Wednesday, 16 October 2013

All change

So in my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be a good idea to try and find a better - more obvious - way of sharing different links, to different sites that we have set up; you will find my efforts to the right >>>>>>>>>> and I have to admit as someone that is pretty much IT ignorant, I was really pleased with myself and my efforts - I have no doubt some of you are shaking your heads, because you could have done better, but I'm quite proud of myself and pleased with the results.

However; it was as I was fiddling around with the blog and changing bits and pieces here, there and everywhere, I noticed that some photo's are missing from older blog entries. I have NO idea where these have gone to, or why they're not there any more. I did consider trying to find them all to upload again (and maybe when I have a bit more time one day I will do so) but for now I'm going to leave the bit exclamation marks (these are in place of the photo's) for the time being. I did notice there are several photo's that were uploaded from my phone, so they don't even exist any more, but the missing pictures of bits and pieces we've made can be found in any of our online albums (these can be found by clicking on one of the new links I made to the right) >>>>  Pinterest is a nice one to view the photo's and you are welcome to share them around from the site as well; it always gives me a fuzzy feeling when someone has taken the time to share one from there :) 

Someone asked whether it was worth my time bothering with all the different social network sites I work so hard at keeping up together, and I can only answer "Yes" to that; I currently have 5 weddings booked in for next year where the bride has come across us on the web, added us on one of the social sites to learn a bit about who we are, and what we can do; they obviously liked what they saw and how we operate enough, to trust us with the flowers for one of the most important days of their lives. I think the fact I do it all myself helps as well; I'm forever getting companies offer to take over the running of the sites for me (for silly amounts of money) but I could never do that. Aside from the costs involved (and nobody regardless of what they might tell me - or show me can guarantee me top rankings on google) I like having that personal connection with everybody that has taken the time to add us as a friend, like our pages, or interact with us via any of our pages. To lose that would be awful; I am sure it works for these big corporate companies where the customers are just a means to an end, but for me our business is more than that. It's about the personal interactions with our customers; letting them know we are accessible and contactable on a personal level, regardless of their questions, queries or issues. That to me is the basis for any business; I just wish a few more of them operated in the same way - it would mean I spend a lot less of my personal time complaining about things. :) 

The other thing that will be changing (aside from the weather which just doesn't seem to be able to make up it's mind) is the website; Clive is now steaming ahead on the changes and new ideas, and I think it should be good to go live by the beginning of December; just in time for the Christmas rush. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Windows and Websites

So as you all know the Halloween window display has been in place since last Tuesday (I know; I probably should have waited a week) but to me the whole month of October should be dedicated to it (if we can have Christmas for 6 months then I'm sure we can allow Halloween for 1 month).

As you also know I am often complaining about how hard it is to get a photograph of our window displays, due to our position, lack of shade and tinted glass ( I dread to think how hot it would get in here without the glass) so I knew I needed to try and get up at night. Our neighbour offered to take some photo's for me which I thought was lovely of him, so that's how I was going to leave it; I was going to wait for him to share the ones he had taken, before I shared with you all.

Then I found myself driving back from Ferneham Hall on Saturday night (I'd been to see the mighty Showaddywaddy - who were fab and you should all go and see if you ever get chance) so thought I would swing by and see if the window was still lit up (we have the lights on a timer as there's not much point them being on all night). Thankfully they were on when I got here and I don't mind admitting that I patted myself on the back when I saw how it looks (nothing like a bit of self praise) :). It looks much better than I thought it would, and I'm glad I took out the main light bulbs and replaced them UV ones (I do love a UV bulb).

The full view

The left side

The right hand side
It's amazing to think a few UV bulbs and a couple of fish bowls, ikea lamps, a party tray, some cob-webbing stuff and a few flowers can produce something that glows so well, but as you can see they do. The thing that makes it even better, is that I won't be here when it all needs taking out and putting away; that job is being let to Becky as I am off to Scotland on a Floristry jaunt on the 1st November. Don't worry though; she has strict instructions on what she needs to do for the Remembrance Window (the one that always replaces Halloween) and I have no doubt she will do a great job.

Of course Vlad couldn't be left out, and although he wanted to be in the window (smack bang in the centre no less) he is still there - you just need to look a bit closer and you'll see him glowing in the background. 

He's trying hard to look scary but it's just not working :)

As for the website; well you know how we like to keep things as fresh as we can, and it's beginning to look a little bit tired, so to tie in with the new database system we're going to be running (this will mean we can email you photo's as we've delivered, invoice you and send you receipts immediately) we're going to have a re-vamp of the website. Clive is on the case to make the online ordering system as easy as possible, as we know some of you do struggle with it as it is, and we will also be making sure everything that is on there, can be ordered online, rather than just the few handtieds/bouquets that we have at the moment. Hopefully it should be up and running in time for Christmas (but it may not happen until the New Year) I shall of course let you know as soon as it's up and good to go.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The lonely bouquet

Back last year – or it could have been earlier this year -  a florist working on the continent (originally from over the pond on the west coast USA) hit on the idea of *The Lonely Bouquet*.  A great idea that has since been adopted by florists all over the world.

Now the official day for it this year was Sunday 30th June, but  things being as they are, we never got round to get out and about to share our lonely bouquets around, so we have decided to make this month – October 2013 – our Lonely Bouquet month; this means shutting the shop for an hour one day a week for the next 5 weeks, while Becky and I drive (well I’ll drive and she’ll be the one doing the bouquet drop) around  our area, dotting lonely bouquets here and there. We’ve decided to cover Hill Head, Stubbington, Warsash, Titchfield, Wickham and Fareham on our routes – places we deliver to every day anyway – in the hope that one of you (our lovely customers) will be the lucky finder (or even recipient if found by someone else) of one of our bouquets. I say bouquets but 2 of the ones we are taking out on the first run are arrangements – but you get the general idea.

Beckys Lonely bouquet offering

You could find one sitting on a park bench, hanging from a gate, or resting itself against a bus stop; until we actually get out there with them we really have no clue where they will be left (although we do have a rough idea for our first drop). Can I tell you where? Or course I can’t; It’s all about the luck of being in the right place at the right time. If you are the lucky finder/recipient please be sure to take photos of yourself with your find and email them to us, so that we can share them on here, or our other social networking sites. Who knows; we could make you famous J

I am toying with the idea of doing a similar thing in the spring though but am keeping that one under my hat until the plan is completed (I can’t be giving away ideas to the competition). 

Wondering if I can find this one??  :)

This is my favourite

Will you leave this one hanging?