Thursday, 8 December 2011

Xmas online

We got round to adding our Xmas range to the website last week, but I've not had time to get on here and let you all know, so here's telling you now. The Xmas range is up, running and live. Obviously not everyone likes the colours of each item, so when you go through the check out and reach the "description" box just pop in there what colours you would like instead. Also if there is a specific flower you know the person you are sending to likes, then pop that in there too and we will do our very best to source them for you.
Christmas Classic Bouquet

With prices starting from only £17 (for non xmas flowers) and £22 (for xmas ones) we think you'll find we have something to suit everyone and every budget.
Don't forget to Order Early to avoid disappointment

Friday, 2 December 2011

Xmas has arrived

Some of the ceiling lights in the shop
both inside the shop and in the window. It's looking mighty festive and has already had some lovely comments, which is always a great thing. As you can see by the photo above we have blue hanging and flashing lights around the ceilings of the shop (the flashing ones sadly have to be turned off at night as they trigger the alarms) but the others are fine and thankfully don't set it off.  They work well as they draw the eye into the shop which is never a bad thing.  
Then there is the window. For the first time ever, we have gone all traditional with reds and golds. Part of the reason for this is because some friends of ours that had a shop donated some Xmas bits to us, and there are some gorgeously huge baubles in there, that are red and gold, and partly because most people this year seem to be going blues, silvers and whites (colours we've done regularly over the years, along with the purples, pinks and creams). Now as much as we try to steer clear of reds and golds we have to admit the window does look very, very festive.  The tree has also been decorated with the old fashioned multi coloured lights (they don't make them to last like those these days). We do have another tree style arrangement the opposite end to the tree that has just plain white lights on. At night it does look lovely even if we do say so ourselves.
By Monday evening we will have the Xmas selection on the website for you to choose from, as well as the first batch of Holly Wreaths. We know it's still to warm and doesn't feel like it, but Xmas is now only 22 days away. It has arrived. 
A side view of the window.. The smoked glass makes it difficult to capture a full on view


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Are you getting married

in 2012? Were you  (or someone you know) thinking of booking your wedding flowers with us? If so could we please ask you to consider booking the day ASAP. Having just booked another 3 in for next year, we have been through all our orders and almost EVERY Saturday between the 7th January and 15th September is fully booked. In the past week we have had to turn down 2 brides for the 23rd June. One of the brides begged us to get more staff in so we could squeeze her in, but the reason we will only do a maximum of 3 on one day, is so that we can make sure we give our full attention to each individual wedding. Adding more to a day could compromise our other brides, and that's not something we are willing do (even though it means we are losing out on work). Apologies if you are one of the brides we have had to turn away. We hate having to do that. 




Monday, 21 November 2011

Taking a step back

to the beginning of October and the Pumpkin wedding we made up. The one we really loved making.  We now have photos of the lovely grooms and you can see what they thought of our smiling pumpkin in the photo below. 


I think they liked it. Many thanks Lloyd and Sam for allowing me to play. And huge thanks to their official photographer Chris Such for allowing us to use the photo. I'm so glad they sure the humorous side to me defacing their pumpkin (or should that be facing? ) 

Then we fast forward ourselves back to the present day as we are busy preparing for Christmas. Doesn't it seem weird to be thinking about Christmas with the weather being how it is at the moment? 

This year I think I am going to go traditional with the decorations and stick to the Reds and Golds (although that may change when we get the decoration Boxes (oh yes there are loads of them)) out of the loft. I'm sure I'll be posting photos but feel free to pop along to the shop to have a look in the flesh. Photos' just never do things justice.

Another thank you needs to go out to all our lovely customers that stuck with us and our revised opening times last week. Your patience and loyalty is so very gratefully appreciated. Our customers truly are the best.




Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Apprentice

Logging on to FB this morning I noticed nearly all our florist friends were up in arms about the TV show The Apprentice last night. Not being one to watch reality TV (except for Strictly) I didn't have a clue what was going on. It turns out that last nights task was to make a profit selling flowers and both groups had managed to make up small bouquets for £3. This prompted me to head over to bbc iplayer and have a watch myself. Now part of me can wholly understand my fellow florists being angry as there is no way to make a profit on the flowers they have in their bunches for £3, and I am sure there are many members of the general public that will watch the show and now think all of us are out to rip people off with the prices we charge. However I am not going to insult our customers by thinking them ignorant into believing what they were seeing. I would like to think that our customers have more common sense than to think it's just a case of buying an amount of flowers, and then selling them. That's where the show is at fault. In a massive way. If there are complaints to be made it is about the one sidedness of the show.

Aside from the fact that their corporate clients were already pre-arranged and set up for them (so they didn't have to do any of the groundwork involved in contract customers), those businesses would have agreed to take part as publicity for their own business. It's a great way of advertising for them.

The real problem lies in the show not showing all the other costs that need to be taken into consideration. The Team that won spent out £448 and took £912 giving them a profit of £464. In the real world out of this £464 you would then have staff wages. Even paying minimum wage at £4.92 for 16 year olds, there were 5 members of staff on this team, who worked 8 hour days for 2 day. Therefore the wage bill would have been £393.60. This then reduces their profit to £70.40. I've no idea how much it would cost for the stall they had at Spittlefields, but the cheapest pitch there is from £10 per day so we'll use that as a guide. This now means their profit has dropped to £50.40. Next you need to factor in insurance costs which would work out roughly to £1.95 per day. A small amount but it has to be taken into consideration. So now their profit is £46.50. Then you need to factor in transportation costs. If you own a vehicle you have running costs. As a rough estitmate broken down into a daily amount with an average of 20 miles per day, and including insurance and basic running costs the amount would be £11.99 per day (more obviously the more miles you cover). This now leaves their profit at £34.51. Then there is the cost for the glass vases they used. Checking on my wholesaler price list for similar to the ones they used the cost would be £8.72 each. Total £34.88. They have now made a loss of 37p. However. The contracts they had which in effect bought in the most money of £150 was in fact a one off and not part of what would be a normal daily total. So if you remove that from the equation and were just to go on their bunch sales then they would have in fact made a LOSS of £150.37. I haven't included in these figures the costings for the wrapping and bows they used. I've also not included any taxes they would need to pay to the tax man, so as you can see, had the show produced proper costings and workings out then people in the real world would have seen that it's nowhere near as easy as it looks to make money. This is why my florist friends are up in arms. People with no clue think they can go out, sell a few flowers and become rich. Sadly in the real world it is nothing like the program made it out to be. Bear in mind if you have shop premises the outgoing costs are even higher as you have rent, rates, council tax and electricity to pay. And I hadn't even considered the phone bill in the costings. That is the real world of floristry and I'm quite disappointed that this show doesn't relfect the real world at all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The poppies are out

and on display in the window, and I'm amazed by the amount of people that came in yesterday to say thank you to us for doing it and how lovely it looks. I don't do it for praise, but it's still so lovely that people will take the time to recognise it for what it is.
 At the end of the day if it brings attention for the right reasons and helps to raise lots of money for such a worthwhile and great charity, then what more can we ask for? Apologies for the pictures below. We have tinted windows due to us facing into the sun for most of the day and therefore the window only really looks at it's best during the night hours when it can be fully seen.



It did seem odd taking all the halloween bits and pieces down though. The shop looks very empty and huge again.  Vlad is still out though. He's become quite a hit with our customers and shop neighbours, so I feel he may have to put in regular appearances. In fact he now has his own FB page and blog page too. The mad things we do. But if it's what our customers want and enjoy then who are we to argue? On his first day blogging he had 85 views. 85? that's a phenomenal amount. Great publicity for the shop too though, which could explain why we are so very busy at what is normally one of our quietest times of year. :o)


Friday, 28 October 2011

Have today taken

a HUGE gamble. Well it's huge in the world of Moonstones (with Sarah at the helm), but small in other florists terms. You see when it comes to plants there's not really much point in us buying them because they just never seem to last the week out. Green fingered we're not in here, so we normally avoid buying them. Also the hardware store over the road were already doing a roaring trade in plants when we opened up here and we didn't want to tread on their toes. Plus they sell a lot of theres cheaper than we can buy them, so we've only every really bothered at peak times (xmas, mothers day etc), but today? Well we've taken the plunge and bought some small mixed houseplants. 
There are 3 differing sizes priced from £1.95 to £2.85 so thankfully not a massive financial gamble. We did check across the road to make sure we weren't stepping on the hardware stores toes before purchasing them (thankfully they have no indoor plants so we are fine).  Although not huge (that would be devastating to lose large plants through our non-green fingers) they are exceptionally healthy little plants and we have a great feeling they will do well.  If not we have parents that have slightly greener hands than we do so we may be able to keep them going and give them a new lease of life. Watch this space. 


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thought I would



share the mini video someone made of the shop as it is ready for halloween for us. Things have changed slightly since this was taken but the basics are still pretty much the same.  Isn't that one of the great things about modern technology? Someone can film something, pop it on to the web and anyone with internet can access, find and view it. Now obviously there are some bad points to this and a lot of stuff that shouldn't be on the net, but from a business point of view it truly is a wonderful thing. Not only does each and every single business have the opportunity to get their name out there, but we also have the chance to share what we do with the world. Yes it takes time to set these things up but from what I am able to see it is so worth it. This blog here.. It's getting something like 15 hits a day. Now that's not a lot of people when you take into consideration what a big world it is out there, but to me that's a massive amount of people. Some of them may be regulars, some of them may be new people. Some may be interested and some not, but the fact they have visited, they may have stopped a while and had a read is a marvellous thing. Sites like Facebook , Google+, Twitter and Picasa are great inventions and wonderful for small businesses to get their name known. I'm sure there are many more places I could be visiting to get more of the shop out there, but the above 4 keep me on my toes as it is. I struggle to keep them and this up together. There's no way I could cope with any of the other sites. Mind you if things keep going the way they are and we keep being as busy then I may be able to employ someone to just keep our web presence up together for us.
Just found this video too.. It's of our Vlad at night

Monday, 24 October 2011

Remembrance Sunday

Whilst it's never too early to prepare for this important day, we do also have to stick to a timetable, so the great news is we have our poppies in the shop ready for you to pop along and pin on. Wear your poppy with pride, as they say, however we can't put them out on display until Wednesday as that is when the official campain begins. 
To add to the normal paper poppies, this year we also have some little pin style ones (they're metal with enamal colouring on them and very sweet). Whereas the paper ones you can put whatever you would like in the pot, these metal pins we do have to charge £2 for but they are lovely and it's for a great cause. Don't think that means you can get away with keeping it and never buying another one in again in future years though. They look so much better when they are pinned into the centre of the paper ones so you can still dig deep and pop your coins in the box for years to come, but rather than use a normal pin to hold them on, you will be able to use your posh metal one.  As you can see by the photo below combining the 2 works well. 
Once halloween is over then we will be giving up the shop window to the Royal British Legion for displaying the poppies and some poppy wreaths for remembrance day and to show our support for such a worthwhile cause. We hope our lovely customers our there will make the effort to not only buy a poppy but wear it with pride. We know how tough times are for people, but It doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Any amount you can spare will help.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

a different


coloured wedding. We do love it when we get to do something different and recently we seem to be getting a lot of brides that want something a bit different, or something that is completely personal. Todays wedding was no exception. Yes we had another Sunday wedding. They are getting a wee bit too popular these days. Now and then it would be nice to have a day off. :o) 
Sadly the hotel were running really behind time so we couldn't take the registrars/top table arrangement photo (pic above) in situ but as you can see the colours were red and purple. Beautiful colourings.  Apparently red is the grooms favourite colour, and purple the brides, so they chose a colour scheme incorporating both or their favourite colours, which I think is lovely as it makes it so very personal to the 2 of them.  As you will see from the photo below the archway was a mix of the 2 whilst being separate at the same time. The bride asked for one side to be purple, the other red but the middle to be a combination of the 2 to symbolise the joining together of the pair of them. I think this is a wonderful idea. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

People trying it on

Sadly this is a common occurance. In fact I have just this minute put the telephone down to another shop who were ranting that we hadn't delivered some flowers to a funeral director. At times like that it's nice to be able to say "yes we did at such and such a time.. They were taken in by so and so and signed for at ???" It's a sad time we live in when people will do but it's amazing how many people will try to get their money back for absolutely no reason. 
I learnt my lesson the hard way a few years back. I had made up a tribute for a funeral where the family didn't get on with each other and sadly were trying to out do each other on everything. One lady came in and kept telling me that she didn't really have the money to pay for the item she was ordering but she "had to show that lot up" (her words). The order was made and off it went to the funeral. 3 days later I get the lady on the phone hurling all kinds of abuse at me for the tribute sent out. Telling me the colours were wrong, it was dead and anything else she could think of. Shocked she had left it so long I asked her if she had any proof (not a nice thing to do but we were talking a lot of money) to which she emailed me a photo of a tribute that would NEVER have been allowed to leave my shop. However I had no proof I had made the item she had asked for and so I ended up having to refund her money. I found out later she had wandered around the cemetary to find a dodgy and old looking tribute. She had then attached her card to it and that's the photo she was showing me.  Ever since that day I have taken a photo of EVERY single item that leaves the shop, whether it be a submarine or just a single rose. The card is ALWAYS attached so it can be seen in the photo and signatures are acquired. When it comes to funerals we make them write a description of the item before signing for the tribute, so that we have backed ourselves up in the event someone was to try a similar thing. The original customer cost me a lot of money, but she did me a massive favour at the same time. I now have thousands of photos of my work, but also something to fall back on in the event someone else would be willing to try it on.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Oh my

goodness. How long has it taken me to sort out a halloween window? Only 48 hours. And it's still not completely finished. 

I started Monday morning once all the contract customers orders were ready to go, along with the general bits and bobs, birthday flowers, anniversaries etc. It was about 11.30 by the time I actually got round to beginning. First thing was to get the bits out of the loft. The shocker was seeing just how much there was up there. Think I best not buy anything for a while. As you can see from the pictures on the left it wasn't a very tidy day. In fact it's not been a very tidy 3 days.

As I got started with the shop so a customer came in. Followed by another. And another. Add in umpteen phone calls and I'm sure you can imagine how it was. Actually maybe you couldn't because even I couldn't imagine the chaos I was surrounded by. I really need to plan better next time I decide to decorate the whole shop as well. 
The worst thing was I had to empty the window. By doing that I had to find somewhere for the vases to go. When I'd found a home for them  I then had to find somewhere for the baby bits to, and so on and so forth. Before I knew what was happening I had stock piled up here, there and everywhere. Then my wholesaler decided to put in an appearance. At one point there was only just about enough gap for customers to get through the shop door. They couldn't however wander around or into the shop and many were served with us both standing at the door. Thankfully not a single person complained and many were interested in what I was doing, which is always a nice thing. Chatting so long probably did me no favours but I love chatting to the customers. They are after all the reason I am here every day. 

As you can though it is finally finished and I'm really pleased with how it looks. There are bits everywhere though. The window is full and we have chandeliers and ghosts on the ceilings. The woman in between the flower stands is our regular halloween bride named Cordelia. She comes out to play every year in various different outfits and carrying differnent colours. She's not alone this year though. She has been joined by the lovely Vladimir Butlerski. He is attracting more than his fair share of attention. Someone has even set him up a Facebook page which is wildly entertaining. The response he's getting is phenomenal. I'm thinking maybe we should keep him all year round, as people have been told by their friends about him, and when they've come in to have a look they've either bought flowers to take away or placed an order. I'm more than happy for him to stay. I can see him dressed as Santa at Xmas and cupid for Valentines Day. We may even find some shorts, flippers and a snorkel for him during the summer.




Meet Vlad (the lad) Butlerski. The Newest member of the Moonstones Team.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pumpkins

Weddings.. Not something I would have normally associated with each other, but oh my how well they worked together. Never before been asked to do pumpkins for a wedding, but I really hope in the future I get asked again. I loved making them. The colours in them were absolutely and I just think they looked fab.

I was a bit disappointed the reception didn't have the tables set up ready when we got there. It would have been so lovely to be able to see them actually in Situ, but I think you can get the idea from the photos above.
And the best one of all was the one I made for the top table. Thankfully the wedding was for friends of mine or I would never have had the courage to do this, but as you can see from the photo below I just couldn't resist.  I had spoken to the grooms Mum about it when I picked the pumpkins up from her and we both agreed they all needed carving but obviously I wasn't going to go that far with them. The original plan was to write Congratulations or Boo with the OO's turned into eyes, however have you tried to find a pen that will write on a pumpkin? It just wasn't happening, so in the end I raided the bits and bobs draw and found the eyes and nose. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I've had

a bit of a change around :) No idea why when next week I will be changing it all again for halloween. It might have something to do with the lovely artificial flowers that arrived this morning. As a rule I personally don't like artificial. However these are beautiful and very well made as well as being a great price (even more of a great price when you think they will last forever).
 Wanting to use them to their full advantage and to make the shop look more flowery and brighter I re-arranged the way the fresh flowers are laid out, and now have 2 seperate sections. One in the autumnal shades, and one section in the summery shades.
 Please excuse the lack of stock in both photos. They were taken after todays orders had been made up, and before the 2nd wholesaler arrived with more flowers for us. 
I've placed some vases of artificial in between the 2 fresh display areas and the whole effect is one of flowery loveliness. I've also added some to the shelving display unit.

Last but not least, the bunches of mixed artificial I placed in the vases we have in the window display so the window looks like it belongs to a florist, and not a pot shop. One of the worst things a florist can do is NOT have flowers in their window. We have a slight problem in that ours gets full sunshine from about 11 every morning, untl the sun goes down. As a result we have to have slightly tinted glass so our window is really best viewed at night, but we still fill it up and try to make it look as flowery as we possibly can. It's a pain at times when I would love to add lots of fresh displays to the window arrangements, but they would burn off and dry up in a matter of hours if I was to do so.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I got

asked this morning whether there are any funny times/moments in this job.I don't think I have ever been asked that question before. All the time I get told "what a lovely job you have" and "How lovely it must be to play with flowers all day" (if only they knew the truth that it's 10% lovely and creative, 90% stress, dirt and hassle) and asked "what's the best thing about being a florist" but nobody has ever asked if there are funny times until this morning. The customer understands how hard the job can be, how stressful it is at times, how sad it is when we are dealing with people who have sadly lost their loved ones and what a nightmare a bridezilla can be, so that's why she asked. 
When she left the shop she was still chuckling away to herself at some of the stories I shared with her. There have been some really funny moments/times. Some of them created by myself and workmates that probably weren't that funny to anyone else but had us in stitches at the time (and even ex bosses have been known to laugh on the odd occasion at certain antics). The main one that springs to mind was the time we shut a workmate in a double wheely bin, wheeled her up the road, parked her outside the butchers and left her there. Childish? Yes most definitely but funny at the same time. She was so tiny there was no way she was ever going to be able to climb out of it. In the end she managed to lift the lid high enough to put her hands on the lip and pull herself up to see out. The butcher eventually helped her out about an hour after we had parked her there. He couldn't do a thing for laughing.  There was the time I was stood at my work bench while my workmate (the same one we trapped in the bin) was dealing with a customer in the shop. The place we worked in at the time had big windows in front of the workbenches so anyone in the work room could see what was going on in the shop and out the front. Suddenly the guy she was serving legged it out the back into the workroom where he proceeded to dive underneath my work bench. At the same time this was happening a lady came into the shop. My workmate didn't have a clue what to do but couldn't ignore the lady so began to serve her. In the meantime the guy under my bench was explaining to me that he had been working abroad for the past 3 years and had just moved back to the UK. None of his family thought he was arriving until the following day as he wanted to surprise his Mum. He came into the shop to buy flowers to take round for her, when he saw her outside the front of the shop and that's when he dived under my bench. The lady my workmate was serving and who didn't have a clue what was going on was his Mum.The time I was out the front watering tray after tray of plants. The worst job my old boss could have given me as I hated being the sun and this day was particularly hot. Not wanting to keep bending over to dead head them all I decided I'd grab a bucket and sit myself down. I'd just got to the last tray when suddenly the bucket I was sitting on decided to buckle. The next thing I was flat on my back, legs in the air with my skirt covering my head. Undies on display for all to see. As I straightened myself up and sorted myself out I couldn't miss the white van full of builders who couldn't do anything but laugh.
There are so many but nowhere near enough time or space to share them all, but as  you can see it's not all doom, gloom and stress. When working with the general public you never know what you are going to get/experience from one second to the next. From the card message that makes your eyes water, to the little old lady that very bluntly explains what happens when a dog is neutered, to the guy that is ordering flowers for his girlfriend when his wife walks in and stands behind him. We get to see and hear all sorts but have to be the souls of disgression 100%. 
So in answer to the ladies question. Yes there most definitely are funny times.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

ooh

Logged on to add some more random waffling to this and it's all changed. I think I like it. In fact I know I like it. Spent more time playing with the different layouts than I needed to, but that's part of the fun of it all. In the end as you can see I have settled on the Magazine layout. I thought this the nicest looking and easiest to navigate, however if you're not happy with it there is a drop down bar on the left hand side that allows you to change the view to whatever you feel most comfortable with. Good old google. Gotta love them.

So what's new in the world of Moonstones I hear you asking? To be honest not a lot at this present moment in time. We've been so busy in the shop we've not had chance to get out and buy anything new or make up any new bits and pieces. We are hoping to get out at the weekend and treat the shop to a new range of artificial flowers. We have sourced a great supplier, that has some natural looking artificial, and as we are often asked if we sell them, we thought it about time to got some in stock. We're particularly interested in the Oranges and Purples (ready for the halloween display we have planned) and the red poppies in time for remembrance Sunday. 

As you can see last year we went down the slightly childlike route for our halloween window display. We will keep a lot of the same items for this year, but instead of just decorating the window itself, we plan on making the whole shop part of the window. I'm not the best at explaining things, but hopefully if it works and I can pull it off I will post some photos and it should make sense. We will be sticking with the purples and oranges and still keeping the childlike bits. There would be nothing worse than making the whole display morbid or dark. At the end of the day customers have to feel comfortable when they walk through the doors. We do find it quite disrespectful when some shops have tombstones in their halloween windows, as sadly we are dealing with customers who have just lost a loved one and the last thing they should be faced with is a reminder of the sorrow they are experiencing.

Monday, 26 September 2011

New Website

Well it's not new really. It's the same one we've always had but we've been updating. :o)


As you can see we've not only changed the background colour to a more calming shade of lilac, we've added quite a few extra features. There is now a direct link from the site to this blog, either via the buttons on the left hand side, or via the scrolling blog links at the bottom of the page.
We have added many more categories to the site and then broken these down into sub categories making it even easier to find exactly what you may be looking for.

We've also changed the pictures we had on there, or re-jigged the ones we had to neaten them up a bit and make them more photogenic. 


You may also have noticed the little "Questions" box at the bottom right of the screen (you can't really miss it as it's quite a bright orange colour). This is a new feature we've added (I keep saying We when really Clive is the one that deals with the website and finds all the extras we have on there, sets it all up and gets it working properly.. All I do is make the items, take the photos then sort out the backgrounds on them to make them more presentable). It seems to be working really well and I've got to speak to many people via the chat system that may not have bothered to telephone or email, so it's a great way of reaching out to and dealing with more customers than I may have previously done. In this technologically advanced world some people don't like to speak directly to another person, or they may not be able to pick up a phone at work to ask a question, so this is a great find. Most office workers are able to sit at their desk and send a message, whereas they may not be able to use a telephone. Give it a try. It lets you know if I'm about and available to chat, so why not drop me a hello. Would be nice to see if people are linking from here to there and vice verse.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

We have


the most gorgeous vases in the shop right now. Well we think they are and so far the customers that have seen them are loving them too. We've already taken orders for some for Christmas so the signs are looking good. 
Sorry about the photography of them. I forgot to take some pics before I put them in the window for the display. The photo doesn't do them justice so why not pop along to the shop and have a look for yourself. Priced at £19.75 they are an absolute bargain.  From 12-14" in height they are a great size and will make a lovely ornament in an ultra modern, or traditional style home. With flowers in they will set off a dining room table superbly.
We currently also have on order some lovely decorated tin watering cans, jugs and planters.  Will post photos when they come in along with the prices on the individual items.

Monday, 19 September 2011

New Baby


Now I've never understood that. What do we say New Baby? It's not as if you're going to get an old or second hand one!!  However. I digress and we have some lovely New Baby bits and pieces in. We wanted a range of tatty style teddies in both pinks and blues, but were only able to get one large blue on but he is lovely.  The photo below is of the tatty style one. Standing 14inches high he's a really good size and very well priced :o) 
We also picked up some china pots for arranging flowers in for new babies. They're not something we would normally get involved with, but we've been asked a few times for them and couldn't resist when we got to the wholesalers and found them. They are very sweet. 
It's all looking very blue on here. We do have some pink teddies too along with a varied selection of the china pots. Why not check out the website for the full range

Friday, 16 September 2011

Another Thank You


I know it's getting a bit boring with us keep posting all thank you's that we are getting, but we are truly grateful for each and every single one of them.  This one came in the post today and is beautiful. Bride and Groom are stunning and the back drop totally amazing..
Thank You Tanya. It was a joy working with you for your special day :o)

Friday, 2 September 2011

The lesson learned

This week is that no matter how many flowers we may think we need to get through a day we will be way off the mark. Never before have I planned so badly.  For 25 years I've always got the balance spot on but this week it's all gone totally to pot. Because I buy flowers every day I always know roughly how many I will need, so I have bought enough for that days orders, plus extras for spares and customers that pass by or pop into the shop. I rarely have anything left at the end of the day but do normally still have a full looking shop at lunchtime. This week however no matter how many flowers I have bought, I've never seemed to have enough. It has been manic. We pride ourselves on never having flowers in the shop for longer than 36 hours, however most of this week we've been lucky if they've been in the shop for 3 hours :o)  Not that we're complaining. It's been great seeing so many people come through the doors and speaking to even more on the telephone, but I feel a bit of a fraud when someone comes in expecting to see a massive display of flowers and I have very little to offer them. Thankfully we have wonderful customers and they have all fully understand and left the choices to me, and luckily walked away with huge smiles on their faces.
The sun is shining outside and inside this week. Happy weekend everyone. May it bring you plenty of joy and sunshine.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I've been told off

Apparently I waffle too much about things I don't really need to waffle about. That's what we like to hear. Feedback (regardless of what kind) is always good so thank you for pointing that out (you know who you are) However in my defence I do get excited about the work we do (even after all this time) and am proud of how well business is and the wonderful feedback we are constantly getting. Another 3 cards in the past 2 days. 
The shower bouquet we've recieved a thank you for this week :)



The table decoration for the beautiful orange wedding that we had thanks for the day after and have recieved a card for this week.

The fabulous, funky coloured handtied we have also recieved a thank you that we made at the end of July. Sadly I had to take the photo on my phone and it's not picked up the colours as they should be. The gerbera that look purple were actually cerise pink and the peachy looking roses were a bright orange. It was fab and funky.







Thursday, 18 August 2011

Wow

Is really all I can say to the phenomenal amount of Thank you's we are getting at the moment. It's actually quite embarrassing in one way but exceptionally wonderful in another. It seems as if 90% of every customer that recieves/sends an order is phoning, popping in, sending us a card or an email to say thank you. It makes me feel immensely proud. It's also very humbling. At the end of the day I am just doing my job so for these people to take out the time to let me know they were pleased with the items I have made for them is wonderful. It makes dragging myself out of bed on a wet, miserable day like today so worth while.  I have added a thank you page to this blog but can't put them all on there or it will look as if we are getting carried away. Plus I'm not sure there would be enough space. What I think I will do is change them every couple of months or so. Have just thought about it and why is blowing our own trumpet a bad thing? If people have taken the time to say thank you then we should celebrate that and enjoy it for what it is. 
We'd like to say thank you back to each and every one of you for making the business the huge success it is. Long may our partnership with you all last.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Gorgeous


Those are the only words we can use to describe Saturdays bride. She looked stunning. Thankfully the flowers looked pretty good as well :)  It was so nice to do a different colour.  Orange and White. Never done that colour scheme in 25 years, and they worked so perfectly in the church and the reception afterwards that we couldn't help but feel pleased with ourselves. And this very morning the bride has emailed and followed up with a telephone call to say thank you.
It was so nice to get to the weekend and work on wedding flowers as sadly most of last weeks orders seemed to be sympathy tributes.  Some were even for a young boy. That's the hardest part of this job. Making the flowers for young ones is always so difficult. It never ceases to amaze me how together the families are at such a difficult time. What they must be going through could never be imagined, yet somehow they manage to keep it together enough to sort out what needs sorting. My heart breaks for them each and every time. Sadly we have to remain professional at all times and put our own feelings to the back of our mind, but it is so very hard.  We constantly want to just hug the customer and let them cry it out, but we can't.  There are times when keeping it professional haven't been as easy as they should be.  Years ago I was dealing with a really sweet little elderly lady who had just lost her husband. They never had children and she had no family left. He was all she had in life and I sat and I sobbed with her as I was taking her order. Totally unprofessional, but I couldn't stop myself.  The only other time was a few years ago when a guy in his late 60's had passed away. He had a grown up family, but had re-married and had another daughter later in life. She had just turned 8 at the time of his passing and she came in with her older sisters determined to organise the flowers herself for her Dad. She was so brave to do so and in the end I had to walk away and lock myself in the bathroom where I cried my eyes out. Having lost my own Dad I know what it feels like, but I wasn't quite so young and her bravery was testament to her. I am sure her family must have been so proud. I would have been if she had been my daughter.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

So much

for keeping this more up to date. The shop has been totally manic in the past week, so as usual I'm running round trying to catch my tail and getting nowhere fast.
So what have we been doing since I last carressed my fingers across the keyboard? Weddings.. and lots of them as well as hundreds of every day bouquets for birthdays, anniversaries and the like. There have also been (sadly) some large funerals this week as well. Never a nice occasion for us (or anyone) but at the same time we are always deeply honoured when someone chooses us to be the shop that makes the tributes for a families/friends loved ones. Yesterday we sent out an XBox controller, a bichon frise dog and a Chelsea Football Crest. Always a challenge but one that we rise to and the results were pretty good (even if I do say so myself).
The weddings last weekend were also beautiful. Especially Fridays. The bride had wanted peonies but they finished their season 10 days before her wedding, and so I had to source something else that looked similar, and thats when I happened across David Austin roses. I have to say I was very disappointed when they arrived as the outer leaves were damp (it had been very hot and humid) but I pulled them off and wrapped the heads back in paper (hoping to dry them out). I didn't have time to order more or put in a complaint (at £4 per flower if there had been time I would have) however.. When they opened they were absolutely stunning and I can't fault them in the slightest. I actually took one out of water on Thursday morning at 8am as I wanted to see how they would hold up not being in water because I had to lay some loose ones on the cake. At 6pm on Friday (that's 34 hours after I took it out of water) it still looked as fresh and perfect as it had the day before. To say I was impressed is an understatement. The smell from them was glorious and I was very pleased with the finished bridal bouquet and reception bits and pieces. Thankfully the bride was too.
Saturdays and Sundays weddings were equally as lovely. Saturday we used all White Calla Lilies with diamontes and turquoise beads threaded on to grass. Sunday we had dark red and ivory roses. Both very beautiful and elegant.
This Saturday I am really looking forward to as the whole theme is Orange and White. In 25 years I've never done an orange wedding, so it's going to be a real pleasure. We are using Calla Lilies and mini gerberas for it. The church we are decorating will suit the colours perfectly as will the golf club they are having the reception at. I may have to post a photo of 2 of that one.