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.