Valentine’s Day is over and I am getting back to the routine (as much as building a business can be routine). I have met Valentine’s Day with the emotions of angst, excitement and dread. Of the six or so years I have worked as a florist 2020 is the first year I have flown solo. I have learned a lot. Some of which is expected; some not so expected.
I have learned that it is best to concentrate on my main offering of beautiful, fresh, curated five dollar bouquets. My main customer this year was the one who wanted to share their Valentine’s Day love; with their children, wives, moms, and yes even friends and coworkers.
As expected there were still a lot of folks that believe florists are responsible for the increased price of expressing your love with flowers on this day. But that is simply not true. I hear tell it is because the rose parade depletes the supply…not sure I believe that reason. Since I am not inclined to do the research right now I cannot speak of it.
What I do know is that growers charge the wholesaler more. This starts the cascade effect we all know in business as supply and demand. Market value is determined by how badly a consumer wants your offering.
My customers are budget savvy and want to get a gift that is easy to obtain. So it was a bad idea for me to offer items at a price point above $25. FlowerFive did not get a big calling for dozen roses. Most people wanted the five and ten dollar flowers and Teddy bears. However, $15 and $25 spray roses also sold well.
If you are not familiar with it, a spray rose is a rose with multiple blooms per stem. The rose blooms are about one third the size of a standard rose (which has only one bloom per stem). The multiple blooms create more of an impact for a lower price point.
When starting something new it is expected that you will trip, stumble or even fall down along the way. The important thing is to learn and move on.
Other things I learned include: Valentine’s Day 2020 was slower than 2019. Many florists canceled their standing flower order for the week after Valentine’s Day. That deal that I got on roses the week of the big day was better to be left than purchased.
Bouquets that included a stem of spray roses went really well. However, I fail to grasp the reason some folks would rather have a bouquet absent of any kind of roses. Yes, I get it. Some people think if you give roses in any shape, form or color; it means romantic love…I disagree.
Freedom roses are definitely the best red rose for the holiday. I remember back in the 90’s I had a dislike for the roses used during Valentine’s Day because they were ugly and often did not open. This is not the case with Freedom roses. They are quite beautiful and almost always open.
While working at flower shops I worked 15 hour day without a break. One employer bought us lunch so we would not leave for our one hour lunch break. By the same token, I found making five dollar bouquets can be quite grueling when you have to stay up and make 163 of them.
Preparation is the key to production. Get all your boxes and bows made. Have your stickers stuck on the wrapping ahead of time. FlowerFive $5 bouquets also included a small flyer; which may have ended up in the trash rather than drumming up more subscription and wedding business. (I would love to read your opinion on this item.)
Valentine’s Day prebooking of flowers was due in December. While preparation is important, I am leaning toward not prebooking for holidays in the future. Prebooking assures that grower will have flowers for your business during a holiday. But I have discovered that I can still find flowers for curated bouquets, sometimes cheaper, than prebooking. That translates to my customers having larger bouquets for the same $5 price point. The colors may be a little different. The flowers may be off the beaten path. But beautiful, long lasting bouquets will be produced.
Valentine’s Day does not necessarily mean more profit for the florist.
Staying up late and working long hours is something most people dread. Some do it because it means more money. This is not necessarily so for a florist during holidays. Cost goes up for popular flowers and colors. Contracted drivers, and designers must be secured. Refunds, returns, and making up for mistakes is costly.
All these variables impact the bottom line. As you know, more overhead means less net profit. In the end all the extra hours and work may not be worth all those orders once the cost benefit analysis is computed.
I am happy that I stuck to my regular host location. Many folks knew I would be there. Holidays are not the time to try out something new; especially when you have a customer base already in place. There were challenges with the sporadic rain and having a street side vending location. But I managed to make it through with minimal difficulties.
When all is said and done I am glad it is over. I am glad that so many folks were able to express their feelings of love and caring with FlowerFive bouquets.
I am happy to know that what I produce brings a little sunshine and happiness to someone week.
Thank you for your time. Be sure to give a little flowerishness. You will surely get a smile in return.