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)