Learning new things is hard; good for our brain and its workings, but hard. When I started FlowerFive in June 2019 I never imagined I would be faced with so many obstacles to overcome—both in my business and personal life.
Those of you whom I have met in person—or even on the phone or Zoom may know I tend to over self disclose. However, I like to avoid doing so in written words to the public on social media and the like. But today I want to let you in just a bit in order to explain why some things may seem wonky to you.
Examples of this might be the fact all my hours are “ish,” sometimes it is difficult for me to function. On the business side I hear tell many folks believe businesses can get back to normal; this is not the case.
For instance, my business is likely forever changed due to the microscopic organism Orthocoronavirinae—SARS-CoV-2—more commonly known as COVID 19. Yes, there are other flies in the oinment. But COVID is by far the largest and most bothersome.
You may have read a blog post or seen one of my videos where I explain how the floral industry has a status quo for pricing from the farms. If so, you may remember each holiday wholesale flower prices go up. The farms hold back on popular colors or flowers for each particular holiday. This amount to a 30% increase in COGS (cost of goods sold) for me.
Normally this is a traversable obstacle. I have adapted the five dollar flowers business model to include $10 and $15; sometimes $20 bouquets. Additionally, on holidays like Valentine’s Day the flower buggy carried roses which were a higher price point than my usual offering. But still more affordable than most floral options. Yes, there is Publix, Cosco, Sams Club and the like. But you never know how old the flowers are.
With FlowerFive the flowers which are available are (usually) processed on Thursday each week; with leftovers donated to charity on Monday or Tuesday. If there is an abundance of left overs or not enough to donate they are sold to the public and are known as LWLs (last week’s leftovers) at only $3.00 each. But I digress….
With COVID 19 flower prices are 30% more everyday, then get an additional bump on holidays. It makes it hard to find and secure flowers each week. This difficulty is compounded with the poor weather conditions in Ecuador of late. For example, there are normally 20 or so pages of flowers for me to choose from each week—high end and low end. Both long lasting and exotic flower choices.
For the past three weeks there have been three to seven pages of flowers, greens, tropicals, fillers and woody items to select. It is tough. But I think my middle name must be tenacious because I am still able to adapt.
Some of this adaptability is stunted or delayed because I have had more than my fair share of migraine in the past month—about 15. Not only does this item make it hard for me to function. But the “rescue” medication makes me a bit stupid. Sometimes it feels like I am losing IQ points.
I work a few day per week out of necessity. As some of you may know, my pooch is sick. In fact, he has all the signs of Cushing’s disease. We will have to let him go soon. If you have ever gone though losing a pet which is really your kid because he/she was terminal you understand how it is always on your mind. Some folks may also know my husband has compound PTSD. We have tried many treatments to mitigate the condition—some of which are not covered by insurance which have not really helped.
To complicate matters more, my bones don’t seem to want to do their job anymore. They are causing me pain. So if you see that seeming crazy flower lady stretching or doing what may look like a weird dance step outside of Starbucks Seminole Heights, Carroll’s Corner Market or Chocolate Pi; it is because I am employing the use of movement to work out the muscles and the joints.
Even with all this I go on. Because it is my DNA to find a way to keep going. Part of the reason I do this is because I want to bring you beautiful flowers which are long lasting and affordable for every day. Sure part of it is because I would get bored sipping Mai Tais on the beach. But I like saying hi. Finding out a bit about you as well as teaching you how to get the best vase life out of your flowers.
COVID continues to be a sore spot for most businesses in general. The small business owner is particularly hard hit. What you may not think about is how flower farms destroyed their crops during the shut down. They have more overhead due to CDC guidelines and keeping folks safer.
Shipping flowers is harder now because the supply chain for many industries has be affected so very deeply; not to mention extra tax and tariffs are imposed because of the Brexit.
I am sharing to let you know. Not for pity. I am sharing so it may help you to remember to be nice to one another. We are all crankier and more scared that we likely ever have been before. Remember you are unaware of someone else’s story and what they are going through. Remember to be the best you can be, to reach out for help when you need it and to practice your self care.
Until next time take care and practice flowerishness whenever you are able.