Monday, 8 December 2014

Charity Raffle Prize Requests

Every week we get a dozen different requests to supply a raffle prize or donation to a different charity; every week we supply and donation to many of the requests received, however, because we are a business with our own many bills to pay as well, we do have to draw the line somewhere and sometimes say 'no' - we literally couldn't afford to give away something to everyone who asked; the business would go under within a couple of weeks if we did. 

How do we choose which charities we will be supporting? That's easy. If the person wanting the donation makes the effort to come into the shop, speaks to us and it's for a local charity (we do support national charities if the money raised will also help local people - however, there is one national charity that I will point blankedly refuse to donate anything to and they get told when they ask "no" along with my reasons why, which I won't share on here) then we will always try to do something.  When I say local, I mean within a short radius; I wouldn't choose to donate something to a pub quiz down in the New Forest as we often give a voucher for a free bouquet, and it would be pointless when the person that wins then has to make the journey here. 

Please note though the emphasis is on the person requesting a donation actually making the effort to come into the shop and speak to me. So many people walk in, pop a letter on the counter (or pass it to me) then walk out again without a single word spoken to me. Others just pop the letter through the letterbox and walk away. By keeping to this rule I am also able to tell people who phone and say "We phoned you a few months ago and you agreed to sponsor us X amount of pounds (usually in the low hundreds)" that I never agreed to any such thing - sadly these people are usually scam artists - but by keeping to my rule of only donating to those that come into the shop, I am able to categorically state I never agreed to donate anything via the telephone.

So many requests I get are in letter form, for charities that don't operate in our area; another batch are just addressed to "The business owner". This straight away puts me off. If someone wants me to give up money that could be used to reduce the amount we have to pay the bank manager, then I feel they should at least try to find out who the business owner is. Let's face it, they've taken the time to find the business name and address on the internet to begin with to ask us for money or goods, so it would then be easy enough to find out my name to address it to - this probably wouldn't alter my decision (never say never), but it would be good practice and manners to try to make the effort.

Mind you, at least those that write have made a bit more of an effort than those that send out a mailshot email to numerous businesses - and then cc that email with everyone's email address on display (we end up with more spam in our inbox when people do that as the people that are being emailed aren't always a genuine business). This is a complete no-no to me. As with letters, it has been known on more than occasion that those requesting goods/donations aren't genuine and actually just want whatever is donated to sell on; they then pocket the money themselves, which is another reason I like to see the people that are requesting anything from us for free. I also make a point of checking out the charity they are collecting for is genuine, and have been known from time to time to contact the charity to check out the person that is making the request on their behalf - sadly we live in very unscrupulous times, and it's very hard to trust everybody.

There are also some people that will tell me my local competition has donated X,Y and Z to them, then ask what will I be donating? Trying to play one business off against the other is totally unacceptable and will always result in a "no" to the request. We don't get involved in play offs, as was proved just recently when we donated goods and prizes for something to raise money, when other businesses were charging for what we were giving away - one of them did claim they would hand the money they took over to the charity. These others businesses then made a point of getting their names in the papers (and I think one was on a tv news channel) so they got some great advertising out of their *good deed*. We kept to ourselves and never let on to anyone that we had handed over our services for free,  because it's not about gaining ourselves advertising, and we certainly wouldn't want to make money from a project that is desperate for all the money they can get their hands on. It's a bit like Christmas. You don't give to receive; you give to make a difference to someone other than yourself. I never take payment for the demonstrations I get asked to do on a regular basis, and the workshops I teach at, but I do ask the organisations who offer me payment for my time to make a donation to charity instead. I don't publicize this because when it comes to raising money for good causes, it's not about what I can get out of it, it's about what I can do to help that good cause raise as much as possible. 

My rules on charities may seem harsh to some of you, but without them I wouldn't have a business left for people to ask for donations. As long as you make the effort with me if you want something, I will do all I can for you. It's that simple.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Hello Monday

Goodness; what a start to a Monday morning. I’m only glad nobody from the “ooh I’d love to do your job, it must be so lovely to play with flowers all day” brigade never came in this morning. I may have battered them with a gerbera stem. 

8am: Clive leaves with a funeral tribute that has to be delivered to a directors in Portsmouth by 9am at the latest. Allowing for the fact it’s Monday and wet (which is always a recipe for disaster on our road networks) the hour to get there was practical. By 8.35 when he hadn’t even reached the M275 and was sat in stationery traffic, he phoned me to give the directors the heads up that he was on the way but was currently sat in traffic (they give us the latest time for a delivery but I think sometimes they tell us to be there a lot earlier than we need to be to allow for traffic themselves). Hoping someone would be there at that time (they’re often not) I rang and was lucky enough to get through, to be told they didn’t have a funeral today with the name we were given. I double checked I had the right directors (and did) so asked the woman on the phone if she was sure? She was; she also checked every 11.15 funeral they have between today and the 1st December just in case we had got the date wrong. All her checks drew a blank, so I thanked her for her help, and proceeded to ring the customer who ordered the flowers; I got an answerphone so had to leave a message. I then told Clive to hang tight and I’d get back to him as soon as I could. 

Hanging up the phone to Clive, the shop phone rang, so I answered hoping it would by my customer with the funeral details, but what I got instead was a very upset lady (who has every right to be) asking why her flowers weren’t delivered on Saturday? Thankfully the order wasn’t coming from our shop; it was an order that I phoned through to a shop in Essex. They’d accepted the order and taken my money for payment, so I went through the usual checks with my customer – had they spoken to the recipient over the weekend to know the flowers hadn’t arrived? Had I got the right address? And several others I use to verify the information – to find the answer was “yes” to all my questions. I asked her to give me half an hour to sort out with the shop that had the order what may have gone wrong. When I phoned the shop they admitted they had forgotten all about it – not something that happens often, thankfully, but I had to admire their honesty, even though I was pretty angry about it. I do realise they are only human, and occasionally mistakes happen. They offered to deliver today instead and promised to send something as an apology as well as adding more flowers to the order. My customer was obviously disappointed when I rang her back to explain what happened, but thanked me for sorting it for her.  

This still left the funeral to sort and see if I could find out what happened. I phoned all 4 crematoriums in the area to see if they were dealing with the service. I rang every funeral director (from Chichester to Southampton, via Gosport and Waterlooville) I could think of (including all the ones that belong to the co-op but still pretend to be independent, as well as ringing the co-op too). I drew a blank with everyone. Once I’d exhausted all the options I could think about, I then set to getting on with today’s jobs.

One of those jobs found me out in the kitchen bleaching and scrubbing the vases. We have an alarm on the shop doors that buzzes in the kitchen for me, so I know if someone has come in while I am out there. Either this didn’t work, or someone left the door open when they went out of the building (it's an easy enough thing to do when there's so much going on) because I suddenly sensed something at the same time as hearing a noise from behind me. Spinning round I saw 2 lads (late teens early 20’s) about to get to the lobby area at the back of the shop. They can’t have seen me because when I asked loudly “Um, what are you doing” they both jumped and started to walk back down the corridor and into the shop. I followed and then saw another one stood by the shop door – I have no idea if he was just hanging back or keeping an eye out for people that may be coming along. One of them answered “we saw the door was open and nobody was in here so wanted to check everything was ok”. I would truly love to believe them, but I have never seen them before in the area, they looked exceptionally guilty when they knew realised I was there, and they couldn’t get out of the shop quick enough. If they were really worried I think they might possibly have hung around a bit longer to explain themselves a bit better. After they’d gone and I shut the door I checked all the security cameras which definitely seems to back up my theory more than work in their defence. 

All of this happened before 9.30 this morning; I’m hoping it’s not a pre-cursor to how the rest of the week will continue.

Post note; our customer got back to us on the tribute we hadn’t been able to deliver with the correct details, and we were able to get the flowers delivered to the funeral with just minutes to spare – but at least they were where they needed to be in time.

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.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Halloween 2014

I am well aware we are still in August, so any mention of a date at the very end of October may not go down too well with some of you, but in the floristry world, we really do have to be working 2 or 3 steps ahead of ourselves at any one time (I have been asked by one wholesaler for a rough idea of my Valentines order for next year already) so in the grand scheme of things I'm probably behind the times already (also the window/shop displays are in place from the 1st October which is only 5 weeks away).

As those of you that follow this blog, are friends of the shop, or just live in the area will know, the Halloween display is the one I look forward to every year, but it is also the most challenging of them all. A quick google search for halloween will throw up numerous ideas, props, and all things macabre that can be used. Some of them are so life like I think even I would get spooked in the dark by them, but 90% of the wonderful things that can be bought, or the great ideas that people (often our customers) share with us are not suitable for our shop. 

One of my friends suggested a graveyard scene; great idea, as you can buy tombstones that move with hands that come out from beneath. We could hang things from trees, and have skeletons dotted about everywhere; I could really go to town with such a theme, but how inappropriate, thoughtless and lacking in compassion that would be for us to even consider taking on such a theme. 50% of the customers that walk through our doors are coming in to order sympathy flowers. It would be completely wrong for us to then play up to the whole haunted death scene. While I have no doubt most of our customers would see the display for what is it (just a typical halloween theme) and others would find the humour in us doing such a display, how awful would it be for those that are struggling to come to terms with the loss they are suffering? That is why we will never place tombstones or coffins in our displays or the shop.

Not using these props hasn't hindered me so far; I've covered everything from the Amityville Horror (a completely fake story but it gave me a great basis) to witches falling off their broomsticks. I've used humourous props (stripey legged witches that resemble grotbags from the tv show in the 80's - that I can't remember the name of) to creepy scenes with glowing lights, forests and lots of cobwebs.  As I am completing one years display I am thinking of the next years one, and this is where my dilemma for this year comes into play (and where again you will see how carefully we have to think about our customers when we plan). 

My favourite writer is Stephen King; my favourite book of all time is IT, one of his - if you've never read IT you really should; it's not a horror book (there are some iffy bits in it) but to me it's more a tale of childhood, friendship and growing up - and so this year I thought it would be great to pay homage to the writer, and book, and base my window display around the story. I planned on making the kissing bridge; on setting up a woodland scene as the majority of the story is based around The Barrens ( a wooded area on the edge of town). It was going to be bright and colourful, with balloons and paper boats (you really need to read the book) and I was then going to include the main charactor Pennywise. This is where it all unraveled, for you see Pennywise is a Clown, and it suddenly struck me just how terrified some people are of clowns. I want to be enticing customers into the shop, not running away from it, so I am now sitting at the computer writing this, trying to come up with a theme I can use that won't cause uneccessary upset, or terrify anyone. 

And you thought this job was easy? 

I loved the humour of this one; at night it glowed really well

Traditional Colours wtih a humourus theme

Dark and creepy; check out Vlad in the background

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Now that's organised :)

Firstly let me apologise for not keeping this as up to date as I should do - actually in a way I'm not sorry, because the reason I can't keep on top of it as often as I would like is because we have been so busy in the shop there just hasn't been time to spend 5 minutes at the computer. Our FB account and twitter haven't been updated for over a month I think - thankfully you are all lovely enough to stick with us and every day more and more people are adding us on FB and following this blog - even when there's nothing new to read - so again massive thanks to you all. 

Obviously the title of this entry isn't in any way meant about us - although of course I do have to keep myself as organised as possible or I'd never get any time away from the shop - but on Monday I booked in a wedding for May ...... 2017. Now I know we do get booked up in advance - some weekends in 2016 are already fully booked - but 3 years ahead is a first for us (and me as a florist; in the 28 years I've been working in the industry I've never known a bride that organised). It's all quite exciting though. We've already got the flowers and colours sorted for our lucky bride. 

Talking of weddings, this Saturday just passed, we had to make some more of the marquee flower balls to hang. This time the bride promised me she would make sure nobody was seated underneath any of them (so I was able to sleep soundly - last time was awful as I knew one was hanging directly above the bride, and while I knew the ball itself was 100% stable, I wasn't too convinced about the Marquee's system for hanging them and I was terrified that something on their system would fail/break. Thankfully nothing did, but to put my mind at rest our lovely bride made sure she took precautions for me too (she was using the same marquee). 

The areas that appear to be darker - empty - spaces are in fact filled with blue coloured flowers, but for some reason blue can be a very hard colour to capture in a photo. Although it may not look that big I can tell you it had a diameter of just over 3ft.
That's about all I have time for right now, but I wanted to let you all know we are still here, and that I haven't forgotten any of you. Thank you for keeping us so busy.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A day of 2 halves

I'll admit a phone call I received on Friday morning not only upset me, it also angered me greatly. I don't normally get angry with customers as I was taught the old rule that "The customer is always right; even when they are wrong" but the lady I spoke to was so very rude to me there was no way I could not be angry. In the ladies defence she was phoning me with a query regarding the price of a funeral tribute, and having lost so many people that have been close to me I do understand how traumatic it can be, and that you aren't always quite yourself. However; there is also no excuse for bad behaviour and downright bad manners. 

"What did this lady do?" Well she had been onto our website and seen a tribute on there that she liked and wanted a price on.  It does state on our site that we can only deliver the items in our own area, so before I quote anyone over the phone, I do ask where the funeral is taking place - in this instant it was somewhere in south london - so I asked if the lady wanted to collect the tribute on the way to the funeral. She was quite rude as she told me "I live there so why would I travel all the way to you for it. Just give me a price". This is when things got a bit fraught as I tried to explain that unfortunately she would have to contact a shop nearer to where the delivery was to take place for a price, as I was unable to quote on behalf of another shop. Again she spat at me "just tell me how much". Six times I went through explaining how I was unable to tell her what another shop would charge, as I have no idea of their pricing structure - if she was to call a certain kind of shop they could charge her 3/4 times more than I would; if she was to call someone that's just visited a few evening classes at a local college, or sat in on a demonstration somewhere, who buys their flowers from a supermarket and works from their dining room (yes sadly there really are businesses out there claiming to be florists that haven't got a clue, and think they know what they're doing because they've been to a demonstration) then they could charge half the price I would - this is because they don't have a shop premise and therefore don't need to pay any of the charges we do. Again she replied "just tell me how much"

All the time I was explaining how I was unable to tell her what another shop would charge, I was offering to help the lady source a shop that should be able to help her; I also told her that if the shop hadn't previously made the tribute she wanted I was happy for them to copy mine and contact me for details on how to make the tribute. Again I got "just give me a (insert a swear word here)" 

In the end I decided maybe it would be best to just quote the lady what I would charge so I replied "obviously I can't guarantee the shop price will be anything like the price I would charge, but if I was to make it for you I would charge you £......". At this point she told me to do something quite unpolite to myself and hung up. I was so shocked by her behaviour and so angry at the way I was spoken to I did phone her back (I would never have been rude to her and planned on saying "I'm sorry I think we got cut off" for her reaction but she never bothered to answer). And you all thought this was such an easy job didn't you? That I get to make people happy and play with flowers all day? Welcome to  the reality of it.

However; later that day I had a customer in the shop that was so happy with the flowers I had made for her she not only cried (in a good way) she also gave me the biggest hug I think I've ever had, so for every bad there is a good; or often in my case way more good than bad. 

I also that day had another local funeral director in the shop wanting to make me his recommended florist, on the condition I hand over a huge percentage of any money I take from the people they send to me; he got told exactly the same as the others that have approached me before - I will NEVER pay anyone to recommend me; I explained he's more than welcome to send people  my way IF he believes my work is good enough (I do have a very respectable funeral director that does send people to me because of my work) but that I will not pay him to send people to me. I find it shocking that he may now go to someone that has no training and will be recommending them only so he can take extra money. That to me is so very wrong. 

Goodness this is turning into a long post; I hope you've not all nodded off by now? Actually this next part will just be some photos' of the gorgeous wedding we did on Saturday (I got to make the pedestals for the church and reception on Friday tea-time though so they count as the nice part of Friday :)   The brides and bridesmaids were made Saturday morning, and the colours were just wonderful - so nice to do something different. 

Top table arrangement

Top table with pedestals - there were also 2 pedestals placed in the church that matched the ones in this photograph

One of the bridesmaids bouquets - just to show off the gorgeous colours

Friday, 2 May 2014

Window Ideas

Actually, before I get into the whole chat about window displays, please first let me apologise for the dire spelling on my last blog post - I was going to edit the post once the mistakes were pointed out to me, but by that time over 3000 people had already read through it so I decided to leave it just as it is. I shall definitely make sure this post - and all others from now on - are proof read (more because I don't like being told off than anything else :) ) 

So; the window displays. As those of you with a business will know, your window is one of the best forms of advertising that you can do, and is also great for showing off how good you are at doing what you do - Word of mouth is (and always will be) the number one and best form of advertising there is though without a shadow of a doubt. 

Over the past 8 years I've tried to change the display in the window every month; that's so far a total of 95 ideas I have had to come up with. Sometimes I've chosen a specific theme - the Glamour of Hollywood being a particular favourite - and I have ideas for a Space and Under the Sea display for later in the year - wait until December 2015 when I can set myself loose on a Star Wars one to celebrate the release of Episode 7 - but until then I still have many months of window ideas to come up with.  This is where you - lovely customers of ours - come in. I want to pick your brains and would love you, your kids, parents, friends or anyone you may meet out on the street, to pitch your window display ideas to me. Obviously they have to be windows that are suitable for all ages - the Dominatrix one someone suggested a while back is not really appropriate - but all ideas will be considered, and hopefully many of them will be used. If your kids come up with the theme, I would love it if they wanted to also come up with the design idea's as well - I would then do my best to make whatever they think should be included. Their name would be incorporated in the slideshow that we have running in the window as the inspiration for it, and of course I would love to be able to add them into a blog about how they came up with the idea, and how both they and myself, have bounced ideas off each other to make their vision a reality, so get your thinking caps on and let me know. You can click on the Email link in the right hand panel of this blog; that will take you through to an email address. In the subject bar mark it as Window Display and share your ideas with me. You'd be amazed how many people see the window every day - even I forget just how many people pay attention until I change it to something different and then people flock in to pass their comments and judgements.

The dimensions if you want to actually design the theme, rather than just supply the ideas are 

Width - 82.5 inches
Height - 40 inches
Depth - 19 inches

I look forward to hearing all of your ideas and thank you in advance for giving my brain cells a bit of a break :)

Going back to the beginning of this post where I mentioned word of mouth being the best form of advertising, we would really appreciate it if any of you that have used our services would be willing to jot down a few words (in review form) on either our google or facebook pages. We get so many letters, phone and emails which are wonderful but very little online, and it's the online reviews that help new customers to find us when they do a google search - but also help them make a better informed decision about whether they should buy from us, or our competitors. Thank you; you really are the best.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Be Aware - It may NOT be us

So yesterday thanks to one of our lovely customers, it was bought to our attention that google searching our shop - ie typing into the search bar Moonstones Flowers/Florist Fareham - can end up with you believing you are ordering either online, or via the telephone at our our shop, when you may in fact not be ordering from us at all, but from a shop that we have NO ties with whatsoever, so we ask you all to be extra vigilant when you place an order online, or telephone us.

Now to confuse matters we do have 2 websites; one that is our own, and another we use that belongs to the Direct2Florist network - this connects other local florists to each other.

BOTH of these websites have OUR personal branding on, so please, if you visit what you think is our page and it doesn't look like either of the photographs below, be aware you will NOT be ordering via us. You will in fact be using another shop who are not affiliated with us in any way, shape or form.

Screen shot of OUR website.

Screen shot of our Direct 2 Florist page - this again has OUR name and products on it

Thankfully the customer that bought this to our attention realised what had happened, and canceled the order she had placed with the other shop, who then told her they had already sold the bouquet they'd made up for her - this in itself is shocking, as had the lady arrived at the other shop to collect her flowers they wouldn't have been there waiting for her. 

We have no idea how long this has been going on for, but it would explain a conversation I had last Monday with a customer who came in to complain about the flowers she had received the day before for Mothers Day. She was adamant she had ordered through us, but I had no record of her order and alarm bells sounded when she said there had been a problem with the delivery date. We were finally able to ascertain that the flowers did NOT come from our shop when she told me there was a sachet of flower food attached to the bouquet; as you are all aware I REFUSE to buy flower food, as it's a gimmick that has no effect whatsoever on how long your flowers will last. It in fact transpired that the shop that sent out the flowers the lady was complaining about, did so without any branding on their packaging whatsoever - again this is something we do not do. Even our care cards are printed ourselves so they have our own branding on; we won't use the generic ones that can be bought from any wholesaler. 

The thing that concerns me more about this, is how many orders have this other shop been able to filter to themselves? and how many of those have been of poor quality for which the customers that placed their order, and spent their hard earned money on, believe came from our shop? Also, how many other shops are they doing this too?