Scholarship Will Coach Creatives to Success
I am not a numbers person. I can’t add well in my head. I can’t remember phone numbers. I barely made it through the two easiest math classes in college.
I know I’m not alone. Lots of creative people have this issue. My dad, for example. He owned a hair salon when I was growing up. He had a special rapport with his customers and had a great reputation for his styling skills. But when it came to running his business, he was never very good at the art of selling product, managing staff and marketing his services.
Florists can find themselves in similar situations when they open their shops. Florists, too, tend to be creative people who get into the business because they love working with flowers. But when it comes to the issues that can make their businesses successful—often involving irksome numbers and related business aspects—their efforts are lacking.
Not all florists have this issue, of course. But for those who do, the ability to keep their shop running profitably can be a daily challenge.
But help is at hand for these creative individuals!
Floral Strategies, a business offering on-site customized training for florists, is launching the Gary Buckwald Scholarship for Excellence in Floral Sales and Service. The scholarship, sponsored by Syndicate Sales and in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF), will provide $10,000 worth of training and mentoring over the course of a year for the winning shop. Tim Huckabee and his team at FloralStrategies will do the coaching.
Retailers in business for at least 18 months can apply for the scholarship. They’ll need to provide details on the application regarding their shop’s sales and service philosophies, as well as describe how training will change their shop’s culture.
Huckabee developed the scholarship in honor of late florist Gary Buckwald. Buckwald was co-owner of the shop, Surroundings in New York City, in which Huckabee got his start.
Huckabee says Buckwald was a great boss and leader. He wants to teach others to have the same passion for the product, the industry and the customers that Huckabee instilled in him.
Robin Dils, Syndicate Sales’ national account manager, chose to support the scholarship due to changes occurring in the floral industry. “We’re no longer just competing against flower shops, we’re competing against other options for discretionary spending,” Dils pointed out. “The more we can do to help make our industry the best choice, the better.”
Applications are due at the end of summer. A panel with representatives from the SAF Retail Council and Board will review them and choose the winner, which will be announced at SAF’s annual event, Sept. 19-22 in Palm Beach, Fla.
For information, email email@example.com.
Have a Hydrangea Headache?
Hydrangeas are one of the most popular blossoms among brides. But the soft and fluffy looking flowers can be difficult to keep fresh and hydrated. As a result, many florists dread hearing requests for the stems from their customers.
The problem is so prevalent, in fact, that the topic of dealing with hydrangea headaches comes up regularly in the FlowerChat forums. (Most recently, the post “Hydrangea Wedding” addressed the topic.) In response to the common cries for help, FlowerChat members have offered numerous tips. Summaries of some suggestions follow:
- After proper processing, place stems in cooler for five days before use to “harden” the flowers and give them staying power if designing in foam.
- Dip each stem in hot water and then ordinary water to encourage hydration.
- Soak the heads. Then cut the stems long and dip in alum. Place immediately in a bucket filled with water and flower food.
- Place cut hydrangeas into a bucket of very hot water and sugar for a few minutes. Then move to a bucket of room-temperature water. (The hot water will open the capillaries for the water and sugar uptake. The sugar then crystalizes to keep flowers stiff.)
- Cut at least three to four inches off each stem (or just above the top of the water bag that encased the stem during shipping). Place into a bucket of Floralife and hot water.
- Place stems upside down in a bucket of warm/hot water for 20 minutes.
- Recut stems and place in warm water with lots of flower food.
- Cut stems and place into a bucket of very hot water mixed with Absolut vodka.
But what do other professionals recommend? Checking a couple of sites, here are summaries of their suggestions:
Tips from Five Star Hydrangeas:
Remove the plastic water bag and cut one-half to one inch off the bottom of each stem while holding it under water. Doing so will eliminate an oxygen bubble from entering the stem and inhibiting water uptake. (Option: Use a small sewing needle to pierce a few holes into the hydrangea’s stem, as well, to encourage water absorption.)
Next, place stems promptly into clean water with flower food, adding additional cold water and flower food regularly. The water level should cover the whole length of the hydrangea’s stem. (Tip: Hydrangeas prefer cold water, so add ice.)
Recut stems and change the water every two to three days or as needed.
To perk up flower heads: Immerse the entire bloom and stem in cold water and soak for 20 to 40 minutes.
Keep flowers in a cooler until arranging.
Tips from the Flower Council of Holland:
Cut stems at an angle to facilitate water absorption. Place them into containers of fresh, cold water with flower food. Add water frequently. Avoid the use of metal containers. Glass containers are preferred because they allow you to see the water level and quality. Store the stems in a cooler, ideally at 8 degrees C (46.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
What sites do you turn to for care and handling information, whether of hydrangeas or cut flowers in general? Let us know, and we’ll share them with other FlowerChatters.
P.S. Want additional information on the “hot-water method” or the “alum method” mentioned by FlowerChat members? Visit hydrangea lover Judith King’s site for detailed how-to instructions.
FlowerChat Tip of the Week: How to Find a Lost Password
If you forget your password, you can click on the “Forgotten Your Password” link on FlowerChat. This will appear on any page that requires you to fill in your password.
This link brings up a page where you should enter your registered email address. An email will be sent to that address shortly with instructions for resetting your password.
Because passwords are encrypted, there is no way to resend your original password. Instead, this option will provide you with the ability to reset your password.
You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. You may need to check your spam filters and folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.
Check out the trending discussions available to ALL FlowerChatters--no matter what your membership level:
- New Laws for Funeral Home
It seems that things are turning our way with funeral home and florist who give a discount. One of the new rules in disbursment when you book your funeral arrangement is that they must declare the bill for flowers and they must declare their cut they are receiving for that said service. So if Mikey sends an arrangement to a funeral home and charges the funeral home $80.00 and the funeral home in turn sells it to the consumer for $100.00, the consumer has to be shown the price the funeral ...
- TF's Deceptive Delivery Charge "Increase"
For many years, TF members have been complaining about TF's $7 delivery fee (net ~ $5) that is INCLUDED in every Headquarters Order. It is simply insufficient. So, I was delighted to receive e-mail notification that TF has finally increased the delivery allotment from $7 to $10. And, since I feature TF's products on my own website, I naturally wanted to change my website's prices to include the new (presumed) $3 price increase. Unfortunately, when I went to TF's website and to their My Tele...
Popular Pro Discussions
Pro-level members get into the nitty gritty of florist life. Below are some of their trending conversations. (Want to participate in these in-depth topics? Sign up for a Pro account. See details above right to get a FREE membership for 30 days!)
- Do you still take cheques from the general public?
I actually prefer checks, as I don't have to pay fees like I do with credit/debit cards! Since my business is small, I don't get any kind of deals on processing. I use Go Payment and PayPal. I'm sure I'll regret saying this, but I've never had a check returned...
- Orange Rose For Mid-July
We got in some I believe "VooDoo" for a wedding this week. They are very orange and beautiful. I'll try to remember to post a pic tomorrow...
- 45 table centers for a wedding this weekend!
in mason jars the customer brought in. they were to be 3 sizes of jars.. sm/med/large. they are way more varied in size then that... but i'll figure it out!!! AND 10 HUGE bows out of mesh plus 7 med size thank goodness she is picking them up tomorrow!!! they take up a LOT of room!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, keep your business blooming!
FlowerChat Community Manager