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|