Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Back to normal - whatever that is



Before I get into what’s been going on in Moonstones world, how many of you noticed my deliberate mistake on the last blog? A dozen or so of you have messaged me about it, but what about those of you that sat back and kept quiet? It’s had over 7000 views so surely just the few I’ve heard from can’t be the only ones? 

For those of you that didn’t pick it up, when I was talking about not buying from businesses that have spelling mistakes on their website I deliberately spelled a word wrong (or should that be spelt?). Which one I hear you ask? I spelled Their with a t at the end so it read Theit; I just wanted to see if you lovely people were actually reading what I was saying, or just skimming over to see if I might come up with something of interest J I think now maybe I should have run a competition and awarded a bouquet of flowers to someone from a random draw – that is something for me to think about in the future.

Once again I have a big thank you to make to all of you. As most of you that follow this blog and who are friends/fans on our FB, Twitter, Tumblr and G+ pages know, I got to go on a little jaunt for 17 days, and you – my wonderful customers – continued to show the shop (and our very own Becky) just how truly wonderful you are by continuing to place your orders, pop in and buy your flowers from us while I was away and Becky was left in charge. It was her first time at being left for longer than 4 hours and didn’t she do well? (all I could hear as I typed that was Bruce Forsyth). I have had so many lovely reports and comments from customers about her and that she kept up the standards everyone has come to expect from us. Don’t let on but I am really very proud of her; I knew it would never be a problem and that she was/is more than capable, but for so many of you to also let on how great she was has been so good. Not just for her ego (that is getting a bit too big if I’m honest) but for me as well. It means I have taught her well and am now lucky enough to be in the position of not having to close the shop if I need some time off (she’s back in next Tuesday afternoon for those of you asking, as I am out demonstrating for the local WI) at least I hope she can come in, as I haven’t actually asked her yet. Yes I did have a wonderful time away; thanks for asking. 

The great thing about travelling was all the florists I got to meet along the way – one in a small town even offered me a job, which was very tempting (apparently being from England I would up the shops novelty factor and bring in more custom) but how could I leave you all behind? You’ve stuck by me for the past 8 years and helped me build the business up to the success it is now; I couldn’t just up and leave you all behind – or could I? Mind you if the shop in Jackson Hole WY had been opened when I passed through and she had offered me a job, I could be sat here now explaining to you all how – and why – I am leaving. J A millionaire’s playground it may be, but it’s also a beautiful little town and if you get the chance to visit, you should take it. 

Once Halloween and Remembrance Day is over (have you seen our Halloween window by night?) then I will be having a bit of a shunt around in the shop and an autumnal (pre-christmas) clean up. If there is something in the shop right now that you know you want and have been putting off buying it, then I suggest you pop on down and grab it while it’s here, for when I clear out I will be ruthless and a lot of stuff will be going to make way for new stock. I’m going to get my paintbrush out and give the walls a refresh as well as purchasing some new (hopefully nice coloured) stands for the fresh flowers too.  A change is as good as a rest they say, and as I am limited (space wise) on what kind of changes I can make, I will do my best to freshen things up a bit. Nothing worse than going in to a shop and it looking the same as it did 18 months ago. I’m still trying to find some nice vases and pots at sensible prices that can’t be found in every other florist, gift shop or home wares store. The company we bought from in Spain a few years back have stopped making their pottery in the range of colours we found to be so popular – one whole range we had sold out in 3 days – so I can only assume the Spanish tastes aren’t as they are over here. Again if any of you know of a range you would like to see, or of a supplier that has something a bit different, then drop us a line and let us know. We’re always on the lookout.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Would you complain?

It's very rare that we (as a business) will diss another florist, as it's not a nice thing to do in public, however I feel we may have good reason to, and wondered if you were me, what would you do?

This week we found ourselves in the position of needing to send flowers to someone we know, but as they are out of our area we needed to source a shop local to the recipients. Having used a shop in the area before, we chose to use them this time; we have never had any complaints relayed back to us about them - however we are now wondering whether that was just because our customers (or their recipients) were being too polite - as we have found ourselves in the position of having every reason to complain. 

Now before giving an order to another shop I always check out their web page - I am a nightmare for spelling errors and if a shop has many of them on theit site I won't use them; I think if a business can't take the time to check they are getting things right on their website, then how can I trust them with my money and place an order with them? (having said that I did notice a mistake on our own site recently that hadn't been picked up when it first went live so I do make small allowances). The shop in question do have a lot of generic pictures on their site (something we have none of; each and every  picture you see on our site has been made by one of us in the shop) but they also had a few of their own work which looked good enough for me to put my trust in them.  This I now know was a big mistake and they are a shop that we will avoid at all costs in the future.

The flowers we needed were for a sad event, for people with very classical tastes, so when I came across a green and white handtied in water on their site (a generic image for the Direct2Florist relay service they belong to that they should have been able to fulfill with ease) it fitted exactly what we wanted, and would be perfect for the recipients. See the image below for the flowers I chose. 


As you can see the flowers are mainly white with beautiful foliages to tone, giving an overall impression of a green and white theme.  I understand there are times when we need to substitute flowers (we have to do it often) but we always choose something as close to the flowers that have been requested. This bouquet consists of White Lilies, White Roses and Green Single spider chrysant blooms. Classical, Elegant and perfect for the occasion. 

Now see the image below for the flowers that were received



Admittedly the recipients have removed them from the wrapping (I have been told by the recipient that they were wrapped in nice cellophane and looked lovely when they arrived) but do any of those flowers look like the ones in the picture of the flowers we ordered??  Is there any hint of purple in the bouquet we ordered?

After much consideration we have contacted the D2F relay service this shop is a member of, as the bouquet was one of their basics that ALL their members should be capable of, and we have contacted the shop in question too - we are still waiting for a reply from either of them (complaint was lodged on Tuesday with D2F and Wednesday with the shop) it is now Monday.

It saddens me that something like this can happen and I know how disappointed I feel being let down in such a way; I can only imagine how one of our customers would feel if this was to happen to them.