North East Newsletter - September 10, 2014 (Plain Text Version)

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Theresa Colucci AIFD, PCFI

Hello to all of our members,

I have been having a whirlwind month of bridal work!  I hope you are all experiencing a busy month.  After speaking with many members, I have heard that business seems to be a little better for everyone.  Let us hope the rising wave continues. 

This August, I have been fortunate enough to have visited with 12 AIFD friends for various reasons!  It was great to spend time with all of them and talk about things we look to do in our region.  I am glad to hear so many members agree that it t is time we spend more time together socially!  Networking and working  collaboratively will continue to make the North East even more successful.  Plans are underway for a couple of floral workshops and a social gathering for our members. 

Support our region at the upcoming fall design show at Jacobson's in Boston, MA on September 30th.  Bill Graham AIFD is the designer focusing on holiday design.  We would love to see a large group of NERC members there. Janet Black has been working hard to pull this together and I am sure it's going to be a great show.  I'm looking forward to it!

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."
Pablo Picasso

All the best,

Theresa Colucci AIFD, PFCI
North East Chapter President 




Something for everyone

The long days of summer are numbered and the shorter hours of daylight are fast upon us.  Hopefully everyone has been mega busy in the past few months with weddings and all that goes with making sure your floral designs hit the spot with all of your brides.

With autumn fast approaching and the days getting shorter, it is time to turn ones attention to how to get the most out of your shop.  This issue features a variety of articles on how to promote and market your business enticing more customers to walk in to your floral shops.  Articles on watermarking your photographs and Internet security line up with getting more fans on facebook and “Why Your Entire Team Needs to Be on Social Media”.  Diary events, International competitions and updates on members in the region round out the newsletter. 

It is well known that summer's end is the perfect time to think ahead to the holiday season; sure, the holiday hustle and bustle can be very appealing if you are ready for it.  An interesting article to get you turning your thoughts to what is a very busy season in the floral calendar is “3 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS NOW” by Nicole Reyhie.  The next few months are ones full of activity for all of us in the floral industry, not only do you have daily work and yes still more weddings, but getting ready for the forthcoming holiday season is or should be first and foremost on the calendar.

I realise that not all articles are applicable to all Northeast members nevertheless it my wish that optimistically there is something for everyone in this issue and as always I am striving to find, share and bring to the chapter members things that are relevant to the running of a successful business.  With the added bonus of reading how our members are sharing, educating, and competing on the international floral stage.

Jo [return to top]

Up date your skills

   If anyone in the region is presenting a programme/demonstration, hosting a workshop, knows of an event in the North East Region please let me know and I will make sure that it is promoted in the newsletter.  Our members are always on the go and it would be nice to support you in if your state, county, local wholesaler, garden club...has an event here is the place to let others know it is on.


September 17, 2014

Teleflora's Western Pennsylvania Unit presents.... Perfect for a Party

BW Keystone Ribbon, 2815 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222    5:00 to 8:30 PM  

Julie Poeltler AIFD, PFCI, IMF, CAFA will share cutting edge techniques and the latest trends to create centrepieces that will captivate guests and party planners alike. Whether designing for a fun corporate awards dinner, holiday party or and elegant birthday gathering, we all want to achieve that 'wow factor' for our clients

Penn Jersey Unit.....Back to Learning
Featuring Everyday Designs by Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI
Location: Sieck Wholesale
Hightstown, NJ

Upstate New York Unit
Featuring Holiday Designs by Jerome Raska AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CAFA, CF
Location: Bella Domani
Syracuse, NY

 September 21 & 22 2014

 Hitomi Gilliam AIFD will be teaching both her Fundamental Mechanics & Techniques Workshop as well as her Advanced Mechanics & Techniques Workshop on back-to-back days.  Making them a perfect compliment to one another!

Early Bird Discounted Registration for the two workshops are  $225 & $250.  CLICK HERE TO GO STRAIGHT TO ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THESE TWO EXCITING WORKSHOPS! 

September 23rd 2014

Fall & Xmas design show  at 6:00 PM and it will feature Neville MacKay CAFA PFCI 

Hillcrest Garden, Inc--- Northeast Region Floral Sponsors 
95 west Century Rd.
Paramus, NJ 07652 

Please open the link below to view the Hillcrest Flyer for Neville MacKay's program


September 30, 2014

NERC Fall Design Show, Jacobson's Floral, Boston, MA    Chair Person Janet Black, Suzanne Sampson

October 6 - 8, 2014

Be inspired by floral designer Ron Mulray AIFD, a floral visionary and member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, during a series of live demonstrations and workshops designed for beginners, hobbyists, and  professionals at Longwood Gardens

Ron Mulray has presented floral design programs worldwide including keynote addresses at numerous AIFD national symposiums and the Philadelphia Flower Show. In 2014 Ron received a special award of distinction honoring him for his years of support and dedication to the AIFD.

To book your place while space is available go to 

October 11 & 12, 2014---Not in the region yet something to think about

  'PATTERN' - this is the WORD for 2014 Survival of the Creative Mind Conference - our 17th year in Taos, New Mexico. This year the dates are October 11 & 12, with pre-conference optional tour to start the weekend on the 10th. We are also extremely excited to announce we are moving to a BRAND NEW location for 2014 at the Fechin Studio @ the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House!!

October 12, 2014

Maine Unit
Featuring Marketing for the Holidays by Bert Ford AIFD PFCI
Location: T & B Celebration Center
Waterville, ME   

October 15, 2014
New York Capitol District Unit
Featuring Holiday Designs by Tim Farrell AIFD,A AF, PFCI
Location: Bill Doran Company
Albany, NY

October 15, 2014
Penn Jersey Unit
Featuring Tropicals for Everyday by Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD, AZMF, PFCI
Location: Pennock Company
Pennsauken, NJ


February 27 - March 8, 2015

Philadelphia Flower Show

March 7-8, 2015

North East Floral Expo - Mystic, CT

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Lisa was featured in the August 2014 issue of Florists' Review Magazine sharing her garden-inspired arrangements for summer. If you missed seeing it, Look it up! Great job. Lisa!


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With more and more florists using social media to promote their creative designs, it is important that one remembers to Watermark their photographs.  Unfortunately there are many people that are stealing other peoples work and adding the photographs to their own websites or social media sites.  To protect ones property as that is what the photographs are it is advisable to Watermark them, this can be done so as not to take away from your designs.

If you have photographs of your own work on your website it is a good idea to watermark the images. A watermark can include the copyright symbol. Be careful though, you can ONLY copyright your own images!

There are several free online tools that allow you apply a watermark to small batches of photographs, but if you have a lot to do (for example, all your wedding images) then uMark Lite is worth taking a look at.

Setting up uMark

1. Go to and click the DOWNLOAD button.

2. You will see a ZIP folder appear at the bottom of the screen (

3. Click on this to open and double click on the uMark5Setup.exe file.

4. The wizard setup will appear, simply click on NEXT and INSTALL. Click on FINISH to complete.

5. You will now be asked to enter an email address and click on ACTIVATE

an example of watermarking

Designed by Neil Whittaker NDSF AIFD


Adding a watermark

1. To open uMark go to the START button and open uMark5.

2. The first thing to do is add the images you want to add the watermark to. You can either: Add Images – where you will have to select the images manually, or; Add Folder – where all the images in the selected folder will be added.

3. Once you have added the images they will be listed on the left.

4. Click on Add Watermark. You can now select to add text or image as your watermark. You can also apply different effects to the watermark.

5. If you want to edit the watermark, click on the watermark on the image.

6. You can save the watermark to reuse on a different image another time– click on the Save icon.

7. When you have finished watermarking the image, click on SAVE IMAGE. Save the image in a different folder (good idea to create a new folder). All the images you uploaded will now be saved here with the watermark added!


FloristPro August newsletter  [return to top]

September Floral Events around the World

If you would like to know more about Florint and how they are involved in the floral world visit their website,, there are some very interesting articles and news from around the world monthly.  


31st World Flower Council Summit - Zagreb (Croatia)
September 11-14, 2014
The World Flower Council will gather for its 31st annual summit in historical Zagreb, to showcase lots of floral innovation and celebrate 'Timeless Traditions'.

Glee 2014 - Birmingham (UK)
September 14-16, 2014
Glee Birmingham is a green sector trade fair for the UK region featuring pretty much everything for the garden industry.

FlowersExpo 2014 - Moscow (Russia)
September 17-19, 2014
The well-known annual Russian FlowersExpo will take place from September 17 to 19 of 2014, at the Crocus Expo.

Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2014 - Naivasha (Kenya)
September 19 & 20, 2014
The Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2014 will bring together representatives from nearly all of the flower farms in the East African region

2014 Florint General Assembly - Brussels (Belgium)
September 26-29, 2014
International Florist Organisation's 2014 General Assembly in Brussels will entail an event-packed weekend for all of its member organisations, including a trip to Fleuramour.

Fleuramour 2014 - Alden Biesen (Belgium)
September 26-29, 2014
The 'Passion for Flowers' will once again be revived during fabulous floristry festival Fleuramour 2014, at Belgium's impressive Alden Biesen National Commandery.

Finnish Florist Championship 2014 - Oulu (Finland)
September 27 & 28, 2014
On September 27 and 28 the Finnish Florist Association will hold its annual championship, to determine the country's number one florist who also gets to represent the nation at the Europa Cup!

Iberflora 2014 - Valencia (Spain)
October 01-03, 2014
Iberflora is a renowned Spanish green sector trade fair that will have around 400 exhibitors showcasing plants, flowers, gardening technology and the like.

FlorEcuador Agriflor 2014 - Quito
October 01-04, 2014
FlorEcuador Agriflor 2014 by HPP Exhibitions is an important trade fair for the (ornamental) horticulture industry in, around and related to Ecuador.

EuroSkills 2014 - Lille (France)
October 02- 04, 2014
European vocational skills competition EuroSkills will take place in Lille in 2014. The event features a floristry segment, aside from the countless other vocations that are represented.  [return to top]

Parth Kapadia...Global Petals


Increase your foot traffic today.

You’re not working in a flower shop are you? How about a floral design space or a floral design studio?  It might work, it might not – just be open to trying new things. There are a few architecturally friendly practices you can start implementing now to increase the foot traffic and conversations that should be taking place in your workplace:

Don’t Blame Your Location

Your location isn’t the problem. You have bought or leased this structure so you must make it work. The problem is the ambiance of your design space. Think of your design space as your “ashram.” Your ashram is your safe haven. This is the place where you can be the boss or you can be the moderator. You decide, but in your space, it’s your job that everyone’s time is worthwhile. The conversations you have with your design team will bring the same flow of energy to your potential customers coming in through the door. I wouldn’t think of them as your customers either, think of them as visitors in your own personal art museum. Make them feel welcome and at home.

If you’re really yearning for a new space, explore Zillow, real estate.

Remove Your Window Signs

You should brand yourself as the hometown hero instead of the local florist. Your customers shouldn’t just be coming into to pick up a dozen roses anymore. No, they should be coming in and telling you about their family members and friends getting married. The first thing someone sees before stepping into your shop will be the LED Ticker sign that says you’re open. Also keep in mind, Me as your customer, I don’t need a sign to tell me you’re open. I Googled your hours on my iPhone before I left my house so I know you’re open.

Why Nobody Stops Into Your Flower Shop

A small concise schedule or open/closed sign on your door will do the job. You can leave your door open in the summer as well when you’re open. Any wire service sign also needs to go. Your wire orders come from online not walk-ins, right? Please, continue to correct me if I’m wrong. It can be good to take wire orders because we know you need to make money. Although, if you have enough money, toss ‘em.

Tidy Up

Your customers will expect your design space to be clean. Sweep, mop, and dust to let your beauty shine. Growing up, my mom always said “money doesn’t come into a dirty room,” encouraging me to make my bed and vacuum my carpet in my room for chores. C’mon, you should also get rid of all that clutter you’ve been meaning to get to anyways… Pump yourself up if you need to! It’s also one thing to take your trash out, but paint, or remodel the whole shebang at once. Stop into your local IKEA store or hire a contractor if you’re not the fixer-upper type if you have dings and chips on your walls. Remember, you’re not only investing in your studio, you’re investing in yourself.

Open Concept

By this point, I hope you don’t own or work in a ‘flower shop.’ This is where I bring a few structurally friendly practices into your shop:
•Combine your desk, cash register, vases, and arrangement spaces into one room (possible? don’t worry, there’s more..)
•Create a pathway of adventure from the door of your shop all the way to the customer’s destination, possibly your consultation area
•Promote open conversations in your shop. Who knows, your customers may join in your conversation
•Learn more about “Open Concept” from the Property Brothers, HGTV

Natural Sunlight

You should place high-end, exotic varieties about 5 inches away from your windows. This will create a mystery and intrigue factor with people walking by. They might not stop in that same instant. Remove your curtains in the summer time if you have any. Natural light beats florescent light any day of the week. This will help your shop feel more spacious than it actually is, while still having that calming feeling for brides during their consultations. If you’re structure allows it, open your windows. Don’t waste your money on pumping your central AC! The bugs won’t bite, I promise. Make your shop one with nature. Your customers will appreciate the atmosphere and in turn, spend more time within it.

If you feel your shop is too dim, swap your lightbulbs for A-Line CFLs. They consume less electricity and last for over 15,000 hours. Your power company will have them on sale at your local Home Depot

Get Wifi

If this list ranked in importance, this would be #1. If you don’t have free wifi, nobody will stay in your shop. How do you think Starbucks gets people to spend thousands of hours in their shop??? No, I’m not telling you to invest in their shares, but millions of foot-traffic hours makes them millions of dollars. It’s easy to set up and costs about $20/month. You and your employees can make use of it as well. AT&T is usually a little cheaper than Comcast but your speeds will reflect what you pay.

See internet services and price comparisons here.

Get New Furniture

You know your brides are going to come in with a full head of steam. Let’s make a short list of what brides want:
•to impress their friends and family
•to have nice pictures
•for everything to go their way

Sounds like there isn’t much in your favor… Note now, if you haven’t already, that you’re a key player in creating their memory. So it will be key to ease her tension, so she can buy into your vision. Get modern furniture. See, they do it right.  Also, you don’t have to break the bank; check out Furnishly and other sites like it for nice second-hand pieces. Offer her water, a notebook, and an iPad to explain her wedding vision to you. Then you can give her yours, and she will buy into your idea. This will help you come off as a subject matter expert. Let her trust you with the heavy lifting of designing and delivering her arrangements.

Nobody Leaves Empty Handed

It’s a good thing to have people coming in and not buy anything. As long as they’re coming in and checking out what you have to offer, you’re in the green. That’s why you shouldn’t let anyone leave without some type of takeaway. This takeaway should have your beautiful logo, social media sites, and your contact info. If the person coming in has a good experience, I personally guarantee you that they will share it with the world on their way out on their iPhones. No need to market yourself, your visitors will do it for you. That gives you more time to focus your energies on your designs anyways.

You can get 50 post cards for $10 and 250 business cards for $20 at Vistaprint.


You want to get people in your shop even if they’re not buying your flowers. They will come in and learn about your offerings and tell their friends about their experience if it’s a good one. Follow these simple strategies to put your shop on the map. Make it a place that people want to go.

August 2014 [return to top]

More than $800, 000 in contributions

Five new named funds were announced at the AFE Annual Fundraising Dinner on Aug. 14, 2014. Establishing a named fund is a way to show your support of the industry and leave a lasting tribute to the floral industry for years to come. These funds joined with seven other named funds created since 2011.

Two New Designated Named Funds (funds designated for a particular project, like a scholarship, research effort or grant):

The Todd Bachman Memorial Fund – to underwrite AFE’s quarterly print and electronic news Bulletin.


Todd Bachman served as chairman and CEO of Bachman’s before his untimely death in 2008. Bachman was a past chairman of AFE and was very active in many state and national industry organizations. Because of his great leadership, he was inducted into the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Floriculture Hall of Fame posthumously in 2010 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the industry. Those who knew him will always remember what a great communicator he was and his outstanding leadership and devotion to work and family. His wife and daughters are honored to carry on his legacy. 

The Del Demaree Family Fund – $250,000, to establish an internship program to market the industry as a viable career path to attract top collegiate talent with a concentration in business.


Delmar “Del” Demaree has an unsurpassed commitment to the floral industry and to the Endowment, where he served as chairman in the early 1990s. As chairman of Syndicate Sales, Inc., he has earned the utmost respect of his peers and colleagues throughout more than 60 years in the industry. Demaree has led many industry organizations over the years, notably as SAF president and as treasurer for the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA). Further, he received the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) Award of Merit for his support and promotion of AIFD’s educational goals and also the Leland T. Kintzele Distinguished Service Award for WF&FSA. The Demaree Family has been a generous supporter of AFE for decades and continues their involvement today.

Three New Undesignated Named Funds (flexible gifts not designated for a particular project or effort): 

The Pennock Company Fund – $125,000    

The Pennock Company was founded in 1882 and is a premier wholesaler serving the Eastern Seaboard with a full selection of cut flowers, floral containers and supplies and specialty items. Today, the Pennock Company continues to grow, with more than 200 associates in eight locations. Pennock sells exclusively to retail florists and outlets and has been a proud AFE supporter since the mid-1970s.


The Tom Butler Family Fund – $50,000       

Industry icon and AFE champion Tom Butler began his distinguished career in the industry more than 44 years ago and established The Tom Butler Family Fund in July before he passed away. After holding multiple prestigious positions, Butler joined American Floral Services (AFS) and in 2000 led their merger with Teleflora, creating the world’s largest flowers-by-wire company. He served as AFE’s development chairman from 2008-2014, as chairman from 2010-2012 and was recently appointed as an emeritus trustee. He was inducted into the SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to advancing floriculture in America.

The Peter Ullrich/Esmeralda Farms Fund – $35,000         


Born in Germany in 1942, Peter Ullrich moved to the U.S. in 1962 and is chairman of Esmeralda Farms. He was one of the first growers to establish a presence in Latin America and foresaw the possibilities of its favorable climate for growing flowers.

Esmeralda Farms is a market leader in the floral industry, committed to breeding, growing and distributing the highest quality fresh cut flowers. Based in Miami, Esmeralda is dedicated to the sales, marketing and distribution of flowers and only sells flowers grown by its own operated farms in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Peter Ullrich and Esmeralda Farms have been proud AFE supporters since 2000. [return to top]

2014 International Designer of the Year Competition


Enter Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year Competition!

Have you entered the 2014 Fusion Flowers magazine International Designer of the Year competition yet? 

Show your skills to a global audience and gain a prestigious award in the process!

The International Designer of the Year will be awarded £500 and their work will be featured within Fusion Flowers magazine. The results will be published in April/May 2015 issue of Fusion Flowers magazine.

The overall winner of the 2013 title, Přemysl Hytych of the Czech Republic, won an outright award together with £500.00.  Second (Harijanto Setiawan - Singapore) and equal Third (Tiina Koskinen - Finland) and  (Takako Nishii - Japan) prize winners were also each awarded an outright award.

The award winning designs were compiled into a digital book available to download for only £8.00.  Now you can appreciate the range and scope of these remarkable designs by buying

Enter the Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year Competition 2014 by downloading your entry form
(Competition closes 31st December 2014)  [return to top]

turn "lurkers" into active participants

Want to turn "lurkers" into active participants on your Facebook page? Learn what it takes to really connect with your Facebook visitors.

Getting more "active” fans on Facebook isn't all that complicated, but it does depend upon your definition of "active." For me, "active" means people who visit and read the content there, whether that be informational, thought leadership, event-related content or conversation.

What most business owners don't realize is that those who simply visit and read—aka, the lurkers—are the ones who are really important to scale. While they might not participate directly, they do so vicariously through the visitors who do participate and via the content they come to see.

Attracting Attention

To get people to visit your Facebook page more often, you have to give them a reason to be there by adding value in one form or another, by interacting and engaging with those who visit, and by building relationships. Empower your employees to help you scale your content and conversation, and for heaven's sake, make it a requirement for, or incentivize, as many employees as possible, especially those in the marketing department, to visit the pages of your fans, get inside their heads a bit, and report back about what they're talking about and what's of interest to them. Do this with your competitors as well.

Have employees link to your Facebook page in the “About” section of their own Facebook profiles. Seek out groups that fit your company niche and encourage employees to join. You're doing this not to spam others with your messaging but to
find ways to contribute, answer questions, share expertise and learn.

I’ve been asked by a lot of people how they can be more successful in building relationships on social channels and on Facebook in particular. And the one thing that keeps coming to the surface is the importance of being “present” when you’re being "social."

You know how it is when you meet someone at a conference or in a networking situation and they’re constantly looking around the room to see who else is there, or they’re looking at their device—basically looking anywhere except at you? Those signals mean they aren’t really “present” in the conversation, so there is no true connection.

The same principles apply to online social relationships, so I’m a big proponent of doing what I call "looking people in the eye digitally." To get the most out of Facebook requires the same personal attention as the human touch and eye contact in a physical relationship.

So participate by actively engaging on your followers' pages, not just on yours, and show real interest. Look your audience in the eye digitally, and let them know you're interested.  

Ted Rubin

Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO Brand Innovators, The Rubin Organization [return to top]

BY Jules Pieri Florist 2.0 newsletter

Awake the sleeping giant within your own team, get them using social media.

Even five short years ago, the use and perception of social media was a different beast, especially in the office. The number of social networks was far less, mostly dominated by Facebook, and often seen as nothing but wasting time on the internet. It now seems quaint that many management teams and CEO's even went through the effort of blocking social sites from their internal networks to ensure no rebellious, bored employee tried to sneak onto Facebook while on the clock.

As smart marketers figured out, the amplification of products and services via social media could greatly increase both engagement and the bottom line, and they jumped on board with full force. But unfortunately, social media is often perceived as something the marketing team handles off in a corner. That's essential activity, but it's not enough.

Today, unless your entire team is active on social media, you are at a disadvantage. That's right, I said your entire team. No, I don't want my employees posting pictures of their vacation on Facebook and cooing over friend's new babies. But I do want them representing our company and their own professional credentials, and thus broadcasting smart, interesting thoughts so the world can learn about us and engage in a casual, no-pressure way. Facebook is a poor example as it's mostly for personal use. Yet utilizing Twitter, Instagram, Quora, or Pinterest (to name a few) to represent our company and mission is hugely important. I'd even say it's critical.

Here's why:

Everyone on your team is a company evangelist. They represent your company at all times, whether or not they consciously embrace that role. Your employees interact with customers, vendors, partners, future recruits, and investors and they need to be approachable and have interesting thoughts to share. Social is where conversations about your industry and company happen and it's important to have all eyes and ears on these communications. This will raise the reputation of your company and approachability by an immeasurable amount. I'm a CEO who has an active blog, Instagram feed, and Twitter handle. I invite anyone who is interested to read my posts and interact with me. This has allowed me to network, forge new partnerships, recruit and be seen as a thought leader. Can you imagine how different a picture I would paint to the world if I stayed behind closed doors?

Social Media is a fantastic recruiting tool: In fact, it's one of the best tools I've used. Our corporate social handles and those of my team show a prospective candidate what it's like to work here. Think of all those posts like dropping tasty bread crumbs. Interested talent can learn about us whether or not we have a job posted. If there is a certain career path they're interested in, they can reach out to either our corporate handle or a current employee via social media and even ask someone for coffee to talk further. This is a completely acceptable form of networking and many have done so successfully. Social media opens up a huge world of opportunities that never existed in the past. I even screen job candidates to ensure they are active on social, and require our employees to have one social media handle on their business cards. It shows me they understand its value and are open to engaging with like-minded people.

Social media can help your employees to be innovative and creative: Some team members might not think that staying on top of industry trends and the latest innovations is important for their particular position. But this is crucial for anyone who is adding value to a company. By following thoughts leaders they care about, they can learn new ideas, become more innovative and even engage directly with these leaders. This will always help them in their career and as a CEO, you should be confident enough in your team to be promoting this. I once worked for a CEO who wanted me to stay under the radar, both when it came to social media, and face-to-face networking. I suspected he was insecure about my being recruited to a competitor, but his trying to keep me hidden was short-sighted.

So how do you get started with your team's expansion on social media?

1)    Be a role model. The biggest objection will be about the time required to maintain a social media presence and no one can argue that their time is more valuable than yours.

2)    Explain the importance of this to the company, and to their individual careers as progressive professionals, as I did above.

3)    Train and support. Allocate time and resources to tackle the challenge of showing the newbies how to navigate one or two social media platforms (you should not expect more than this from any individual). This will be a barrier as it's normal for many to be overwhelmed. I myself needed a recent refresher tutorial on Instagram (and it has unleashed a whole new media monster--covering the back story of my business travels and events has proven to be both cathartic and oddly popular with people on that platform). Your marketing team should be able to help get people going (and if they can't I would question their competency). Several members of my team volunteered to run a few sessions on how to get started and then held q and a's for those who had questions.

Now, my company is sharing company news, pieces of press, fun parties and outings but most importantly their viewpoint on the world and our industry. The days of operating as a nameless, faceless business or hiding behind a hard-to-find private email address are over. A modern vibrant workforce and future customer base expects to get to know a company, down to each and every individual.  [return to top]

by Rona Wheeldon

Renowned for their wonderfully exquisite scent, freesias are the focus of this month's Product Profile. And this beautiful white double variety called Volante would be the perfect choice for a wedding with a classic white and green colour scheme.


From the Iridaceae (iris) family, the freesia was named after Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, a German physician, who was also a well-known student of botany.

The flower was discovered in the Cape Colony in South Africa and is therefore sometimes called the 'Cape Lily of the Valley'.

Freesias have trumpet-shaped highly fragranced waxy blooms in a wide range of colours, including white, cream, pink, yellow, orange, brown, red, lilac and purple. The red, orange and white varieties tend to be the most highly scented.

They're available all year round and due to their long-lasting nature are popular for wedding flower designs. By the way, did you know that it's a tradition to give white freesias to your wife/husband after seven years of marriage, as a reminder of your pure, true love?


You'll find freesias available as single and double blooms, with the double-flowered type having twice as many petals as the single-flowered one.

General Advise

On each stem, there are usually 5 to 7 buds. And it's best to buy freesias, when the first bud on each stem is just beginning to open and at least two additional buds are showing colour.

If freesias are to be used in wedding designs, it's always a good idea to buy them in advance of the other flowers.  This will give them time to open properly. How early you need to buy them very much depends on the time of year. In the summer, when the weather's a bit warmer, they'll open more quickly than in the depths of the cold winter months.

Dennis Edwards advises: "For a summer wedding on a Saturday, buy freesias on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Whereas, for a winter wedding, it's best to buy them on a Monday to make sure that they open up in time."

Don't forget that you can order in advance. You can order by variety name. Or if you would prefer to order by colour, just let the salesmen know whether you'd like a single or double variety.

Design Inspiration

Scents are so evocative and can bring back memories in an instant. By including beautifully fragrant freesias in wedding flower designs, your brides will always be able to evoke their special wedding memories in the future, whenever they smell this wonderful flower.

Here's an example of a simple, yet very elegant, bridal bouquet consisting purely of white freesias.

Freesias make great filler blooms. Due to their flower shape and stem length, they’re ideal to use in shower bouquet designs too.  And their arching stems, in addition to fabulous fragrance, make them a popular choice for buttonholes and corsages. [return to top]

By Hannah Bouckley..Tech & Gadgets editor,

Internet security has been in the news after the online accounts of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Keegan were hacked and their personal photographs and confidential information posted online.

While hackers were originally thought to have breached the security systems of Apple’s iCloud online storage service, Apple itself claims that the intruders targeted celebrities’ passwords and security questions to access their private data.

Before the digital age, personal photographs were fairly easy to keep track of. There was usually a single print and a negative – keep a careful hold of these and no–one could walk off with a copy of your snaps.

Digital files are very different. The benefits are tremendous – you can share family photographs with relatives anywhere in the world in seconds, but they are harder to keep track of. Once you’ve attached a photo to an email, it can be forwarded on to other people and recipients can easily make copies.

But don’t be scared of taking or sharing your photographs online or worried that your data isn’t safe – most internet services go to great lengths to secure your personal information.

But as many hackers now target the users, rather than online services, avoiding complacency is key - follow these simple tips to make sure your data never ends up in the wrong hands.

Tip 1: Choose a secure password

Apple claims the reason iCloud accounts were hacked was because of the choice of passwords used, but taking a little more time to choose your password can save a lot of heartache later.

Always use different passwords for different websites, mix upper and lowercase letters and use numbers too. Remember to change your password every few months. Read more on secure passwords in our article How safe is your password.

Tip 2: Avoid automatic iCloud uploads

Cloud services are fantastic. They are easy and convenient ways to back up contacts, share documents and store music.

Some cloud services like iCloud automatically back up photographs to the cloud, which means for every photograph you take, a copy will be stored in the cloud.

To turn this off on an iPhone or iPad, head to Settings – iCloud and scroll down to Photos, on the next screen flick the slider next to My Photo Stream off.

Tip 3: Ignore password reset requests

Phishing is a method of hacking that relies largely on the user’s naivety for success. Phishers send out fake emails informing you that your bank, email or online shopping account has been compromised. These emails can look very sophisticated and will usually bear the logo and use the same font as websites belonging to the company they claim to be from. They typically ask for your password and suggest you click a link to change it.

In fact when you click the link and enter your details, you are actually handing over personal information to a third party, who can then access your email account and potentially cloud storage.

Phishing emails are usually marked out by tell-tale signs – look for spelling mistakes and an email address or website link which is clearly not from the company.

Remember online companies such as Facebook and eBay will never ask for password information, so if you get such an email, delete it and add the details to your blocked list or report as spam.

Tip 4: Go private

Many of us upload personal photographs to Facebook, but unless you secure your privacy settings, anyone who visits Facebook will be able to visit your page and look through your photographs, whether their your friends or not. Head to Settings – Privacy – Who can see my stuff – Who can see our future posts and under Edit select Friends to limit the people who can view your posts.  [return to top]

Pumpkin lattes are already back and before you know it, the holiday season will be here. Are you ready?

All I keep hearing is it is the end of summer and as I am writing this it is still August, with the weather forecasters saying the beginning of September is going to be rather warmer than what we are used to.  So not to be left out of the party, I have decided to throw a shout out to let you know that what everyone this side of the pond calls the holiday season is fast approaching and you better get all your stock on display.  So without further ado below are a few ways in which you can get a head start on the season. 


The holidays are approaching… whether you’re ready or not. By now, hopefully you have identified and purchased the products you plan to sell, but beyond great inventory what else have you done to get ready?

Below are three things you can do today to help jump-start your holiday season into being one of the best yet.

1. Schedule at least three special events during your holiday season. For some retailers, this may seem overwhelming… after all, the holidays are busy enough, so why add more to your already busy schedule? Here’s why, though – customers love the out of the ordinary and special little somethings that stores and other businesses offer during the holidays. They enjoy feeling as if the entire season is a celebration, and certainly enjoy the extra somethings special events offer while shopping. Whether it’s “Monday Mimosas and Holiday Shopping” or “Santa Saturdays” every Saturday following Thanksgiving or an invite only VIP evening celebration of festivity, fun and shopping, customers love to be a part of stores that celebrate the holiday season. This said, they are busy like you. Identify the dates you plan to go above the ordinary and begin to share these dates and special events with your retail audience. You can do his via social media, email marketing and in-store communication… the catch is you have to do it, though. There’s no time to delay!

2. Identify your holiday decorating strategy. Many retailers love the idea of decorating their stores for the holidays – maybe even more so than their own homes. But not all merchants feel this way. The idea of both merchandising and decorating can be overwhelming, but the holidays demand that seasonal feeling of warmth, festivity and holiday cheer. What are your plans to make sure your store screams “we’re holiday ready” through decorations and display? Plan ahead so that you can also order any trees, garland and other decorative supplies you may need long before the rush of customers are doing the same.

3. Plan Your Participation in Small Business Saturday. Big box stores may have Black Friday to prepare for (and trust me, they are already preparing) but you have Small Business Saturday, which is the celebratory kick off to the holiday season for small businesses across the country. Founded five years ago by American Express, Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and is recognized as a day to both celebrate independent businesses and welcome shoppers into stores across the country to “shop small”.

Additionally, Small Business Saturday is powered by American Express and receives national media attention – both of which help YOU gain more visibility for your store as a participating business of Small Business Saturday. It costs you nothing to take part in this nationally recognized and promoted day… but offers you a tremendous power of support behind your individual store efforts. To take it even a step further, stores are encouraged to invite their entire communities to get engaged and involved on Small Business Saturday by becoming a Neighborhood Champion. With free marketing, national publicity and turn-key solutions to make this Saturday one of your best ever, it’s a no-brainer to make this part of your 2014 holiday seasons plans.

With just over 100 plus days until Christmas, there’s no time to waste. You have events, merchandising, decorations, inventory, seasonal hours, extra hires, Small Business Saturday and more to prepare for. So what are you waiting for? Ready… set… go!

  Authour: Nicole Reyhle
 Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder of Retail Minded, Publisher of Retail Minded Magazine, Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference and an international speaker, adviser and trusted retail expert for many retail focused events, groups and businesses. Get in touch with Reyhle at and follow Reyhle on Twitter at @RetailMinded. [return to top]

Micheal Lyons....Global Petals


The floral business is a seasonal one. Some in the industry are lucky enough to be busy all year round, but sadly, that’s not the case for most. After getting to know hundreds of designers, we’ve gathered a few different ways some out of the box thinkers make money while in your slow season. Some of these methods even make you money without having to do anything extra at all. Check them out:

1. Teach

As a trained floral designer, you have a skill that many do not. More importantly, many people out there are looking to learn basic design skills. Whether it be bored housewives, DIY brides, or just a romantic couple looking for a fun date, it’s clear there is demand. A quick note on the DIY brides portion. I’m sure you’re thinking, “I’m not going to teach people how to design for weddings! Then that’s business out of my pocket!” Yes, I see how this is a very logical conclusion, but let’s think about it – DIY brides are already looking to scrounge the bottom of the bucket and obviously don’t place much value on artistic design. So, you probably wouldn’t want them as customers anyway (heck, they probably wouldn’t pick you either because you’re out of their price range). So, we might as well make some money from them somehow – just teach them the basics. It doesn’t have to be your secret sauce.
Local college

I know a handful of designers who proposed a class to local colleges and are now adjunct professors. Offer it as an exploratory coarse, propose a curriculum, and tell them it’s no risk to them. If enough students sign up to fill the minimum capacity, then they make money and have a more diverse class offering for their students, while you make money as well and gain exposure as a professional.
Your own shop/studio

Designing a whole college curriculum may sound like a bit much. If that’s the case, just hold classes out of your shop for the community. Do some local advertising, include music and BYOB adult drinks and it’s a ball. You can even call up Groupon or Living Social to put your class on their websites for you. Not only will this be fun for those interested in learning about design, but it will also build a personal connection with your shop. Guess who they’ll be visiting the next time they want nice flowers for that special someone? Oh, and local wholesale typically won’t sell to the general public, so even if they want to apply what they learned, they’ll still be coming to you to buy the flowers. A florist I knew in Wheaton, a suburb of Chicago, created a floral design course call Two-Hour-Flowers. Two days a week, DIY brides and other local enthusiast came by, with tons of food, and sculpted pieces of art. She stuck to a theme of the season. For october, they incorporated Halloween elements and pumpkins.

2. Sell other floral products

The word is out, and floral accessories are in! In just about every floral trend article and high fashion wedding magazine, you’ll see that floral jewelry and accessories are very popular. Anywhere from shoes, headbands, bracelets, additions to dresses, and even woven into hair. There are countless brides who are looking for a unique way to stand out on that special day; Floral accessories is how they’re doing it. Many don’t know this is the perfect option for them until they see it though, so mock up some samples for them to see. Another nice thing is that any of these products have HUGE margins. A little bit of wirework, some fresh or silk flowers and voilà… a $100-$300 one of a kind accessory the bride can keep forever. Places to sell these products:
Your shop

Make a few demonstration pieces with silk flowers so they last, put them on display during your consultations, then point to it and ask if they want one as an add-on.

Etsy is an artesian online marketplace where DIYers sell home-made products to millions of consumers looking for them. It takes 5 minutes to set up your account and has only upside opportunity.

I know some of you love Pinterest and many of you hate it because brides now have unrealistic expectations for their budgets. Now you can use it for your benefit though! There’s a handful of sites that enable you to sell directly from Pinterest and some have more setup time than others. A simple way to do it though is to pin images, and in the description, put “For sale $150. Contact”

3. Write

To make money writing as a floral designer, it is a combination of the last two methods. It may take a little time up front, but this is a way you can make money without contributing extra time in the future! What you can “write”:
•Guide/inspiration/advice for other designers
•Guide for DIY flower enthusiasts
•Picture book of inspiration

Who you’d sell to:
•Other designers who have similar customers as you. Post it on your website, reach out to floral organizations, and individual designers using social media or direct contact methods.
•DIY flower enthusiasts: look for how-to blogs online and see who’s commenting on them. Reach out to those who are commenting if your book solves their problem (don’t be spammy though).
•Be creative! You’d be surprised who else is interested in your artistic expertise!

How to make the book – it’s easier than you think! If you’re super well known and already have a following, then consider going to a publisher or self-publishing for something official. If you’re like the rest of us and don’t have those resources at your disposal, the E-Book is the next best option.
•Collect the content into a Microsoft Word document
•Make it pretty – you’re a designer, so that shouldn’t be hard
•Save as PDF
•This PDF is now your “E-Book”

4. Affiliate Sales

This last strategy really only applies to retail florists (except the second part of resources). This is a way for you to leverage your retail space to make you the top dollar. The basic idea is to make use of the space you’re not using in your shop to sell other people’s products, while you take a cut of their proceeds. A few ideas:
•Sell other artistic pieces in your shop to go along with your “museum feel.” For example: paintings, blown glass art, specialty vases, statues, etc.

•Share resources with home-based designers: Have an extra cooler or space in your cooler? There’s plenty of emerging home-based florists who are dying to have some cooler space because they can’t in their house. Form a partnership with them where they pay you for cooler space. Also, if you receive event proposals that don’t fit you for any reason, pass it onto them and take a 10% finder’s fee for it and visa versa. Both designers are happy!


As a floral designer, you have so much value to offer your clients and community. While many think the center of your work is flowers, it’s really your design expertise. There’s many ways you as an artist can make money utilizing this expertise. In doing so, you build your own brand, become more financially stable, and are able to continue doing what you love. [return to top]

Keep in the loop....


If you have stopped by the AIFD Northeast Chapter page lately you will notice that there have been a few more posts than in a normal month. 

This is the page for all members to promote, market, show off what they have been up to in promoting professional floristry or bringing a smile to peoples faces with simple things like giving them flowers.

Our facebook page is listed as AIFD Northeast Chapter.  If you even search 'Northeast' it comes right up.  Without your support, our page will not be gettting the attention it deserves to spread the word on floral related issues.  So please support our Chapter and look us up on facebook!    [return to top]

Scholarship Application for 2015 is now Available

The deadline has past for this year's Scholarship application, and the committee is reviewing the applications of the promising designers that have applied. We are thrilled to have had so many applications this year, and look forward to sending one of these designers to the 'Transition Transformation' Symposium this July in Chicago.

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:

NERC Scholarship App 2015.doc 


AIFD Foundation Scholarships funded by the North East Regional Chapter

 The following Scholarships & Grant Applications are available to apply for at the AIFD Foundation:  
                                                                       2015 Student Application
                                                                       2015 Grant Application        
                                                                       2015 Symposium Scholarship 

 To find these apps:  Go to:

 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.
The applications must be received at Foundation Headquarters by that date.       [return to top]


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.

 Regional Officers:

 President - Theresa Colucci   845-255-3866 
  President-Elect - Janet Black  207-514-3500 
  Vice President - Bill Murphy  717-679-9009
  Secretary - Dot Chenevert  845-229-9336
  Treasurer - Ken Norman 201-675-5946
  Past President -  Polly Berginc 724-679-2872

Board of Directors:
 Michael Brody (15) 570-522-6476 
 Rob DeBellis (16) 609-270-7884
 Dan Firth (17) 717-248-7843 
 Jane Godshalk (15) 610-896-8292
 Susan Krabill (16) 302-697-3273
 Laurie Lemek (17)  877-273-0194
 Adelaide Linn (17)  267-642-6312
 Crescentia Motzi (16) 610-518-1270
 Chris Ondrak (17)  908-782-5459


Chapter Pin

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,  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: or  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 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 October 2014

Deadline for articles for next issue is October 5th, 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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