Thursday, 8 April 2021

A little rant

I have just two & a half days left until I can re-open the door to let customers in; part of me cannot wait, part of me (being totally honest with you) is going to struggle with it, so go easy on me to begin with. Aside from a few weeks in December, I've worked behind a locked door for almost 6 months so going back to being a fully operational shop is not going to be easy - the fact I can no longer come to work in my PJ's is going to be the hardest thing of all 😂😂 It will be lovely to finally see faces again though. 

Not sure, if we do ever have another lockdown, which I believe we possibly could, that I will adhere to the rules quite so tightly next time. On Monday I came across 2 florists who have still be trading exactly as they were before, their only difference being they weren't letting customers into the shop - these weren't shops in Fareham; I have no idea how the other Fareham shops are operating but assume they are sticking to the rules. I don't mind admitting to you all this really grated on me and made me quite angry, because we were classed as non-essential which meant we were only able to offer deliveries, and a click & collect service; we were not allowed to take orders, or serve customers on our premises and this included outside the shop itself; as you can see below - taking from Gov.uk we were only permitted to take orders remotely. 

"𝐁𝐔𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐄𝐒𝐒 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐌𝐈𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐓𝐎 𝐎𝐏𝐄𝐍 - garden centres and agricultural supplies shops. This 𝐃𝐎𝐄𝐒 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐈𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐃𝐄 𝐅𝐋𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐒.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣"
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
They may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are 𝐏𝐑𝐄-𝐎𝐑𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐃 and 𝐂𝐎𝐋𝐋𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐖𝐈𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐈𝐒𝐄𝐒)." ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Door-to-door sales should not take place, and sales activities should be conducted remotely (such as by phone, online, or mail).

You can guarantee if we'd traded in this way the Fareham covid wardens would have jumped on us and we'd be facing a huge fine. Thankfully, my customers (all you amazing people) have been wonderful, and understood when I've had to turn you away from the door, calling me with your orders as soon as you get home (a few of you from your cars outside 😁) Yes, there have been the odd one-or-two who've got a little abusive (there are always one-or-two) however, they've not been people I've seen before, and I assume they came to us as they'd not been able to find anyone else open to serve them. 

One thing I'm really looking forward to is seeing my neighbours again; I've had a running battle with the chip shop and turkish barber owners keep parking their cars across my forecourt, blocking my driver and customers from being able to get to the shop to collect their orders, since I've been the only one up here who isn't related to, or working for them; one day I had to physically climb over the bonnet of one of their cars because he'd parked so close he was blocking my doorway. I used to go out and moan but like most things after so long they wear you down and you wonder "why" you're wasting your breath; with Vanessa (Kwik Kut) and Bridget (Blossom Aesthetics) back next week, at least I'll not be battling on my own against them, and that is another thing which has really irked me this morning.. I was chatting to someone, who told me that another local barber has been going out to peoples houses to cut hair all through lock down; I know they did the same last year during the very first one when everything was closed and got away with it, so it stands to reason they'd do the same this time. Why have we bothered to stick to the rules, when so many are breaking them and getting away with it? For them to get away with being able to continue working and earning, when she has been unable to, infuriates me (pretty sure she's not happy about it either) but that's an argument I should be having with Fareham Council - and I really wouldn't waste my breath with any of them; chocolate fireguards are more useful! 

Anyway; rant over. I look forward to seeing so many of you when the doors are open again - although it will be short lived as I am closed from the 17th - 26th April (taking some much needed time for myself as I do for one week every April). After the crazy 13 months we've all just got through I feel I need it more than ever this year. 

For now though, I have a shop to re-arrange to make it as socially distanced friendly as I can, and apparently (as it's been pointed out to me) a floor that needs scrubbing!! 

See you all next week 😁😁😁



Order online or by telephone 01329 8459457 for next day delivery

(same day possible on occasions - dependant on stock levels).


All major credit and debit cards taken.



Website: www.farehamflorists.co.uk

Email:- shop@farehamflorists.co.uk



Find us also on:-


Facebook: -  https://www.facebook.com/FarehamFlorist/

Twitter: - https://twitter.com/FarehamFlorist

Tumblr:- https://farehamflorist.tumblr.com/

MeWe:- https://mewe.com/group/5c7e636de250c4712ea6b123

Instagram:-https://www.instagram.com/farehamflorist/

Socaill:- https://beta.sociall.io/u/5e3d7880ff44030e08cd28f3/feed




Saturday, 27 March 2021

Re-opening - Monday 12th April 2021

Multiple people overnight and this morning have sent me links, newspaper articles and told me that from Monday 12th April retail shops may stay open until 10pm (I never knew they couldn't in the first place!!) ⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣I'm getting in early and letting you all know today that from Monday 12th April the shops opening times will be.⁣⁣⁣

                           𝐌𝐨𝐧, 𝐖𝐞𝐝𝐬, 𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐫 & 𝐅𝐫𝐢 - 9𝐚𝐦 - 4𝐩𝐦⁣⁣⁣

                                     𝐓𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐚𝐭 - 9𝐚𝐦 - 1𝐩𝐦⁣⁣⁣

you will notice these are exactly as they were before 🤣🤣⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣Online ordering will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days each year (with a bonus day every 4 years  🤣🤣)⁣⁣⁣



Order online or by telephone 01329 8459457 for next day delivery

(same day possible on occasions - dependant on stock levels).


All major credit and debit cards taken.

                                                    Website: www.farehamflorists.co.uk

Email:- shop@farehamflorists.co.uk


Find us also on:-


Facebook: -  https://www.facebook.com/FarehamFlorist/

Twitter: - https://twitter.com/FarehamFlorist

Tumblr:- https://farehamflorist.tumblr.com/

MeWe:- https://mewe.com/group/5c7e636de250c4712ea6b123

Instagram:-https://www.instagram.com/farehamflorist/

Socaill:- https://beta.sociall.io/u/5e3d7880ff44030e08cd28f3/feed


⁣⁣⁣


Monday, 15 March 2021

357 days

it's been 357 days (said in my best "Old Rose" voice!!) - who would have thought it would last so long?

I remember the week leading up to Mother's Day last year (it fell on Sunday 22nd in 2020, a week earlier than this year) and Clive and I having a chat about how we thought it might be an idea to close down for 2 weeks, as the chatter about covid seemed to be intensifying. Finally, we made the decision to shut after all deliveries and collections had been made on Mother's Day, and not re-open for 2 weeks after. We knew so little about how the disease was transmitted back then, and had not heard of anyone who'd been infected (sadly, this has since changed; I personally know a lot of people who have had it (some were really poorly with it, others got away with just feeling a bit "off" for a few days). I also know of several people who have lost their loved ones due to covid; some whom were fit and healthy with no underlying issues. My heart breaks for everyone who's suffered as a result of this. We planned a deep clean of the shop (I'd been steralising everything to the max as it was, which (as those of you who know me) is not really me in any way, shape or form)) and maybe we'd even redecorate ready for when we were going to open the doors again on the 5th April. 

At 5pm, on Friday 20th, Boris decided he would follow our lead, and shut the whole country down - for 3 weeks, or so we all thought at-the-time. We all know what's happened since then, and here we are, almost a year later and so many businesses are still not open and operating, although I have to admit I've not noticed any real difference in a lot of areas since the Christmas lock down began. Traffic is as heavy as it's always been, the building site opposite has continued, and me and my little shop are surrounded most days by people constantly coming-and-going, and a lot of people around our area are all stepping out with new haircuts - haircuts that have definitely not been done at home with a set of clippers (this does annoy me when so many are adhering to the rules (as we have in the shop) to find other's think it ok to flout them). I feel for my lovely neighbours in the barber / beauty salon directly next door, and the girls in the hairdressers over-the-road in the main parade, doing it by the book, when other's are not, but I'm not in charge of who does what or policing such issues so I come in, do what I've got to do and go home again. I've even given up having a moan at the builders and my other neighbours in the turkish barbers, the new food place being built next to that, and the chippy lot, from parking all their vehicles directly outside on my forecourt (I had to climb over one the other day to get out of the door). Sadly, it's just me on my own up here these days (for now at least; everyone else will be back on Monday 12th April 😁😁😁) and I can't be bothered with hassle of dealing with them all.

Anyway, enough of all that, last Mother's Day was strange because I knew I would be closing the next day, this one was strange because I wasn't able to let anyone into the shop to place/collect their orders. Having said that, for me on a personal working level, it sure made it easier not having to think about where I could put things so they weren't in the way of customers. You never know; I may implement a similar system next year 😁

I had a feeling this year was going to be busy; so many people unable to visit their Mum's, it seemed to me the most logical thing for them to do would be to send flowers, so I got myself organised. I put it out on our website, and all our social media, that I would not be able to guarantee specific flowers if orders had not be put in to me by the 9th (the Tuesday before). This was partly because my wholesalers needed me to pre-order anything I wanted or they wouldn't be able to guarantee me anything. The Monday evening (the 8th) I sat and went through every order I had placed for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I also had to look at the orders I had for the Monday (today) and Tuesday after, because you can almost 100% guarantee there is very little to purchase from the markets on those days after a busy event. That evening I worked my way through over a hundred orders, making sure I ordered everything I needed. I then looked at previous years to see how many orders came in late, and added enough extra flowers to my order to cover late comers. I thought I had ordered more-than-enough. I realised on that Tuesday evening, after my order had been put into the wholesalers, I'd not ordered anywhere near enough. I had orders coming through our online system in amounts I have never seen before. At that point, I also realised there was no way the drivers were going to be able to get all the orders for Sunday delivered in the morning - something we always like to do; partly because it's nice for your Mum's to have their flowers in the morning, and partly because we have Mum's too - so I took Sunday out the equation for a delivery date. By Wednesday I had to take Friday and Saturday off too. The demand this year was just phenomenal. Had I been able to get another florist in to help with the workload (I worked more hours last week, then I did in almost the whole month of Feb) and another 4 drivers, I could have easily have supplied double the amount that I ended up doing. 

I hate to say "no" to someone when they call to place an order. It's not good for business to have to turn people away, but on Thursday that's all I found myself doing, and whilst Thursday was a little late to be thinking about placing an order, it's usually not an issue. I don't normally say "No" to anyone until late on Saturday afternoon. Friday, I managed to source an additional delivery to come in on Saturday morning, so put out on social media that I was able to take more orders (this meant working well into the wee small hours when really only the naughty little elves and pixies should be out - usually creating mischief) and within 1 hour I had to remove the posts from everything, as I was deluged with an influx of orders and the flowers from the additional delivery were then allocated elsewhere. 

To those of you I had to turn down, I am sorry, but please, I ask every year, do not leave it until the last minute. I know we all have other things to be thinking of, but telling me "I've been meaning to call you for the last 2 weeks" on the Sunday morning, and expecting me to be able to produce a specific flower for you doesn't mean I'm going to be able to help you. To those of you who said (and there were quite a few) "I didn't want to order earlier as I wanted to have fresh flowers" it really doesn't work like that. Yes, I placed the order for the flowers I needed on the Monday evening, but the flowers themselves didn't come in until the day I needed to make them to go out and be delivered. I've built my business up by providing the freshest flowers I can possibly get for you. I know some shops will get them in the weekend before and then just top-up as the week goes on, and if that's what works for them, then great; that's not how I work though. Even on a quiet week nothing is in our shop longer than 48 hours. 

To those of you who had a moan that you got your flowers on the Saturday, instead of the Sunday (again, there were a few) please be aware this was for one of two reasons. Reason one is that we were asked to deliver on the Saturday; quite a few people wanted their orders that day so their Mum's had them to enjoy all day on the Sunday. The other reason, I'm afraid, is that your loved one left it too late to place their order and Sunday was no longer an option for your flowers to be delivered. You know your children. You'll know if you fall into Reason one, or, reason two 😳 

I can't thank you all enough though for making this a good weekend for our little business. It's nice to know that this month, at least, I can pay the bills on time. Next month? Well, we'll wait and see what it has in store for us. I assure you that next year I will double the order I put in this year, and hopefully, if I can, I'll try to find someone who can come and help me make the orders up - either that or I'll order a truck load of red bull to help keep me alert, and aspirin to help my middle-aged body deal with all it's aches and pains; it's not all about "playing with flowers" for an hour-or-two each day.

The shop is still not sorted and hasn't been redecorated, but hey, those 357 days since I made such plans have been the craziest of my time on this earth. Maybe by this-time-next-year 😂



Order online or by telephone 01329 8459457 for next day delivery

(same day possible on occasions - dependant on stock levels).


All major credit and debit cards taken.



Website: www.farehamflorists.co.uk

Email:- shop@farehamflorists.co.uk



Find us also on:-


Facebook: -  https://www.facebook.com/FarehamFlorist/

Twitter: - https://twitter.com/FarehamFlorist

Tumblr:- https://farehamflorist.tumblr.com/

MeWe:- https://mewe.com/group/5c7e636de250c4712ea6b123

Instagram:-https://www.instagram.com/farehamflorist/

Socaill:- https://beta.sociall.io/u/5e3d7880ff44030e08cd28f3/feed