Flowers& - October 2015

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Flowers& OCTOBER 2015 $5.50

Deck theHalls Design ideas to boost holiday sales Pg 26


Fresh-flower news from California growers & shippers Pg 14



features 14

Fresh Frontiers What’s new with fresh flowers from California—and beyond. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


Holiday Helpers Sales boosters from Santa’s floral workshop. Floral design by Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF Photography by Ron Derhacopian


Yuletide Dreams Floral visions for the winter season. Floral design by Baudouin Roelants Photography by Johan Vos

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ON THE COVER For a different kind of holiday wreath, Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF sprayed 12-inch wire wreath forms with Design Master Super Silver, then added flowers in water tubes and baubles, secured with beaded wire. For more of Tom’s holiday design ideas, turn to “Holiday Helpers,” pages 26-41.


departments 8

Focus on Design A Long-Lasting Table Wreath By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Flower Tales Hydrangea By Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI


Shop Profile Artistic Florist, Amelia Island, Fla. By Lori Mayfield


Design Tech Support for Tall Stems By Cindy Tole


Fresh Focus Tweedia By Bruce Wright


Where to Buy


What’s in Store


Industry Events


Advertiser Links

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Wholesale Connection

Flowers& Volume 36, Number 10 (ISSN 0199-4751). Published monthly by Teleflora, 11444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 800-321-2665, fax 310-966-3610. Subscription rates: U.S., 1 year, $66.00. Canada, 1 year, $90.00 (US currency only); Canadian GST registration number R127851293. Other foreign countries, 1 year, $102.00 (US currency only). Single issues, $5.50 each prepaid. Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Flowers&, PO Box 16029, North Hollywood, CA 91615-9871. Copyright © 2015 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

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Flowers& Publisher Editor Art Director

Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI Bruce Wright Tony Fox

National Advertising Director

Peter Lymbertos

U.S. Subscriptions


Foreign Subscriptions




On the Internet

ADVISORY BOARD Teleflora Education Specialists Susan Ayala AIFD, PFCI, Riverside, Calif., Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI, Syndicate Sales, Fairfield, Ohio, Tim Farrell


Farrell’s Florist, Drexel Hill, Penn., Jim Ganger


Kansas City, Mo., Hitomi Gilliam AIFD, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI,

Dallas, Texas, John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, CF, CAFA, Surroundings Events and Floral, Verona,

Wisc., Alex Jackson AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Veldkamp’s Flowers, Lakewood, Colo., Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI,

Niceville, Fla., Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD, AAF, PFCI, AzMF, Designer Destination,

Tucson, Ariz., Helen Miller AIFD, CF, CAFA, Flowers and Such, Adrian, Mich., Darla Pawlak AIFD, PFCI,

Essexville, Mich., Julie Poeltler


Julie’s Fountain of Flowers,

Lone Tree, Iowa, Jerome Raska AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CF, Blumz by JR Designs, Ferndale, Mich.,

Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF, Three Bunch Palms Productions, Palm Springs, Calif., Gerard Toh AIFD, CCF,

Garden Trade Services, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Cindy Tole, Botanica Flowers &

Gifts, Greensboro, N.C., Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Mukwonago, Wisc.

EDITORIAL COUNCIL Marie Ackerman AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Carol J. Caggiano AIFD, PFCI, A.

Caggiano, Inc., Jeffersonton, Va., Bert Ford AIFD, PFCI, Ford Flower Co., Salem, N.H.,

Wilton Hardy


JWH Design and Consultant, West Palm Beach, Fla.,

Elizabeth Seiji AIFD, Edelweiss Flower Boutique, Santa Monica, Calif.

Customer service: For service on your magazine subscription, including change of address, please write to Flowers&, P.O. Box 16029, No. Hollywood, CA 91615-9871, enclosing a recent address label. For faster service, call 818-286-3128; Teleflora members call 800-421-2815.


focus on design


Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Photography by Ron Derhacopian




Special foliages and cymbidium orchids enhance a long-lasting table wreath. Color-enhanced foliage not only adds a festive holiday touch but also lasts longer than fresh foliage that has not been so treated. Combined with evergreens and cymbidiums in water tubes, it makes a very durable design. 1. With the wreath flat on the table, visually divide it into thirds by marking each third with a large leaf, like monstera. Then, begin inserting White Mist curly willow and ruscus, adding curved lines to reinforce the shape of the wreath. 2. Add White Mist cedar to the wreath, then White Mist and Gilded boxwood. 3. Cut individual cymbidium orchid blooms off the stem, insert them into water tubes, and add them to the three monstera clusters. 4. For the final touch, fill cylinders with water, silver rocks, a touch of foliage and a floating candle.


For product information, see Where to Buy, page 64.

See this


Click Here


OCTOBER 2015 9

f lower tales

Stories and fun facts to share with customers about their favorite flowers


Floral design by Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

hydrangea Hydrangea has been called the chameleon flower. Not only do hydrangeas come in a wide range of colors, but the color can change over time. It may vary depending on the acidity of the soil: an acidic, iron-rich soil tends to produce blue flowers, while pinker flowers may result from an alkaline, limey soil. Other factors can influence color, including fall weather that produces the marbled flowers known as “antique” hydrangeas.

Continued on page 12


In a similar way, the “meaning” of hydrangeas is interpreted quite differently by different cultures. Not all of the meanings are favorable! Some have identified hydrangeas as symbols of vanity or boastfulness. At one time, the default color for hydrangea was white, and these white hydrangeas were identified by the common name snowball bush (as some people also call viburnums)—hence, they were associated with heartlessness and frigidity. In some parts of the British Isles you will find people who believe that a single woman living where hydrangeas grow will never marry. Some say that witches use hydrangeas in making spells—while others believe the flowers are powerful enough to break a witch’s curse. Other traditions suggest that hydrangea flowers mean gratitude, friendship, and devotion. Pink hydrangeas, in particular, have been said to resemble a heart, and to express heartfelt emotion. Hydrangeas are the traditional flower for the fourth wedding anniversary. All parts of the hydrangea plant are at least mildly poisonous, containing a form of cyanide. As with many other plants that are toxic when eaten, however, the leaves, roots, and bark of certain hydrangeas have also been used medicinally (by Native Americans). In Asia, the leaves may be dried and brewed as a tea. For this month’s design, Tom has combined hydrangea blooms in many different colors including mini green (immature) hydrangea in a vase arrangement that also incorporates curly willow, winding over and among the flower heads and also secured to the outside of the vase with red bullion. He created the willow treatment outside the vase first, added the hydrangea stems, then wove the flexible curly willow tips in among the blooms. b




he atmosphere was dynamic and optimistic at this year’s California Floral Convention—and that’s good news for everyone in the flower business. Sponsored every other year by the California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers (CalFlowers), the convention brings growers, shippers, and buyers together to learn and educate, connect and collaborate. This year’s event, held in Monterey, California in late July, not only enjoyed a record attendance, it also reflected a

Looking for new and better flowers? Look to California growers and shippers—and to their friends worldwide. Text and photography by Bruce Wright

FRAGRANT WITH PROMISE Though not yet available as a cut flower, eucomis—a.k.a. pineapple lilies or Aloha Lilies —tantalized those who saw it on the California Floral Convention grower tour. Aloha Lilies are long lasting both on the plant and as cut flowers. Bred and marketed by Golden State Bulb Growers as a pot plant, they come in tints of white, pink, and purple and bear a soft, tropical, coconut fragrance. The potted plants are miniatures; the original plants are so large as to be unwieldy as cut flowers, but Golden State breeder Brian Correiar holds out hope that an intermediate, cut-flower version may be available soon. 14

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SALES BOOSTERS from SANTA’S FLORAL WORKSHOP. Floral design by Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF Photography by Ron Derhacopian

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 64.

The holidays are when customers come looking to you for ideas—floral designs that will meet their gift-giving and decorating needs in creative, uplifting and unexpected ways. Try something new! Salute the season with style, and you’ll make a lasting impression.

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BUDDING ORBS Glass ball ornaments with the hanger-tops removed convert easily to holiday bud vases, simply by gluing the ornaments to flat snowflakes to keep them upright. Pan glue is quick, but can come unstuck in the cooler, so if you plan to refrigerate your bud-vase creations, use another glue, like floral adhesive, instead. Tom’s vases make a charming collection, trimmed with red ribbon and white midollino.

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FRESH FOUNTAIN Available only in summer and early fall, the airy plumes of explosion grass (Panicum elegans, in the variety called Frosted Explosion) are typically used as bouquet filler—but here they thrive in the spotlight, sprouting from a base of grouped and pavéd sunflowers, Green Trick dianthus, and pale yellow hypericum.

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MIX AND MATCH At left, a do-ahead project that can also be a way to use up


Christmas baubles that are left over or slightly damaged on the attachment side: begin with an 18-inch Styrofoam wreath form, and start gluing! A mix of shiny and matte ornaments works best, in color groups, with slight variations in the size, as seen here. If the ornaments you are using are scratched on the side that shows, or don’t harmonize together well, you can always spray the whole thing gold or silver. TREESCAPE Two glass trees, with a pleated form and an antique silver finish, provide the key eyecatching elements in this design. The other materials, gathered in a low glass cylinder, are easily assembled from any well-stocked flower shop at holiday time: greens, baubles, gold pinecones and succulent rosettes, along with a few mokara orchids, which might be added for a party and removed later on without detriment to the ensemble. The succulent rosettes were supplied already shimmering with metallic gold. JULY 2015 OCTOBER 2015 55 29



A FRESH TAKE ON WREATHS Twelve-inch wire wreath forms, sprayed with Design Master Super Silver, make a light and transparent foundation for holiday wreaths decked with owers in water tubes. Tom wrapped the wreath forms all the way around with beaded wire, which also secures the water tubes and a few baubles in place. The water tubes, of course, can be reďŹ lled and refreshed as the season progresses.

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HUE AND CRY Wood block vases provide the perfect background—sculptural and naturally textured—for a study in floral materials that come in rich, remarkable colors. Note the unusual pinky-brown hue of the Washington-grown hanging amaranthus and how beautifully it pairs with the rosy hypericum. Likewise, the stripped branches of dark cotinus and the deeply saturated, black-purple calla blooms call out to each other.

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INSIDE THE BOX At left, bands of fancy wide ribbon—and a bed


of red carnations, roses and gerberas, dotted with corsage pins—transform an ordinary gift box into a ravishing holiday surprise. Tom added the ribbon first and lined the gift box with heavy plastic. He cut foam to fit the box, but soaked the foam and made his insertions outside the box, so the foam could drain excess moisture, then gathered the plastic around the foam and lifted it into the box. A layer of Styrofoam under the wet foam keeps the whole package lighter. THE ORCHID TREE A floral-foam cone wrapped in sheet moss makes an attractive “tree” easily decorated with fresh flowers. You could use standard sheet moss, but in this case, Tom used Moss Mat, a mesh sheet covered with preserved moss, pinned to the cone with greening pins. The Moss Mat gives the cone a beautifully even, mossy surface. Tom inserted the cymbidium stems into the foam through holes he had made in the mesh; then he further secured the blooms by pinning them into place. The cone rests on additional floral foam in the bottom of the bamboo tray, where Tom inserted cedar, holly, and anthurium stems. JULY 2015 33 49 OCTOBER

CHIC AND SHAPELY For customers who come in looking for a high-impact hostess gift, here’s the perfect cash-and-carry: red tulips or Wanted fragrant garden roses, ready to go in a sturdy, recyclable Silhouette Vase, each with a band of chevron ribbon added to emphasize the holiday theme. The Silhouette Vases come with an elastic band to cinch the top, but Tom has reinforced that with extra decorative ribbon or cording, along with other festive accents.

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CLASSIC FORM At left, the flaring tips of magnolia leaves— quickly pinned into place on a Styrofoam cone—create a layered effect reminiscent of acanthus foliage at the top of a Corinthian column. The do-ahead cone takes center stage in a design that requires very few flowers to make an impression. At the base, gold cedar tips nicely harmonize with the color of the magnolia leaves and of the Zion pot, with its pattern of rectangular appliqués. Loops of matte flat wire lend a slanting, curving, dynamic line as they spiral around the base of the design. Above, short-stemmed white roses and lilies make a lavish, fragrant display. Gold flat wire looped over the top harmonizes with the Zion Bowl. At right, another accent of gold flat wire on a cream-colored lantern ties the look together in a merchandising ensemble that leads the eye from one tempting purchase to the next.

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HEAVENLY SPHERES Nothing beats a kissing ball at Christmastime, whether in fresh flowers or permanent. To make the fresh carnation orb at left above, Tom used a netted floral-foam sphere, which makes it easy to add a hanger made of twisted aluminum wire. Gold aluminum wire, fashioned into spirals and leaf shapes, creates gleaming patterns on top of the textured sphere. Holly leaves, baubles and brunia sprout from the top. Below, an oversize plastic Christmas ball is equipped with a ribbon hanger and tail, then swiftly decorated with glued-on baubles and artificial berries. ALL DRESSED UP Phalaenopsis orchids are available and popular—but a professional florist needs a way to add value and seasonal flair. The white gloss on a classic urn beautifully complements these orchid blooms, enhanced with baubles, Festive Bamboo and midollino; the stems are secured to the bamboo with silver aluminum wire.

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HATS OFF As though floating in mid air, the lid for this year’s Teleflora ornament jar hangs from a trellis that adds inexpensive height and impact to the design. The cross-piece of the trellis is secured with silver aluminum wire and metallic wire. Matte baubles among the flowers pick up the silver in the ornament lid; the white flowers, including star-of-Bethlehem and Vitality garden roses, harmonize with the white birch branches and the glistening snow-covered pine trees on the jar. BOTTLED UP Rustic metal baskets, each holding one or three glass bottles, make appealing vehicles for cash-and-carry designs. Customers can display the designs together, or scattered across a tabletop or around the house, and later give them away, if they like, to party guests. Containers like these suggest the idea of doing variations on a theme, using a variety of flowers and accent materials: red Player mini gerberas, spray roses, tulips, and carnations; white alstroemeria, mini callas, and LA hybrid lilies; with diverse berries, baubles and foliages. Red aluminum wire or Creative Coils make a fun alternative to red ribbon. b 40 56


JULY 2015 2015 41 57 OCTOBER


Photography by Johan Vos

A HANDMADE VESSEL Cyclamen flowers, cut from a plant and placed in water tubes, thrust their flyaway wings upward from a “snowy” bed of moss, gypsophila, Christmas balls, and artificial snow. The container is made from little tubes of ordinary white typing paper, wrapped around a dowel so that each tube would be of identical diameter and glued together with a glue gun. Baudouin did the gluing on top of a bowl to give the container its shape, then removed the bowl and drizzled hot wax over the tubes with a spoon for an effect like dripping candles.

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OCTOBER AUGUST2015 201043 2

Belgian floral artist Baudouin Roelants charmed participants at the National AIFD Symposium in 2014 with exquisitely handcrafted creations that, like those seen here, rely on just a few flowers, always supplied with a water source (often in water tubes), and arranged with poetic elegance. To see more of Baudouin’s work, visit his website:


THE GLEAM WITHIN Below, an armature made of twine-covered wire extends on either side of a


metal bowl, inviting the viewer to look deep inside. The bowl’s richly burnished interior harmonizes beautifully with speckled phalaenopsis orchid blooms and gold balls, while it contrasts in texture with the rough twine and with pine cones and needles delicately poised along the armature.

STARRY NIGHT Above, Baudouin has created a boat-shaped vessel by combining shapes covered with raffia, cording, or in one case, the leaves of a type of corn plant, which can be de-veined, moistened, molded to a form, wrapped with string, and allowed to dry in place. Anthuriums nestle inside the boat, their stems drinking from green baubles used as mini vases, along with sycamore pods and dried fern fronds, harvested from the woods. The whole design (about half a meter or 1½ feet high) is lightly wrapped with transparent monofilament to keep all the elements together. OCTOBER 2015 45



PURPLE GLOW At left, a see-through wire armature elevates phalaenopsis orchids and other materials above a three-wicked candle, inviting the viewer to peek through and to enjoy the orchids, bright purple callicarpa berries, delicate sprigs of dusty miller, and bound clusters of pine needles in the glow of candlelight. Parts of the armature are wrapped in jeweler’s wire for extra gleam and color.

CIRCLE GAME At right, rings cut from a bamboo pole are stacked on a wire stand, with circles of rigid cardboard glued between them here and there to stabilize and strengthen the structure. Hanging to one side is an armature made of red aluminum wire wrapped with red jeweler’s wire (using a technique with a power drill that makes the wrapping go faster). The armature supports red cyclamen flowers in water tubes, dangling ceropegia vine, and a variety of playful ornaments.

AUGUST2015 201047 6 OCTOBER



RUFFLED The collar at left required a stiff canvas-like material for the foundation, not too floppy. Broad donut-shaped disks of this fabric were sewn together and the top layer frilled with pine needles. Whitewashed pinecones provide separation between the other layers, and also a surface for gluing flowers and other ornamental materials, including dried fern fronds.

ENTWINED White lilies burst like flames from coppery Christmas balls that serve as mini vases while they deck a fanciful coneshaped “tree� made of wire wrapped in twine. Filling in and adding soft texture to the tree are fuzzy dried strands of a plumed ornamental grass,

Miscanthus sinensis, hanging upside down and following the lazy drape of the looped twine.

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FERTILE CRESCENT Fir tips are inserted and secured with wire to a wire foundation that describes an elegant curve for a long, low centerpiece filled with long, whitewashed pine cones, pale peachypink Christmas balls, and purple orchids. The orchids drink from Christmas balls with the caps removed, used as mini vases.

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LATE HARVEST A disk of flat cane supported on an iron stand provides a round canvas for a sweeping crescent composed of calla stems that drink from coppery ornaments shaped like finials or teardrops, reeds, stars, wrapped wire, and the hanging plumes of feathery dried miscanthus grass. “I do like to use materials from the garden,” says Baudouin. “Some of them, like this grass, have very different effects at different times of the year. In the summer the plumes are full and purplish; in the spring even the seeds have blown away and only a skeleton is left.”

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LOOPS AND CIRCLES At left, the com-

SNOWY NIGHT To create the design

plex pattern and rich texture of dried

below, Baudouin began by placing

sunflower centers comes to the fore

half of a Styrofoam sphere into the

in a composition comprising nothing

faux-stone bowl, to create a gently

more than the sunflowers, a few

mounded surface, then covered it

baubles and feathers, and phalae-

with moss, pinecones, pine needles,

nopsis blooms in water tubes, all

and silhouette stars. For the final

draped along the surface of a weath-

effect, he says, “I had the added

ered wood planter on a sturdy stand.

bonus of a snowy evening.�

AUGUST 2015 2010 12 OCTOBER 53

shop profile

By Lori Mayfield

“Artistic Florist” lives up to its name —but also turns artistry into profit.


hen Brooke Raulerson became a flower shop owner—still in her twenties—she simply assumed that florists in general are “starving artist” types, and that struggling to make ends meet would be par for the course. Then the recession hit—and Brooke was forced to rethink her strategies as a business owner, just to stay afloat. Floral design came easily to her: she had grown up in the business. From infancy, she was a fixture in the flower shop owned by her parents. She was drawn to the visual side.


Photography by Agnes Lopez Photo

Throughout high school, many afternoons and evenings were spent designing in the shop. In addition to floral design, Brooke loved helping to arrange and rearrange the merchandising in the shop. When she was just 16, Brooke’s design talent caught the eye of internationally acclaimed floral designer Hitomi Gilliam AIFD. Hitomi was visiting Brooke’s parents’ shop for a floral demonstration and couldn’t help but notice the innate design skill she exhibited. The admiration of talent was mutual, and Brooke was eager to soak up any guidance Hitomi had to offer. That advice included a recommendation to buy her parents’ shop should Brooke ever have the opportunity. But it wasn’t a direct path that led Brooke to follow in her parents’ footsteps. She went off to college and worked summers for homebuilders, helping homebuyers choose color palettes and other options for interiors. After

college, she worked as a visual merchandiser for Stein Mart and for Dillard’s, both upscale retail establishments. Brooke had an eye for staging and assumed her career track would follow suit. But her thoughts kept wandering back to the flower shop, wondering what they were up to and thinking about the roots of where she learned color and design. “It was unmistakable that the floral business was in my blood,” says Brooke. In 2003, Brooke married Dale Raulerson—and Hitomi Gilliam did her wedding flowers. Two years later, when Brooke’s parents were ready to retire and sell the business, she reflected back to Hitomi’s advice to buy the shop. “The economy was strong in 2005, so my husband and I bought the store at a premium. My parents financed me the first two years and then I got an SBA loan,” Brooke explains. Then the economy tanked. “I had this

Artistic Florist Amelia Island, Florida Owners: Brooke Raulerson AIFD, FSMD and Dale Raulerson

of the business from my parents.” Employees: 6 It was her hus(including 2 designers) band who finally Square feet: 5,200 pointed out the obvious: “We can’t keep working for nothing. If it’s not profitable, ART VERSUS PROFIT there’s no point in Brooke’s focus for success had been solely on becoming the best doing this.” Brooke had to concede that he floral designer she could be, and she quickly was right. “I just kept thinking it was going to get gained recognition as such. By age 28, Brooke was inducted into AIFD. She was the better,” she says. She and her generation youngest designer ever to receive the Florida hadn’t realized what a bad economy was reState Florist Association’s coveted award for ally like. There was no one explaining what it “Designer of the Year.” She continually at- took to get through it. “My designs were awetended shows, conventions and workshops some. My customers were happy. Sales were to improve her artistic range and skill. “We phenomenal. But I was struggling. I couldn’t were doing plenty of work at the shop,” says sleep at night. I kept thinking I just needed to Brooke. “But I still didn’t have a business work harder. I was looking for help and didn’t background. I hadn’t ever learned that part know what to do.” huge SBA loan and I didn’t have the option of not drawing a paycheck—plus I had rent, staff payroll and overhead to cover.”

TEAM EFFORT One day she got a call from TeamFloral. “Initially I thought, this is crazy,” Brooke recalls. “I’m not paying this much money for what I probably already know. I continued to spin my wheels, I lost staff, I had a brand-new baby…and as a last-ditch effort, I joined TeamFloral.” “That was a turning point!” she says. “Not just for the business but for my personal life and being happy with what I do for a living. I’d been told all my life I’d be a starving Housed in a two-story, stand-alone building, Artistic Florist underwent a major renovation and expansion last year, increasing the available space from 2,600 to 5,200 square feet. The expansion has been made possible by a turnaround in the shop’s profit picture, following an intensive revision in business strategy.

OCTOBER 2015 55

florist. Yet, I wrestled with wondering why so many people went into this business if there wasn’t money to be made.” What she quickly learned from TeamFloral was that she was doing “so many bad things really well— wasting time and money.” Customers would initially balk at the price of an arrangement, so “we wouldn’t charge what we should have. We were so nervous about losing a sale we’d lower the price, then overstuff the arrangement.” After webinars and consults with TeamFloral, “I learned that I was way undercharging for delivery,” Brooke recalls. “When we looked at the numbers, we weren’t even covering the cost of the van, much less the driver to deliver our arrangements.” Another point of emphasis from TeamFloral was the shop’s website. “I had a standard website,” says Brooke, “but realized I needed to improve it—and wow, what a difference it made!” “My staff will always have turnaround. They come and go. It’s training yourself as the owner that has a lasting impact,” Brooke explains. “I can’t always control how many times the phone rings. But once it does ring, I can sway how much that customer is going to spend. I began to fill my books, not with more customers, but with arrangements that were going to be more profitable and make my existing customers happier.” The focus on business success has not taken away from Brooke’s recognition and growth as a designer. In particular, she has thrived under the mentorship of Hitomi Gilliam, traveling the world as a member of Hitomi’s handpicked design team. Brooke also teaches at a nearby Together with husband Dale, Brooke Raulerson AIFD, FSMD purchased Artistic Florist from her parents in 2005, when the economy was strong. Then the recession hit. “At heart I’m a designer, but I came to the realization that I can’t keep producing the floral designs I love unless I can sell them at a profit.”


college and at workshops throughout the state of Florida. TALKING SHOP Artistic Florist is located on Amelia Island—a stunning, thirteen-by-fourmile island on the northeastern tip of Florida. The two flagship hotels on the island are the Ritz Carlton and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. Other businesses there include two paper mills, which broadens the island’s demographic. “A lot of locals are seasonal, people who own second or third homes here. But there’s a blue-collar segment of the population that we also serve—we have something to appeal to everyone.” Amelia Island is a huge destination for weddings, mainly March through November. Last year, the shop underwent a major expansion: stairs were reinstalled connecting the ground floor to the second floor, which is now a 2,600-square-foot wedding and event showroom. The expansion is in line with Artistic Florist’s now booming lines of business in many different areas. In addition to a wide variety of fresh flowers and plants, the shop specializes in high-end permanent botanicals and other accessories for home décor. They also feature one of the country’s biggest holiday open houses, showcasing over 22 decorated trees inspired by interiors and trends of that year. “People routinely come from all over to see our work,” notes Brooke. “We sell completely decorated trees during the holidays. We decorate homes. We’re the preferred floral decorator of some of the resorts on the island, including the Omni. We’re known for our premium high-end weddings. And we have two outdoor breezeways where we showcase and sell a lot of household plants.” In addition to custom floral designs, Artistic Florist also offers plants, permanent botanicals, and home décor accessories, showcased in carefully color-coordinated displays. The shop’s merchandising style is clean and relatively spare: “We have noticed that when we showcase less, we sell more,” notes Brooke.

OCTOBER 2015 57

The shop is pleasingly spare: “Many shops put too much into their displays, with excessive draped fabric. We have noticed that when we showcase less, we sell more.” To keep the shop’s look fresh, Brooke strives to constantly see it from new and different perspectives by “walking through different doors. When we re-merchandise the shop, we notice that old merchandise starts to sell.” DOLLARS AND SENSE Sales training is one of the key factors that Brooke feels has helped her and her design team “work smarter, not harder. And it’s not just a one-time thing. With sales training, we continually review, test and repeat. “Just because we love what we do, doesn’t mean it can’t be profitable,” Brooke continues. “I’ve learned how to sell differently, with different scripts, and to not be afraid of change. This is how you offer your customer your best arrangements.” She explains that many florists are in the habit of beginning begin a sale by asking what someone wants to spend. “What we do now instead,” she says, “is, we listen to their need—the occasion, the impression they want to make—then we suggest the appropriate solution. When you go to a nice restaurant you don’t ask your waiter what they have for $50. You ask what’s on the menu, or they ask what you’re in the mood for, and you see what they recommend. Your taste buds are ignited to dictate what you’ll order and how much you’ll spend. “I like to pass this along when I teach— the idea that you can charge for your product and talent and make a living. Because, if all florists charged industry-standard rates, it would serve us all better. When we undersell in one region, it hurts the rest of the industry.” Conversely, says Brooke, “Here on Amelia Island many of our customers have second or third homes, or have the means to vacation at the Ritz or the Omni—but we set our prices similar to what the industry standard would be in say, Ohio. I buy from many different suppliers and use standard industry markups.”


ARTISTIC TRENDS As a Gen Y-er, Brooke uses social media as a matter of course— both for research and for marketing. “Brides come in with color schemes from Pinterest,” she notes. “On the internet, Facebook and Pinterest are the two go-to places I concentrate on. But Pinterest in particular is where I get the most ideas, and I can also use it as a marketing resources. If a bride comes in and says her color scheme is blue hydrangeas with white roses and yellow accents, I can type that into Pinterest’s search window and voilà, there’s a picture. I don’t need to have a photo book to show brides what we can offer.” What trends is Artistic Florist seeing on the island? “We’re seeing vintage,” says Brooke, “and rustic glamor. Chandeliers, mason jars, baby’s breath, peonies, premium flowers mixed with rustic flowers— and blush, blush, blush, peach and corals accented with grays.” For interiors, she adds, “More people going modern, looking for sleek design. They’re filling their homes with realistic permanent botanicals—clean and simple. That’s a look we can’t keep in stock.” As a final thought, Brooke offers, “Florists must think like a corporate business, from our websites and how we answer the phone to delivery and customer service. I don’t think of Artistic Florist as a small mom-andpop business. We’re a boutique; we deliver an experience. That helps us compete with box stores.” In the end, she says, what florists can do better than box stores is listen to the customer. ‘What brings you in today? What person or occasion are you buying for? First and foremost, we’re not just providers but consultants—on style, on gift giving, on how to deliver a mood or emotion. If we can always remember that, it helps everything else fall into place.” b A new second-story showroom is devoted to weddings and special events—big business for Artistic Florist, especially from March to November, when Amelia Island is a popular wedding and resort destination.

design tech


Basic design techniques from Cindy Tole


Photography by Ron Derhacopian

How to stabilize long stems in tall arrangements Sometimes tall stems need a little help to stay securely upright in foam if they are weak or will be moved from one venue to another. You can also use this technique (see next page) to help stems sit taller in a design, or for horizontal stem placements that may require extra support.

OCTOBER 2015 59

1. Lay a taped hyacinth stake next to the stem. The stake should extend no higher than the height at which it will be covered by later insertions. If your purpose is to extend the height of the stem in the arrangement, you may want the stake to extend below the end of the flower stem. In this case, the cut stem should still be inserted into the foam. It may sit higher in the foam, and that could mean a shorter vase life, but you may choose to make this compromise for a special event of short duration. If your purpose is simply to stabilize the stem, both the stem and the stake may be of the same length, or the stake even a little shorter. Choose florist wire heavy enough to hold both the stake and the stem securely. Wrap it around them both, starting at the top. Hold the wire in place with your thumb and wrap it all the way around the stem once, then down. At the bottom, if the stake extends beyond the stem, wrap the wire around just the stake a few times. 2. Make sure to tape your foam securely into the container, which helps to keep the weight of the tall stems from breaking it up. Add support only to those stems that need it—namely, stems that are not as strong as they need to be to stay upright, or stems that need a little extra height. In the finished design (on page 59), the stem supports are hidden behind other flowers and foliage. b




fresh focus

by Bruce Wright

Formerly a fragile summer flower, tweedia is now available—and performs beautifully —year-round.


espite its considerable charm, tweedia has never been a highly bankable flower—until now. For years it was available only from domestic growers, in limited quantities, and only from late spring through summer. It had the soft look of a garden flower that might wilt as soon as it was cut—and all too often lived up to those low expectations. No longer. New varieties of tweedia, like Angel Blue, Angel White, Pure Blue and Bridal Rouge, offer a dependable vase life of up to ten days. Breeding makes the difference—but so do advances in growing techniques and processing procedures. “Tweedia is highly sensitive to ethylene,” notes Gay Smith, technical consulting manager and postharvest care expert for Chrysal Americas. She recommends purchasing only tweedia that has been treated to protect against ethylene damage at both the grower and the wholesaler level, and following through yourself with brand-name holding and vase solutions (Gay suggests Chrysal Professional 2 for display and Professional 3 in the vase).

EAST TO WEST Moreover, tweedia is now offered yearround: in the summer, as always, from domestic sources, and nearly year-round from Japan. With a wide range of climatic regions from north to south, Japanese growers ship tweedia from the cooler, northern growing areas in the summer, from the south in the winter and spring. While blue is the classic tweedia color and remains the most popular, pink and white varieties, like Bridal Rouge and Angel White, are also available. In blue varieties, the blue of the petals is intensified by darker blue centers. The long, felted, heart-shaped leaves offer another attractive feature. Native to Brazil and Uruguay, tweedia grows in the wild as a tropical vine— which means that in the greenhouse, the plants may require support structures, like the wide-mesh netting visible at right.

OCTOBER 2015 61

Indeed, October through June—the exact complement of the domestic season—is the ideal harvest time for tweedia grown in the large flower-growing region of Kochi on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. Kochi winters are temperate, perfect for growing the hardy, long-stemmed tweedia for which the region has become famous. Tweedia ranks number four among Japanese flower exports to North America (after sweet peas, ranunculus, and scabiosa), with 70,000 stems shipped in 2014. “We sell this flower to customers in North America every week,” says Haruna Nishiyama of Naniwa Flower Auction, the leading exporter of Japanese cut flowers to the U.S. SOMETHING BLUE Although tweedia is also available in white and pink, blue is the classic color. The botanical name for tweedia is Tweedia caerulea (or Oxypetalum caeruleum)—caerulea meaning blue. Among different varieties, and depending on growing conditions, the blue ranges from pale to bright, sometimes with hints of lavender. While the white and pink varieties also perform well, blue remains the most popular, probably because of the relative scarcity of similar small blue flowers. The five-petaled flowers of tweedia have a center that is white in the case of white and pink tweedia, a darker blue in the case of blue flowers. Visit a tweedia greenhouse early in the morning and you may notice a pearl of nectar glistening on the center of the flower—a lovely sight. Also worthy of appreciation are the long, heart-shaped, gray-green leaves of tweedia, with a furry, felted texture like lamb’s ear. HARVEST TIME As with many other cut flowers, the conventional wisdom is changing as to how long the flower should be left on the plant for maximum beauty and vase life. In the past, tweedia stems were often sold with perhaps only a third of the flowers open. Now, the standard is that almost all the flowers on a stem should be open. “If the stem is cut while the buds are still opening, the stem’s energy goes toward opening up


From farms like the one at left in the Kochi area of southern Japan, tweedia is now shipped to wholesale customers in North America from October to June, extending the season for a valued flower. Nearly all tweedia is grown from seed, which means that some greenhouses are full of flowers grown not for harvest, but to produce seed for the next crop—assisted by pollinator bees. the buds,” says Haruna. The unopened buds may still bloom, but the flowers will be smaller and their color less intense. And stems that are left longer on the plant may benefit in shippability and durability by growing thicker and stronger before they are cut (though only up to a point, naturally). On the other hand, one of the characteristics of the newer varieties is that they offer many densely clustered buds—so you don’t need and may not even want all of them open. The standard in the past has been five to eight blooms per stem, with stem lengths up to 16 inches. Today this may be considered a minimum for premium tweedia flowers like those shipped from Japan. (For a partial list of wholesale distributors who carry Japanese flowers, see the May 2015 issue of Flowers&, page 28.) Tweedia is just the kind of flower that feels both familiar and novel at once—a flower that customers won’t know to ask for until you show it to them, but once they see it, it’s like an old friend. That’s a nice flower to have on hand, or on offer, not just during the summer months, but all year long. b

OCTOBER 2015 63

where to buy

continued on page 64

For more information on merchandise featured in Flowers&, contact the supplier directly. Direct links to most suppliers can be found on the Flowers& website, Use the links under “Advertisers in This Issue” or the link to our searchable, online Buyers’ Guide at the top of the Flowers& home page.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS Accent Décor, Inc. Call 800-385-5114 or visit Alexandra Farms. Call 305-528-3657 or visit Burton + Burton. Call 800-241-2094 or visit


Design Master Color Tool. Call 800-525-2644 or visit

pages 8-9 Fresh cedar wreath and White Mist and Gilded foliages, Wm. F. Puckett. Deco Rocks in Silver, Accent Décor.

Dramm & Echter. Call 800-854-7021 or visit

FLOWER TALES, pages 10-12

FloraCraft. Call 800-253-0409 or visit

Hydrangea, Sun Valley. Mia Vase, Syndicate Sales.

FlowerBox. Call 866-396-1185 or visit

HOLIDAY HELPERS, pages 26-41 Fresh holiday evergreens throughout (including holly, cedar, pine, and oregonia), Oregon Roses.

MIX AND MATCH, page 28 Styrofoam wreath form, FloraCraft.

TREESCAPE, page 29 Silver glass trees, Jamali. Gold-sprayed succulents, Dramm & Echter.




pages 36-37

page 39

Zion Pot and Bowl, Accent Décor. Styrofoam cone, FloraCraft. Vitality white garden roses, Alexandra Farms. LA hybrid lilies, Dramm & Echter. Antique-style cream-colored square lantern, Jamali.

Gloss white urn, Jamali. Festive Bamboo in platinum, Accent Décor.

pg 28

Knud Nielsen. Call 800-633-1682 or visit Nashville Wraps. Call 800-547-9727 or visit

HEAVENLY SPHERES, page 38 Netted floral-foam sphere, Smithers-Oasis.

Oregon Roses. Call 888-292-7404 or visit

pg 36

Schusters of Texas. Call 800-351-1493 or visit

pages 30-31 12-inch wire wreath forms, FloraCraft. Super Silver metallic color spray, Design Master.

Smithers-Oasis. Call 800-321-8286 or visit



White gloss gift box, Nashville Wraps.

page 40

THE ORCHID TREE, page 33 Floral-foam cone, Smithers-Oasis. Bamboo tray, Teleflora. Moss Mat, Schusters of Texas.

pg 34

Sparkling Winter Wonderland ornament jar, Teleflora. Vitality white garden roses, Alexandra Farms. White birch branches, Knud Nielsen.


page 41

pages 34-35

Rustic Glass Holders, Burton + Burton. White LA lilies and Player mini gerberas, Dramm & Echter. White birch branches, Knud Nielsen. Creative Coils, Syndicate Sales.

9-inch Silhouette Vases in lime green, FlowerBox. Wanted red garden roses, Alexandra Farms.


Jamali Garden and Floral Supply. Call 212-979-0108 or visit

The Sun Valley Group. Call 800-747-0396 or visit Syndicate Sales. Call 800-428-0515 or visit Teleflora. Call 800-333-0205 or visit Wm. F. Puckett. Call 800-426-3376 or visit

what’s in store

EVERYONE’S FAVORITE BEAGLE With the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” customers will be thinking Snoopy this season. Who could resist a cookie jar that captures the classic image of Snoopy asleep on top of his doghouse? Made of handglazed, hand-painted ceramic. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

WARM AND FUZZY Standing 17.5 inches tall, each of these Fabric Nordic Gnomes comes dressed in red, white, and gray, accented by cozy Christmas sweater-inspired fabrics and patterns. They come to you as a pair but are priced to sell for a suggested retail price of $22.50 each. Call 800-243-9627 or visit

DECORATE ME! Rosemary and cypress mini “Christmas trees” come in a range of sizes and wraps from Coastal Nursery in central California. Fragrant, cone-shaped rosemary trees are offered with a holiday cookbook that teaches how to use the culinary herb; lemon cypress (shown) brings an attractive light green color to the table. Visit

RECYCLED AND MADE IN THE USA The Winter Wishes line from Nashville Wraps includes shopping bags, basket boxes, and gift wrap paper ® that carry the Green Way logo; all products contain a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content. Call 800-547-9727 or visit

OCTOBER 2015 65

industry events For the most recent additions to Teleflora Unit Programs, go to and click on Design Education to access the Floral Event Calendar in the Unit Program section.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL OCTOBER 28-30, BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA Proflora, Corferias Convention Center. Visit

DECEMBER 7-23, ATLANTA, GA FloraMart market dates for fall/ Christmas 2016 merchandise, FloraMart. Visit

JANUARY 2-15, 2016, ATLANTA, GA FloraMart market dates for fall/ Christmas 2016 merchandise, FloraMart. Visit




FloraMart market dates for spring/ summer 2017 merchandise (closed on Father’s Day, June 19), FloraMart. Visit

Heartland Convention (Nebraska Florists Society), program includes Fall & Christmas Designs with Hitomi Gilliam, Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites Central. Call Sylvia Samuel at 402-612-2588, email thenebraskafloristssociety@gmail. com or visit

New York Capitol District Unit, Holiday Designs with Tom Bowling, Gulderland Elks Lodge. Call Cheryl Knott at 518-237-4622.

JULY 3-7, 2016, ORANGE COUNTY, CA AIFD National Symposium: “Inspiration,” Anaheim Marriott. Call the American Institute of Floral Designers at 410-752-3318 or visit

JULY 11-22, 2016, ATLANTA, GA FloraMart market dates for spring/ summer 2017 merchandise, FloraMart. Visit

SEPTEMBER 21-24, 2016, MAUI, HI SAF Annual Convention, RitzCarlton Kapalua. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit

OCTOBER 18, ST. LOUIS, MO Lewis & Clark Unit, Sympathy Designs with Susan Ayala, LaSalle Wholesale. Call Jon Kuhlman at 314-965-8440.

MARCH 3-6, 2016, GRAND RAPIDS, MI Great Lakes Floral Expo, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place Convention Center. Call 517-5750110 or visit

MARCH 11-13, 2016, PIERRE, SD JANUARY 12-14, 2016, ORLANDO, FL The Special Event, Orange County Convention Center. Visit

DECEMBER 5-16, 2016, ATLANTA, GA FloraMart market dates for fall/ Christmas 2017 merchandise, FloraMart. Visit

South Dakota Florists Association Convention, Ramkota Hotel & Suites. Visit

APRIL 1-3, 2016, GREEN BAY, WI JANUARY 20-22, 2016, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), Broward County Convention Center. Call the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association at 800-375-3642 or visit

JANUARY 26-29, 2016, ESSEN, GERMANY IPM Essen, Messe Essen exhibition complex. Visit

JULY 1-5, 2017, SEATTLE, WA National AIFD Symposium, Sheraton Seattle. Call the American Institute of Floral Designers at 410-752-3318 or visit

NORTHEAST REGION JUNE 30-JULY 5, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC National AIFD Symposium, Washington Marriott Wardman Park. Call the American Institute of Floral Designers at 410-752-3318 or visit

CENTRAL REGION MARCH 14-15, ARLINGTON, VA SAF Congressional Action Days, Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. Call the Society of American Florists at 800336-4743 or visit


Wisconsin & Upper Michigan Florists’ Association Convention, Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. Call 517-253-7730 or visit

OCTOBER 7, DAYTON, OH Ohio Buckeye Unit, Sympathy Designs with Tim Farrell, Nordlie, Inc. Call Donna Traylor at 513-932-3361.

OCTOBER 4, WATERVILLE, ME Maine Unit, Everyday Designs with Tim Farrell, T & B Celebration Center. Call Barbara Frye at 207-942-7386.

OCTOBER 7, PITTSBURGH, PA Western Pennsylvania Unit, Holiday Designs with Vonda LaFever, Pittsburgh Cut Flower. Call Janet Woloszyk at 412-818-0791.

OCTOBER 14, PENNSAUKEN, NJ Penn Jersey Unit, Everyday Designs with Kevin Ylvisaker, Pennock Company. Call Linda Bogarde at 215-547-4552.

OCTOBER 21, HIGHTSTOWN, NJ New Jersey Garden State Unit, Christmas on a Budget with Jerome Raska, Sieck Wholesale Florist. Call Steve Rogala at 732-251-0049.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION OCTOBER 13, SAN ANTONIO, TX Central Texas Unit, Holiday & Christmas Designs with Susan Ayala, Bill Doran Wholesale. Call Becky Stirnkorb at 254-547-6321.

SOUTHEAST REGION SEPTEMBER 27, SILVER SPRING, MD DC-MD-VA Unit, Parties & Events with Alex Jackson, Potomac Wholesale. Call Wanda Stone at 301-662-0606.

OCTOBER 4, RICHMOND, VA Colonial Virginia Unit, Wedding & Body Flowers with Vonda LaFever, Strange’s Greenhouse. Call Cindy Reynolds at 804-360-2800.

WESTERN REGION OCTOBER 2-4, GREAT FALLS, MT Montana Florists Association Convention, Hilton Garden Inn. Call MFA Secretary Kari Johnson at 406771-6828 or visit

OCTOBER 25, ALHAMBRA, CA Los Angeles Coastal Counties Unit, Everyday Trends with Alex Jackson, Almansour Court. Call Bruce Wataru at 323-829-5831.

advertiser links


Advertisers’ websites are hyperlinked on the Flowers& website. Go to and click on “Advertisers in This Issue.”

EMPLOYMENT Florasearch, Inc.

ACCENT DÉCOR, INC. 800-385-5114






DOLLAR TREE DIRECT 877-530-TREE (8733) FITZ DESIGN, INC. 800-500-2120

E-mail: Website:







KRISTIN & COMPANY 800-433-0983




PETE GARCIA COMPANY 800-241-3733 ROYAL FLOWERS 800-977-4483

Combo walkins, storage, reach-ins 800-729-5964







SEMINOLE 800-638-3378


SMITHERS-OASIS 800-321-8286


SYNDICATE SALES 800-428-0515

Refrigerators For Flowers


FLOWERBOX 866-396-1185

NASHVILLE WRAPS, LLC, 800-547-9727

In our third decade of performing confidential key employee searches for the floriculture industry and allied trades worldwide. Retained basis only. Candidate contact welcome, confidential, and always free. 1740 Lake Markham Rd., Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 320-8177 / Fax: (407) 320-8083


Portland, Oregon

WEDDINGS John Toomey Co

Wedding Aisle Runners Rentals & Sales UPS Shipments

TELEFLORA 800-333-0205 VASE VALET 316-747-2579

(800) 421-0052

White Cotton Runners

5, 25


OCTOBER 2015 67

wholesaler connection ARIZONA PHOENIX Conroy Wholesale Florist The Roy Houff Company CALIFORNIA FRESNO Designer Flower Center INGLEWOOD American Magazines & Books OAKLAND Piazza International Floral SACRAMENTO Flora Fresh SAN DIEGO San Diego Florist Supplies SANTA ROSA Sequoia Floral International FLORIDA PENSACOLA American Floral Wholesale of Pensacola Carlstedt’s, LLC GEORGIA OMEGA Hornbuckle Wholesale Florist HAWAII HONOLULU Flora-Dec Sales ILLINOIS CHICAGO The Roy Houff Company NORMAL The Roy Houff Company WHEELING The Roy Houff Company

KANSAS WICHITA Valley Floral Company KENTUCKY LOUISVILLE The Roy Houff Company LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE Louisiana Wholesale Florists MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON Jacobson Floral Supply

PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH Keystone Ribbon & Floral Pittsburgh Cut Flower Company SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc. TENNESSEE NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company


VIRGINIA NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company


WASHINGTON TACOMA Washington Floral Service

MISSOURI ST LOUIS LaSalle Wholesale Florist

CANADA BURNABY, BC Kirby/Signature Floral Supply

NEW YORK CAMPBELL HALL Alders Wholesale Florist OHIO DAYTON Nordlie, Inc. NORTH CANTON Canton Wholesale Floral

MALAYSIA SELANGOR Worldwide Floral Services SINGAPORE Worldwide Floral Services



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