to see when designing a logo or web site…photos, other designs, etc.

Kim – These are some questions to get the creative juices flowing…

Describe in a few words the feelings you wish your brand to evoke: Beautiful, Modern, Feminine, Humorous, Fresh, Classic, High End, Friendly, etc…?

Which companies (design wise) do you like and dislike and why? Does not have to be in your market.

Are there particular designs you like in my portfolio? www.kimberlyschwede.com

For print materials photos need to be 300DPI resolution and for a website 72DPI resolution. The larger in size the better because I like to be able to crop and focus in on the key image.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Business cards for Florists

Logos – Vines Business System – Logo Design, Business Card, Letterhead, Postcard Promotion

Question –
What do you find most helpful when trying to bring to life someone’s business or brand?

Kim –
I like to see their reaction once the design process goes under way. There are usually 3 phases of design drafts. After the first phase the client chooses a direction to move forward with and from there we finesse the design until its satisfactory. To see a clients excitement and hear feedback on the various design phases leads to a beautiful final product. In the end its a lot of creative collaboration between the designer and client.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Website Design for Florists

Graphic Design – Logo, Business Card design and Website Design

Question –
We are redesigning our website this year – exciting! We have decided on a template and have taken an inventory of our current site. We are figuring out what we would like to keep, what to remove and what to add. My question is, at what point in the process do you recommend bringing on the graphic designer? We were thinking we would figure out the written and visual content and then pull in the graphic designer, but I would love to hear your take.

Kim – It’s great for the client to organize their thoughts and content before meeting with a graphic designer. You’re off to a good start! Upon meeting a designer they will likely ask you the following questions:

*What is the focus of your website? Informational, Portfolio/Gallery, e-Commerce/Online Store?

*What feelings would you like a visitor to experience while visiting your site? Do you have a logo, color palette or font guidelines/style guide?

*Is there a particular product/service you want to draw the most attention to? What are your biggest money-makers?

*Please list a few websites you find compelling, interesting or similar to what you hope to achieve. What are the strengths of each of these sites?

*What does the outline of the website look like? What pages and sub-pages would you like? (i.e. Home, About, Gallery, Services, Press, Blog, Contact, etc)

*Then when gathering content a Word document of the text for each website page and 72DPI JPEG photos can be sent via Dropbox or email.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

 
Thank you, Kim, for joining us today on the blog and for answering some questions from our readers! We really appreciate you expertise!!
For our readers, if you’d like more information about how to freshen up your business identity be sure to check out Kim’s design portfolio at: www.KimberlySchwede.com

 

The Comparison Game

Where ‘o Where do I even start with this post?!
Do you all know what I mean when I say The Comparison Game? It’s when we look at other people’s facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, websites, blogs, etc and convince ourselves that someone else is doing it better than we are. Oh, it’s an ugly downward spiral and it can all go out of control very quickly. Deep down we all know it is silly and a waste of time, nevertheless there are times where just about everyone can get sucked in — right?!
So I’m not going to go on about why/how we go down the trap of the comparison game. Instead, let’s talk about ways to get ourselves out of the trap, and quickly! The quicker you can get out of it the better it is for your mental health!

1) Call someone. Pick up the phone and call. Not text, not email. TALK .. outloud.
2) Call someone who is NOT in the event industry. Call someone who will want to talk about something other than flowers and event design; someone who doesn’t give a damn about Instagram.
3) Go for a walk. During this walk do not pick up your phone to look at social media. Instead say hello to other people who are also out walking. Stop to pet a dog. Stop to admire a flower. Stop to feel the sun on your face. Leave your phone in your pocket.
4) Go shopping. Retail therapy does a body good! Don’t pick up your phone and instagram the store you are currently shopping at.
5) Meet up with a friend for lunch, coffee, dinner — something fun and relaxing. Do not talk about the industry!
6) Go get a pedicure and read a magazine (put that phone away!) .. magazines are distracting and can even give you new inspiration.
7) Have a brainstorming session about what you can do with social media to make yourself feel better — work on your business and don’t worry about what others are up to!
8) Write a blog post for your business, you know you need to…
9) Exercise! It’ll help release any pent-up stress!
10) Clean your office, work space, basement, garage, shop, etc — you’ll be productive with work and completely distracted from social media.
11) Write a list of things you like about yourself! Yes, a list of things you like about YOU! List out 5 things right now. Why? Because it is so easy to pick on ourselves when comparing ourselves to others.
12) Write a list of things you are thankful for! List out 5 things that you are thankful for in your life!!

How’s that for a list of suggestions of how to re-focus your attention??
Share your suggestions in the comments section!

Fleur Friday

Interesting Links I’ve come across this week while surfing the good ‘ole World Wide Web ..

How to Increase your Instagram Following by Ashley Beyer on Once Wed
Download Alexandra Farm’s comprehensive Rose Wedding Guide here
De-Myth-Tifying Cut Flower Care, some great tips on this oldie-but-goodie article!
 

One of my designs this past week; an old garden urn filled with sensation lilacs, clematis, persica frittalaria, tulips, and white bleeding hearts. Thank you to Georgianna Lane for giving me some tips on how to photograph my work better!

Bella Fiori in Washington, Urn with purple lilacs, white clematis, bleending hearts, persica frittalaria, and tulips

Upcoming Workshops that I’ll be teaching –

Compote Floral Centerpieces featuring PEONIES! – Saturday, May 23, 2015
Hands-On Floral Arch & Chuppah Workshop – Saturday, May 30, 2015
Register for these workshops here

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend AND Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

 

8 Floral Designers to Follow On Instagram

Today I compiled a list of floral designers to follow on instagram — hopefully, you’ll find some new designers to follow!! Click on the images below to see their instagram feeds –

Adorations

Bare Root Flora

Botanique Flowers Seattle

Jackson Durham Events on Instagram

Lois Hiranaga floral design

Passiflora

Studio Fleurette on Instagram

.. and .. of course, Flirty Fleurs!

Flirty Fleurs on Instagram

Why no one’s reading your blog and it doesn’t matter by Alison Ellis

Social media. Ugh. Am I right? Or am I right?

I blog, therefore I am. If you have a design business and a website with a blog and a Facebook page you understand the ongoing pressure to not only create beautiful work, but write beautifully about it. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. And it’s a lot of pressure. And on top of that it feels like no one is even reading it anyway!

You can put out some of your best work, your most unique creations and highest quality images and still hear a pin drop.

There are endless hours you can spend on social media and you can be left wondering “why”. Well, that’s a good question and depending on who you ask you will get different answers.

The big guys who blog as an occupation will say that you should blog several times a week. Several times. Each week. To that I say hogwash.

Here’s the truth: You are not Style Me Pretty and you will never be Style Me Pretty. (Sorry if that bursts your bubble, but I bet you kinda know that already.) If you are operating a full-service floral shop or a boutique wedding design business you would need to hire a full-time employee to keep your social media up to snuff (i.e. posting multiple times a day on Facebook, re-tweeting crucial links and “news”, responding to comments on Instagram and updating the blog).

Unless your blog generates money it’s not worth putting excessive energy towards or making yourself crazy to create content. If you want to have a successful web presence without dedicating staff to the task (which by the way is complicated in itself because he/she has to fully understand your “voice” and the point of view of your business) then here are some tips you can start following right now:
First of all, be real. Instead of contrived status updates and blog posts share photos of what you’re doing in your biz right now. Simple photos of a flower that you’re excited about today can generate more “likes” than grandiose statements about your “huge event this weekend”.

Second, be generous with your knowledge. Help people. For free. Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s what a blog is at its heart. It’s also an opportunity to brag and promote your work, but it’s more interesting to create useful content as well.

Thirdly and most importantly, talk to you customer and no one else. If you’re not looking to sell prom flowers don’t blog about prom trends just because its prom season. If you’re selling upscale wedding designs talk only about the topics that interest upscale wedding clients. It’s simple, yet genius. And frankly, kind of freeing. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus on the people you want to be YOUR people. Not everyone will agree with you or like your style. (But I bet you kinda know that already, too.)

How do you handle your social media presence? What are some of the tips you’ve picked up along the way that have helped you either feel freer or reach more people? Tell us about it in the comments!

Thank you, Alison, for this article! I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said here.
Alison is the owner/designer at Floral Artistry in Vermont.

Online Marketing Class for Floral Designers

ONLINE MARKETING CLASS FOR FLORAL DESIGNERS

I’m excited to announce our First ever class specifically for Floral Designers looking to increase the online presence of their Floral Design Business.
This e-course will be held online via a private, password protected forum. Class assignments will be posted weekly with hints, tricks and feedback from myself and other class participants. The class lasts for 4 weeks, and the forum will remain active for an additional 4 weeks should you need to access any of the information while working on your newly implemented marketing plans and to connect with other class participants.
Class Starts: October 21, 2013
Class Ends: November 15, 2013
Investment: $100
Enroll Here

What we will cover in class:
*Critique of current website and blog with suggestions on how to improve
*Instruction and suggestions on how to blog efficiently for your floral design business
*Set-up of Social Media accounts with instruction and suggestions on how to use these tools effectively to market your floral design business
*Set-up of your floral design business on various marketing websites for increased exposure

FAQs:
*There will be no refunds or transfers once you have registered & paid for this class.
*Information from this class will not be shared with others outside of this class. Immediate cancelation of your membership will be enforced if you are caught distributing information.
*As the saying goes “what you put into it, is what you get out of it”, full participation is the best way to gain the most success possible.

Questions?? Email Me!

Designed by Bella Fiori

Designed by Bella Fiori

Fleur Friday

 

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Chuck Graham

 As many of you know, Alicia and I were in Santa Barbara this past week. We had the honor of speaking at Florabundance Design Days about social media and why it is important for floral designers.

We had a wonderful time and will be sharing more about our trip next week!

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Chuck and Alicia teaching at Florabundance Design Days

I had the pleasure of designing a luxury wedding vignette last Sunday, here is a picture of our vignette.

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Bloom By Anuschka

Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday!