October 20th, 2014
Theresa Colucci AIFD, PCFI
Hello North East,
I am writing to you from a sweet little apartment in Paris! I am visiting my daughter, who is studying abroad, when I received the notice from Jo that it was time for a letter!
Paris is wonderful, and of course, I am visiting Flower shops. They are much like all European shops. They are basically bucket shops that transform your flowers into a hand tied on the spot. Some have hand tides already done in buckets also.
I have seen many transporting bouquets in reused plastic water bottles with the tops cut off. The top portion of the bottle is paper wrapped in with the flowers. I think we will adopt this practice in my shop when I return and carry on with the "reduce, reuse, recycle" policy. The hand tied I watched being made for a customer was loads of lisianthus, freesia, lilies, roses and a beautiful foliage I have not seen before. I was doing the math and this huge bouquet was coming in at around $90.00. He was charging $30.00 Euro which was about equal to $40.00 in the U.S. Crazy! It is no wonder they consume flowers so much more!
Hand tides are such a smart way to do business. Customers struggle with arranging flowers in their own vases. In the morning shops can create a beautiful color palate of flowers and tie them all together in pretty paper and put them out for sale. They can be made at different price points and are so much prettier than the supermarket pick up bouquets. The customer is receiving a quality design with a quick and convenient transaction.
I am off to climb the stairs of Sacre Cour, a beautiful church that is the highest hill in Paris. I hope you are inspired to create a few in your shop tomorrow! Have a wonderful fall season!
All the best,
Theresa Colucci AIFD, PFCI
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Many kids look forward to Halloween for several months. Who doesnâ€™t like the chance to go get some free candy from the neighbors? It is a fun holiday where costumes, spooky stuff, and a lot of fun can be had. Itâ€™s also a great opportunity for your business to make a marketing splash that will drive more traffic through your doors.
If you want to embrace Halloween as a marketing concept, then it begins with a 100% commitment to it. Without an authentic embrace of the holiday, youâ€™ll actually turn people away from your marketing efforts because youâ€™ll be seen as trying to take advantage of your customers instead of trying to provide them with a good deal.
Great Halloween Marketing Ideas
1. Change Your Logo
2. Be the Scary
3. Create New Products
4. Bundle, Bundle, Bundle
5. Brand the Candy
6. Judge a Costume Contest
7. Give Your Blog a Makeover
8. Stay Open Late
9. Was That a Skeleton?
10. Be a Haunted House
11. Tell Your Story
12. Host an Off-Site Party
13. Take New Photos
14. Offer Some Help
15. Write a PR
16. Presell Like a Pro
17. Find the Cash
About Brandon Gaille
CEO of the Internet marketing company ByReputation.com, which specializes in SEO, social media, reputation management, video production, and web design. Brandon is a serial entrepreneur that has founded five multi-million dollar companies. He is widely known as one of the top marketing minds in the United States.
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Dreams Do Come True
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was named the new Miss America Sunday night, (15th September 2014) marking the third year in a row that a contestant from her state has walked away with the crown in the nationally televised pageant.
Northeast Chapter member Rick Cuneo AIFD was the designer of the flowers for the pageant.
close up of scepter
Rick designed the Miss America Show us your Shoes float for the parade on the Saturday evening. Working for Fischers and the Miss Amercia Organisation
DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE!!!!!
the base getting there
the finished Shoe
on the Parade Route...
Show Us Your Shoes Parade
In the 1970's a group of parade viewers in bleachers overlooking the boardwalk wanted to get a better look at the beautiful shoes the contestants were wearing while traveling the parade route in their convertibles, so they started cheering "Show Us Your Shoes" - the beginning of a new slogan for the parade.
In the past decades, the contestants have transformed the meaning of "Show Us Your Shoes" to a high volume event with elaborate costumes and decorated shoes with outrageous details and designs, keeping the crowds extremely entertained at the unpredictability and spontaneity of the event. The 53 contestants use their imaginations to present creative and fun costumes to the crowds the night before the finale of the Miss America Competition. Many of the state organizations support their contestant by wearing clothing representing that contestant's home state which fills the air with energy that can be felt during the entire parade route.
The Show Us Your Shoes Parade will showcase floats, bands, dignitaries, military heroes, celebrities, youth groups, special units, our Forever Miss Americas and, of course, the stars of the parade - the 53 State & Territory contestants showing off those fabulously festive shoes and costumes as they ride past the thousands of cheering fans!
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Global Petals....Parth Kapadia
We’ve all been there. When you’re in the thick of things, and it seems like nothing is working, it’s hard to step back. Though, that’s essential during busy and slow times to grow as a designer. Let us help – here are 23 floral extracurriculars you might not have known existed that can bring new energy, creativity, friends, and money into your personal and professional life.
Become CFD and AIFD. These credentials will only boost your reputation. Those few letters behind your name let your audience know that you have blood, sweat, and tears invested in becoming the master designer you are. Even if you’re retired or not practicing at this point, this can actually be fun. Pick up a textbook and put yourself in your kids’ shoes once again. You can even take a prep course with your friend. Studying, taking, and passing this certification exam will only do good for you anyways.
This can always be a fun activity. You can explore new design techniques if you’re truly a designer or you can see new rose varieties if you’re a floral buyer. Why not go with your own design team to turn these into a field trip. If you’ve been following, we were up close with the 2014 AIFD Chicago Conference where everyone involved had a blast. At Floral Expos there are gardens and flower marketplaces. Horticulture experts and professionals from academia spoke at our very own Chicago Flower & Garden Show. You’ll learn a lot and meet awesome people. Bring your kids and family along and make it a weekend trip. Or, make it a true networking experience if you’re wanting to work your way up in the industry. We also met some of the top farms in the world last year at the Colombian Floral Expo Match Making Conference. Farm leaders, breeders and scientists, united to meet flower wholesalers and other flower supply professionals. This is how we keep an edge in the market ourselves…by staying involved with floral conferences.
3. Family Weddings
All I’m saying is that you should be that person. Maybe it’s hard for you to accept money or you just don’t like your sister, period. Regardless, your family is family, and nobody is as artistic as you in your family. You could even incorporate that niece who has a slight understanding of art. Ask them to help you and turn it into an opportunity to bond with the people you love. Trust me it will be worth it. The way your family perceives you will have an affect on your mood. If you’re happy, you will have long productive days. If you’re grumpy because of family issues, it will just turn into a negative downward spiral, in turn, affecting your designs.
4. Be or Become Religious
All of the previous activities, including this one are touchy, I know. But remember, channeling your energy is the focus. Ethics are taught in Church/Temple/Synagog/Mosque. Wherever you go, even if you have your values straight, this would be a good place to leverage your abilities. That’s the key as you wonder, what’s in it for me? Well, you can have a second or third streamline of income with religious events if you’re genuine and get involved. I would definitely feel it out before making this a Sunday morning family activity. Our friend, Srini Perera, has managed to not only be a successful wedding design specialist, but also actively participates in events at her church. That’s how I know the feasibility of this Floral Extracurricular. She even somehow managed to include her daughter in high school. What else do floral design moms want other than to get their daughters to maybe one-day become talented designers as themselves?
5. Explore Floral Technologies
There are a lot of new-age wire services in the market. You should know them like the back of your hand if you’re going to try them out. Why not give them a shot during the winter months or when business is a bit slower? Check out Bloomnation and Floralapp. Most of these are tech enabled wire services, with lower fees than traditional wire services. They also provide seamless integrations with your social media accounts, so you can manage your designs and images all in one place, right from your iPhone.
6. Traveling Trade Shows
These are year round occurrences in different states throughout the country. Why not fly out for a weekend? This will be your chance for that vacation you’ve been wanting. Not to mention, it’s tax deductible! You can even bring the family along. The flower shop network usually posts a page with a calendar of all the upcoming shows for the year, so you can buy your plane tickets in advance. If you’re feeling adventurous, trade shows can be fun, educational, and experimental. You can even bring some of your designs along if you’re driving. If you decide to fly, bring your iPad and business cards to network with other designers, wholesalers, and enthusiasts.
7. Dinner Parties
Remember how it’s healthy to have friends? It will be good for you and your well being. Why not invite them over for lunch or dinner? This will give you a chance to show off your God-given gift. Be creative and experiment with new artificial and botanicals. You can even set a nice color scheme with your table arrangements and table cloths, napkins, and appetizers as you can see here. Utilize that patio nobody has used since you built it. Make the best of what you have around you and share it with the people you love. It will be fun!
8. Home Decor
Decorate your living space to represent the creativity within you. Use long lasting materials for artificial designs or fresh cut roses from GlobalPetals for a live and vibrant look. Color schemes, shapes, and textures will be your friend as the interior designer inside of you will begin to come out. Your family and guests will appreciate your high-end lavish lifestyle.
9. Studio Decor
This is perfect in those fall and winter months. Use this time to set up your bridal consultation space or create an open concept floral studio. Create a pathway of curiosity from when your customer enters your shop until they reach you. Think about your customers’ expectations mentioned here. You can even use this time as an opportunity to clean out that storage area you’ve been meaning to get to.
10. Get Endorsements
Designing for non and for-profit foundations will help you gain sponsorships and will increase your visibility. This could be the start to your press kit or a portfolio that features articles, blogs, and maybe even TV shows mentioning your name or showing off your work. Everything you participate in is documented these days online. This will build your credibility within the community and on the internet when your customers are searching for designers near them. They’ll quickly be connected back to your website or your social media pages.
11. High Schools
Give back to your local high school by getting involved with their horticulture classes. You can be the point person in charge of supplies and materials. And guess who will point fingers at you when it’s prom time? Walk into your local high school near the end of August, just before school is about to start to volunteer your services. Who knows, you might even get paid to do this…
12. Your Online Networks / Social Medias
We all know that your Facebook page is very important to your business. Organize it, have your pictures up by season or by wedding party. Pinterest is big for brides, so why not make one? They could be brining in pictures of your previous work before they even come into your shop. It’s not all about social media, but also, professional media as LinkedIn has become bigger and more relevant within the past year. If you need help creating these, your kids will be the best go-to people. Remember, think mobile, as up to 50%, and growing, of your customers will be viewing your social media on their mobile devices. If you want to take it even further, set up a Google Analytics account to see where your online visitors are coming from, at what times, and why they’re even coming to begin with. There are a lot of floral marketing companies like Florist2.0 that can set all this up for you for a small fee.
13. Classes, Workshops, Certificates
Two and four day advanced classes are designed for experienced floral designers who want to add skills to their repertoire. The programs are typically hands-on, complex and fast paced. You must be proficient in basic floral design skills and terms to make the most of these classes since they usually start at $200. The curriculum in these classes is redesigned annually and updated frequently to reflect current trends and styles. The month long classes are designed for less experienced designers. All of these classes can usually be found at your local community college. Here’s an example from the community college by my house: Horticulture Degrees and Certificates.
14. Create an Etsy
I love Etsy for florists. If you don’t know already, Etsy is an online store where you can sell handmade goods (floral designs) online right from your home. It feels as if this untapped way of making money could be huge within the next few years. It has a lot of potential for business savvy designers, like yourself. You’ll get to learn about shipping and marketing online as well. See LaceandLuxe’s Etsy store here. Set up your page with your name, items for sale, and prices with a few lines to tell a bit about your design style: “Welcome! We are here to help you make your wedding dreams come true. Feel free to message us for custom orders or special requests. Don’t forget to peek at our gifts section for the bridal party!” To be honest, if you got really good at this, you might be able to cut your shop’s overhead costs. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is definitely possible.
15. Research New Varieties
I have to come back to GlobalPetals for this one. We have the newest, most exquisite roses ever seen by designers, nationwide. Your wholesaler relationships are built over time, so during your non-wedding months, get to know new varieties offered by them and/or us in person or virtually. You’ll have to be outgoing when it comes to trying new services, but trust me, it will be worth it.
16. Implement Financial Technology
If you don’t already accept credit cards because it’s too expensive or complicated, a relatively new service is available now called Square. It’s literally the easiest payment system to accept credit cards from anyone. Simply plug the free devise they send you into your cell phone, swipe the card, and the money is in your bank account next day. This is great to use for floral deliveries as well because you can receive payment in person instead of fumbling with information over the phone.
There’s many subjects you can teach in various ways – in your shop, at local colleges, writing books, e-books, and more. This builds credibility for yourself, it’s a form of genuine marketing, potential income, and you can make plenty of new friends in the process. To see a more detailed list of what to teach and how to do it, check out our earlier post called 4 Out of the Box Ways to Make Money as a Florist.
18. Make Videos
Making videos is inherently a piece of teaching. More relevantly though, YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world. Therefore, when people are searching for flowers online, they’re just as likely to come buy from you by searching on Google as they do on YouTube. Ask yourself – what do I know and what can I show that would be helpful to my customers and/or other designers? Make a video and upload it. It’s easier than ever to do nowadays with cameras on your phones and being able to do videos from your computer camera’s as well. If you want an example of some simple videos that have performed well, check out Joe Guggia’s video that got thousands of views on Facebook, Reinventing Retail Floral Design. Also, see J Schwanke’s interview with our own, Michael Lyons.
19. Start or Join a Meetup
We mentioned this strategy if you want to become a celebrity floral designer before. Though, you don’t have to be a celebrity designer to benefit from Meetup groups. If you don’t know Meetup.com is a website in which you can organize meet up groups with people who have common interests. The goal is to organize online, then build relationships in real life. This can be with other designers, brides, flower and garden enthusiasts, or the design community in general. It’s always a good idea to cross-network with other industries; you never know when an opportunity will arise from a connection who needs floral for their company’s event.
20. Community Events
Be top of mind within your community. Volunteer your services for various organizations, charities, etc. You don’t have to give it away for free, but if the event will have a lot of eyes on it, it may be worth doing for a discount. The floral business is international, but the key to success is ingraining yourself locally. Be known by everyone as a friend and supporter of the community. When someone buys from you, it’s not only because you have fantastic designs, but also because they’re supporting you as a member of this same community.
21. Start Floral a Blog
This is near the bottom of our list, but it’s 21 for a reason – Black Jack! By this I mean, if you play your cards right, this could be your jackpot. By launching our own flower blog (you’re reading it right now!), we’ve been fortunate enough to receive great visibility. You can do the same thing. The only difference is that your customers are brides and flower buyers. Cater your blog to those brides and end-customers. Think to yourself, “What are things brides ALWAYS ask about or are struggling with? How could I help them?” Write about this. Solve their problems. The key is to write and share in a selfless way. Give without expecting anything in return; I realize this may be a hard pill to swallow. Though, I’m telling you, have faith. When you give to your customers selflessly, they’ll give back to you in spades.
22. Pick Up a Hobby Besides Floral Design
You’re probably thinking, “But I’m a floral designer – that’s who I am!” And I’m not disagreeing with you. That is who you are. Sometimes, life can turn into too much of a bubble when all we do is our profession. This increases stress and closes us off to new opportunities. Pick up another hobby or interest that can take your mind of the stress of work. This mental break can give you the reprieve you need and make you fresh and think outside the box when you get back to the grind.
23. Create Multiple Income Streams for Yourself
You’re a designer first and business person second – I completely understand. At the end of the day, it’s hard to design when you can’t pay the bills. There’s numerous resources at your disposal to make money in other ways that don’t cost you much. That way, you don’t have to stress out if your designs aren’t providing enough income to support you 100%. Look into AirBnB, a way you can self-hotel out a room in your house. It’s completely safe and reliable. I personally know countless people who pay off their mortgage or rent, and make spare money on top of it this way. Another cool way to make money is through Meal Sharing; check out the website here. You design a meal, post it on the website, and people looking for a good home-cooked meal pay you to come over and eat it. Again, I realize it may sound a little scary, but it’s completely safe – thousands of people do it everyday without incident.
When you feel like you need a break from it all, it helps to have some extracurriculars. With these 23 suggestions, you’ll have more energy, inspiration, and friends who support you along your journey.
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Janet Frye AIFD CFD
One of the great things about being in the floral industry is that on the whole fellow florists are only too happy to share information on not only floral hints and tips but also how they run their business. Below is an example of a contract between Florist and client. You can use it as it is or add/delete what does not pertain to your own business.
Floral and Service Contract
Extreme Conditions ________ Initial Here
Cancellation or Postponement of Wedding/Event ________ Initial Here
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Julija K BoredPanda Staff
Chatting to a friend recently with regards to presenting a forthcoming programme we got on the topic of how to describe colours and that I remembered one designer in particular who used culinary words to get across the colours they were talking about. Not only was this interesting in the fact that instead of say for example the colour Brown was now Cinnamon or Orange was Tangerine but the description tantalised another of ones senses that of taste and scent, so not only could one see the colour but you could almost taste and smell it as well.
I came across the following article about a writer who has gone one step further and created a colour chart with descriptive words for different colours. The charts are pretty big so I have only included two of them, however at the end of the article is the website address so that you can go an view it for yourself if you are so inclined...I certainly did and have found it to be an invaluable tool. After all you can add to the list of words and make your own chart.
Writer Creates Color Thesaurus To Help You Correctly Name Any Color Imaginable
Ingrid Sundberg, a writer and children's book illustrator, created a very useful infographic chart for anyone struggling with color names. The writer says that she loves to collect words that can help give her stories variety and depth.
I have learned that we all have different associations with color words, Sundberg told Bored Panda. For example the color sapphire is a light blue to me (since that's the color of the sapphire on my engagement ring), but a sapphire can also be a very dark blue. I doubt there can be an official color guide, as color is so subjective. Regardless of the subjectivity of color, however, Sundberg's guide will help expand your descriptive vocabulary beyond green, red and blue.
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Floral Events around the World 2014
If you would like to know more about Florint and how they are involved in the floral world visit their website, www.florint.org, there are some very interesting articles and news from around the world monthly.
FleurEx 2014 - Warwickshire (UK)
Expo FIHOQ 2014 - Montreal (Canada)
VBW Flowercup 2014 Finals - Aalsmeer (Netherlands)
FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer 2014
IFTF 2014 - Vijfhuizen (The Netherlands)
IPM Dubai 2014 - Dubai (UAE)
Int'l Pot Plant & Garden Expo - Guangzhou (China)
Flower Show Turkey 2014 - Istanbul
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Amanda Randell MDPF
Recently Northeast Chapter member Tina Parkes, along with Julie Collins and Amanda Randell her fellow tutors at the Academy of Floral Art attended the European tutors workshop in Montpelier, France. The European tutors meet once a year in Montpelier and come from various countries, this time the class composed of tutors from France, Romania, Spain, Russia and England.
The renowned floral demonstrator Gregor Lersch is the tutor to the group each year and chooses a different theme each time for everyone to discuss, experiment, challenge their way of thinking about...it is very intense and extremely educational to see how other countries/cultures disseminate the same element as the base and expand and create from there.
Gregor's theme for the workshop in Montpelier with Floriform was Paper. He told us how he spent time experimenting with different kinds of paper and understanding how it's made. He feels that it's organic origins i.e. Wood, continues to feel a very natural addition to design when using it in its paper form. Gregor showed us lots of different kinds from barks, mulberry paper, hand made artisan papers to more refined craft papers and showed us techniques he discovered whilst handling it.
The work that was then created by the French teachers was spectacular. In particular Patrick Kokinopoulos from Art et Nature. Have a look at his Facebook page. Gregor was trying to give more cost effective options for creating designs and felt that paper was a great addition to florists work box.
France hold their teachers in high esteem, to be a teacher there is the highest accolade you can have so you do feel special.
Amanda is off to Romania in a week, they have requested that she prepares ten miniature designs. Gregor style designs driven by technique using products you don't usually think of.
Giant cigars uses craft paper rolled around test tubes to hold the water
Kyogi bark and Moshu paper which looked beautiful
silk paper to create the upright flower forms
hand made paper
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Once a year, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, hosts a featured flower designer and this year it was the Philadelphia area’s own Ron Mulray AIFD. The three-day event started off with an evening lecture followed by two days of hands-on workshops. The Longwood event was titled “The Search for Innovation.”
Ron is ALWAYS entertaining ,an unbelievably giving teacher ,his ideas are really something not seen before ... Only something he could dream up ! Valerie Jackson McLaughlin
Valerie Jackson McLaughlin Your program and classes were full of fun and creativity ... Definitely had the wow factor !! You were meant to be a teacher . You expertly guide your students with your spot on critique inspiring them to grow into the best designers they can be ! Thank you so much
Tim Farrell AIFD, Ron and Cres Motzi AIFD
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Want to earn the business of the newly engaged? Or land the town’s biggest springtime gala?
To appeal to the fashionable and fabulous, who often have deep pockets, you’ll need to convey that you’re a florist in the know. Fortunately, you can get up to speed in a jiffy by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Bill Schaffer, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, and his wife and business partner, Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, of Schaffer Designs in Philadelphia have done some serious legwork on your behalf. They've spent the past year traveling the world on product development trips, scouring fashion blogs for emerging color and patter combinations, attending event expositions and conferences, studying event blogs and publications, analyzing social media posts, and scrutinizing home décor colors, textures and patterns.
Their findings are now available in the International Floral Distributors’ Flower Trend Forecast 2015. You can get in-depth examples of the four biggest looks—Majestic, Lapis Luxury, Kaleidoscope and Modern Garden — on YouTube or at flowerstrendforecast.com.
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To: North East Regional Members
From: Lori Novak AIFD
Many of you know that the 2016 Symposium was suppose to be in Philadelphia but due to issues with the hotel, the National Board was faced with relocating Symposium to another region. The Marriott Hotel in Anaheim California became the facility due to a great location and a perfect convention space for AIFD.
We would like to ask if there are any of you in the North East who had contemplated being part of the Symposium when it was to be in Philly, whether a committee appointment or possibly a main stage designer, now you have the opportunity. We are in the process now of filling positions for committee volunteers like Flower Processing, Volunteer Chair, Security, Linen Coordinator, VIP Flowers, etc. We are also looking for designers to grace the Main Stage as well as some Break Out sessions. The “request for programs” application is available upon request to either one of us, which is how we select design programs.
So if you are interested or know of someone who is thinking about it, please reach out to us. We are very excited to combine not only the South West and North East but many members from other regions.
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The Village takes you on an exploration of the future.
What does the future hold for the whole of the floral industry, The Village, which will be at the heart of the FloraHolland Trade Fair attempts to give an answer. Visitors will get not only inspiration here but also a glimpse of the future.
The Village is focused on end customers: on florists and retailers and on customers, exporters, breeders and growers. In short, the entire horticultural chain. Trends, concrete sale concepts and workshops will stimulate visitors and encourage strategic reflection. The consumer's experience takes priority!
Under the motto `Delivering Happiness', the Village will outline the vision of the future in 2020 and beyond. How will the consumer be buying his or her plants and flowers? In a world that is accessible 24/7 through the Internet, where the consumer can orient himself entirely online and find the lowest price. But the consumer will also be looking for the experience and emotional value of plants and flowers, so how will that be translated onto the shop floor? And if 'online' is fully incorporated into our sector, which links in the supply chain will survive?
In the future, what will be the consumer's buying behaviour regarding flowers and plants? With four scenarios, an image is sketched for the visitor of how it may come to pass. High-tech developments will be linked to an ultimate experience of flowers and plants.
Consumer behaviour in 2020 reflects the disappearance of boundaries between online and off-line. It is oriented to convenience; their well-being takes priority. And their own personal interpretation of their own wishes and ideas controls their buying behaviour. Sustainability must be commonplace. This means not just corporate social responsibility, it also includes using means of production sensibly, avoiding stockpiling, reuse and sharing of products.
One of the scenarios presents an application that makes flowers and plants available to consumers 24/7. Day or night, at any time, you can make your purchase whenever you want. Typically, high traffic locations benefit, like bus and train stations, entertainment venues, airports. But florists, garden centres, DIY stores and supermarkets will also profit from the trend. Convenience is the name of the game; the consumer arranges her own bouquet, buys the flowers and plants of her choice and has them delivered to the location she wants at the time she wants. Elaborated in a technical module that offers practically unlimited possibilities. Developed by the companies 'Glow' and the 'Jongens van Boven', as commissioned by FloraHolland.
The FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer will take place from Wednesday, 5 November through Friday, 7 November 2014.
For more news and information visit www.floraholland.com
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Hannah Dunne The Florist October 8th, 2014
Here is a very interesting article on online purchasing and where flower buying online or browsing is increasing in the UK. As we all know what happens on one side of the pond is sure to start or is already happening on the other side.
Flowers have come fifth in a list of the fastest growing products purchased online in the UK, falling immediately after eBooks.
If customers can’t buy your beautiful blooms with the click of a button yet, these recent stats may persuade you to take a good look at the way your website works…
Nielsen contacted us with their latest research listing the fastest growing items purchased online. Whilst motor-related products, computer equipment and eBooks topped the list, we were intrigued to find that flowers fell in fifth place.
These stats don’t mean that flowers are one of the most popular commodities to be bought online, but that the amount of consumers looking to order them online is rapidly increasing.
Key Figures for Florists
☻ Flowers are the fifth fastest (171%) growing e-commerce product in the UK, after motor products, computer hardware, software and eBooks.
☻ In comparison to the rest of Europe, Britons are 73% more likely to buy flowers online.
☻ One third (34%) of Britons don’t like buying online due to delivery costs.
☻ One in four (24%) often find shopping sites very confusing.
☻ Over half (54%) read online reviews before buying.
☻ Nearly one in five (18%) use social media to help make purchase decisions.
The study, which polled more than 30,000 respondents in 60 countries, also found that British consumers are almost 40% more likely to buy items online than Europeans as a whole.
Britons are particularly click-happy when it comes to buying DVDs/game discs and groceries (both 86% more likely), flowers (73%), CD/records (68%) and alcoholic drinks (67%) than our European counterparts.
However, one third (34%) of Britons don't like buying online due to delivery costs – a particularly notable figure for florists, while three in ten (29%) say they don't trust giving their credit card information online.
One in four (24%) often find shopping sites very confusing and over half (56%) admit they often check out products online before buying in a shop. So time to think about how you can make your website easier and more enjoyable to use.
Half of the Britons polled say they spend a lot of time researching online before buying and over half (54%) read online reviews beforehand. And nearly one in five (18%) use social media to help make purchase decisions.
What does this mean for florists? It definitely doesn’t mean that demand for click-and-buy blooms will be decreasing anytime soon so it’s key that your website is up to scratch in order to keep up with the corporate competition.
Remember to utilise all of the (free!) online options available to you – such as social media and review sites like Yelp and FreeIndex. In our latest readers survey, setting up social media accounts for business was number one on your list of marketing plans for this year, so make sure you stick to it!
We were recently contacted by a florist who told us that having a FreeIndex listing boosted their own website, giving them more generic listings on Google’s first page after typing “Florist in [your area]”.
There are tons of ways to boost your online profile. If you’re in need of a hand, check out our tips for 21st century success, where you’ll find contact details for specialist florist website developers and info on SEO.
If you want to read more on the floral industry and keep up to date on trends visit http://www.theflorist.co.uk/
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Florist 2.0 October 2014
When clients meet with Nicole Kaney, a Sarasota, Fla.-based wedding planner, they almost always come armed with dozens of photos they found on sites such as Style Me Pretty, Fab You Bliss, 100 Layer Cake, Destination I Do, The Oceanside Bride, and Every Last Detail.
“There’s no denying the influence of blogs,” Kaney said. “Brides are really paying attention to them.”
That’s why Kaney makes a concerted effort to get her work featured on the above blogs as frequently as possible.
“It’s instant credibility,” she said. “Every time I get published, it boosts my reputation.”
If you thought all it took to get posted was luck, try again. Every single wedding was submitted by one of the vendors.
Here are Kaney's tips to get your work in front of brides-to-be:
· Stay in touch with your bride’s other vendors, namely her planner and photographer. “If you notice, during the planning process, that you’re working on a really remarkable wedding, bring it up with the planner and photographer in advance,” Kaney said. This makes it easier to gather the necessarily details for submission than if you wait several weeks or months after the big day.
· Read the specific guidelines for each site. “You’ll achieve nothing if you send blanket submissions,” Kaney said. “Some sites want 10 photos; others, 25. Some want a personal story from the bride. Some just want a list of vendors.” Carefully reading the rules and tailoring your submission shows respect to the editor making decisions which weddings to pick, which ups your odds of publication.
· When you’re published, you’ll receive notification. When you do, promote it like crazy. Kaney immediately posts to her business Facebook page, Instagram account and website and tags all the other vendors, so it’ll show in their networks too. “Sometimes I’ll just go ahead and post it directly on their pages, rather than asking them to share it themselves,” she said. “It only takes a few more minutes and then you know your post is out in front of their followers.”
· Be persistent. “Don’t be discouraged if you get denied,” Kaney said. “I’ve had some truly amazing weddings get turned down. You just have to keep trying. Eventually you will get published.”
Katie Hendrick is a freelance writer based in Sarasota, FL, and editor of the Florist 2.0 newsletter. She is also a contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.
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Scholarship Application for 2015
If you know of a promising floral student or intuitive designer who would like to attend symposium next year in Denver, encourage them to apply for our NERC Memorial Scholarship. If they are not already CFD or AIFD designated, they are eligible to apply. Scholarship and grants are also available through the AIFD Foundation.
North East Regional Chapter Memorial Scholarship
Please review the Scholarship Criteria page, as there have been some recent amendments to better serve our applicants applying for the scholarship.
Our scholarship liaison is Mary Robinson. The attached application can be downloaded. Please follow the application instructions, and return the application to Mary at: 24 Cassidy Dr. Saratoga Springs NY 12866
The date for the Memorial Scholarship application is 1 month earlier this year. Application for the 2015 scholarship due by February 1, 2015.
NERC Memorial Scholarship App 2015 link is below:
AIFD Foundation Scholarships funded by the North East Regional Chapter
Look under the 'Scholarship Information' Tab on Toolbar
Choose the 'Scholarships & Grants' Tab
Download the application forms listed above
Deadline for the Foundation Scholarships & Grants is January 31, 2015.
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The Northeast Chapter includes the following on this side of the pond and the other side of the pond:
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Canadian Providences of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the United Kingdom.
President - Theresa Colucci 845-255-3866
Board of Directors:
The Northeast Chapter has a beautiful gold (not solid but coloured) pin which represents our chapter with a spray of acorns and a cluster of oak leaves, this symbol represents the Region on both sides of the pond. The pin is approximately 1"W x 3/4 H.
For those members who would like to purchase the Northeast Chapter pin If you do not already own our chapter pin, they are still available to purchase.
The price is $25.00 (plus $5 shipping). If you are interested in purchasing a pin contact Janet Black, firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile number (207) 514-3500.
The pin is also available at upcoming NERC sponsored events, check the NERC event calendar for information of when and where.
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Editor: Jo Jarvis AIFD, CFD
Please contact Jo Jarvis or Polly Berginc with any news stories or information you wish to submit by email to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for news involving our members and regional upcoming events, so PLEASE help us keep the newsletter interesting by submitting leads and information.
Please Note: All photos submitted should be sent as a jpg file; We can re-size the images to fit into the newsletter format as needed.
Please also visit the national website at www.aifd.org for additional news and information. Current and back issues of our NERC Newsletter are available on the NERC Chapter page.
If you have a change of address, or a new email address, please forward me the information for our contact distribution list update. (Otherwise, you may not receive future newsletters to your email)
NEXT ISSUE December 2014
Deadline for articles for next issue is November 30th, 2014==so if you have any news or something of interest to share please send it in to either of the above emails to ensure it is published...
If there is anything that you would like to see in the newsletter, business, design trends, techniques, new products please let me know so that I can endeavour to be able to research in order to put it in one of the issues....this is a work in progress and I need to know what you want to read....Jo
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