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


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.