Flower News, Design & Product Blog
February 27, 2017
Vine Bird Nest with Liner for Spring Blooms
Spring is near! Mini birds, eggs and nests tucked into florals signifies the sign of new life; the sign that spring is here!
This spring let the nest cradle your delicate spring blooms.
We love basket weave containers with liners! Save time and labour when the liner comes with the container - no fussing with homemade plastic/foil.
Simply cut your wet foam to shape, tape in place and begin! The look is soft for spring but this container has a study wire fame inside. No worries of
bent or crushed baskets in transport or when designing.
Designer tips from Caitlin:
- Beautiful for Easter plant drops using 4" daffodils or tulips.
- Lovely size for Easter dinner hostess gift or brighten gran's nightstand when you visit her at the nursing home.
- Adorable decor idea for any Easter table - suggest clusters down a dining table with a couple filled with chocolate eggs.
February 21, 2017
New Cherry Blossom Spray
Cherry Blossoms are one of the first arrivals in spring. The timing of blossoms varies greatly across Canada and is generally very brief depending on the weather. It's a good idea to have permanent blossoms on hand for your customers. We usually source realistic permanent blossom branches and sprays in soft shades of pink and white. This year we are excited to introduce a dark purple shade exclusive to Florists Supply:
Our team selected this colour because of its popularity in weddings and home decor colour pallets:
Since it's a difficult colour to find in natural blooms, suggest mixing some of these permanent stems with complimenting fresh flowers for brides.
Our blossom selection is available online or in our catalogue on page 62. It's shown on page 62 as Item F and is not exactly as shown in the catalogue because we had to Photoshop the photo to recreate it. This post shows how it looks in person when it arrived - it's in-stock in all Florists Supply locations!
We love the look and great value for this stem. With 4 breaks, approximately 90 blossoms and at 41"H the possibilities are endless!
For example: with 90 blossoms on one branch you can make up to 30 corsages and bouts that include 3 blossoms in each! Or make a spectacular centrepiece using only 2-4 stems per vase since they are so full and tall.
Caitlin is featuring it for our International Women's Day Display. It is bold like the campaign theme for 2017 #BeBoldForChange
Find out more at www.internationalwomensday.com
February 6, 2017
Gerbera's Designed with Love
When we think of Valentine's Day flowers our hearts and minds immediately go to classically romantic roses. Roses are beautiful, fragrant and red roses symbolize passion, desire and romantic love. Delve deeper into the meaning of the many shades of roses to provide the perfect gesture for any flower gift. Love comes in many forms, so when the gesture is one of adoration, happiness or in a new/young relationship innocence and purity - the gerbera daisy is a good fit.
Caitlin used gerbera's in White and Pink to match our Metal "Love" Purse Planters. These planters are available in 4 colours: white, light link, dark pink and red. They are also available as a 4"H pot in the same 4 shades. They come with a removable hard plastic liner for fresh arrangements. Dusty Miller & Seeded Eucalyptus are on trend and soften the design for a feminine look. The colour blocking and simplicity in design will stand out in the cooler and provide customers lovely choices for the perfect Valentine's Day gift.
The Victorian meaning of the gerbera daisy is happiness. The gerbera daisy seems to hold it's rays open to the world radiating pure happiness. Each shade has it's own meaning:
Red: unconscious in love or fully immersed in love
White: is a symbol of purity or innocence, childlike
Pink: admiration, adoration or high esteem
For more information on the meaning of gerberas go to www.flowermeaning.com/gerbera-flower-meaning/
There are many online resources to choose from; Caitlin refers to www.flowermeaning.com
for it's extensive library of all flowers. Reference this or other sites to help customers select flowers perfect whatever the occasion. Give them confidence in your knowledge and their choice to visit a professional florist.
January 30, 2017
Pretty Pink bouquet transformed with simple accessory switches.
A versatile bouquet in your cooler fit for birthdays, anniversary's & new babes during this major holiday.
Carnations - these are "Homer"
83-6657101-WH - White 42"L Midollino
43-00A6355-SV-09-04-04 - Silver Matte Ceramic Textured Square Cylinder
36-H51951R - Red 12"H Wood Heart Picks
36-00W7865 - Red Foil Heart Garland 25'L
43-00CBK49-WH-12-04-04 - White Ceramic Block Vase
79-X623740-PK - Champagne Demask Jacquard Ribbon
62-0H52609-BK-10-04 - Black Glass Cylinder
All of these items are easily interchanged with the Valentine Picks and Ribbon you have on hand.
The accessories set the tone:
Midollino & Silver Matte Vase for a Funky Vibe
Foil Hearts Garland & Wood Heart Picks for Valentine's
Sophisticated Romance with Damask Ribbon.
January 24, 2017
"Love" this Valentine's Display
Use the Blackboard "Love" Box for a personalized message of love or for in-store Valentine's Day promo & price points.
Caitlin's design features cafe vases sprayed matte black to compliment the chalkboard display.
You will need:
36-0W21580 - Black/Red 8" x 11"L Blackboard "Love" Box
36-H51951R - Red 12"H Wood Heart Picks
71-VBUR900BG - Natural 1 1/2"W Burlap Ribbon
87-00DM561-BK - Ink Uber Matte Ultra Colour Finish Spray
or 87-00DM725-BK - Flat Black Colortool Spray
61-0002770RD - Red 3/16"W Flat Wire
64-0320009-CL - Clear 5 1/2"H Cafe Collection Vases
or 64-0320324-CL - Clear Vintage Glass Bottle Collection
Blush Roses & Red Carnations have the same impact as Red Roses to add variety to your Valentine design palette.
Create the look:
Matte Black Spray mimic's the look of chalkboard and adheres well to glass bottles.
1) Glass bottles should be washed and completely dry before spraying.
2) Make a spray base with Sahara Dry Foam and strong wood dowels.
The spray base ensures even coverage without any finger marks from handling.
3) Place the vases upside-down on the dowels and spray evenly in a ventilated area. Only one coat of paint needed.
Thread Lily Grass through the Wood Heart Picks to add interest to your designs.
January 17, 2017
Valentine's Day Design Idea
To add a bit of extra colour and make the "love" stand out wrap the internal glass vase with cardinal red foil.
This Vase has multi uses and is a great keepsake.
All you need is:
41-07205LV-WH - White Round Crackle Pottery with Wire Handle and Love Cutout
76-0EF2050-RD - Cardinal Red 20" x 50' Embossed Foil Roll
Mini Green Hydrangea
Gerbera - Piccolini
Also in the picture above:
36-0H54326 - Red/Pink 7 1/2"H Stuffed Bear Heart/Polka Dot/Stripe Print
62-0G1854R-RD-08 -Transparent Red 8"- 10"H Glass Bud Vases - 6 Assorted
Take the glass insert out of the vase and roll the foil over it so you know how much to cut.
Leave a 1/2" overlap so you wont show any glass and then cut the foil.
Fold foil in half to make it a stronger wrap, when wrapping at the top of the vase, fold of the foil up. This creates a cleaner seam. Fold the remaining foil over the bottom of the vase, this helps hold everything together.
Place the vase into the external lantern.
Helpful hint - To help generate a few extra sales display some gift items with your arrangements. Customers will more often grab that extra stuffy when they see it next to an arrangement then go searching for it in the store.
Design by Caitlin MacLean, In-House Designer, Vancouver, BC
January 10, 2017
Cup of Love - Simple, Sweet Designs for Valentine's
Fill Striped and Polka Dot Mugs with Love!
Multi-pattern containers in a red/white theme create impact in your cooler without being identical gifts.
Find out how to make these Cafe inspired designs:
All you need is:
- 41-00A7146-RD-04-03 - Red/White Polka Dot/Striped Mugs. They come 4 Assorted in a Case of 12
- 61-00K1002-RD - Coil Covered 12 Gauge Aluminum Wire
Red Spray Roses
Make "Love" with this simple wiring technique: it's like cursive writing, one long continuous line.
Start by bending over the end of the wire; at the end of a 2" length curl over the wire at a right angle to create the "L".
At the end of a 1 1/2" length of wire bend up the wire creating a circle to create the "O".
At the bottom of the "O" come straight back up then down and up again to create the "V".
Make sure you don't start the "E" at the top of the "V". To keep them level, go horizontal for a 1" length then curve of the top to create the "E".
At the bottom of the "E" make a small loop to finish it off and cut a length of wire to create the pick for securing in your design.
We had fun naming Caitlin's designs to match the coffee inspired swirls, steam & heart:
Cup of Love
Love You Latte
Espresso of My Love for You
Who knew Caitlin was a floral designer and barista?!
December 19, 2016
Bring the Outdoors In with Framed Faux Birch Branches
December 12, 2016
Mini Tree for Small Spaces
Create a mini tree for small spaces or use this pine tree spray for Grinch Tree designs.
You will need:
67-0G16489-GR Green 28"H Pine Spray
43-00A7269-GY Grey 9 3/4"H x 5"DIA Ceramic Cylinder Vase with Tree Bark Finish
68-0H55650-BR Brown 1 3/4"H "Leather Leaf" Stars
61-00K1002-CP Copper 39'L Coil Covered 12 Gauge Aluminum
38-0H53079-BR Natural 9"OAH x 6"OAD Lichen/Twig Nest on Pick
38-0MB0585-BR Natural 4 3/4"L Feather Quail Ornament
28-0161136-BR Brown 29"H Natural Manzinita Branch
44-2317500-WH White Artificial Snow
To make the ornament stars cut an 8"L piece of Copper Aluminum Wire.
Bend each end of the wire creating a loop - this prevents a sharp edge.
Then, take one end of wire and start curling it around itself creating a little coiled pad.
Glue the star onto the pad with UGlue Adhesive Dashes or a hot glue gun. The remaining wire can be curved into a hook to hang on the tree.
Using artificial snow is simple.
First, mist your finished arrangement with water.
Sprinkle the snow from above to create a natural look of how snow would fall.
Before the snow dries, brush off the Feather Quail, Lichen/Twig Nest and some of the ornaments with a point brush so they are not too heavily covered.
Design by Caitlin MacLean, In-House Designer, Vancouver, BC
December 7, 2016
Poinsettia Care 101
December 5, 2016
Unique Holiday Colour Palette with Aluminium Wire Accent
Metallic Bronze/Silver Ceramic Containers set the tone for this unique holiday colour palette.
43-00A7278-BZ - Ceramic Onion Bowl with Twist Finish
43-00A7275-BZ - Ceramic Pot with Tree Bark Finish
1 bunch Quicksand Roses
1 bunch Bronze Anastasia Chrysanthemums Disbud
2 stems 96-0326329-CR Spring Berry Picks
1 stem 69-0G15714-BR Frosted Brown Glittered/Sequin Money Plant (can be subbed with fresh eucalyptus by adding frost/glitter) 1/4 roll of flat aluminum wire
Always fold over the exposed end of the wire so customers don't catch themselves on it.
Working with the curl of the wire, fold over a small section of the wire to create the first loop.
Move a little farther down the wire and do it again.
Repeat this pattern leaving some length at the end to be inserted into the arrangement.
Fold the remaining end part of the wire straight down to create the stake.
Don't fuss over precise folds, the more random the lengths - the neater the look!
Always work with the curve of the wire, not against it, to get this look with ease.
This unique colour palette can complement existing decor or rustic holiday theme.
Designs by Caitlin MacLean, In-House Designer, Vancouver, BC.
November 29, 2016
Bouquet Bracket Exclusive to Florists Supply
Cascading Bouquets continue to be a strong trend so you are likely designing in bouquet holders more than ever. Florists Supply is excited to carry this Bouquet Bracket - it attaches firmly to your workbench and holds your bouquet holder in place without tipping while you design.
Place the base of the bracket on your workbench.
Tighten the lower screw until it meets the table.
To adjust the height loosen the two lower screws and move the bar up or down till you get the desired height.
Place your bouquet holder into the top of the stand. It is a very secure fit to prevent tipping while you work. Wrap your bouquet holder after the design is complete to ensure the best fit in the bouquet holder.
Compose a glamourous cascading bouquet with:
1 bunch Testarossa Red Roses
1 bunch Ranunculus
1 bunch Pepper Berry
1 bunch Green Trick Carnations
1 28-0H54229-GR-BR Faux Moss Twig Bundle
1 stem 69-0G15719-BR Frosted/Glittered Hanging Branch
1 stem 69-0S29641-CR-BR Cotton Pod Spray
Cover the base of the bouquet holder with artificial leaves so you can prep holders in advance of the event.
When adding fresh flowers, use green Trick Carnations to cover the perimeter of the base.
They are inexpensive, green, and fluffy so they provide great coverage.
The Bouquet Bracket fits the majority of bouquet holders and with its' three separate holes for holding the bouquet, it allows you to place the bouquet holder handle into the Bouquet Bracket and design the bouquet as it will be carried by the Bride.
Caitlin MacLean, In-House Designer, Vancouver, BC
November 22, 2016
Frosted/Glittered Eva Pine Spray 3 Ways
Caitlin created a centerpiece, gift wrap and complimentary napkin rings/place card holders.
To assemble this look you will need:
69-0G15546-WH White 31"H Frosted/Glittered Eva Pine Spray
95-0215783-GD 2" Gold Crab apple Pick
43-9971000-GD Gold Flower Ceramic Spade Pot
38-0H53042-GD Champagne Glittered/Sequins Double Butterfly Pick
79-0X74021-WH-GD Embroidered Swirl Sheer Ribbon
79-0X34049-BK-GD Black/Gold Cording
Metallic Design Master Paint, a fresh hydrangea and some fresh succulents.
Create your gold succulents with a few simple steps:
1. To give succulents height attach a wooden stake.
2. Take any metallic spray paint (Design Master Gold Medal) and spray liberally.
3. Wait a few minutes to dry then place into your arrangement.
The succulents will absorb the water soaked up the stake so they will outlive the rest of the arrangement. Replace the fresh hydrangea as needed.
The top of the Ceramic Spade Pot is wrapped in Black & Gold Cording. The base of the arrangement is the whimsical Frosted/Glittered Eva Pine Spray, a simple white hydrangea, finished with gold succulents and butterfly.
Dress up your gift giving with Embroidered Ribbon, Cording, Metallic Crabapple Pick and the Eva Pine Spray. Use the white foam pine spray as the base for your bow.
If you have a tough time throwing anything away, use the end bits for a fun napkin ring/place card holder and finish your look.
November 15, 2016
Holiday Design Idea
Our in-house designer Caitlin MacLean in Vancouver has used our Metal Tealight Stakes to create two looks for holiday centerpieces. Metal Tealight Stakes
90-0046672-RD are 6" - 10"H x 1 1/2"TD and come as a Set of 3.
For a modern look she used the Rectangle Mirror Planter 62-0H54291-SV. These containers are watertight so no need to line the planter and they come in 2 sizes! She filled the stakes with white roses, frosted pinecones and continued a linear modern look with craspedia "snowballs".
More than just candles stakes, these Metal Red Tea Light Stakes can be used with fresh blooms too! They aren't watertight but a 4 1/2" Aquapic fits inside the stake perfectly.
Create craspedia snowballs with a few simple steps:
- Spray with Design Master Flat White spray paint. Let Dry.
- Light Mist with Water
- Sprinkle with White Artificial Snow 44-2317500-WH, let dry for a few mins before adding into the arrangement.
Caitlin created a traditional look with Vintage Drawer Planter 47-0H55560-RD, seeded eucalyptus, green hydrangea, white roses, cedar, berries and of course, tealight candles. Green hydrangea is a smart choice for a holiday focal flower as it is readily available and not subject to the higher seasonal pricing of red flowers.
October 19, 2016
Floralife Express Clear Preservative
Floralife Express Clear Preservative
Care and handling of cut flowers is an important part of the mechanics of floral design. Mechanics help to enhance the longevity and structural integrity of a design. Care and handling products are part of enhancing longevity. Design mechanics evolve each year as we learn new techniques and new products enter the market. Care and handling products also evolve each year adding new specialty foods or improving formulations.
One thing that has not changed is the basic concept of cutting flowers to allow them to hydrate. At times we may have smashed stems with the back of a knife, cut underwater, quick dipped or simply trimmed with a knife. Whatever preservative you used or did not use you still cut the stem.
Cutting stems is a lot of work especially for wholesalers or bouquet makers who process very high volumes of stems each week. Retail florists need to dedicate staff to process incoming flowers and cutting is a part of that. Imagine the time that could be saved if we did not have to cut the stems.
But it would be crazy not to cut stems!
Fortunately for the industry the preservative guru's at Floralife thought it was not that crazy. They created a new product called Express which allows you to process some or all of your flowers without cutting them. Yes - you read that correctly! You can process flowers without cutting them.
The Express product was soft launched to high volume users like rose growers and wholesalers over the past several years. Florists Supply has gradually introduced it into all of our locations, evaluating the performance and gaining confidence in the Express product.
Floralife is just beginning to launch it to the retail floral market and soon Florists Supply will begin stocking Express in the 1 gallon liquid 300 level formula.
Does it work?
Express was formulated to work with roses and it works very well with roses. For other flowers it is not as consistent and we still cut most Foliage, Sunflowers, Molucella, Hydrangea, Waxflower, Poms, Delphinium, Carnations, Solidago and Monte Casino. The list varies as each warehouse has different experiences. The list of what we cut is small compared to what we do not cut.
Express is a good fit for large volume processors. Retail florists who are processing lower volumes would need to weigh the increased cost of Express (20% more) vs the time savings they achieve. As with any care and handling product change should be approached cautiously. Trialing Express is best done during slower periods and never before a large event or major floral holiday. For this product it is imperative that you test it in your real world conditions as water, dosage and processing habits vary between retailers.
Keep in mind retailers not only hydrate but prepare stems for design when processing. Removing the grower packaging and foliage, at that stage there is very little extra work to cut the flower. There is no harm in cutting flowers when using Express and you could cut all of your stems with no harm until you are confident what products do not need to be cut.
The real benefit for retailers will be when Express is launched in Consumer Packs. As you are likely aware many customers do not recut stems when receiving flowers. Express will offer the most benefit with those customers if properly dosed. Suggesting to your customers that they do not need to cut the stems would not be advised as they have to mix Express in the proper dosage for it to work.
Express will change how the industry thinks about processing and handling flowers. As Floralife learns more, the formulation will change and we expect continued improvements. We encourage you to educate yourself on the product and learn the limitations in your real world scenario.
VP Cut Flower Operations
May 11, 2016
Our Supply Catalogue 15 Years Ago
Had a chance recently to stroll through our 2001 Supply Catalogue with Rose Hoffmann, our veteran Winnipeg's Territory Sales Representative. We had a few chuckles over how far we have come with Catalogue production quality, depth of our product lineup, and 15 years later how sellable many of the items would still be today.
We do of course still sell some of the same items and/or sell comparable items. As I went through the Catalogue I made these observations on pricing (all pricing I have listed is Regular Price) and product offering:
Two of the big core glass items are actually priced cheaper today on a regular basis than 15 years ago:
The rest of the core Syndicate items are approximately 10 to 30% higher than 15 years ago. There was a noticeable absence of any designer glass in our line including squares or rectangles. There was also no machine made glass from China (like the 64-0003059 4" Square Cube). There was only 2 pieces of colored glass. In today's world there are so many more glass options for florists to design in. They have the flexibility to create in higher end designer glass, stick to the core Syndicate items, access affordable machine made glass, select recycled glass or from a host of colors.
Most plastic containers have gone up considerably since 2001. Pricing increased 66% to 88% on some items I compared. For example the 63-0730748 Single Green Design Bowl was selling for $.25 in 2001, now $.47 each. Pedestal Bowls (#85) were selling for $1.50 in 2001, now $2.50. Plastic containers have increased due to increasing costs of input resins to make plastic. With that said they are still very affordable containers for their size and function.
Many of the core polyester flowers had similar prices when comparing 2016 to 2001.
Rose bushes, rose bud bushes, mixed bushes etc. all very similar in price for 2016 vs. 2001.
Not to toot our own horns but I think we have done a nice job over the years finding mid to above average permanent botanicals while keeping prices very similar to previous offerings and affordable for our customers.
An area we have not been able to hold prices in are plastic greens used primarily in funeral work such as Leather Fern, Maiden Fern, and Cedar Sprays. Again due to input costs these items are costing 2 to 3 times higher today than in 2001. The increase in the plastic greens pricing has led some of our customers to Polyester green sprays for everyday funeral work. For example our Green Ficus Spray 28-0S27298 at regular price works out to a lowly $1.08 for a 23"H spray with 42 leaves.
Permanent botanicals are another area where your choice as a florist today is larger than it was in 2001. Our 2016 Catalogue has 64 pages of Permanent Botanicals including grasses, succulents, trees, boxwoods, and tropical flowers that could not be found in our 2001 Catalogue. The 2001 Catalogue by comparison had 22 pages devoted to Permanent Botanicals.
Probably an obvious point for most of you but it should be noted every ribbon in our 2001 Catalogue was a 10 yard put up. Prices ranged from $5.95 to $9.95 a bolt. It is not uncommon in 2016 to see 10 yard ribbon packages of 6 or 12 ranging in prices from $3.00 to $4.00 a bolt. Nice novelty patterns we sell 50 yards from $15.99 to $19.99 a bolt. Ribbon is clearly more of a bargain today than it was in 2001.
Our Ceramic containers we offered in 2001 were similarly priced to 2016. Most pots fitting a 4" were priced in the $4.95 range. Coffee mugs were selling for $2.75 to $4.50, depending on the pattern. These are very similar to today. Of course today, beside ceramics, there are many more materials containers are coming in; including recycled plastic, wood, galvanized metal, birch, moss, etc. The choices in containers we offer are much broader today.
Florists Supply's selection in 2001 was pretty skimpy, I counted up 11 skus for everyday items. We were selling a set of 36 Bamboo Baskets with liners, similar to our 46-0010975 for $89.95. Today our price is $65.00. While we don't profess to be the Basket King, our selection is much better, prices are competitive due to smarter sourcing, and we carry more styles consistently to make our customer's lives easier (you can count on us having it in stock).
Most Smithers Oasis products sell today for more than they did in 2001 with the exception that our Wedding Bell bouquet holders sell at lower prices than they did in 2001. Price fixation often revolves around Oasis Floral Foam. Pricing in 2001 was $31.95 case 48, today's regular price is $49.00. My guess would be most of the price increase from Oasis has been due to the freight required to ship this product combined with some of the resin inputs. Is $49.00 punitive to today's florist? I do not believe so for a couple of reasons. I always look at a case of foam as 144 average arrangements (assuming 1/3 of a brick per arrangement, there are 48 bricks in a box). In 2001 that 1/3 brick cost $.22, today $.34, so on average we are talking $.12 higher per arrangement. Secondly in today's world many arrangements go out handtied or in a glass container, leading to the diminished use of floral foam compared to 15 years ago.
2016 we had a 228 page catalogue, 2001 52 pages. Our product line has grown and developed to meet our diverse customer base and their product needs. Two things that have stayed consistent for us from that Catalogue in 2001 are Audrey Finch and Debbie Lauber-Krykewich, Winnipeg Cut Flower Customer Service Representatives. Audrey and Debbie were included in a photo amongst at least 40 buckets of different fresh flowers on the back cover to promote our Cut Flower department (they haven't aged a bit!). It is a good reminder that pricing and breadth of product line are both important, but not as important as having the right people consistently selling and servicing those products to your everyday customers.
Laurie Nesbitt, CPA, CA
February 9, 2016
We recently had two complaints on the production of 4099, the very popular 8" Rose Vase, we sell from Syndicate Sales. This has been a staple in the industry for many years and we consistently sell over 30,000 pieces of this vase every year. I don't recall ever a complaint on the production of the vase reaching my level since I started in 1990 with Florists Supply so production problems are few and far between but can occur.
In a world of common place cell phones with terrific cameras, identifying issues and complaints has never been easier. I have attached 2 images of the problem vases we received from two different customers:
The first above where the lip of the vase looks torn off.
The second above where its looks like some thin glass fragments where baked into the bottom of the vase.
If you notice any issues with a Syndicate product please bring it forward to our attention and as always we will ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase. An image of the problem is helpful to pass back to Syndicate and some information off the bottom of the Case can help them trace the problem back to a Production run. That information can be found on the bottom of the box as shown below:
We strive to provide exceptional Customer Service as does Syndicate Sales and the rest of the vendors we choose to align ourselves with. While broken glass from shipping is a more common issue in our industry, production issues with glass is less frequent but may occur. If you notice any production issues with a Syndicate glass product please let us know and we will make it right for you. If you can provide an image of the defective glass and the Carton # and Item # from the bottom of the Case we will pass along to Syndicate so they can follow up at their end and ensure production problems are identified and eliminated where possible.
Laurie Nesbitt, CPA, CA
January 11, 2016
Happy New Year and Change to Kraft in our Delivery Boxes
Happy New Year from our staff and management! It is the start of a fresh new year for all of us and we hope the holidays let you rejoice, relax and recharge.
We have moved from white boxes to Kraft boxes for the delivery boxes and trays we sell. There are three reasons that prompted the switch:
- For the environment, plain Kraft boxes are more friendly and today's consumer more welcoming of environment friendly products
- Kraft is popular in today's "Natural" design world as a texture and a color.
- Kraft boxes are slightly less money than white boxes allowing us to keep our selling prices to you as low as possible
For our personalized (Florists Supply) shipping boxes that you receive your Supplies and Cut Flowers in from us, we will also be transitioning to Kraft boxes for the same reasons as above. The switch will occur as our stock in the white boxes is depleted.
Hundreds of new Spring and Everyday items have arrived. Check out our Spring & Everyday 2016 Catalogue online or shop online at www.floristssupply.com.
The new Catalogue is in the mail and should be arriving to customers very soon.
Laurie Nesbitt, CPA, CA
October 28, 2015
Florists Supply Attends WF&FSA Conference
One of the first things I did as a leader at Florists Supply was to institute an annual Planning Meeting involving all our managers. The Meeting had a variety of purposes.
The first purpose was to build team chemistry and understanding of each manager. In its infancy we only had Winnipeg and Saskatoon locations but in the back of my mind I knew expansion was going to occur and keeping managers engaged from afar requires regular face to face interaction and good communication between Head Office and Branches.
The second purpose was to develop our roadmap or Plan for the upcoming year. This included setting Department Sales Goals, Department Gross Profit Goals, Capital Expenditure budgets (what new equipment would we need next year), Calendar of Events (Education, Design Shows), Staffing Complement (do we need more people), etc.
The third purpose was a forum to provide education and training to all our managers at the same time. This could involve outside formal training or internal training in areas such as Leadership and Human Resource issues; topics relevant to all those in attendance.
The fourth purpose was to add to our business or industry experience through tours of other businesses in the area of the meeting when possible. Over the years this has included fellow wholesalers, Miami Airport tour, flower auction, bouquet companies, greenhouses, and flower forwarders.
This year our Company attended the 2015 WF&FSA (Whole Florists & Floral Suppliers Association) in Miami, Florida at Trump Doral and we had 18 managers at the Conference. The Conference was ideal to fulfill all purposes of our Planning Meeting.
We began with a 4 hour meeting Planning Meeting of our own, allowing us to develop most of our 2016 Plan (second purpose above).
We toured our Cut Flower Forwarder in Miami, the company that picks up our flower boxes from South America at the Miami Airport, ensures they are properly pre-cooled before being loaded, sorts our boxes into the branch they are destined too, and loads the truck in order of branch drop off. While our Cut Flower Logistics people are very familiar with this process, for the others in the group this was a chance to see an important step in the Cold Chain and meet an important service provider to Florists Supply.
There were also 99 Table Top Exhibitors, pre-dominantly Cut Flower vendors with some Supply vendors. This allowed our group to meet the key people behind some of our best vendors and to discuss new products, service issues, etc. Between the tour of our Cut Flower Forwarder and the Table Top Exhibitors we covered the fourth purpose above.
The Conference agenda included Sessions and Workshops to add to our Education (the third purpose). We took in a Trends Session by Kevin Ylvisaker sponsored by Smithers Oasis. We attended Sales Workshops featuring Don Buttrey and a Leadership Workshop put on by Randy Disharoon. Both of these speakers participate in the University of Innovative Distribution program put on by Purdue University in Indianapolis over 4 days in March of every year. Finally we attended the Closing Session featuring Jon Wolske from Zappos entitled "Creating a Culture of Service". Zappos is an organization that grew its sales from $0 in 1999 to $1 Billion in 2009 and consistently appears on Forbes Magazine list of Best Companies to Work For.
What about the first purpose, team chemistry and getting to better understand each other? Chemistry is partly about the memories you make. Sean Stock, Customer Service Manager Vancouver, attended his first Planning Meeting and we will remember him being on crutches after suffering a laceration to his ankle shortly before his departure date. We will remember Saskatoon managers Sandra Mierau and Dawn Debert having their picture taken poolside with none other than Donald Trump (Trump had his first official political rally on the Trump Doral property while most of us were still there). We will remember listening to the Toronto Blue Jays playoff elimination loss on the patio over the radio (as the game was not broadcast where we were). We will remember our group dinners and the shared jokes. And our fondest memories will be the welcome and departing hugs.
The 2015 WF&FSA Conference was a perfect venue for our team's annual Planning Meeting. We came back more in unison, organized for next year, wiser and motivated. In business, success is achieved through your people and their teamwork.
Laurie Nesbitt, CPA, CA
September 28, 2015
Welcome to our New Website
Welcome to our new and improved Florists Supply website! Why a new website for us in our 80th year of business? Here are our top ten reasons in the order that I feel they are important:
1. The shopping experience for our customers has been enhanced with an active store that will allow you to place your Supply orders on the web at any hour of the day. We also continue to upload our printed Catalogues to PDF on the website should you prefer to flip through our Catalogues.
2. The website will now properly display with all of today's mobile devices, allowing easy navigation on mobile phones and tablets.
3. Customers may view all products with images without prices (prior to logging in) which will allow our customers to share product ideas with their clients for event planning. We have been asked over the years to generate our printed Catalogues without prices for this reason but we have always felt in our printed Catalogues we had to conveniently provide the price on the page to avoid our customers having to look up on a separate price list.
4. Customers now have Search capabilities to quickly narrow their Search for products and/or to look for ideas. In the global Search at the top of the website you can search the entire product databases Supplies and Fresh Flowers (not available for online ordering but shown in our Flower Gallery). For example if you type in Purple the site will return to you every item with Purple in its description, very helpful if you are looking for Purple ideas.
5. Within the Supplies Categories there are additional Search filters for Colour where applicable and also for Height, Length and Width where applicable. The Height, Length and Width filters you may find especially helpful in the Containers Category. For example if you are looking for something 10" Tall, you can enter in the Height filter a range of Heights such as 9" to 11"and it will return everything over 9" High but less than 11".
6. We have also added Quantity Available which should help our Customers with Product Planning. We first provide you our Quantity Available overall in the Company which is our On Hand Stock less existing Customer Orders. We also provide information on any Incoming Stock that is Available. Should you need to see the Quantity Available in a specific branch you can also see that information by clicking on the overall Quantity Available. At the outset we plan on updating our Inventory quantities every hour. For immediate Rush orders you may still want to contact your Customer Service Representative to ensure the product is in stock and can be shipped today.
7. Customers will find copying images from our website for proposals and quotes easier than in the past. Simply right click on an image and save it. Previously one could copy an image from the PDF Catalogues but the process was not as straight forward.
8. For the Bargain hunters out there, there is a Category under Supplies called Sale which will include all the items in Supplies on the website that are on Sale. Often these items are dropped from our current Catalogues due to lower quantities but they are good products and good deals.
9. Under My Account customers will be able to see Account Activity including any Outstanding Balances, Sales Statistics year over year, and Invoice copies. This will include activity for the web and regular activity for orders placed directly with a Customer Service Representative.
10. The website has a refreshing new look with modern fonts and navigation.
We are proud of our efforts to launch our new website but at the same time we understand a website is not a static thing. Through your use and feedback we will continue to make adjustments to the website to ensure your experience is the best it can be. Our hope is all of our customers find the new website another tool to assist with their businesses and to strengthen our relationship.
Laurie Nesbitt, CPA, CA