Christmas period we had this (last) year :) which has been followed up by a phenomenal start to 2015 – for that we have you (our customers) to thank.
Due to having 3 drivers out on the road Christmas Eve, all deliveries were completed by 11.30 am (one driver in particular covered the West End, Denmead and Gosport areas for us – we couldn’t have given him a more spaced out round – with the other 2 sticking local). Almost everyone collected on time (there was one regular who turned up 20 minutes after we closed – you know who you are :) ) so we were able to get away as planned early enough to go out and do our own Christmas shopping and ready ourselves for the big day. As for stock left; we managed to get that right again this year too, with just 2 stems of curly bamboo and a couple of poinsettias left, and not a single customer turned away. We call that a success :)
However, even more of a success has been the start to 2015 for us. I know you all understand why we close between the Christmas and New Year period – no matter how much the wholesalers will tell us the flowers during that time are fresh, we know full well they are only what’s left over from before Christmas, and we would rather not serve our customers, than lose them due to poor quality; in fact one of my wholesalers admitted to me this week how bad they felt selling some of the stock they had in during the time we were closed, so we definitely made the right decision.
Opening up Monday morning we honestly expected this week to be quiet (with the children going back to school, people going back to work, and nobody really having that much money left after the festive period) so we planned on having a deep clean of the shop. You know what they say about best laid plans? It appears everyone waited for us to come back and for 10 hours on Monday the phone didn’t stop; the shop door was constantly open with a stream of people in and out. You’d think after 28 years nothing would surprise us anymore, but Monday most definitely caught us out. By the end of the day nothing had been cleaned – although we did manage to take the window display out and pop some bits and pieces in just to rid it of Christmas – and we couldn’t move in the workroom or kitchen for boxes, flowers and sundries.
We did hope when we opened up on Tuesday that the cleaning fairies may have taken pity on us Monday night and paid us a visit; this was not to be. By the time we went home that evening nothing much had changed in the shop at all because it was a busy as Monday had been; with one exception, and that was the amount of brides we saw. Who knew so many men were planning on proposing over the festive period? On a normal week we book in anywhere between 1 – 3 weddings; on Tuesday we booked in 17 (we don’t ever remember a day like it. In fact we’re sure we’ve never taken that many in a whole week, let alone just one day). Some of those have taken up the limited amount of spaces we have left for this year (if you’re getting married in 2015 and wanted us to organise your flowers you really do need to book in quickly, as some weekends are already fully booked) while the rest were bookings for next year (2016). With weddings bookings taking us up to 2018 already, it looks like we’re going to be around for a few more years yet :)
As for the cleaning? Well the door’s been scrubbed, but for now the hoover, polish, mop and window cleaner have gone back into the cupboard. There are just too many flowers to be playing with :)
To our regulars, your loyalty again has proved unfaltering, and to the many new customers we seem to be acquiring on a daily basis, we cannot thank you enough for choosing us. Without you we would not be here.
Happy 2015 everyone; may it bring you all you could wish for.