Thursday, 26 January 2012

I'm beginning to see a pattern

appearing; Thursday seems to be the day for blogging.
So what do I have to share with you all today? Well first of all for you all you romantics out there let's not go forgetting that Valentines Day is fast approaching; in fact there are just over 2 weeks until that day of romance is upon us, so if you're planning of spoiling the one you love with some beautiful fresh roses; or if you're like some of us then a lovely mixed flower bouquet with a single rose in the centre could be just what you're looking for.
Hopefully by the weekend I will have got my finger out and the Valentines Page will be live on the website, ready for you all to order online (or via the telephone if you prefer).  Prcie wise we've managed to secure a good deal on the roses again this year so a dozen will be working out at £50. Now we realise this is a huge amount of money for a few flowers (believe me if we could get them cheaper we surely would) which is why we always suggest the mixed bouquet including 1 rose. Sadly thanks to the supermarkets naming their prices and getting their roses so cheap, we (the florists) are yet again charged the extra to cover what the growers are losing when they charge such a small amount; however, our roses will be fresh and we can guarantee they will be top quality, so although they may cost you more, their heads will be bigger, their stems will be longer, and their quality will be second to none. They won't be bought this week and kept in chillers until the big day.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

What do you all think?

The biggest problem we encounter in the shop when serving a customer is how to go about showing them what we can do and a price guide. Often we will have some bits made up which makes life easier, but there are times when it has been so busy, all the orders have gone out and we've just not had time to make up more. At this point we will load up the internet to give them an idea via the website, but the logistics of this are not the easiest as we have the computer tucked in a corner to save it getting destroyed by water, or flailing hands that may nudge it or knock it over.  When it comes to sympathy we do have a design guide from a few years ago when we used to belong to a relay service, but to be honest the designs in there are not that good and it can be embarrassing, so we had the thought of designing our own guide, using our photos, at our prices. What do you think?
  
Planned layout
 This is the kind of idea we were going for. These will be printed (professionally on wipe clean card) A4 size so that we can pop them into a folder, re-arrange how they flow through the book; as well as add or remove pages as we feel neccessary. Each page wiill have 2 photographs of our bouquets/arrangements or sympathy tributes, in toning colours to make it more visually attractive and it seems sensible to us to have colour co-ordination so customers aren't whipping backwards and forwards all the time. As always your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Look what I found

n the process of changing my phone over I came across a microsim that I had completely forgotten about; what should I find on there? That's right.  A load of pictures that I was sure I had taken, but had no idea where to find them. Now I've got them back.
Well if you're wearing Converse Trainers for your civil partnership, you need a buttonhole to match :o) 



I'm working on taking the backgrounds out (which can at times be a really, really long process) but once they are all done I will get them on to the picasa web album for you all to have a browse through. I'm sure I will be sharing some on here also. That is what it's all about after all.  The rose buttonhole above was for a civil partnership ceremony in June last year. It was a very casual affair with one of the grooms wearing those sequined converse shoes. He'd told me this and I knew he wouldn't mind if I jazzed up his buttonhole a bit, which as you can see I managed to do and he loved it. 
Taken at New Place in Hampshire, ready for the wedding

The above weren't taken at the same wedding (although they would have fitted in and worked really well with the colour scheme, but these were on the sim too and I loved making these. The whole wedding had to be purple and red (such an unusual conbination but colours that work perfectly together). It was the first time I'd had a bride ask for such colours, so I really enjoyed making them up.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Valentines Day

I can't believe I'm actually thinking about Valentines Day so early in the year, but I drove past a florists yesterday and they had their window decorated; advertising the day already. To me this seems to be exceptionally early,  but when I really sat and thought about it I realised there are only 6 weeks to go until the day, and I can't knock anyone for trying to be prepared.  However if the 26 years I've been doing this job have taught me anything, it's that nobody (male or female ~ we are all equal when it comes to Valentines) will even consider thinking about purchasing anything before the 8th Feb at the earliest; not because they are dis-organised, but because when things are being advertised and gifts are in the shops so early for an occasion, people tend to put off ordering, thinking about or buying until almost the last minute. Seeing the bits and pieces early causes them to become part of the *norm* therefore rendering all advertising null and void. If everyone was to leave it until later in the month (or even the beginning of Febraury) it would suddenly awaken customers senses and they would begin to place their orders. 
 
I realised as I was thinking this all through, that it's not just Valentines this relates to. All *peak* periods are the same. Easter eggs are already in some shops. Why? There are 4 months until Easter, by which time people will be so fed up with seeing them they won't bother to buy anything. Christmas just past is a prime example. Friends of mine that have shops and who put their window displays in early found their takings were way down. I didn't put our window display in until the 8th December. Our takings were way up. Maybe it's just coincidence, or maybe the fact I wasn't ramming Xmas down my potential customers throats, made them pay more attention when I did finally decorate the window; this therefore resulted in better sales for me as everything was so fresh in their minds. It would be interesting to see if I could organise some kind of research into it among florists to see if there was any kind of correlation. Why just stop at my trade too? Surely it must affect all trades?  It would be great to get feedback on this; to see what others think and feel. I'm sure I can add a poll to this blog stuff. I might just try and do that to see if I get any response.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy New Year

and huge apologies for not getting on here until now to wish you all a very happy, healty and prosperous 2012 but things have been a bit on the busy side.  In fact apologies for not being about for nearly a whole month. Wow. Where has the time gone? One minute we were busy preparing for the Xmas rush, the next it was over and we're now having to think about and plan for Valentines Day.
Again we'd like to thank each and every one of you for making this our best Christmas yet (the New Year has started exceptionally well too) which to be honest with the economy the way it is at the moment we really weren' t expecting. We thought our order volume would be slightly down on last year, but we're exceptionally happy to find we were actually up on last year by 29%. That's a phenomenal amount in such hard times and we are grateful to each and every one of you.

So what does 2012 hold for us? We have plans to expand some of our more successful gift ranges in the shop, to cut down on those that aren't so successful and to source a good supplier for some other gift ideas we have. Watch these spaces because anything new and different we get in we will be sharing with you all.  Also if you have any ideas for gifts you'd like to see us supplying or a new/improved or expansion idea on anything we currently offer then please let us know. Your feedback is ALWAYS appreciated (whether good or bad ~ thankfully we've never had bad but it wold be welcome if we had). As happy as we are to make up the usual handtieds,  baskets etc it is also lovely for us when someone sets us a challenge to come up with something a bit different or they want a twist on something, so feel free to challenge us with anything you fancy. We are always up for it. Whether it be a general birthday/anniversary order, or a way out and wacky wedding bouquet, to a bespoke sypmathy tribute, drop us a line or pop in to discuss your requirements. We will be more than happy to help fulfill your request.