Thursday, December 08, 2011

Our 'Face of 2012'

As this year winds down, our minds ambitiously wander to 2012. What will it hold?

While we can't change world politics or the financial situations that just seem to fester under the surface of many minds, we can think about beautiful flowers...and how we can coax more people into realizing their absolute beauty. It's not just beauty though. They really do serve a purpose, too.

Their mere presence truly does prove benefit to humans. It's a proven fact. They lift your spirits. With the elderly, they provoke thoughts and initiate conversations of past experiences... I gardened with my mother. My first love brought me violets. I remember- and just fill in the blank. Flowers relieve stress, they celebrate life, they ask for forgiveness, they speak for you when you are speechless.

Flowers can be associated with many things. Find your best image and run with it. For me, I have looked through our photos of this year's brides to find our 'Best Image.' As I work on our marketing for this new year of 2012, I want our potential clients to see a snippet of what we are capable of.

I plan to use our lovely bride Megan's image as our 'Face' for 2012. Why her? Because. First, she was an absolute doll to work with. Her choice of flowers truly reflected her- colorful, complex, romantic, fun and individual. She expressed her desire for bright shades to pop and stir interest in contrast to a very traditional church setting. She paid attention to details and textures and it definitely showed.

I've attached some of her photos shot by the photography team of Kreich-Higdon. They're simply wonderful photographers and creative people. And equally as important, great to work with.

So, look for Megan in our ads. She was delighted when I told her - she was 'The ONE'. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her and even more grateful she will now represent us.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Flora Holland

Over the Thanksgiving holiday week, I traveled to Germany and the Netherlands. As a florist, the trip to the Netherlands was one I'd always hoped I could, one day, take. Not only is the Netherlands- Holland- known for wooden shoes and windmills, but also for flowers. Tulips in particular. Tulips are only the beginning of what is available from Holland.

I made a special trip to Aalsmeer, the Netherlands. Aalsmeer, is the home of Flora Holland. Flora Holland is the largest flower auction house in the world. It has over 6000 member growers represented. The auction house sells flowers grown in Europe as well as from Kenya, Ethiopia, Israel, and from South America. It is the 'portal to the world market and allows trade companies to access the full international supply.'

In a nutshell- it was one amazing place for a florist to visit. I shot a lot of video while in the auction house. It was amazing to see how all of the flowers get from the fields to the florist.

The auction begins at 7am. But the day begins way before then. Flowers begin their trip 5pm the day before they're being auctioned. Product is pulled and the trip to the market begins at 8pm. It arrives around 10pm and things get checked in and refrigerated. By 4am the next day- auction day- the quality inspection begins. By 6am, thousands of buyers review what's available. The auction begins at 7am. As soon as flowers are sold in one of the two auction halls, they begin their journey to the florist. The auction goes very quickly. As the giant clocks tic down, flowers, foliages, plants and other products are sold at a rapid pace. Once sold, they're pulled, packed and their trip to the buyer begins. Flowers sold to local business can appear in-shop later the same day. They begin their journey out of the country equally as quick, with an overnight trip to the rest of the world.

It was amazing to see hundreds of thousands of stems of flowers. Everything from roses, gerbera daisy, orchids, tropicals and more to beautiful blooming and green plants. The photos show a huge variety of fresh product in various stages of handling. Flowers are grouped, pulled by handlers, transported into the auction, on carts and trollies, presented and sold on the 'big clock', pulled again to be packed and shipped to the buyers. And it all happens very fast. The buyers sit in the auction room, at one of the many seats with computers to analyze product and submit their bids.

This was truly an amazing opportunity for me, and one I'll never forget. It's important to know your roots- and now I really know mine... well, my flower's.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It's not always about flower..

A while back, I posted my daughter has gotten engaged. Needless to say, being 'in the business' I kind of have a leg up on the planning and vendors, which has helped to make our planning a snap. But, that doesn't mean I don't have the same thoughts as every other person-about what can go wrong on my daughter's wedding day.

Earlier today I saw an interesting post from a site for a DJ service called "Scratch Weddings". They are old school actually spinning vinyl--[my son would be in heaven.] Anyway, as I looked thru their blog I came across the following words of wisdom and thought it was important to share.

--In the spirit of planning for the worst, we polled our Facebook friends, DJs and recent newlyweds to compile our 7 Sure-Fire Ways to Clear Your Wedding Dance Floor list:

#7 – Hire a DJ who talks too much. “At this particular moment in time, could you put your hands together and give it up for the parking valet hanging out in your car.”

#6 – Tell the DJ to turn up the speakers as loud as they go. Never mind the fact that the Richter scale at the nearby college earth science lab is red-lining…Your guests will love the ear-splitting sub-woofers, we’re sure.

#5 – Stick with one genre all night long. I’m sure no one in the crows likes different genres?

#4 – Don’t pre-screen a DJ’s ability to blend, beat-match and scratch. Yes, wedding guests love being able to experience train wreck transitions – a.k.a., those poor mixes between songs that you never hear from a Scratch Weddings’ DJ.

#3 – Change gears faster than an 18-wheeler on a freeway entrance ramp. Book a DJ who says yes to a request from guests who want to hear a Viennese waltz and then cuts a Michael Jackson song short to crank up Johann Strauss.

#2 – Fail to read the crowd. The latest song prompted the feet of 100+ guests to go limp and a look of “are you on another planet?” to flash across their faces.

#1 – Announce, “The bar’s closing in 10 minutes.” Do we even need to explain this one? Give your guests a solid 30 minutes to get their last cocktail.

We are having a DJ for my daughter's wedding. One of Jen's biggest requests was- after some serious eating- the reception be 'one big, non-stop dance party'. So, the music and they way it is executed will be very important. I can definitely say that reading the 'Top 7' list definitely made sense to me. I know I have experienced all of these things at someone's wedding over the years. And to me, there's nothing worse than music being played that is completely inappropriate for the setting; especially when it's completely obvious as the dance floor evacuates - but the DJ doesn't change the music.

I'm looking forward to an incredibly memorable day. Dancing, great food and of course, a wonderful couple of days with our families. I know June will be here incredibly fast. I plan on enjoying every minute spent along the way.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brainstorming. Wedding Shows. Which way to go?

Although it's becoming more popular now, it used to be that most wedding shows, were typically held January through March-ish. at least that's the way it had been in our region of the country. Now, I'd have to say for the past few years, it's become a year round thing. This of course, makes sense since people don't just marry in the spring and summer.

The biggest challenge for a vendor such as ourself, is knowing what to show at the show. We know there will be other florists, but how do we best showcase our talent without giving away all of our visual 'pretties' before someone gets to see what we really can do for them. And, we also have to keep in mind, we want to be sure we present something fresh and original. All callas? I hope
not... but, if we do, there will be a serious twist.

So this weekend, we'll be presenting our florals at Garden Court. We have been asked to decorate the entrance, staircase and hall. This will also include providing florals for the other vendor's tables also displaying in the hall. So the question is...what do we bring?

Let's just say, some of our Dutch friends will be making an appearance and some from Ecuador, too. We might have a fresh twist on a decorative idea for that big, dark, heavily carved staircase. I'm just saying. An no one knows just exactly what's going on the check in table or entrance doors- but it will be snazzy.

Well, you'll just have to make arrangements to check it out yourself or wait 'til we post some photos. Normally, the wedding shows aren't such a huge deal for us to do. Except, this weekend, not only do we have the show, we also have four weddings. So, if nothing else- this should be fun to say the least.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Art and Flowers: Create and Bloom

Join us at our unique and inspiring floral studio, Lavender Hill. Thursday evening, October 27th. 6-9pm.

Paintings, prints, jewelry and more. Art created by local artisans with inspiring floral interpretation. A creative evening in a beautiful, blooming setting.
Art and Flowers: Create and Bloom

Please mark your calendar and plan to spend some time with local artists including 'Starvin Artist' David Green, Larry Dalhover, Pam Raymond, Sheila DeKold, Walt Hale, Marianne Zickuhr, Carolyn Minutillo AIFD Cfd, Jessica Morris and Grace Harmon.

Together, we will present art in various mediums with a floral interpretation to compliment. Art will be available for purchase and commissions accepted.

Light refreshments will be served.
Lavender Hill
360 Spring St. Historic Downtown Jeffersonville

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And the Reader's Choice Winner is.......

US!!!! Yes, that's right. We were told yesterday that for the second year in a row, we were voted the Best Florist in Clark County.

We don't take that lightly. We're thrilled we were voted the Best and are appreciative of the acknowledgement. We know there are at least six florists in the county. So, we're glad our hard work, client service and most of all design work, has been a favorite in our community.

What are we doing differently? Well we like to think our awesome sources for the freshest flowers is at the top of the list. We make it a priority to purchase locally grown seasonal flowers whenever possible. We also import some of the freshest and most unique available.

We also know continuing education and involvement within the floral industry is and absolute MUST. As the owner and principal designer, I am an AIFD certified floral designer and a floral educator. I also have over twenty-five years of design experience.

Our lead designer, Jessica recently spent her 'vacation' assisting nationally known floral designer, Mandi Majerik at the Tennessee State Floral Convention at the beginning of the month. She then traveled to Alabama to assist Mandi with two weddings and a photo shoot for a wedding publication. It is always a great opportunity to work with other excellent designers in various regions of the country. It brings greater awareness to national trends and regional traditions.

Our design apprentice Grace will be finishing up on a degree in business/marketing this fall. She has a very creative eye and is a natural with flowers. She also spent a semester studying art in Florence, Italy. After receiving her degree, Grace plans to begin her formal floral design education. Her eventual goal along with Jessica is to reach the AIFD accreditation.

The person responsible for getting all of the great flowers to the lucky recipients is Kym. She carefully gets the arrangements packed and magically finds the addresses for all of the beautiful flowers. Kym also keeps us organized in the workroom as well as in the front of the shop.

The only one I haven't mentioned is our new shop cat, Katy Milady McGee. We absolutely love her. She keeps us happy with her mere presence and makes every day working with flowers even better, and our clients love her too.

We hope you've gotten to know a bit more about us. We love our 'job' and by the results of the Reader's Choice Survey, now we know it shows.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Not this dress and other wedding things

No this isn't "The Dress".

I know I've posted previously, my daughter got engaged. She has set her date for next summer and in the mean time, we have lots to do- just like every other bride and her mom.

It's as exciting for me- just like for any other mother of the bride. The one differences is obvious, I'm in the business of flowers and weddings. In some ways it's like an advantage- obviously, I know the best vendors to suggest to my daughter-from the perspective of matching personalities. I do suggest these same vendors to my clients, for the same reason- personality and product/service. I have the advantage of knowing many people and their services and I know I am lucky to be in this position on such a special day. But, in many ways, I am just like every other mother of the bride.

My biggest concern, the weather. Just like every other other mom, whose daughter is planning an outside wedding. Now it's not even just rain. I'm hoping we don't have this horrible heat too. I know we've made the right choices for location and all of the other details involved. But, it's all of the other 'little things'. You don't want her wedding to be too similar to any other recent friend or relative's wedding. My niece Alexis just married, and she had an absolutely beautiful wedding. And although we went through about five color palettes- seriously- Jen settled on the same shades as Alexis ! It wasn't intended, just worked out that way. So now, we have to put Jen's twist on it. Oh, and I have to find something to wear too. And that should be fun.

I also want to be sure I am not only physically present for Jen's wedding but mentally. I will not be scheduling any other weddings for her weekend. She deserves my undivided attention. Typically, we have plenty of staff divided up between all of the weddings we schedule. We make sure we do not over book so all of our brides get the same attention. It's just, our staff will also be guests and they deserve the opportunity to have a great night celebrating too.

It's been interesting looking at her ceremony and reception location with a fresh pair of eyes. We've worked events here many times over the years- but this time walking in, to really look at the space, seems very different. I can definitely say I will have more things to share with future brides because of my own personal experience. I am truly looking forward to this year unfolding as it will. We'll have many things to celebrate as the time checks off the calendar.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Wedding Road Trip

My beautiful niece and Goddaughter Alexis is getting married this Saturday. She and her fiance Dan have been together for a number of years and this Saturday, July 2nd is their big day.

We've been anticipating this day for a while on our calender, not just because it's their big day, but because we're doing the flowers. And the wedding isn't in Louisville, it's in Wisconsin. So needless to say, there's just a bit more involved in planning this.

So, Wednesday morning, bright and early, Jessica, Grace and I will be leaving about seven-thirty in the morning and driving north. We're picking up some fancy-schmancy silver glass vases and then heading west to Normal, Illinois. In Normal, we'll pick up the flowers we've ordered and head north to Wisconsin. Jessica has promised a super-fabulous mix cd for the road trip and she swears it will absolutely make the trip beyond memorable. And of course if our memories slip our minds- there will be video- We'll have flowers to clean and process and prep work when we arrive. Thursday we'll have site inspections and start the designing. Friday we can finish the designing and begin setting the props and Saturday install the fresh flowers. Once things are installed, we get to switch mode from florists to guests and relax.

The other couple of "biggies" on this same weekend are my darling son turning the big -25!! On of course Alexis' wedding day. And he and his fiance will be closing on their first home, just a couple of days before. So unfortunately, they cannot attend the wedding as originally planned.

When I return on Sunday, I will re-pack and early Monday morning, I will be on my way to San Francisco to officially be inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers. It's finally happening, and I can't wait!! This will truly be a memorable weekend for everyone.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A contract- don't hire a vendor without one..

Planning your wedding or any event usually includes retaining a variety of vendors for their services. Each vendor should have some type of contract for you to sign- and you should always sign a contract. After you've had the time to thoroughly read it. If you have questions, make notes for the areas you need clarification and do not sign or give a deposit until you are comfortable with and agree to, the fine print. The contract protects you as well as the vendor.

But what if one of the vendors is just starting out and they don't really have a contract? Get something in writing that clearly explains what you are paying for and what it is that you are expecting from them to provide in the way of product ie. cake, invitations, flowers etc. or services, DJ wedding coordinating, musician or whatever their service or product is.

But it's a person I work with, and I really like them, and I'm going to get the cake for sooo cheap!!! And who cakes about the cake anyway? No one really eats it? - Oh, really? I can pretty much guarantee, the day of your wedding, you won't quite feel that way. You WILL want your cake straight, not leaning. You will not want the frosting to look like cracked play dough that has been left out for half the day- you know, all dry and crusty. You will want it to taste- well, tastey- not like sawdust with sugary lard on top. And you do want to have the cake arrive and be set up BEFORE the guests start the reception.

Why am I being so snarky about people that might work from home? I'm not. I started my business a LONG time ago from my home and eventually moved out into a retail location. Many vendors have home based offices, ie. wedding coordinators, DJs, make-up artists and some photographers. The bottom line is they must behave and run their business like a professional, bottom line.

For you the client, please read the fine print. This might be in reference to a hourly rate for time above the contract amount for a photographer, DJ, stylist or coordinator. It might be your responsibility to be sure your bridal party doesn't wander off and compromise the photographer's ability to 'get all of the shots' you expect them to. You might need to provide the list of names for your bridal party to the photographer, DJ or florist. Be sure you do whatever they ask, especially if it is noted in your contract. If something goes wrong as a result of you not doing what a vendor requests, it can compromise your contract.

For us the florist, it might be making sure any items you might bring to us -vases or other containers or props are clean and free from price tags or stickers. It might be - making sure the flowers you request for your ceremony or reception are removed or given to family or friends; so when we return to pick up the rental items we're not cleaning up and disposing of things we shouldn't be.

Be sure your rentals are returned to the vendors whether it's linens, cake stands or anything else. Most rental contracts have a notation regarding late fees, returning damaged items [it does happen] and plain not returning items because they disappeared.

And lastly.... please be sure to pay attention to the dates your final counts are due whether it's for food, table decor, or favors. Note when your final payments are due and what's accepted for a final payment. Do they take a check? can you pay with a credit card or is it only cash?

I know some of these things seem like no-brainers, but I mention these things because everyone I know in the wedding industry has had to address at least one of the areas I've noted. I know there are a lot of things on your plate, but a little attention to detail now will save you a lot of unnecessary stress a day or two before your most wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Double Bling and Wedding Bells

Last fall, I posted about my son's engagement to his lovely fiance, Danielle. They're settling in to their 'engagement' stage of their relationship. I appreciate the time they are taking to do things 'their way'.

Like many brides, Danielle is working her way through nursing school. She's in school full time and working full time, too. Honestly, I don't know how she's doing it. But she is.. and is always just a sweet bubble of sunshine. She is showing extreme patience in setting their wedding date, because another goal they have as a couple is to purchase a home. They've found the perfect 'nest' and are patiently awaiting a complete stranger's approval on them making it their own. Once they check that off their 'to-do list' I think they can select their big day.

As if that isn't exciting enough, last night, my darling daughter Jen and her boyfriend of 6 years JC, got engaged! Late last week, JC happened to call me to see if Jen had gotten home yet, I wasn't sure because I was working late because of Derby and Mother's Day. Little did I know, he just happened to stop by our house to speak to my husband about marrying Jen. My husband said he'd planned to ask Jen next week while they celebrate their six years together. Needless, that ring an a guy's possession is very hard to contain and rather than waiting- he popped the question just a bit early.

To some couples, six years is indeed a long time, but to them and us, their families, it's even more than that. For a good majority of their relationship.. they have been apart. A few months after they started dating, JC left for 4 years in the ARMY. Yes, she knew he'd signed up, and she was still willing to be adventurous, patient, supportive and encouraging while he was gone. Even during a deployment to Kuwait for over one year. They got to spend one prom together, her junior. She spent three years of college on her own. In return, he supported and encouraged her, too. She has just finished her senior year of college. Is she done? Not quite. She changed her major going into her Junior year. So, that meant she'd be a semester off on graduating because she now has student teaching to add to the list.

Now, at the end of this summer, Jen is the one leaving town for a while. She'll be going to Germany to teach her major- English, at, of all places- a US ARMY base. So needless to say, I think they have to jump on the wedding planning. She won't return until, I think we'll definitely have double bling and lots of wedding bells coming this Spring.

In the mean time.. I hope she'll breathe for a while, enjoy the engagement bliss and soak in her last summer of being single.
[the photo posted, is one of my very favorites.. after over a year's deployment to Kuwait, Jen and JC were reunited. I think the photo says it all for patience and love.]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ready to lose my marbles..and a Royal Wedding

First. I have been trying to get back on this blog so I could post and for the life of me, I could not get back in. So again, I've had to reset the password. Now, that was enough time given to the hacker creep who is still invading my time. Can't have any more.

On to the fun business.. A Royal Wedding.
I have a floral friend, Jodi Duncan, who is lucky enough to be in London right now and will be able to witness the fun and royal frolicking that will take place for Kate and William. I am so green- [a lovely chartreuse shade] with envy. I and several hundred other floral friend have been following her posts while she's been in not only London, but also Scotland and Paris. Why is she traveling? ? because of flowers.

She was invited to design some florals for an amazing floral industry magazine- Fusion. It is a european magazine [aka.floral bible] within our industry with lots of really beautiful photos- kind of a picture bible but for adults not kids. Because once we open this, we're busy looking at the photos and eventually we do get back to reading what it's all about. Just in the mean time, we're mesmerized by the bright colors and details. Anyhoo, Miss Jodi was invited to do a photo shoot for the magazine, and she just happens to be in London for the nuptials. Lucky Gal!!

She also posted a brief article from about the florals being designed by the Middleton's family florist- Yay Middleton family! you have a regular florist and don't use a phone book to find someone to do Kate's wedding!!Kudos- AND- Kate is using the 'Language of Flowers' as an additional guide for selecting her blossoms. I've just snagged a snippet of the article she posted below...

"The symbolism means a lot to [Kate] and the sourcing has been hugely important," says Connolly. He describes Middleton, who has been very involved in the designs, as a "dream client" and "like few other brides I've ever met."

Connolly (who will be working with the Middleton's Bucklebury family florist Emma Sampson on the event) also reveals that the trees lining the aisle at the abbey will be six English Field Maples and two Hornbeams.

Some Surprises...But he remains tight-lipped on the bridal bouquet which, traditionally, features all-white blooms.

The flowers planned for the abbey decorations may provide some clues, though. Among the varieties: Azaleas, the Chinese symbol of femininity, lilacs, which represent first love, rhododendron and wisteria.

"One of the things that has been very important to Catherine is the meanings of flowers and the language of flowers," says Connolly. "We've tried, especially in the wedding bouquets, to make beautiful stories." ....

I think my invitation to this lovely event is stuck in the mail. Imagine that! Thanks to the internet I and everyone else can get a front row seat. And now you know.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh, thank Goodness!!!

I have not been able to blog for a while as you can see by the date of the last posting. Why? My account was hacked. It has taken quite a while to get back in to some of my accounts and this was one. It has wigged me out knowing that someone has access to my personal emails. Not that I have anything to really worry about, but it's just the point. I can't get back into my account because the creepers changed my password and they locked me out. So, now I have a new personal email and password.

My darling niece and Goddaughter Alexis, is getting married this summer and we are going to Wisconsin to design her wedding. We're super excited and so is she. Unfortunately, some of the emails we exchanged are now in the hands of the hacker. So, now she has to re email me all of the pics she likes and it's just a pain.

It's always fun creating a wedding, but this one will be exceptionally fun, because it is the first of my nieces on my side of the family to get married. The four girls are all close in age. Alexis and Rebecca 26 and 25--- both turning 26 and 27 the first week of April... and Jennifer and Elaina are 22. They have lots in common, yet each is so different. But all of them are crazy fun, love to dance and LOVE Fashion especially shoes. These are the shoes and 'fascinator' Elaina will be wearing as Maid of Honor.

A real party is in the works for July. And the count down begins April 1.

Monday, February 07, 2011

VD. It's coming whether you like it or not.

VD. Valentine's Day....aka "A made-up florist's holiday"

Okay, I've had enough. This holiday has been around for a while and long enough for EVERYONE to know this isn't true. Flowers, although one of my favorite things- are not the only thing going on for Valentine's Day. And by the way, I'm keeping count of how many people call and pronounce it ValenTIME's Day. Just sayin-

I'm just going for the love factor and not even talking about flowers on this one. I'm not pushing anything other than LOVE. My most significant and memorable Valentine's Day was at the age of 15. I was a freshman in high school and totally smitten with my boyfriend, now husband. Yes, we've been together since we were 15!

Every high schooler's dread- what to do for Valentine's Day. You don't want to do too much but you don't want to look like you didn't make any effort either. I cannot even remember what I gave him- but I do remember, and still have, the hand written valentine letter he gave me. Complete with this little face he draws [his trademark]

I was head over heels for him, before I'd even met him -[I'd seen his photo.]...but that's another story. My point is- no matter what you purchase - give it from the heart. Even if it's a handwritten note or card- those are truly the very best gifts anyway especially if accompanied by flowers- Oops! Think about what you want to say. You might not think it's a big deal- but it is. Because they, like me, might really keep it forever... and forever is a LONG time.

Have a great Valentine's Day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top 10 Reasons...

With Valentine's Day around the corner...along with just every day living and no better reason for giving flowers than...Just Because... I am posting the -Top Ten Reasons to Order from a "Real" Local Florist

1. Ensure Maximum Value--We want you to get the most bang for the buck- we really do.
Save on extra service fees by cutting out the middleman.

2. Speak Directly To The Florist Who Is Filling Your Order- a HUGE benefit. They know what's actually in stock in their shop. You don't have to settle for the basics on a website.
Find out what flowers and plants are in stock, what looks particularly good, or whether any blooming plants may be planted outdoors later.
Have a custom design created to your specifications...the BEST reason. Let a talented florist be creative.

3. Communicate Special Requests Directly
Does the recipient have any favorite flowers? Any dislikes?
Should the recipient be called prior to delivery?
Is the recipient hard of hearing, or slow answering the door?
Is one entrance better than another?

4. Select Additional Gift Items
Many flower shops also carry unique gift lines, such as candy, plush animals or candles, which can be added to your order or sent independently.

5. Get Same-Day Delivery - If Possible
By phoning the local florist directly, find out if same-day delivery is possible. Calling early improves the chances.

6. Pay Accurate and Appropriate Delivery Charges - No More, No Less
Pay the right local delivery fee without having it deducted from the value of your order.***If for no other reason, this is the biggest reason- Wire orders with the 1-800 companies add a service fee/charge which most customers think is the delivery charge- it isn't. This service fee is kept by the 1-800 company. YOUR delivery fee comes out of the amount you thought was going towards the number listed for the flowers.
A delivery to a location close to the shop may not cost as much as one farther away. Only the local florist knows.
Some locations, such as gated communities or certain businesses may require an additional charge.

7. Familiarity With Local Delivery Regulations
Hospitals, funeral homes, schools and businesses may have delivery cut-off times or size limitations.
Hospitals in particular often limit the size, quantity, or types of balloons that can be delivered.

8. Familiarity With Local Funeral Customs
In some areas a standing spray of flowers is customary, while in others a basket of flowers is most appropriate.
In smaller towns, a local florist may know what has already been ordered or sent to the funeral, and can then help you choose something different.

9. Establish A Relationship With The Flower Shop For Future Orders- We definitely have many 'former wire' clients who 'found' us and now call us direct to place an order, get personalized service and more value for their money.
Join a mailing list for email newsletters or seasonal offers.
Many shops offer a reminder service for sending flowers at special occasions.

Only nine reasons, you ask? The tenth is simple and universal:
10. Everyone Loves To Receive Flowers!

Research conducted by Rutgers University and the Society of American Florists indicates that flowers have an immediate impact on the happiness of the recipient, have a long-term positive effect on people's moods, and increase the connections among family and friends. Not only that, but a study by researchers at Texas A & M University shows that flowers and plants improve productivity, innovation, and creativity in the workplace.

I happened to run across the basics of this Top 10 list on the web. I felt it was important to add my two-cents [of course] and hope you'll spread the word the next time you want to send flowers across the country or world.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where have I been???

Imagine... Where have I been? Where am I going?
It is always my goal to be on top of things. To keep things under control. I like to lead not follow. I'd rather do things myself, than 'patiently' wait for someone to do something for me. If back in college, I would not do well on a group project. Especially if I know my grade depends on the contribution of other's.

Unfortunately, I have not been on top of blogging. I know it. Honestly, I thought I had blogged in December, but it's obvious I didn't. So, I stopped to think what the heck has kept me from blogging? Where have I been? How did I miss my goal of being on top of things? Let's see.. I was busy living things I imagined.

November and December are a blur to me. Truly. A. Blur!! We were blessed to be busy. Weddings, funerals, parties, and everything in between. My very handsome son got engaged to a sweet, smart 'Girlie Girl.' I'm so excited for them and look forward to Danielle becoming part of our family. I get to watch them as they plan their 'perfect day' with a date sometime next year.

And then, my birthday..un-eventful. ..which works for me.

Our 'Grace Darling' coming home from a semester in Italy..[Jessica and I secretly jealous] oh, the adventures we know she had.

My ever-so-lucky-daughter celebrating her birthday in Vegas. Will this be an annual event?? Vegas? And poof!! It's Christmas. Where did the time go?

Then a New Year. 2011. In a New Home. My husband and I found 'the house' and said, "be brave! Let's do it!" and we did. We spent the New Year in a new home. Strange, but a good strange. It's been a good adventure so far.

So, what does this have to do with my photo 'Imagine'? All of us imagined all of these things. An engagement. Traveling abroad. Celebrating a birthday with friends. Winning big. A dream home.

This year, I imagine myself on top of the blogging. I imagine gathering just the right happy people working together at Lavender Hill. Open, creative, supportive, fun, artistic people- working together on beautiful flowers for everyone's reason for needing them. I imagine working with some great photographers, getting me great shots from some really great weddings we have on our books. I imagine great parties for Derby. I also imagine an over the top wedding for my beautiful niece. She will start my month of July. My whole family together celebrating her big day AND my son's 25th birthday.

Also in July, I will find myself, not just Imagine myself, on a stage in San Francisco. Getting inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers. It will be real. It will be official. I will get that gold pin and those four letters AIFD after my name. Something I have imagined for quite a while. I am so excited.

So, where have I been? It doesn't matter. As long as I'm here, living in the present. Because being in the present, truly is a Gift.