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November/December 2017

E X P R E S S I O N S O F F L OW E R S ®

ON THE EDGE

ENCHANTING PAPER FLORALS ADORN THE DIOR EXHIBIT IN PARIS

OWNER’S CORNER

TINA COKER, AAF, AIFD, PFCI GROWS HER BUSINESS IN FLORIDA

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

PHIL RULLODA, AAF, AIFD, PFCI RECEIVES OUR 2017 PERENNIAL AWARD

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WHAT’S INSIDE

VOL. 8 NO. 7 | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Mark Nance, AAF President, BloomNet PU B LIS H E R

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BloomNet, Inc. www.BloomNet.net 1-800-BloomNet 1-800-256-6663 S E N IOR E DITOR

Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI CON T RIBUT IN G E DITORS

Lisa Carmichael Renato Cruz Sogueco

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MA N AG IN G E DITOR

Mike Pucci AS S OC IAT E E DITOR

Evan Grossman ART DIRECTOR

Shane Hickey G RA PH IC DES IG N E R

Eileen Keough-Caracappa CON T RIBUT IN G W RIT E R

Alyssa Chekas E D ITORIA L CON T RIBUTORS

Ted Marlowe Jerry Rosalia

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floriology is published bi-monthly by BloomNet, Inc. Printed in the United States, Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No material contained herein may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher or editor. Permission to reproduce portions of this publication should be obtained through BloomNet, Inc. Publications. All statements are those of the person making the statement or claim. The publisher does not adopt any statement or claim as its own and any statement or claim does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.

floriology | November/December 2017

Although published material is intended to be accurate, neither floriology nor any other party will assume liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of BloomNet, Inc.

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Phil Rulloda, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, receives our 2017 “Perennial Award”

Research

An in-depth look at the state of the floral industry

DESIGN CENTER: On the Edge

Behold a floral fantasy of 40,000 handmade flowers

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Annual Subscription Rate is $71.88 (plus applicable tax) in U.S. and Canada.

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Achievement

12

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Owner’s Corner

Tina Coker, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, grows her business at three locations

DESIGN CENTER: Back to Basics

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Step-by-step tips and techniques that can double your selling opportunities

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International Design

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Laxmi Lobo of Mumbai, India, brings her creativity to full bloom

Budget Beaters

Beautiful budget-friendly arrangements with lots of WOW

Short Cuts

Time-saving design ideas to boost your profitability

New Products

Introducing the Northwoods Collection of holiday floral products

Trends

Pantone and Napco share insights about what’s hot for Spring 2018

Operations

Dial up extra sales potential with these simple telephone tips

Digital Marketing

Optimize your Pinterest presence; Twitter best practices

Community

Providing support to hurricaneimpacted florists

Neighborhood Corner

SAF “Petal It Forward” event spreads the joy of flowers

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UP FRONT

“Doing the Right Thing”

Disaster: a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life. An event or fact that has unfortunate consequences.

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As I write this article, it’s early October and disasters continue to fill the pages of our news sources. Hurricanes, floods, and now massive fires are being felt across our country—affecting thousands of people, many being our friends and family and, in particular, our country’s professional florists. The question always comes to mind, how can we and others in our industry help? Indeed, a number of state and national associations have come to the aid of our florists in need, providing financial and moral support. The Texas State Florists’ Association (TSFA), under the guidance of Executive Director Dianna Nordman, AAF, along with Lynn McLean, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, TMF, Chief Executive Officer of The AIFD Foundation, acted quickly to help florists in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Working together, they established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to provide financial support to the many florists who suffered flood damage to their businesses. On the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean, as well as Southern and Western Florida. Following the lead of TSFA, the Florida State Florists’ Association (FSFA), under the guidance of President Angela Tully, AIFD, FSMD, as well as its board members, acted quickly … also working with The AIFD Foundation to establish the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for florists suffering devastating destruction from Irma. In addition, during the first week of October, a number of BloomNet staff members visited many of our florists affected in Florida. The goal was simple: meet with as many BloomNet Florists as possible to ascertain their damage and provide any help and materials they required. BloomNet’s Ted Nelson, Gino Marotta, Monica Vaccari, Renato Sogueco, Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, and I visited more than 70 florists throughout Florida, driving thousands of miles. Destruction was obvious the moment we drove into the affected areas. There were downed trees, roofs were gone or being replaced, windows were knocked out, and many retail signs were down. We saw one local park completely full of trash, debris, and toppled trees. Fortunately, the majority of the flower shops we visited had little external damage, but had lost power and internet for several days and weeks, so the loss of business and product was severe. We spoke with a person from one shop who indicated that September was the worst month in the history of their 23 years in business. Your heart

l Floriology Institute “Floral Operations for Profitability”* November 5-6 Jacksonville, Florida l Election Day November 7 l Veterans Day November 11 l Floriology Institute “Reinventing Everyday Design”* November 11-13 Jacksonville, Florida l Thanksgiving November 23

lack Friday B November 24

l Small Business Saturday November 25 l Cyber Monday November 27 l National Salesperson Day December 1 l Poinsettia Day December 12 l Hanukkah Begins December 12

ational Chocolate N Covered Anything Day December 16

l Christmas December 25 l Floriology Institute “Principles & Elements of Design”* January 22-26 Jacksonville, Florida

help our industry and florists if and when disaster strikes.

Mark Nance, AAF | President

k For more about Hurricane Relief, see page 30

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k For more info, go to BloomNet.net and floriologyinstitute.com.

November/December 2017 | floriology

goes out to those florists who have suffered hardships from the storms. Sadly, some parts of the Caribbean and the Florida Keys are still struggling to secure some sense of normalcy in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Puerto Rico is dealing with extreme conditions resulting from Hurricane Maria. It may be months before some of the florists in those areas are operational. I am personally very proud of how our internal staff, Market Area Consultants, and management have pitched in to help our florists. Our customer service team has spent countless hours contacting florists in all of the affected areas to determine florists’ status and needs, so we can offer help and keep our entire organization informed. The information obtained by our customer service professionals has ensured that we provide the necessary assistance to our shops. We have also matched donations in many of the funds to not only show our support to the state and national associations involved in the hurricane relief efforts, but, most importantly, to help those florists in true need. Hopefully, in the near and distant future, our country and our industry will not experience other storms with the magnitude and destructive force of Harvey, Irma, and Maria. However at BloomNet, we will always stay vigilant to

WHAT’S ON TAP

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ACHIEVEMENT by Evan Grossman

Lasting Legacy floriology | November/December 2017

Phil Rulloda named BloomNet Perennial Award winner

Phil Rulloda, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, has more to be proud of than most people could even begin to imagine. In addition to inspiring countless other florists with his love for all things botanical, and selflessly lending his expertise to aspiring floral designers, Phil has created a memorable legacy during a storied 55-year career in the floral industry. For all of the reasons above and so much more, Phil is this year’s recipient of the BloomNet Perennial Award. The award was created as a way to honor individuals who have given of their time and knowledge, committed themselves and their energies to growing the industry, and touched numerous people along the way. Among Phil’s notable accomplishments over the past five decades are: decorating the White House with Christmas cheer during the Ford administration; designing for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles; becoming the first recipient of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) “Award of Design Influence”; receiving the Society of American Florists (SAF) Tommy Bright Award; receiving the AIFD “Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry”; and serving as a judge for selecting many winners in the float competition at the 128th Rose Parade last January in Pasadena, California. Phil has also won many national and international design competitions, solidifying his standing as one of the top floral designers in the world. And, he co-authored and published “Contemporary and Tropical Floral Design,” a book that is widely considered a leading authority on design technique. Phil turned 75 in October, but he’s not letting his age slow him down. “I take great pride in being able to work as hard or harder

than people who are 20 or 30 years younger than me,” Phil says. “Or at least be next to them and they know they don’t have too many steps on me.” Helping to drive Phil through the years has always been, and continues to be, his fascination with flowers. “They’re beautiful,” he says. “The colors, textures, the scent that is emitted from particular flowers have emotive content, and I think it’s one of the purest expressions of love.” Phil also considers fresh blooms to be a potent form of artistic expression – not so much the arrangements he creates, but the individual flowers are what he says are truly magnificent. “The flowers are the art,” he says. “Designers may braid and cut and arrange them, but the flowers, in their purest state, really are the art. We’re able to convey our emotions through them.” Complementing his extensive career accomplishments and awards, Phil is a renowned teacher who has been sharing his wisdom with the floral industry for decades. He proudly states that the mission of the Phil Rulloda School of Floral Design in southern California is to make the world a better place through flowers. Toward that goal, Phil always strives to infuse inspiration into his students by giving them lessons they can take to heart. Sometimes he’ll read them prose to give them confidence to move forward and believe in themselves. “One of the things I tell my students when I leave class is you want to live, love, learn, laugh, and leave a legacy,” Phil says. And certainly, Phil knows a thing or two about legacies.

k For info about Phil Rulloda School of Floral Design, visit philrulloda.com

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RESEARCH

The State of

OUR INDUSTRY

In-depth report highlights growth data and trends

Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital, which definitively Total U.S. florists sales in 2016 concluded that flowers have positive effects on human behavior traits such as anxiety, stress, compassion, Average total sales per florist and general psychological in 2016 well-being.” Furthermore, the report mentions that “National 2016 total sales of arranged cut Indoor Plant Week (NIPW), flowers (59.9% of U.S. florist sales celebrated annually during overall) the third week of September, was established to promote plants and Number of retail florists in the increase awareness of the U.S. (2016) importance of green and blooming plants in interior spaces. According to the NIPW website, indoor plants are proven to improve the home environment and increase morale in the workplace. The positive health effects of flowers and plants should be heavily promoted by retail florists in order to attract more health-conscious consumers.” Additionally from a marketing strategy standpoint, the Sundale report emphasizes that although retail florists face competition from supermarkets and other mass market entities that sell flowers, a local flower shop can provide important advantages to consumers. “Florists generally offer a wider selection of products and tend to have higher quality flowers compared to other outlets. These are significant attributes that should be promoted.” The report continues by saying: “Retail florists are also in a unique position to provide better customer service than most outlets and can communicate the value of flowers and plants beyond price, since these products are their primary business (as opposed to grocery stores, etc.).”

$7.44 Billion $563,974

$4.45 Billion 13,185

November/December 2017 | floriology

Sundale Research released its most recent “State of the Industry: Florists in the U.S.” independent study containing key statistics and information about the U.S. floral marketplace. The report states that in 2016, retail florists’ sales industry-wide increased 1.3% to a total of $7.44 billion. The report adds: “After an estimated 1.8% increase in 2017, slower but steady growth is expected through 2021.” Helping to drive that growth, according to the report, will be millennials, also known as Generation Y. Millennials (comprising people born between 1979 and 1994) are “the future of the florist industry” the report notes—with a total population of approximately 70 million. By comparison, the Generation X population in the U.S. (born between 1965 and 1978) numbers about 44 million people. Of course, as we all know, younger consumers who comprise the Millennial group are highly active on social media. The Sundale Research report states that although younger shoppers “have less brand loyalty,” they are “looking to take part in the development of new products or services through social media interaction.” The report continues: “Thanks in part to their internet and social media usage, these consumers are more educated about products and pricing compared to older generations and are willing to spend more for goods and services from companies that give back to social causes and utilize sustainable practices. Younger consumers, particularly millennials, are also interested in the origin of flowers and the back story of florist retailers.” Furthermore, “millennials are looking for ways to incorporate nature and living things into their living spaces, as many are buying smaller homes or are living in small urban apartments with limited outdoor spaces. An effective website, Internet and social media marketing, and mobile device shopping, will be crucial in attracting this customer base in the future.” The Sundale report points out, too, that many young professionals are now taking flower-arranging classes at local flower shops, and, they are now “engaging in hands-on activities such as terrarium bars, facilitating the trend toward customized and personalized products.” Also of interest in the report is information about ways in which the health and emotional benefits of flowers can be a factor in driving floral industry sales growth. The report states: “The SAF/FPO (Society of American Florists/Flower Promotion Organization) Alliance continues to leverage the positive research findings from the

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DESIGN CENTER

ON THE EDGE

by Evan Grossman

Floral

FANTASY

floriology | November/December 2017

Artists Created 40,000 Handmade Flowers for Christian Dior

Wanda Barcelona is a design firm in Spain that specializes in transforming spaces into “a one-of-a-kind world to fit your fantasy.” And that is exactly what the firm’s designers Inti Velez Botero, Daniel Mancini, and Iris Joval did for Christian Dior, the iconic fashion label, in creating hanging floral designs made entirely of paper. Their most recent collaboration, celebrating Dior’s 70th anniversary, was unveiled at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where Wanda Barcelona artists covered the entire ceiling of the museum with striking arrangements of 40,000 hand-made paper flowers. The “Les Invasions” arrangements are so intricate, they took almost three weeks to install. Every flower was folded and glued by hand. Artists cut more than 7,000 sheets of paper to create 4,500 roses, 4,500 clematises, 1,400 lilies of the valley, and 700 wisteria vines. “We study nature constantly, and we respectfully create our own interpretations in paper,” the Wanda Barcelona firm said. The group has been working with Dior for more than six years and draws inspiration from the fashion designer’s legendary gardens. Those same gardens have also been a muse for Dior’s own work, including gowns and prints. To learn more about the Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition going on in Paris through January 7, 2018, visit: https://tinyurl.com/y72cbtku. k View a video at facebook.com/Dior/videos/ 1450949874959673/.

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OWNER’S CORNER by Mike Pucci

Three DIMENSIONAL Tina Coker, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, grows a trio of shops in Florida

floriology | November/December 2017

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A blossoming career in the floral industry began for Tina Coker just after she graduated from college and a friend told her about a flower shop for sale. “I thought … that sounds like a fun business … and I put in a contract,” says Tina. She was out-bid for the shop, but the idea of being a retail florist stuck with her. So, to gain experience, she sent her resume to several shops in her local area in Florida, letting them know she was interested in any job available. “I was an art major in college, and minored in business with lots and lots of accounting,” Tina states. “I was hired by a florist to do her books and billing. After a few months, they let me on the design table and it was like a duck to water. All the same principles of art applied to flowers and I was totally smitten with becoming a florist shop owner. Just shy of a year later … I sold my car, opened a shop, and began a most fabulous journey.” That was in 1982 and the shop, called Designs of the Times Florist, began operations in Melbourne, Florida. Tina opened a second shop in 2006. The shop is called Merritt Island Florist, located in Merritt Island, Florida. A third shop, called Beautiful Bouquets, was added just this past August in Palm Bay, Florida. “Each store has a distinctive look,” Tina says. She explains that the main store in Melbourne is more upscale and only carries flowers, balloons, plush, high-end greeting cards, and chocolates from a local chocolate maker. The Merritt Island store’s interior is “island-themed” and carries just a touch of giftware that is centered around the island life. The Palm Bay store is located in a warehouse district and carries flowers, plants, plush, balloons, and chocolates. Continued on page 10

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OWNER’S CORNER

floriology | November/December 2017

Continued from page 8

In addition to an extensive array of marketing approaches, all of the stores participate in community activities with a focus on any charity or organization that assists students, veterans, or cancer research. “For over 15 years, we worked with hospice, providing several bouquets weekly for patients. Our local community would drop off used vases and we would fill them with flowers and hospice would deliver the bouquets to patients,” Tina says. “We also work hand in hand with schools, providing career day speakers and product for fundraising. For several years I worked with the school board on a mentoring program. The program provides students at risk with an adult to help with school work, and as a sounding board, becoming a positive influence in the student’s life. If the student stays in the program until graduation the state will assist with their college education. This program really makes a difference.” Currently, Tina is preparing to open a new 10,000-square-foot design center. “We are very excited and terrified about our new facility!” Tina exclaims. “It will house production for all the stores, along with a call center, expanded cooler capabilities, classrooms, a drive-through, and garden and wholesale areas.” When asked how she is adapting to an ever-changing floral industry, Tina (a former president of the American Institute of Floral Designers), replies: “For 25 years I traveled doing design shows … a lot of what the industry did, they are still doing. Yet, I have this un-scratchable itch to change, find a better way, build a better widget … make a difference. It Owner: Tina Coker, AAF, AIFD, PFCI is what gets me up at 4 a.m. every morning ready to take Shops: Designs of the Times Florist, Merritt Island Florist, Beautiful Bouquets on the world. It’s what I enjoy about being an owner.” And although Tina is quick to make changes that she Locations: Melbourne, Florida; Merritt Island, Florida; Palm Bay, Florida believes will continue to create new opportunities for

“Although our marketing plan is integrated, we approach marketing for each location based on the market demographics of that area,” explains Tina. “This is a lesson we learned when we purchased the Merritt Island location in 2006. We tried to apply the main store ‘look,’ specials, hours of operations, etc., only to find out that wouldn’t work. There are similarities between product offerings and marketing techniques, but we try to tailor the message and look of the store for each market.” Among the channels of communication utilized in Tina’s integrated marketing plan are radio, TV, email, direct mail, and the web. Online promotions in particular are a strong component of the overall business strategy. “We are thrilled with the growth of our online business and think of our websites as mini locations where we can showcase our unique designs and services,” Tina states. “Almost 90 percent of our website content is shot by us. There are times when we take off-the-wall ideas for everyday or holiday flowers … just to underscore the art side of floral design … and BAM they become top sellers.” She adds: “Online is a way to feature your own work. Video tape your favorite techniques. If you are excited about what you do, educate your customers, and they will seek you out.”

FAST FACTS

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the business. They work long, hard hours, and all of our team members are so talented,” states Tina. She mentions, too, that interns and university students also play an integral role at her three shops. “They keep the business young, they innovate and they have fresh eyes. They may only remain with us for three years, but their contributions are lasting.” In summing things up, Tina states: “Every segment of what we do here has been affected by staff, not just in our day-to-day operations, but in their suggestions and actions. They are simply the best and I thank each and every one of them for the incredible job they do!”

k For further information, go to: designsofthetimes.com, merrittislandflorist.com, and beautifulbouquetflorist.com.

November/December 2017 | floriology

business growth, she points out: “Those changes are grounded in all the great florists I’ve been blessed to meet and learn from. Each one tells a different story, has a great technique or a wonderful business tip. The trick is taking their advice and making it your own, applying that creative spirit to what you’ve learned. As a designer, I’ve seen great changes and enjoy adapting our style and creating our own branded look. As a business owner, I believe I’ve been through at least three to five major economy downturns. This last one was my favorite … yes, favorite. We had been swimming along so well … that we got lazy. When things get tough, that’s when we grow, learn, and explore new ways to make ends meet.” Of course, very few successful business owners get to where they are all by themselves, and Tina attributes a large part of her success to her staff of dedicated employees. “Wow, they ARE

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DESIGN CENTER

BACK TO BASICS

by Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Double Your

SELLING

OPPORTUNITIES

floriology | November/December 2017

Versatile Fall-into-Thanksgiving designs can give you twice the profit possibilities The final months of the year are upon us, a time of year that gives us multiple celebratory occasions filled with thoughts of fall harvest, thankfulness, and reflection. And it’s a perfect time to show your customers you are aware of the need to stretch the budget and work with them to provide designs that can easily move from one seasonal celebration to the next. The ultimate goal is to bring the customer into your store. Once you have them in front of you, you have the opportunity to show them ways you can help and give them a reason to return again and again. Half the challenge is to get them in and the other half is to keep them coming back! Here’s a way to do both. The idea is to provide simple designs that have an extended shelf life and will allow the customer to change the design over from one seasonal celebration to the next—in this case from fall, in general, to Thanksgiving specifically, sort of a “Fall-OGiving” crossover design. Using ribbon, permanent pumpkins or gourds, picks, and more, create a simple fall design with long lasting flowers that your customers can buy right now. Then, ask them to come back in to pick up the exchange of fresh floral product to make the change themselves to a Thanksgiving-specific design … or charge a nominal labor fee and do the change yourself. This will give you another opportunity to work your sales magic and send them home with even more. Start with a simple design with mixed foliage,

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Looking for More Design Insights? Floriology Institute offers an extensive array of hands-on courses. For info, visit floriologyinstitute.com. Below is a list of upcoming courses scheduled for early 2018: JANUARY 22-26, 2018 Principles & Elements of Design Instructor: Jackie Lacey AIFD, CFD, PFCI

MARCH 18-20, 2018 Prom & More Instructor: Anthony Swick AIFD, CFD, PFCI

APRIL 8-10, 2018, & APRIL 11-12, 2018 Wedding Bliss & Plan, Price, Place: Special Events Instructor: Sandy Schroeck AIFD, CFD, PFCI

November/December 2017 | floriology

variegated pittosporum, seeded eucalyptus, painted Israeli ruskus, salal. For the hues of the season you can add any fall colors; I have chosen to add orange spray roses and dyed solidago. For a common theme, the burlap ribbon is a great crossover ribbon that works for both a general fall theme and a Thanksgivingspecific theme. Smithers Oasis has several great pre-made table deco holders that are cost-effective and versatile. They also have a water well so you can instruct the customer how to add water to extend the shelf life. You can use small mixed handtied bouquets for both the general fall and Thanksgiving designs, or single-stem flowers gathered together to create the designs. By having these already selected, you can control the cost and keep the price affordable. Create a kit that can be used for both the general fall and Thanksgiving designs; the kit should include a container, ribbon accessories that are ready to be added to the design, pumpkins or gourds, and/or a butterfly. You might finish the general fall design right in front of your customer to demonstrate how to change out the items (i.e., using a different container) for Thanksgiving or simply tag the Thanksgiving kit for when the customer brings back the design. Either way, you get a second chance for the customer to remember where to make their purchases in the future.

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INTERNATIONAL DESIGN by Evan Grossman

FullBloom

Laxmi Lobo built a business out of flowers nobody wanted

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floriology | November/December 2017

From discarded flowers, Laxmi Lobo built a career. In her native Mumbai, India, 20 years ago, blooms were only exported by commercial flower farms, she mentions. The only flowers that could be sold locally, she says, were those rejected for export. Looking to start her own business that offered her flexible hours to both work and be a mother to her young daughter, Laxmi found what she calls “a window of opportunity.” “I started with cold-calling the large hotels in Mumbai, convincing them to use these exportrejected roses which were hybrid roses grown using Dutch and Israeli floriculture techniques, rather than the local roses which had a really short shelf life,” she says. “It worked, and I was soon trading in all types of flowers, which were earlier not available to the hotels, even importing various kinds of flowers and foliage.” By 2004, there were still very few online flower businesses in Mumbai. Laxmi saw a need and her efforts, which she credits to her business school experience, were covered by the local media. That coverage was essentially free marketing, and word spread. More than a decade

FAST FACTS Designer: Laxmi Lobo Location: Mumbai, India Experience: 21 years

Exposure/Achievements: Considered a pioneer of the floral industry in India, Laxmi has been interviewed by Economic Times and CNBC. She was among the first florists to start an online flower delivery website in India.

later, her online shop, Spring Blossoms, is a successful floral business that was born out of flowers destined for the bottom of a dumpster. “My clients inspire me,” Laxmi says. “As I am a hands-on florist businessperson and not a franchise operator, my clients are important to me as individuals. I have, over the years, built personal relationships with them. I receive many telephone calls and emails from clients citing their need for just the right kind of flowers and styling to convey their wishes.” Most of the work Laxmi does is for small weddings and parties. Among the most popular trends she sees in Mumbai, the business capital of India, are floral displays with grasses, live plants, and water bodies. “The minimalist trend is on its way out,” Laxmi says. “What we see are creative floral art displays in public spaces and elegant informal design in private spaces. Markets tend to be different in different continents. What might be trendy in the Southeast Asian market may not be so in the European market. The biggest new thing is the good quality artificial flower and foliage market. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, especially in the tropical markets as the fresh temperate flowers have a very short shelf life here.” Laxmi says if she wasn’t creating floral arrangements, she would be a teacher or a mentor to young people. And after all these years, a work-life balance ... the very thing that pushed her to start her own business ... remains important to her. “The idea of walking into a shop and sitting by many bright colors and fragrances and creating something new every day is what I love about my life,” Laxmi says. “I feel blessed, lucky, and grateful that I have this opportunity where I can add so much meaning to another’s life with my floral creations.”

k For more about Laxmi, go to facebook.com/ laxmi.lobo. Also visit spring-blossoms.com.

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STYLE by Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Style Meets

SUBSTANCE Emerging design approaches are bringing key changes to the floral marketplace

floriology | November/December 2017

W

When it comes to marketing emerging floral design styles, a new vocabulary describing flowers and arrangements has been created in an effort to appeal to younger generations and their desire to stand out and fulfill their feeling of entitlement and self-worth for having what’s theirs and what is different than their parents and grandparents. Included in the new vocabulary of floral style is the “Farm to Table”/“Farm to Vase” movement. “Farm to Vase” involves locally grown, seasonally harvested botanicals that are also sustainable and pesticidefree. Local flower farms are all the rage as farmers find that a crop of flowers can be a cash crop with a higher yield than that of fruits and vegetables. It’s important to note that 80 percent of all flowers sold in the U.S. are imported. When we look at the impact and footprint that has on the planet it is easy to see where the recycle, repurpose, and reuse lessons of older millennials have taught the younger generation a thing or two. How is this different? Chemical free flowers complement the “Farm to Table” movement and also complement the home grown pesticide/hormone-free, environmentallyfriendly movement we see with generations making their own baby food and growing their own vegetables. Eating and living healthier is not just a way of life, it’s a way of buying. In addition, the desire to make sure the flowers on our table are an important part of that movement, along with an effort to maintain a positive lifestyle, are giving birth to new styles of design showcasing a “one-of-a-kind” attitude. “Bespoke” (pronounced “Bes Po”) is emerg-

ing as that one-of-a-kind design style that allows today’s consumers to distinguish themselves. Bespoke is an English word meaning an item made to a buyer’s specification (personalized or tailored). It is hard to have two identical Bespoke designs because the key words to the meaning—“One of a Kind”—limit the ability to duplicate. Since each Bespoke design is made to the artisan’s wishes … with the customer’s favorite flowers, informal and a loose garden gathering … the rules are non-descript. “Couture” design style involves elegant floral arrangements for those desiring something more than just flowers. Often called “Boutique” design, this genre is generally reserved for the upper crust and high-fashion industries, and it is working its way into the newer vocabulary to create the feeling of “One of a Kind.” While this design style is less discernable than “Bespoke” it is nonetheless omnipresent in marketing today. And although the “Couture” style may be in the eye of the beholder it sets itself apart easily and brings to mind a certain level of both fashion and taste. “Boutique” floral design style is an infusion of tradition, trend, form, and function. Usually associated with luxury, and both upscale and fashionable, we can see why it is interchangeable with “Couture.” Lush, full designs with smaller quantities of foliages, and containing more expensive and luxurious floral varieties, describe the “Boutique” style. Look for all of these styles as you read your Instagram messages, explore your Pinterest boards, and post tweets on Twitter. The times they are a changing!

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Bespoke Farm to Vase

Boutique Couture November/December 2017 | floriology

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BUDGET BEATERS by Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Beauty on a Budget Easy-to-create arrangements with lots of WOW

floriology | November/December 2017

O

One of the constants we find in today’s market is that everyone is trying to beat their budget! We all have budgets and we have to keep those budgets in mind when we are creating designs for our store as well as our website. Indeed, it’s important to appeal to everyone’s budget today to be successful, and remember, some of those budgets will be high and some WILL NOT … but you want to work with them all to keep your merchandise moving and your customer list growing. High impact and simplicity in style allow you to utilize even those smaller pieces of permanent flowers or berries that may have to be removed from a lower branch when you are creating that larger design, and can then be used to generate an add-on sale or something that offers a more economical price for the customer with a smaller budget to spend. Those smaller budgets may become larger budgets for future sales when your customers need flowers again. You may also sell many of those smaller designs to a single customer that may have many gifts to give or have many places that they want to enhance décor. Keep in mind that smaller designs also may have a higher profit margin, and many times you are utilizing pieces that you have left over or have removed from larger stems. With today’s styles, most people are looking for cleaner designs that are simple and not so stiff as opposed to large mixed arrangements. The power of simplicity also lends itself to selling a beautiful vessel with only a single stem or two that creates a more “unfixed” design … something that can have a DIY look and give your customer bragging rights.

1} A collection of textural bisque ceramic vases are adorned with Ilex berries and some frosted Israeli ruskus. By keeping this simple design affordable you give the customer an option for an add-on sale or another customer an option offering something small for a specific area. 2} Collections are still trending and are also great options to sell as a grouping for a larger area, or as single pieces that can be used in several places and still have a unified look. The container coordinates the collection while the permanents are kept simple and clean. A single beautiful amaryllis bloom gives the smaller vessel a bigger-than-life look and a single frosted fruit pick fills the medium vessel with berries and pine cones along with permanent berries and winter foliage surrounding an oversized pine cone. Offer red mercury votives or ornaments to complete the look. 3} Another collection is created with red metallic ceramic cubes in various sizes. A single poinsettia bush gives this larger cube a full look that will add a seasonal touch year after year. The smaller cube displays a larger, taller design to give height and holiday appeal with a single red hydrangea bloom and Ilex berry stems. 4} For a fresh option use a red glass goblet with red roses and un-open lily blooms for extended shelf life, and add filler of your choice. Floriology Institute is excited to present an all-new course focusing on enhancing shop operations for greater profitability. For info, go to: floriologyinstitute.com/floral-operations-profitability/

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November/December 2017 | floriology

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CREATIVITY

Honor Roll

floriology | November/December 2017

Much-Deserved Recognition for Two Highly Talented Ladies

Very special honors were bestowed recently on two floral designers. Houston-based designer Lynn McLean, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, TMF, was recognized by Rio Roses and the Texas State Florists’ Association (TSFA) by having a rose named after her, while Virginia florist Carol Caggiano, AIFD, PFCI, was asked to design a set of new stamps for the United States Postal Service (USPS). At the Texas Floral Expo this past July, TSFA surprised Lynn in announcing a rose was being named after her. Lynn is a former TSFA president and serves as its Texas floral education coordinator. She was given the honor for her lifelong dedication to the floral design industry and her fellow florists. Lynn, the owner of Lary’s Florist and Fine Gifts, states: “I was overwhelmed. My eyes filled with tears and I truly had no words. It was a huge surprise. I absolutely had no idea something like that was being done.” The TSFA calls the “Lynn” rose, which was bred by Kordes, a “pale pink centered rose surrounded by a cream color.” “It’s exquisite,” Lynn says. “It’s a very strong rose. It has a lot of longevity. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person. It’s a beautiful rose and I’m very honored.” Meanwhile, two years ago, Carol was working on a project with photographer Renée Comet, who mentioned the possibility of working together on a separate endeavor. It turned out to be an invitation to design a new Forever stamp for the USPS. Carol says the USPS was looking for a new stamp that was “more inclusive.” “They’ve traditionally done the Love stamps and things like that meant for wedding invitations, response cards,” she says. “They wanted something that was more inclusive. In other words, not just for the traditional bride. They were looking for something that would be any kind of wedding, any kind of couple. They didn’t want it to look very wedding-y.” Working for the postal service was no different than working with any other client, Carol says. There were some initial calls, essentially a consultation, and then she was off to the races. She presented five versions of corsages and boutonnieres using ranunculus, hypericum, tiny succulents, Astrantia, Berzelia, clubmoss, and burlap ribbon. They settled on a boutonniere for the Forever stamp and a corsage for a two-ounce stamp used on oversized packages. Seeing her work on the completed stamp was a career highlight, Carol says. “You think, Oh, my gosh! This is something I did and it’s going to be on a stamp! People are going to use it all over,’” she states. “I went into the post office to buy it and the lady handed it to me and it’s my design. It was like, Whoa! This is really something! Pretty outstanding, I would have to say. It is definitely one of the highlights of my career.”

The ‘Lynn’ rose Lynn McLean

The new USPS Forever stamp Carol Caggiano

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SHORT CUTS

Timesaving

Easily Update Last Year’s Styles for Fresh, New Looks

Holiday Tips 2

1

3

4

November/December 2017 | floriology

During the busy holiday season it’s a good strategy to think about what products you have available that are new this season and what products are left from the previous holiday that can be quickly refreshed and incorporated into this season’s designs. Each season brings new trends, colors, shapes, and styles—however even an item from the past season can be easily updated for this year’s holiday celebrations. In addition, if you also merchandise your products with a common theme you can broaden the appeal and show your customer how it all works together. 1} Using some of the vessels from a previous season and spraying them with Design Master metallic paint can transform the vessels into this season’s color and also offer a different, one-of-akind look in terms of textures or design. 2} A basket from a previous season with the trim and handle painted red provides the perfect look that will bring together a festive collection of permanent apples, winter foliage, and velvet ribbon. What’s more, this design offers the customer a bargain by providing a lasting look that can be used again and again. 3} A patina galvanized container holds a simple design of freedom roses with an updated look. Wire orbs and rose stems with the petals removed give it a more modern style that will appeal to younger consumers. 4} As mentioned above, when you are grouping your products for merchandising, it’s always a good idea to have the grouping convey a common theme. This holiday display communicates a rustic farmhouse look that is trending strong this season. Using a mix of holiday red, antique red ribbons, brightly colored freedom roses, and traditional red apples creates an irresistible red palette that screams holiday. Adding to your selling potential, there is not anything that when pulled out separately isn’t a great stand-alone item that will work with any theme in the customer’s home. One more caveat: after you merchandise your display take a photo for your website, keeping in mind that your website can be your front door for holiday sales.

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NEW PRODUCTS by Sharon McGukin, AAF, AIFD, PFCI

WARM UP YOUR HOLIDAY SALES floriology | November/December 2017

INTRODUCING THE NORTHWOODS COLLECTION OF FLORAL PRODUCTS How can “cool” holiday designs warm up your winter sales, appeal to trend-savvy and traditional customers, as well as be fresh from the forest, modern, and easy? The answer is by using the inspiring textures of nature. The new Northwoods Collection of holiday floral products from Smithers-Oasis has been created to provide convenient natural products for your tradi-

tion-with-a-flair designs. Texture is the luxury of floral design. The Northwoods Collection is rich with rough-timber surfaces fashioned into wood rings, wooden crates, and bark logs. With these easy-to-fill containers, you can create rustic-modern designs that capture the clean feel of a snowy alpine meadow with fresh-from-the forest styling. The vibe of this collection is earthy yet new, naturally blending updated shades of cranberry and

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cinnamon, moss and slate, silver and gold, and matte and glitter finishes. Frosty blue shades from lavender to azure are added to help celebrate the holidays with the latest color trends. ADD A NATURAL ELEMENT WITH BARK LOGS

Your back-to-basics customers will love the natural woodland bark finish of the 8-inch, 12-inch, and 18inch long Bark Log containers. A sewn-in waterproof liner in each log makes it easy to pop in the foam and get started on holiday designs. INCLUDE ON-TREND WOODEN CRATES

Wooden pallet and crate projects are very popular again this year. Here’s a collection of pine wood crates you don’t have to build yourself! The water reservoir area is lined with the three sizes designed to hold one-third, two-thirds, or a full block of floral foam. The addition of Raw Jute, Bark Wrap, or Moss wrap loops or bows can help to accessorize designs of natural materials. ADD VISUAL INTEREST WITH WOOD RINGS

One of my personal favorites in the list of new products is the collection of Wood Rings. Add visual interest to your designs with these rings in three sizes—8-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch—and three colors—natural, brown, and white wash. The simple addition of the appropriately sized bowl to the center of each ring creates a great foundation for a holiday centerpiece. Secure the wood ring to the center space of a wreath of greens, glue-in cones, pods, or berries to the base of the ring center, add decorative materials to the outer wreath and you have an impressive holiday wreath for the table or door. USE ACCESSORIES TO ADD A FESTIVE FLAIR

Sometimes a holiday accessory is all it takes to add just the right touch of festive flair. New raw muslin ribbons featuring wooden snowflakes, stars, and trees are easy to add and quick to get noticed. To add a bow or a few loops into an arrangement, use a wired Cowee pick, wrapping the thin wire around the fabric end, and taping over the wire for extra security. Dashes of UGLU can be used to help secure the muslin to container surfaces.

learn more about the Northwoods Collection, go to kTohttps://tinyurl.com/y9qsmd76. November/December 2017 | floriology

Sharon McGukin, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, is recognized across the country for her floral expertise, Southern charm, and easy, approachable manner with audiences as well as her style of Floral “Edutainment”— educational tips with entertaining insights. Sharon is a past president of the American Institute of Floral Designers and she is a member of the Smithers-Oasis Design Directors Team.

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TRENDS

Color SPLASH OF

PANTONE RELEASES ITS ALWAYS-ANTICIPATED SPRING FASHION COLOR REPORT

floriology | November/December 2017

N

ew York Fashion Week, which occurs in the Big Apple every September, is always an event that draws plenty of attention—from top designers, celebrities, the media, and a curious public. Of particular interest to many are the colors that fashion experts see as being on-trend for the coming year … and the fact that those colors can affect consumer choices in everything from interior decorating to floral arrangements. In conjunction with this year’s Fashion Week, Pantone—the worldwide authority on color trends—released its much anticipated selections for the top hottest colors of Spring 2018. This time, as opposed to previous years in which Pantone chose 10 top colors, twelve colors have been singled out as fashion hues and four colors have been pinpointed as “classics.” “As consumers continue to embrace color, designers are recognizing the need to show more color in their collections,” says

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “In order to reflect the consumers’ ongoing fascination with color, we broadened the direction for Spring 2018 to show where hues are headed by including 12 outstanding call out colors as well as four spring classics.” Ms. Eiseman goes on to say: “The color palette showcases an appreciation for the complexity and distinctiveness of color and the expression of it, which is something that evolves and can be played with. Consumers need more variety, and this expanded palette embraces the lack of gender and seasonal borders we are seeing within the fashion industry.” k For additional information, visit pantone.com.

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SPRING 2018 FASHION COLORS MEADOWLARK PANTONE 13-0646

CHERRY TOMATO PANTONE 17-1563

LITTLE BOY BLUE PANTONE 16-4132

SPRING CROCUS PANTONE 17-3020

ARCADIA PANTONE 16-5533

ULTRA VIOLET PANTONE 18-3838

EMPERADOR PANTONE 18-1028

BLOOMING DAHLIA PANTONE 15-1520

ALMOST MAUVE PANTONE 12-2103

PINK LAVENDER PANTONE 14-3207

LIME PUNCH PANTONE 13-0550

CHILI OIL PANTONE 18-1440

Spring 2018 Classic Colors SAILOR BLUE PANTONE 19-4034

WARM SAND PANTONE 15-1214

HARBOR MIST PANTONE 14-4202

COCONUT MILK PANTONE 11-0608

WHAT’S HOT, RIGHT NOW

NAPCO REPORT SHOWCASES EXCITING NEW IDEAS

To view the Napco 2018 Spring & Garden Trends Report, go to bloomnet.net/products/napco-trends

November/December 2017 | floriology

Featuring a comprehensive array of the hottest design trends and latest product innovations, the Napco 2018 Spring & Garden Trends Report explores a vast spectrum of color and texture, shapes and sizes, materials and finishes. The report is the result of extensive market research that provides vital and up-to-the-minute information about what today’s consumers want. Page after page is filled with inspiring ideas, insights about which floral varieties are top-of-mind right now, and product suggestions that can generate new opportunities for retail florists to connect with customers and boost sales.

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INDUSTRY INFO

AWARDS, SHOWS, ADVOCACY

35 Under 35 by Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

“Young Professionals” is a term we keep hearing in the age of social media and constantly changing buzz words. It’s an important demographic not only to those collecting analytics for marketing and sales purposes, but for anyone with an interest in who to look to that can help mold and build the future. Organizations and associations alike are paying close attention to this important group of individuals as future leaders. As a member of the Executive Board of Directors for AIFD, I see not only opportunity for the future but also opportunity for today with this very important group of young people. We offered the opportunity at the AIFD national Symposium in Seattle this year for “Young Professionals” to meet and consider the possibility of organizing as a committee to help shape the future of the organization. As we bridge the gap between the generations for everything we do today, this important group can help mentor the mentors with ways to communicate as well as grow in design concepts, advertising and inclusion. On behalf of the AIFD Board and membership we are so proud of how many of our members were listed in a Florists’ Review article (floristsreview.com/thirty-five-35/) calling out 35 individuals under the age of 35 as some of the brightest stars in the floral industry. Congratulations to each of you for your contributions and efforts to the industry and for being bold enough to share your talent in a way that gives hope and inspiration for what’s to come.

CREATIVITY BLOSSOMS HERE… This coming January 19-21, Jacksonville, Florida, will be the place to be as Napco and BloomNet present the 2018 edition of the highly popular Fresh Forum event. The event is scheduled during the Napco Pre-Show sales weekend, so florists can visit the Napco showroom to view and order from a new line of products. It’s a great way to combine a merchandise shopping trip with valuable education. Fresh Form 2018 will feature exclusive business and trend sessions as well as presentations by industry experts and Floriology instructors. This year we are also excited to announce that Floriology and the Florida State Florists’ Association (FSFA) are joining forces to bring FSFA’s Mid Season Summit to the weekend of education. Fresh Forum 2018 highlights will include an exciting Floriology design competition, hands-on wedding courses with Neil Whittack, NDSF, AIFD, an enlightening Trend Report 2018 with Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, and Stacey Carlton, AIFD, CFD, and an informative social media presentation (“Creating Contagious Social Content”) by Renato Cruz Sogueco, BloomNet VP of Digital Strategy & Education. k For further info about Fresh Forum 2018, visit bloomnet.net/education-events/fresh-forum.

NOW TRENDING

A FRESH CROP OF WEDDING IDEAS floriology | November/December 2017

by Alyssa Chekas

As you know, many of today’s brides love non-traditional bouquets. And there’s a new trend of placing actual fruits and vegetables in wedding flowers—generating innovative ways to show off the colors, sizes, shapes, textures, and even the scents of various fruits and veggies to create unforgettable bridal arrangements. Check out the websites below for an array of ideas. Photos courtesy of weddingomania.com and mywedding.com.

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OPERATIONS

Dialing Up

by Charley Howard, Director, World Flowers and Business Instructor, Floriology Institute

SALES POTENTIAL Simple strategies for enhancing telephone sales

The way in which you and your staff answer the telephone and conduct yourselves while on the call can tell a customer a lot about your shop. Remember that most customers dialing in are driven by emotion, for example … love, sadness for a loved one passing, celebrating an anniversary or birthday, the birth of a child, etc. So when the phone rings, it signals an opportunity to connect with a customer, to get yourself in tune with their emotions, and of course, make a sale. One of the best and most consistent ways to enhance telephone selling success is to follow a script that will help you and your team remember all the questions you will need answered to assist your customer. Another caveat: also remind your staff to smile when they answer the phone. Smiling automatically makes you sound happier. As a suggestion for your script, start the call with a welcoming greeting that immediately identifies your business and the person answering the call. For instance:

that you know the recipient address, you don’t have to ask if the order is being delivered out of town. “What would you like to say on the card message?” Knowing this information, you can make recommendations for a product if the customer needs help in selecting the right arrangement for the occasion. “What would you like to send?” Remember the card message and where the order is going. Keep in mind your $39.95 special going cross-country will not work! Once an arrangement is selected, remember to suggest an add-on (i.e., balloon, candy, plush).

YOUR SHOP:

“Thank you for calling Charley’s Flowers, this is Charley. How may I help you today?” CUSTOMER: “I want to place an order.” YOUR SHOP: “I would be glad to help you with that!”

“Have you purchased from us before?” Identify your customer then look for their account. You now know your customer and you can verify the phone number in case you need to call them back. You may also know how they pay for their orders. “Who are we sending the order to?” Get the recipient information including the phone number. Now

“What is your payment information?” “Let’s confirm...” Repeat the order back to the customer. Ensure the customer that you’ll take good care of their order, then thank them for their business. These simple, practical, and effective telephone tips can make for a smooth buying experience for both you and the customer—while also leading to added sales potential.

November/December 2017 | floriology

The idea is to engage the caller, make them feel comfortable right away, and then satisfy all their needs. Since most flower shops are on a POS/Order Entry System for inputting the order, here are 7 suggestions for speaking with the customer and steps for taking their phone order:

“When would you like the order delivered?” Remember your cut-off times and make sure those orders go out on time.

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DIGITAL MARKETING by Renato Cruz Sogueco, BloomNet Vice President of Digital Strategy and Education

Optimizing Your PINTEREST PRESENCE If you read and implemented our advice in the SeptemberOctober floriology issue about starting a Pinterest account, you should now have several Boards showcasing segments of your business, loaded with Pins of your best products. In this issue, we pick up where we left off and share with you more advanced practices in building and boosting your Pinterest presence. Last issue, we discussed the importance of installing a Save button on your website so Pinterest users can begin sharing your Pins on their Boards—which hopefully will then be re-pinned by their own Followers. Begin using these buttons yourself to save Pins you’d like to promote on your own Boards. Make it a habit to do this every time you post new products on the website to keep your Pinterest presence updated. PINTEREST WEBSITE WIDGETS

EXPLORE BUYABLE PINS

You can enhance this presentation by installing Pinterest widgets on your website that feature specific Pins or Boards. Best practice is to publish a Board of your wedding work or your trend expertise to share your sense of style with customers. Visit business.pinterest. com/en/widget-builder and work with your web developer to install these widgets. Another activity requiring technical help is confirming your website on Pinterest. There are two methods to do this which require technical expertise—embedding a meta tag in your pages or uploading a file to your root directory. This might be “Greek” to most florists so to complete this process, direct your web developer to this page: help.pinterest.com/en/articles/confirm-your-website. Confirming your website is critical to your success with Pinterest because it allows you to access analytics and measure success using it. Let’s discuss the following ways to convert analytics data into actions to build revenue.

The last strategy we’d like to make you aware of and consider involves creating Buyable Pins—yes, you can conduct commerce via Pinterest! But there are caveats that could be deal breakers. First, you’ll need to use one of the following ecommerce platforms as these are Buy Pin ready:

floriology | November/December 2017

ANALYZE PINTEREST ANALYTICS

First review Profile Analytics, specifically your top Pins in the last 30 days. This data represents the products which are most popular and interest people the most. Best practice is to place the products correlating with the top Pins on the home page and at highlighted or featured spots of category pages on the website. Next, review Audience, specifically Interests. Are you finding customers’ interests are home décor, art, or event work? This may be a good prompt to create similar category pages on your website to appeal to these customers. Lastly, review website analytics and zero in on top Pin impressions from the last 30 days. Whatever you see as popular, start re-pinning to your own board to boost activity of your Pinterest presence. This data should also confirm anything you found examining the top Pins in the last 30 days on what products resonate with consumers.

k https://www.bigcommerce.com/pinterest k https://www.demandware.com/pages/pinterest (Salesforce) k https://www.shopify.com/pinterest Because of this first requirement, adopting buyable Pins may be a challenge for florists considering most floral-specific web providers may not necessarily host websites or partner with the platform providers mentioned. A path you may want to consider is signing up for a shopify account which provides you with a web presence to not only start offering Buyable Pins with Pinterest, but will allow you to start selling on both Facebook and Amazon. My recommendation is this is something to explore considering you want to begin expanding your marketing—and selling—capabilities to users of two extremely popular commerce ecosystems. Beyond this first requirement, Pinterest outlines a strict set of guidelines for Buyable Pins. The floral products you intend to offer must be items you can confect and deliver with high reliability; check this site for guidelines: https://policy.pinterest.com/en/buyable-pinsguidelines. Looking at Pinterest from a larger perspective, building this presence not only appeals to this specific audience, it also builds your website relevance. In essence, you are building a larger and larger cache of inbound links from a very relevant source, which only results in better search engine optimization. If you are active on Facebook and Pinterest, you should begin to see Pinterest pull ahead of Facebook with regard to clicks it refers to your website.

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DIGITAL MARKETING

TWEET SUCCESS TWITTER BEST BUSINESS PRACTICES

TWITTER BY THE NUMBERS

328 MILLION

Total number of monthly active users

80 PERCENT

Percentage of users on mobile

New to Twitter or need to brush up on how to best take advantage of this stalwart social media for your flower shop? Here is the scoop on best practices for using Twitter.

back to your website, but these URLs may be very long. Copy your links and drop them in the box at www.bitly.com which will return much-shortened versions. USE #HASHTAGS

CREATE A TWITTER HANDLE OR USERNAME

If you have yet to open an account for your business, your Twitter handle or username serves as your identity on the social network. Do your best to use your shop name as your handle. For example, you might want the handle to be twitter.com/mariasflowers. You only have 15 characters, so you may need to get creative for longer shop names. While you’re at it, consider securing handles/ usernames on other social media by using namecheckr.com.

As you may know, you only have 140 characters to state your case on Twitter. It’s totally OK to abbreviate and replace words with symbols to save precious character space. Examples: 4 rather than “for,” @ for at, 2 for “to (or too),” w/ for “with,” and so on. Twitter is also a great way to drive traffic

ENGAGE WITH THE TWITTER COMMUNITY

As you search Twitter for hashtags as recommended, you’ll find the posts of other users. Find the post interesting? Start following them. A good keyword to start would be #florist. Also, when you do find useful posts, consider retweeting them from your account or replying to it with your own tidbit of knowledge. You’ll find more people will begin to follow you as they see more engagement.

kFor more digital marketing tips and insights, go to floriologyinstitute.com

Number of daily active users

37 PERCENT

Percentage of Twitter users between the ages of 18 and 29; 25% of users are 30-49 years old

500 MILLION

Total number of tweets sent per day

67 MILLION

Number of Twitter users in the U.S. SOURCE: Omnicore (omnicoreagency.com/twitter-statistics)

November/December 2017 | floriology

KEEP POSTS SHORT AND SWEET

What are great keywords to hashtag in Twitter posts? Varieties: #roses, #lilies, #orchids. Colors: #pink, #red, #white. Occasions: #weddingflowers, #birthdayflowers, #getwellflowers. It’s best to do a quick search on keywords on Twitter to get a sense of the most popular hashtags. Users on Twitter will utilize these hashtags to find your posts so don’t hesitate to hashtag any keyword you feel is relevant.

100 MILLION

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COMMUNITY

Stepping Up,

Reaching Out

Flower Shops Were Among the Hardest Hit by Recent Storms

floriology | November/December 2017

Harvey, Irma, and Maria were three of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes ever. Among those hardest hit were retail flower shops, many of which found themselves in dire need of assistance. Immediately following the storms, BloomNet teamed with several floral industry associations, taking the lead in generating vital support for retail florists throughout Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. BloomNet collaborated with the American Institute of Floral Designers and its AIFD Foundation, as well as with the Texas State Florists’ Association and the Florida State Florists’ Association. Relief funds were established, urging florists nationwide to contribute to the funds, whether they are part of the BloomNet network or not. “Through these relief funds, BloomNet is committed to taking a proactive role in assisting retail florists during this very challenging time, doing our part to help florists rebuild their shops and their lives,” said Mark Nance, AAF, President of BloomNet. “We’re pleased that, in addition to proceeds from these funds going to florists, BloomNet will match donations made by

BloomNet Florists, through December 31, 2017.” Complementing the financial relief efforts, BloomNet implemented a hurricane assistance plan for flower shops affected by the hurricanes, working closely with shop owners to help get their businesses up and running again. As part of this effort, BloomNet has been providing shops with items such as floral supplies, fresh flowers, vases, new marketing materials, and computer equipment as well as making follow-up visits to shops. “Throughout these catastrophic events, one thing became clearly evident: the floral industry is not just a business. It is a remarkable community, a close-knit family of loving and caring people who are resilient and come together to support each other for the greater good. It is a beautiful testament to our industry and to the amazing people who enable our floral industry to thrive,” said Lisa Carmichael, Vice President of Marketing & New Business Development, BloomNet. Lynn Lary McLean, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, TMF, Chief Executive Officer of The AIFD Foundation, stated: “The AIFD Foundation is

In addition to the proceeds generated from these funds, BloomNet will match donations made by BloomNet florists through December 31, 2017.

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Julius Bunche of Camile’s Flowers And Gifts in West Palm Beach, Florida, reports that fortunately, their shop lost power for only three days and had no physical hurricane damage. BloomNet Director of Education and Industry Relations Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI (left), and BloomNet Vice President of Digital Strategy and Education Renato Cruz Sogueco visit Nisha Babar Sheikh, AIFD, of Florist24hrs.com in Sunrise, Florida. BloomNet President Mark Nance, AAF (left), and BloomNet Vice President Ted Nelson visit Lori Ware Foote of Foo-te’s Flowers & Gifts in Brandon, Florida, after Hurricane Irma. BloomNet National Director of Sales Gino Marotta checks in with Princess Alexis at 1-800 Flowers Winter Park, Florida, following Hurricane Irma.

The AIFD Foundation, and to our fellow florists and industry companies in other states far and near. Your tremendous kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated during this difficult time in the Sunshine State.”

k For information about making donations, go to: aifdfoundation.org/.

Visit facebook.com/BloomNet.net to view more photos as well as video clips from florists describing their hurricane experiences.

November/December 2017 | floriology

primarily dedicated to the education of floral designers worldwide. Through the catastrophic component within the structure of the Foundation, we extend our commitment to the floral industry through three hurricane relief funds, calling upon the entire florist community nationwide to do what they can in helping to rebuild the floral industry in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.” Dianna Nordman, AAF, Executive Director of the Texas State Florists’ Association, stated: “We thank BloomNet, The AIFD Foundation and retail florists all over the United States for their energy, resources and generous financial support. TSFA is very grateful for all you are doing to help the florists of Texas in this time of need.” Angela Tully AIFD FSMD, President of the Florida State Florists’ Association, stated: “On behalf of our Association and the florists throughout Florida, we want to express our thanks to BloomNet,

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PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Whittier, CA Permit No. 347

floriology | November/December 2017

NEIGHBORHOOD CORNER

7800 Bayberry Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

BLOOMNET IN THE COMMUNITY

BECOME OUR FAN ON FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

SPREADING THE JOY OF

FLOWERS

In 2015, the Society of American Florists (SAF) held its firstever Petal It Forward event in New York City. The goal was simple: send out Happiness Ambassadors and give bouquets to random people on the street—one bouquet to keep, and one to share. Jennifer Sparks, vice president of marketing for SAF, said that this “movement has grown substantially and in 2016, we had amazing participation from florists who held 262 events in 234 cities in all 50 states.” Although this year SAF did not host an anchor event in New York City, the participation rate continues to climb. “Florists make the event their own. It doesn’t matter if they give out 50 bouquets or 5,000; the point is that they are out spreading happiness. We also know that the event is successful because the Wednesday date in October moves every year. In 2015, we held it on the 12th and in 2016 we held it on the 19th. We didn’t want to make the event the same day every year because then it is no longer considered random, and randomness is a lot of the appeal for recipients.” In 2017, 573 Petal It Forward events were hosted in 467 cities >>> As part of the 2017 Petal It Forward event, Kelli Porter (right) from in all 50 states and Canada. 1800-Flowers|Flowerama Cedar Falls shares smiles with a fellow flower lover. “The turnout was terrific and in today’s climate, this is exactly what people need to remind them that there is so much good in the world that is often overshadowed by negative media reports,” Jennifer says. “It continues to amaze us at the last-minute sign-ups by florists. Some florists even signed up the day before. Florists and recipients have truly embraced this movement and we look forward to many more years of this successful pay-it-forward program.”

k

To learn more about Petal It Forward, go to safnow.org.

Have an article idea for a future issue of floriology? Email floriology@bloomnet.net.

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Floriology | November-December 2017  
Floriology | November-December 2017