Posts tagged "Florists for Change"

florist-generations-flower-shop

Florists’ Thoughts: Three Generations of Flowers

September 27th, 2017 Posted by Idalina Bertone Blog, Florists for Change, Florists' Thoughts, Flower History, Opening a Flower Shop, weddings 8 thoughts on “Florists’ Thoughts: Three Generations of Flowers”
florist-generations

Family-owned floral businesses rarely survive the transition from the first generation to the second. As a matter of fact, in this day and age, they are becoming more and more obsolete.

Many studies have shown that there is a high impact on family-owned and run businesses on our economy. In the floral industry, there was a time when this was the norm: a local flower shop stayed in the family, resulting in a local staple, while the whole family was able to live comfortably from running the family-owned flower shop. There was never a question of whether their children would continue the business after their parents’ retirement.

On our quest to find a third-generation family-owned flower shop, we came across Lighthouse Flower Shop in Mesa, Arizona. We thought it would be illuminating to have a brief Q&A with Lisa Miller, the third-generation owner of Lighthouse Flower Shop. This extraordinary accomplishment of running a successful flower business for 58 years definitely beats the statistical odds. We hope you find this interview encouraging, informative, and a piece of floral business history.

Lisa-Miller-age-5

Lisa, Age 5

 

What year did your grandmother Hope Griffin open the flower shop, and do you know why she decided to open a flower shop?

Her first flower shop was in Presque Isle, Maine, and Grandma Hope saw that people getting married at the local church needed wedding flowers, so she decided to open a flower shop.

Tell us how the name Lighthouse Flower Shop came to be.

It was originally called Griffin’s Flowers in Maine and the first few years here in Arizona, but when my mother Ruth took over she renamed it Lighthouse Flowers as a tribute to Northern Maine.

 

Lisas-Mom

Lisa’s mom, Ruth

 

When did your mother take over the Flower Shop and why?

My mother Ruth—my Grandma Hope’s daughter-in-law—took over the flower shop in 1974. My mom took over because she didn’t have anything else lined up, and she did have a knack for the floral business.

What is the earliest memory you have at Lighthouse Flower Shop?

Besides being there every day after school and on weekends, I remember making Mother’s Day corsages when I was in elementary school. Once for show and tell I even taught the class how to make corsages. Not bad for a little girl, wiring flowers together!

lisa-and-sister-

Lisa and Linda

As we see in the picture above, you have a sister (Linda Tomblin). Did she ever participate in the flower shop business?

She doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, but she went on to become a kindergarten teacher.

When did you take over the family business?

Four years ago, when my mother decided to retire.

Do you still see her around the shop often?

Yes, every day. She actually just ran a delivery for me with my daughter.

What would you say has made your floral business so successful for 58 years?

We are still the original family who owned the shop, and we have customers who are multi-generational. Also, we can have competitive prices because we own our building.

Did your grandmother, mother, or yourself use a wire service? Do you still?

My grandmother no, but Mom used to have Redbook and Carrick—I remember the flip book with the 5×7 pictures we kept on the counter.

We tried a major wire service for about a month. All their arrangements were short and tiny and we got too many complaints.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in the success of your flower shop?

Customer service, honesty with our customers, and high-quality product. I only take on orders I can handle, that I know will represent my brand—even if it means turning business away sometimes.

What are some of the biggest hurdles you’ve encountered while building the family-owned floral business, and how did you overcome them?

Learning to work with social media, SEO, and getting into advertising for the first time. My grandmother and mother did not believe in advertising, so their business all came from word-of-mouth. It was a simpler time to start a business, and there was a smaller variety of flowers and colors to sell in general.

Running a family-owned business can have its pros and cons. What would you say are some of the pros and cons?

Pro: I can set my own hours and have creative control over all projects I choose to take on.

Con: Long hours, and it’s hard to find experienced part-time help around the holidays.

By your measures (or from what you can remember) what year would you say you sold the most flowers?

When I started branding/marketing this created an explosion. This year has been our best year ever. Last week was actually one of my most profitable weeks, it was like a little Mother’s Day week.

What is one change to the floral industry that you didn’t see coming? Is there anything that you did predict?

Pinterest is by far the biggest change. Everyone comes in with the same picture—they don’t allow me to be creative, and everyone asks for burgundy dahlias.

I did predict that people would spend less on events like weddings. A lot of couples are spending less on wedding flowers, but I have noticed that everyday arrangements sales have doubled in price over the last two years.

Do you have kids? Are they going to continue the legacy of Lighthouse Flower Shop? 

I have two children, Zoe 17 and Logan 20. At this point in time, they do not want to continue the business.

Does that make you sad?

It does, and I love this business. Nobody else in the family wants the shop. It’s been here for so long, but I’m holding out hope for a fourth generation.

 

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Lisa’s grandmother, Hope

 

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started running the flower shop?

My shop is much more profitable when we do fewer weddings. Last October I did 40 weddings, but they were smaller, and I’ve had to turn down other work to keep up with weddings.

What tip would you give someone that wants to be successful with weddings?

Be brave and charge for your work, and charge up front.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give someone who is opening a flower shop? 

Be prepared to compete with large grocers and wire service websites, and taking the time to educate customers about the difference between these sites and stores and a real brick-and-mortar shop. Your quality will always speak volumes for your brand, never skimp on quality.

 

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Lisa’s Wedding, 1995

If you could do anything besides own and operate a flower shop, what would it be?

I would love to be an auto mechanic because I love cars. I also tried to get into the army, but they told me I was too small, so the flower business it was 🙂

 

We all want to know what your grandma’s, mom’s, and your favorite flowers are.

My grandmother loved amaryllis and bearded iris. My mom doesn’t have a favorite. I really like hyacinths and red heart garden roses.

 

In closing, there are many young new florists. What advice would you give them?

It takes so much hard work to be a good florist and a lot of patience. Everyone who wants to own a flower shop should apprentice at a flower shop. You must keep your flower shop updated on the outside—every year I update my flower shop to keep it feeling fresh.

~~~

One thing we learned in interviewing Lisa is that you can’t start a flower business with the intent to keep it for your family, your goal should be to run a successful business for yourself, and if your family follows your example, that’s icing on the cake. As technology encroaches deeper into our lives, it’s important to remember how Lisa ended our interview: “Robots will never be able to arrange flowers.” We couldn’t agree more.


Florists, are you a second- or third-generation flower shop owner? Please share your feedback below in the comment section.

 

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Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Flowers & Animals

July 6th, 2016 Posted by Idalina Bertone Blog, photos, Stunning Photo Galleries 6 thoughts on “Flowers & Animals”

Flowers-Animals-Photo1

 

Want a Pick-Me-Up? These Flower and Animal Photos will Do the Trick!

 

Horse-Flowers

(Image via m.google.com)

Dog-Flowers

(Image via gplus.slfeed.net)

Bear-Flower

(image via justcuteanimals.com)

Ducks-Flowers-Magic

(image via Richard Austin / Nature Animal Pictures)

Did you know?

  • Flowers and animals are #1 in evoking true feelings of bliss.
  • Looking at flower and animal images help you do better at work or complete a project.
  • Taking time to meditate on an image helps you outperform your peers.
  • Giving and looking at flowers gives the receiver a feeling of euphoria.
  • Both men and women scored higher in their social behavior when they were given flowers.

Top 7 flowers that evoke emotional state of mind

Animals-with-flowers

(image via PhotoFind)

Gerbera Daisies – give off a warm fuzzy feeling.

 

Cat-Lily

(Image via www.kingwestvets.com)

Lilies – evoke romance with its fragrance.

 

Dog-Tulips

(Image via wallpapersbuzz.com)

Tulips – helps lighten you up, don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

Monkey-Roses

(Image via readme.ru)

Roses – gives you a sense of love and security.

 

Hummingbird-Flower

(Image via Pinterest)

Gladioli – makes you motivated.

 

Cat-Hydrangeas

(Image via good4yourpet.com.au)

Hydrangeas – peaceful and calming effect.

 

Animals-Flowers-Magic

(image via Richard Austin / Nature Animal Pictures)

Daffodils – makes you happy.

Sometimes we need a little break to put us back in an emotional state of well-being. Please leave a comment below if any of these images helped put a smile on your face!

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Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Floranext Florist POS To Support Flower Shop Network

April 17th, 2013 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Point of Sale, Florist POS, florist technology, florist-software, Flower Shop Network, FSN, Opening a Flower Shop 3 thoughts on “Floranext Florist POS To Support Flower Shop Network”

Floranext POS customers can send and receive florist orders through Flower Shop Network.

Floranext is excited to announce a partnership with Flower Shop Network. We are happy to be able to offer another great tool to independent florists.

Floranext florist Point of Sale customers can now send and receive florist to florist orders through Flower Shop Network.

Floranext POS customers can access  FSN’s thousands of member florists across the US and Canada.

FSN’s Florist to Florist Orders

  • No monthly fees.
  • Pay only when you send.
  • Receiving florist gets 80%, not 70% or 73% like wire services.
  • Receiving florist gets paid weekly for orders filled.
  • Send orders electronically at $3.99 per order.

How Floranext POS Works with FSN

Sending Orders – Send orders right in Floranext POS- no double entry, saving time and margin of error.

Receiving Orders – The Floranext florist POS automatically pulls FSN florist to florist orders. You get notified about an order by FSN by email and text message – you can then go to your Floranext POS orders list and either Accept or Reject the incoming order.

Floranext and Flower Shop Network – Try Free

Want to try out Floranext’s florist Point of Sale with FSN integration? Contact us for a free demo or free trial.

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here!

Florists for Change - Wire Services

Florists for Change – Wire Service Presentations

October 5th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Resources, Florists for Change 1 thought on “Florists for Change – Wire Service Presentations”
Florists for Change - Wire Services

Teleflora Chairman Tom Butler

FFC gave the wire services a chance to engage with the audience, respond, and answer questions.

Bloomnet Presentation – Gino Marotta, Director of National Sales

– Their model – Shops that use more pay more, shops that use less, pay less. “Support legislation deceptive advertising. Have not had a fee increase in 3 years. ”

– Declined affiliate membership – because of ambiguity of membership. Legal council says when you’re public, you can’t make an agreement without Board approval

– How to support national ad campaign – not a clear answer. Could create fee for members, but don’t like that idea. Or could partner by offering discounts to member of FFC and put that towards FFC.

Teleflora Presentation – Tom Butler, Chairman and others

– Teleflora is a technology company: 5,000 POS users, 7,500 Credit Card users, 11,000 web users, 15,000 Dove

– TF believes it is pro-local – $3 million spend on Superbowl ad anti-boxed flowers.

– Reducing the split to 90/10 — it’s a challenge because then other companies who don’t agree will pick up the extra orders from order gatherers. It will be bad for Teleflora members because it will reduce the number of incoming orders.

 

Florists for Change – Committee Decisions

October 5th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Resources, Florists for Change 1 thought on “Florists for Change – Committee Decisions”

Attendees interested in specific committees met to start talking and making decisions. Some were straightforward, others were less so. Floranext participated in the Technology committee discussion, but here is a summary of all of them.

Florists for Change - Discussions

Legislative committee – discussed wire service fees and rebates.

– Fee Split: Agreement on the need to achieve a 90/10 split between sender and receiving florist in order to dis-incentivize order gatherers. Feeling that rebates won’t go away, but need to be fairer. Controversial discussions were on whether to include grocery store florists as in FFC.

Organization Committee – FFC has created a legal entity

– Legal Entity: a 501c6 — a league of business owners. This limits what FFC can do – for example, any F2F network cannot be part of this organization.

Representation: Any committee would need to represent different size of shops, since they may have different interests. This would be assessed by the number of employees, with four categories of shop size.

Election and Terms: Two-year terms, elections in January via Internet, to allow for maximum participation. One member one vote was discussed – should multi-shop operations get more than one vote? Probably not.

Role of Committees: Committees make recommendations, board makes decisions.

Membership Committee – Cost and privileges of membership

– Fees: $120/year for florists, $500/year for Associate Members + some clearly defined revenue stream. Right now membership fee will be low because benefits and discounts are still in process

– Spreading the Word – Goal for everyone present to talk to 10 florists, and get them to talk to 5 more. That will give us 25% of the floral industry or more, and that is a real movement.

Technology Committee – FFC is there to support independent technology vendors, rather than to build technologies itself.

F2F Network: Discussion of the need for scale, clearing house competency, PCI compliance that make creating a F2F network a major undertaking. For now FFC is supportive of independent providers of F2F network.

– Florist directory: Discussion about creating a directory of florists. Would require a new brand, separate from FFC

– Access to Wire Service Orders: Currently in order to get wire service orders on a POS, you need to buy wire service hardware/software. Can we force wire services to inter-operate with other companies technology, so you can be a member of a wire service without buying their technology?

– Comparison Chart: FFC should create a comparison chart of technology options for member florists.

Florists for Change Committees

Florists for Change – Committees

October 4th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Resources, Florists for Change 0 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Committees”

The Florists for Change event is on in Atlanta, with over 100 florists from around the US and a few from canada.

One of the primary targets was to discuss and organize committees. Floranext participated in discussions, with a focus on technology solutions for the industry.

Here are the committees that were discussed:

Florists for Change Committees

Florists for Change Committees

– Organization – discuss the organization of the group itself: voting, membership dues, etc.

– Communications – official source for authorized docs, phone call/email trees, public relations, media interviews and write-ups, website and social media

– Technology/F2F Order Transmission- Look at existing platforms – compare to ideal, Evaluate tech companies as potential associate members

– Legislative – Define “deceptive order gathering”, Identify reliable info on “deceptive order gatherers”, Analyze existing consumer protection laws and legislation, Work in state legislatures

– Liaison – Interact with industry organizations including WS, Act in ombudsman capacity, Represent FFC with international organizations

– Membership – Membership costs, Member benefits, Database of member information

– Finance and Accounting – Pay the bills (there was no preliminary meeting of finance as it was deemed premature)

– Advertising and Marketing – Develop funding mechanisms, FFC website advertising, F2F order transmission (there was no preliminary meeting of finance as it was deemed premature)

Florists for Change – Letter to Vendors

October 4th, 2011 Posted by Admin Florist Resources, Florists for Change 2 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Letter to Vendors”

Florists for Change’s Atlanta meeting will focus heavily on inviting vendors to present their solutions. Floranext will present our florist POS and florist website solution.

Here is the invitation letter from the FFC team to vendors.

Florists For Change - Invitation to Floranext

Image via google.com

We are in Atlanta and covering the Florists for Change event. Here was the agenda for the day!

Dear Floral Industry Service Provider:
As you likely know, Florists for Change (“FFC”) is a new organization whose principal purpose is to improve the industry for the traditional retail florist (“TRF”). We, the four founding trustees of FFC, will seek strategic relationships with a variety of floral industry service providers and suppliers (“FIS”) whom FFC may elect to designate Associate Members, based upon a set of requirements and uniformly applied selection criteria established solely by we trustees and authorized officers of FFC. Associate Membership in FFC will confer certain responsibilities, obligations, and benefits to the FIS, as established and modified from time to time by FFC.

Should your company wish to apply for Associate Membership in FFC in the future, and should you wish to engage the florist attendees of the upcoming FFC meeting in Atlanta on October 03, 2011, we encourage you to respond to this letter immediately, clearly stating the reasons your company should be designated an Associate Member of FFC, explaining how its involvement will be of benefit to FFC, providing a detailed outline of your presentation, in which you explain how you will meet and adhere to the responsibilities and obligations of Associate Membership described below. Your presentation will be of 10 minutes maximum duration, followed by 5-minutes maximum for questions from the floor.

We trustees will carefully review your response and outline to determine whether it would be appropriate for you to make such a presentation at this meeting. A limited number of FIS guests will be invited to speak, and those will have demonstrated their clear intent of supporting and advancing the goals of FFC.

Responsibilities and Obligations of Associate Membership
An Associate Member (“AM”) of FFC must publicly state in writing its endorsement and support of FFC with an explicit pledge to assist FFC in achieving its Mission:
Florists for Change is dedicated to improving the economics of the retail florist by encouraging industry advertising, providing exceptional consumer value, and promoting equitable trading among florists.

This endorsement must also explicitly support FFC’s Code of Ethics. On a practical level, this means that an AM must pledge the following:
1. To not knowingly conduct or support business entities who conduct deceptive (consumer) advertising in the floral industry for the purpose of order aggregation.
a. In this context, a deceptive advertiser is one which purposefully misrepresents itself as a local florist in given market when in fact it is not, or which purposefully utilizes the name of one or more established local florists to willfully confuse and thereby deceive consumers in believing that it is the entity misrepresented, when in fact it is not.

2. To conduct its business operations through the prism of the “Golden Rule”, focusing on high ethical standards of fair trading, providing the highest possible value for its customers, and promoting an unconditional, unequivocal, unlimited, no-hassle 100% satisfaction guarantee to its customers, any of whom might be TRFs, other AMs, or end-consumers.

3. For so long as an FIS is an AM of FFC, it must contribute to FFC an agreed-upon percentage of sales of its goods and services to FFC members for the specific purpose of funding a multi-year, pervasive, non-brand specific “Buy Local Flowers” advertising campaign. Said campaign(s) will be developed and managed solely by FFC with the intention of use in the North American market. AMs must account for said sales and periodically present the same to FFC, and agree to periodic audits of said accounting upon 30-days prior written demand by FFC.

Benefits of Associate Membership
By virtue of your Associate Membership in FFC, you overtly demonstrate to the floral community:
1. your concern for the welfare of floral consumers, the industry, and traditional retail florists, and your recognition that we are all operate symbiotically in this business,

2. your agreement that positive changes for improvements in this industry are overdue, most particularly, general category advertising compelling consumers to buy flowers from local florists,

3. your confirmation that your business is profoundly and refreshingly different than from the deceptive advertisers that hurt consumers and TRFs.

FFC will publicly endorse products and services of AMs to its general membership and potential members as a benefit of general membership, and will individually feature its AMs in printed and electronic communications with general members of FFC.

For a nominal charge, FFC will provide a list of AMs on a page on the FFC website, and each AM will be represented by a business-card sized link to the AM’s website, and FFC will provide AMs qualified periodic lists of FFC general members who have opted to receive marketing materials from FFC and its AMs. Said charges will be directly applied to the FFC advertising fund.

By helping FFC, you help your own business. Together, we truly can bring the goals of FFC to fruition. We urge you to get on board for the good of our great industry. If not now, when? If not you, who? After all, we ARE Florists for Change!

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,

Betsy Hall – Hall’s Flower Shop and Garden Center, Stone Mountain GA
Keith Hill – Beaverton Florists, Beaverton, OR
Dirk Lorenz – Fremont Flowers, Fremont, CA
Mike Fiannaca – Sparks Florist, Reno and Sparks, NV

Florists for Change – Breakout Session Summary

August 17th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Resources, Florists for Change 4 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Breakout Session Summary”

The Florist for Change afternoon breakout session was productive – the group separated into four groups to discuss some key topics, including the cause of inertia, where the industry will be in 5 years, and how a florist to florist technology network would work.

Florist-For-Change

What causes inertia in the flower industry?

What causes inertia?
– Fear of the unknow
– Fragmented industry – hard to organize for change
– Old Dogs – too much trouble to change
– Lack of Time
– Lack of Leadership

Where will the industry be in 5 years?

Where will the flower industry be in 5 years?

Where will the industry be in 5 years?
– Decline in retail shops
– Decline in profits
– Price matters more- Flowers as gift category declines due to dissatisfaction
– Additional Drop-ships

How are flower shops' interests aligned with wire services?

How are flower shops’ interests aligned with wire services?

Where are florists’ interests aligned with wire services?
– Want flowers to be the gifts of choice for consumers
– We both need a clearing house to push out/share orders
– We need technology solutions
– Want good customer experience
– Importance of standardized products
– Want to make profits

Where do interests diverge?
– No longer partners, competition
– Products that are advertised are un-fillable
– More personal relationship with customer
– Imbalance of profits

What happens if florists refuse orders?
– Customers will lose out, bad for industry
– Some florist will always fill the order (grocery stores, etc.)
– Orders that are refused will go to drop ship

Florist-For-Change

What technology solutions can help the industry?

Florist to Florist direct order system?
– Needs to be simple – any florist can use
– Needs to be easy to use – able to be built into any POS or accessible via a website
– Cleaning house could be replaced with credit card
– Reputation system (visibile to florists only) like eBay or Yelp for florists to rank other florists
– Could change the split or vary per florist
– Florist to Florist direct order system is a standard, not than a single technology
– Potential for national brand/website/local florist directory that would compete for marketing with wire services

What does this look like to the consumer?
– National brand with logo, appealing to young consumers
– Ownership vs. cooperation?
– Florists need to educate customers
– A website, but one that showcases local florists (unlike wire services, which promote their own brand only)

Florist-For-Change

Florists for Change – The Proposal

August 17th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florists for Change 2 thoughts on “Florists for Change – The Proposal”

The morning discussion focused on some key principles and positive solutions to help the floral industry:

The Proposal

Action 1: Strive to focus on the consumer
– Build value convenience, lyoatly
– Offer and promote an unconditional 100% satisfaciton guarantee
– Legistlate DOGs (deceptive order gatherer) out

Action 2: Create a “Buy local flowers” national campaign
– “Got Milk”, “Happy Cows California Cheese”

Action 3: Consider non-profit, F2F direct order mechanism
– Sell your products at your prices and dedlivery fee
– You pay me a commission baed on my cost+ profit
– Don’t fill unprofitable incoming orders

Florist-For-Change

Florists for Change – The Proposal for Change

“When the consumer loses, we lose. When the consumer wins we win.” – Mike Fiannaca

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

Florists for Change – Mission Statement

August 17th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florists for Change 0 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Mission Statement”

The morning session kicked off with Mike Fiannaca detailing the mission statement. “The status quo is not sustainable.”

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

Mike Fiannaca from Sparks Florist – detailing the Florists for Change Mission Statement

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

Florists for Change – Mission Statment

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

Vote on Florists for Change Mission Statement

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

Florists for Change – Goals

Florist-For-Change-Las-Vegas

“When you’re starting a revolution, it’s helpful to have a uniform.”