Saturday, June 2, 2012

Florists For Change : FFC May 2012-2 Newsletter v2

We hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend, however you chose to observe it.

Did your shop close for a two or three day weekend, or did you keep your regular business hours? An informal survey on the Florists for Change Facebook pages didn’t lead to a consensus – some shops feel it’s important to stay open on holidays to keep potential customers from purchasing flowers at supermarkets, some are located close to cemeteries and do brisk Memorial Day business, some shops rely on past experience and stay closed because the sales don’t justify the overhead costs and other shops close to get some rest and relaxation for themselves and their staff.
One of the benefits of joining Florists For Change is access to the Members-Only Facebook page, where members ask and answer questions and share great tips and information. Here are a few examples of the useful and interesting things you’ll find there when you join:
Jenifer Swanson of Kaber Floral Company in Indiana recommended PicMonkey, a free user-friendly photo editor and Facebook app created by former Picnik engineers. Jenifer shared a few of her PicMonkey creations including a collage that can be a perfect way to post pictures on your shop’s Facebook page.
Betsy Hall of Hall’s Flower Shop in Georgia and a member of our Board of Directors posted about the significance of Memorial Day. Several members participate in the nationwide Memorial Day Flowers program, handing out roses to visitors at military cemeteries.
Dirk Lorenz of Fremont Flowers in California shared a postcard about FTD's new flat-rate credit card program. FTD membership is NOT required for participation. Is this a sign of things to come? Will the wire services try to make up for declining membership fees by offering their goods and services a la carte? Is this a good deal for florists? FTD's income goes, in large part, to advertising to consumers - by purchasing these a la carte services, is a florist aiding a competitor for market share? It will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend, and to see what else the wire services choose to offer to non-members.

Philip Pearce of Young Floral in Charleston, West Virginia started a discussion about order gatherers who link to funeral home websites and then send their orders through the wire services. A similar discussion was started on our public Facebook page. The Stewart Enterprises (STEI) and Service Corporation International (SCI and Dignity) chains have arrangements with order gatherers, but many independent funeral homes are purchasing websites with links to order gatherers automatically set up. Funeral directors receive a commission on these sales, but most probably have no idea about the fee structure and how wire service orders work.

 Bonnie Bank of Superior Florist in New York emphasized the importance of visiting the websites of the funeral homes your shop services and looking at what their "Send Flowers” option links to. Chances are you won’t get anywhere with the chain funeral homes, but with the privately-owned homes you can educate the funeral director about order gatherers and maybe work out an arrangement to have their website’s link go directly to your website. Does your shop pay commissions to funeral homes? If not, is it worth it to look at the possibility in order to get your funeral homes to change their website link?

Words of Wisdom…

Aut Fuller of Floral Expressions in Maryland shared the following quotes:
"Don’t ever change just to impress and please someone. Change because it makes you a better person and it leads you to a better future.”
"I think the reason our parent’s generation was so successful was because they consistently worked towards common goals. They were all pulling on the same rope. We, on the other hand, each seem to be grasping at our own little threads and thereby unraveling the entire thing.”

Dirk Lorenz of Fremont Flowers in California and a member of our Board of Directors shared this quote from Benjamin Franklin:
"We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Benjamin Franklin was a very smart man. Strength comes in numbers! To join Florists for Change please download our membership application at
Reminders about meetings and other events:
Several Florists for Change members will be attending the SAF Retail Growth Solutions Conference June 19 - 20 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. If you are attending, please stop by the Retail Tech Showcase and visit the booths of our associate members, Strider, Floristware and Flower Shop Network!
Vans Logo
There will be a regional information meeting June 21 at 5 PM at Vans, Inc. in Chicago, IL. Light dinner and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact Elizabeth Crisp of Apple Creek Flowers in Woodstock, IL.
The Delaware Vally Florist Association is holding a meeting on June 27 at the Sheraton Hotel Bucks County in Langhorne, PA. The evening will include dinner, a presentation by Tim Huckabee, a centerpiece design contest and a brief introduction to Florists for Change by Bonnie Bank of Superior Florist in New York City. For more information contact Robin Heller of Flowers by David in Langhorne, PA.
Regional meetings and information sessions are being organized this summer in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. If you are interested in attending or organizing a regional information meeting, please contact Bonnie Bank at

We are still accepting questions and suggestions for the Board of Directors meeting of Florists for Change taking place in Denver this weekend. What are the issues you think we should discuss? What action steps do you think we should consider? Please feel free to post on the Florists for Change Facebook page (, or if you would prefer to share privately, please email your thoughts and ideas to Betsy Hall at

Thanks for reading!

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