Theresa Colucci AIFD, PFCI
Hello to all our N.E. members!
It is December 26 and I am busy at the shop with many customers taking advantage of our post holiday sale. The less we have to pack away, the happier everyone at the shop is! I hope each of you had a beautiful Christmas and successful season.
What a wonderful Christmas season this has been! We kicked it off with the shop party at my home on the 13th! What a fun evening with lots of laughter and libations! Florist’s really know how to have fun (at least the one’s at our shop)! We also hosted my husband’s company party on the 20th! Contractor’s are not nearly as much fun as florist’s! LOL We also had a wonderful Christmas day with 19 family members at our dinner table! This was the first holiday season in a long time that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole month of December!
Please look at the newsletter for the information on our educational program! I am very excited about it and hope many of you take advantage of it. Many thanks to Janet Black for coordinating this and also to Michael Derouin for helping us with location and support.
No rest for the weary! Time to get your business records together, get your shop in shape and plan for 2015! Best wishes for peace, health and true happiness in the year ahead.
Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Fantastic New Years celebration
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Hands-On Technique & Styling Workshop by René van Rems
The North East Region of AIFD is proud to announce an educational program just for our members!
It will be held on Monday morning following the North East Floral Expo, and will include breakfast. This workshop is being offered exclusively to NERC AIFD members at a cost of $50.00!
This hands on breakfast program would normally be offered at $175.00. Class is limited to 30 people. Please email Janet Black or Theresa Colucci if you are interested.
The Mystic Marriott and Spa will extend the special N.E.F.E. nightly rate at the hotel for anyone staying overnight. This is a great time to take advantage of the North East Floral Expo, March 14 and 15, and the amazing education it has to offer. Check it out at www.northeastfloralexpo.com
“Hands-On Technique & Styling Workshop by René van Rems” specifically designed for AIFD members
Date: Monday March 16, 2015
TIME: 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
LOCATION: The Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa in Groton CT
The North East Floral Expo, commonly known as NEFE, is planned for March 13-15 and the theme this year is “(re)engage.” This expo will be held in Mystic, Conn. and is as close to National Symposium as you can get! Great design shows, hands on classes and business seminars. They also host a mini “Partners” style trade show and Saturday night dinner extravaganza! Our North East Chapter will be the designers for a wedding reception style dinner and runway bridal show. Our featured designers are: Patricia Patrick AIFD, CFD, Robert DeBellis AIFD, CFD, PFCI, Rebecca Carter AIFD, CFD, David Siders AIFD, CFD and Rudy Grant AIFD, CFD. Many of our members attend from our region and throughout the country as stage talent and attendees. A wonderful educational weekend to consider!
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Phildelphia Flower Show 2015
The 2015 Flower Show will "Celebrate the Movies" with the world's great floral and garden designers taking inspiration from the world's great cinema.
“Lights, Camera, Bloom!” Co-chairs, Daniel Vaughn AIFD, CFD and Deryck DeMatis AIFD, CFD have put together an amazing team of designers and have been collaborating on the set and displays. I don’t want to give away any secrets, but our booth will be sure to delight audiences of all ages! If you are interested in volunteering, be sure to give one of them a call. If you have never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show, this is the year to do it. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest indoor flower show in the world and it is on the list of “100 things you must do before you die.” So make plans to see it and visit with your North East AIFD family!
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Time is running out to apply.....
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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BBC News 12/14
This article caught my eye while reading the BBC News page, yes I still keep up to date with what happens back home. Even tho the businesswoman is from Tanzania and runs a successful organic ice cream company her business tips on social media marketing rings true for any business.
• Start with a goal. Why are you active on social media? There are only three acceptable answers: a) increase brand awareness by growing your reach, b) build customer loyalty by providing more support, or c) increase sales by getting more people to purchase, more frequently. Don't even start unless you can answer this question
• Ignore your competitors. Trying to poach other people's fans and followers is a flawed tactic. You'll start making bad decisions because you're trying to "keep up". The best ideas and campaigns haven't happened in your industry yet. See what untapped opportunities you can seize and gain an early lead. Look at what people are doing in other industries and try to experiment with similar tactics
• Don't be on every social network. Community management will deplete all of your resources. Each social network you manage will cost you exponentially more time, money and energy, so prioritise
• You do have enough time and money. People always claim that they don't have time or money to invest in social media. But the truth of the matter is that you can't afford not to. If you're short on money, then you should have more time to spend on content creation or networking
• Set an easy goal - for example, two extra posts each week - or reach out to one blogger a day. Also perform an informal audit of how you currently spend your time
• Social media is wonderful, but people confuse being busy with effectiveness. Identify your highest "return on investment" activities, prioritise and set boundaries. Be disciplined and accountable to others
• Eventually, you'll have to make a tough decision. You'll need to divide your limited resources and choose what you're going to do (and what you're going to ignore). But you'll see that this decision is easy when you have a goal. Your social media use will now have a purpose. And you'll find that you do have enough time for its strategic use
• Understand what motivates your audience. "Industries" or "businesses" aren't boring - the people who say that are. The way you come up with blog content ideas is to understand your audience, and the benefit your products
• Have a voice. People don't want to connect with faceless corporations. They want to connect with real humans. No-one will like, trust or respect your company in the long run if they can't get straight, honest feedback in a timely manner. Social media is much more than "engaging in the conversation". It's a new way of doing things, and a new set of tools to help you do it. But the same marketing fundamentals apply. You need to gain attention, build trust and keep people engaged longer
• Go beyond Facebook and Twitter. Social media and internet marketing starts with your DNA, your product or service, and your people. So if you want to improve your social media presence, start by addressing the internal workings of your company.
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Joe Guggia, AIFD, of JP Designs
Busy, busy, busy… that’s what we want this time of year! The holiday season is a florist’s dream: we get to create while bringing in some much needed cash. But as that dust settles, reality will hit. Sure enough, 2015 will require continued marketing and thinking about what’s going on in the floral/decor world that will help us bring in more clients, while keeping our existing ones happy.
You might ask, “Why do I need to know what trends are going on? I’m only a florist after all!” My take is, the more we know, the better job we do. So much of our business revolves around knowing what is perceived as “cool,” up-to-the-minute designs.
Shabby Chic: Many of you moan about the burlap and the many brides who ask for it. The fact is, customers love it and you can be sure this look will be here through next year. If you’re tired of it, give it some twists! Show brides how you can glam it up. Show them how on-trend you are by putting together your own catalogue with shabby chic designs, before they email you dozens of Pinterest images. Show how you can take this big trend and tweak it with personal touches to make their wedding the special day it is.
Mid Century Modern: The Mad Men series really helped with the rebirth of this classic style. How about changing up your showroom to represent that period, or even just a corner of the shop? Think: some sleek curtain panels as a backdrop with a contemporary table (Ikea has loads of affordable options) to show your wares, which will start a great conversation.
Renaissance: Gorgeous jewel tones (deep green, plum, royal blue) are coming back in vogue. It’s time to dig out some stored fabric in these colors to add to your displays. As you experience a palette cleanse, you’re bound to come up with ideas for your artificial market; add new, interesting décor to your shop and you’ll give your client base new ideas for their own decor. If they adjust their style, they are sure to need more of your product to blend with their existing accessories.
Now to the flower trends (about time, right?): Everyone has different styles they gravitate to (modern, whimsical, romantic). To set yourself apart from the competition, I suggest changing those styles just a bit to represent design trends that are happening in the world. You could upgrade some burlap ribbon with some thicker, glitzy wire. If they love contemporary styling, try using all white flowers with architectural design, using a gray container for the vessel. For those old world clients, gather the rich, deep tones that maybe you hadn’t thought about using for a while. Surprise them with a twist of an old favorite.
2015 is going to be an incredible year. There is so much hope in my being that I want to transfer that hope to you all. Hope to maintain our health so we create wonder in the world. Hope that we understand what our clients want and really be able to give it to them. Hope that we listen to them, exciting them with our knowledge of what’s going on in the design world. Remember: the more knowledge we have, the better florist we can be to them.
Editor's note: This week's story comes from Joe Guggia, AIFD, of JP Designs.
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Network to Remove Unpaid Plugs in User News Feeds
New facebook rules could effect your business and what you share with others on your facebook page....
“Steals in the Shop! I have a TON of new 36-inch-long necklaces, most priced at $15, available in amethyst, lapis, watermelon tourmaline, turquoise.... Shop them all here,” she wrote in a recent marketing post on a Facebook page for Earthegy, the business she runs from her home in rural Kent Store, Va. She also included photos and links to the products, hoping the business’s 70,000 Facebook fans would share the posts with their own Facebook friends.
But small-business owners like Ms. Bossie will soon get less benefit from the unpaid marketing pitches they post on Facebook. That’s because, as of mid-January, the social network will intensify its efforts to filter out unpaid promotional material in user news feeds that businesses have posted as status updates.
The change will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs like Ms. Bossie, the founder of four-year-old Earthegy, to reach fans of their Facebook pages with marketing posts that aren’t paid advertising.
Businesses that post free marketing pitches or reuse content from existing ads will suffer “a significant decrease in distribution,” Facebook warned in a post earlier this month announcing the coming change.
The upshot for Ms. Bossie is that “if I do not pay to promote the post or boost it, it’s hardly reaching anyone,” she says. Now, more than half her sales come via her Facebook posts, she estimates.
More than 80% of small companies using social media to promote their businesses list Facebook as their top marketing tool, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter, according to a recent survey of 2,292 small businesses by Webs, a digital services division of Vistaprint. The top three reasons owners cited for creating a Facebook page were customer acquisition, building a network of followers and increasing brand awareness, according to the survey.
Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of small business, says that Facebook’s paid-advertising options have become more effective recently and that companies should view Facebook as a tool to “help them grow their businesses, not a niche social solution to getting more reach or to make a post go viral.”
He says he has “a lot of empathy” for business owners who “are feeling this evolution” in the reduction of what he describes as organic reach. But, he says, organic reach is only one of several reasons companies benefit from having a presence on Facebook. Last month, there were more than one billion visits to Facebook pages directly. “Having a presence where you can be discovered still has a ton of value,” he says. “We don’t want them to spend any dollar with us unless it’s doing something spectacular to help them grow their business.”
Facebook’s push toward paid advertising is likely to aggravate an “already tense relationship between small businesses and social platforms over audience ownership,” says Steven Jacobs of Street Fight, a Colorado-based media-and-events firm covering local digital marketing. Businesses used to own their consumer relationships through email or other in-house marketing channels, or to buy them from newspapers, television and other traditional media outlets through ads. “But Yelp and now Facebook are trying to peddle a third model, he says: “renting—in which a business can build a community but never own an audience on a platform.”
Facebook also offers “promoted posts”—an option that lets businesses pay anywhere from $5 to several thousand dollars to have posts on their pages viewed by a wider pool of users.
Ms. Bossie says that she has used both “unpaid” and “paid” Facebook posts to spread the word about her business and that the unpaid promotional posts are becoming less and less effective at driving sales as other content crowds them out. She expects to pay $1,500 a month next year on Facebook advertising, up from $1,200 this year, and she plans to allocate about three-quarters of her spending to promoted posts.
Some small-business owners say they have begun to accept Facebook as “a pay-to-play marketing channel” for businesses.
Blake Jamieson, a marketing director at PoolSupplyWorld, a small Phoenix, Ariz., supplier of chlorine, pumps and filters for home pools, says its Facebook posts now generate average item sales “in the single digits,” down from 10 to 15 items per post in 2012. By posting photos of water parks or tropical resorts on its Facebook page, PoolSupplyWorld has accumulated more than 100,000 “likes,” or fans of its business page.
Regardless, Mr. Jamieson is comfortable paying to advertise on Facebook, he says. After all, any ad campaign “costs money to get the impressions you want.”
Analysts at Forrester Research said in a report released Monday that posts by well-known brands on Facebook reach only about 2% of their fans and followers, while on average fewer than 0.1% of people interact with each post. The researchers didn’t specifically measure the average reach of smaller brands’ Facebook posts.
Todd Bairstow, a partner at online-marketing firm Keyword Connects, says a strategy of attracting fans and “likes” on Facebook using unpaid posts in order to market to them later “ultimately failed for almost everyone we know.”
Mr. Bairstow, who represents about 350 small-business clients, says that advertising options on Facebook have improved in recent years, “but it was at the expense of small companies that spent a lot of time investing in and engaging their audience” by posting frequent status updates or messages on their firms’ Facebook pages.
Christine Lynch says she has spent $6,000 so far this year to boost Facebook posts about Women Owned Business Club, her Long Island, N.Y., service, which charges a membership fee and uses social media to promote the businesses of its 450 members. That’s up from about $2,000 in 2013, when, she says, the reach of unpaid posts “all of a sudden went way down.” About 80% of the service’s business comes through its Facebook page, which currently has 11,774 “likes.”
“If you’re not paying for it now, no one’s going to see it,” Ms. Lynch says, explaining her current view of marketing on Facebook.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs say they will monitor the social network and compare its value to that of other online advertising options as they experiment to find the best business results.
Justin Draplin, co-founder of Superfly Kids, a Livonia, Mich., maker of custom superhero capes, says he thinks of Facebook as a tool for spreading the word, thus building the Superfly Kids brand.
Even so, he says, the company has yet to “figure out how best to monetize” either its 9,044 Facebook fans or its Facebook page.
Superfly Kids, which has more than $2 million in annual revenue, now uses the bulk of its online marketing budget to boost its Google search ranking. “No one is searching Facebook for superhero capes,” he notes.
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The Wild Bunch
Frenetic, competitive, multifarious, filthy and beautiful: the flower business is an emblem of Manhattan
THE Temple of Dendur was built on the Nile in 15BC by the emperor Augustus for the goddess Isis of Philae. Its ruin now sits in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, in an atrium bathed in light from Central Park. Today, at the paws of a Sphinx staring out towards Long Island, there is mayhem. In a few hours a dinner will be held here in honour of a modern-day pharaoh, Leonard Lauder, a cosmetics billionaire who has donated over $1 billion of cubist art to the Met. An army of future Oscar winners temporarily working as waiters is being told how not to drop food on the laps of some of the world’s richest people. Leon Black, Wilbur Ross and John Paulson, all apex Wall Street predators, are among the guests.
Amid three-dozen tables an intense Dutchman is issuing orders. Remco van Vliet is the creative force behind tonight’s event. The tycoons, the menu, the subtly glittering tablecloths, the lights, sound-system and Sphinx are all, in his eyes, subordinate to one thing: the flowers. His father sold blooms in Den Helder in Holland. Tonight’s effort makes the old man’s bouquets look like plastic roses. For each table, Remco has designed a subtle and luxurious cluster of dahlias, silver brunia, tulips, sweet peas, anemones and dusty miller (which has metallic, furry leaves).