March 2017 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 84

Women’s Day – Flower Duet’s Appearance on American Grown Flowers

American Grown Flowers LogoA Facebook Live Event

On Monday, March 6, Flower Duet will appear on Facebook Live on the American Grown Flowers page to celebrate International Women’s Day and its theme #BeBoldForChange. Kit and Casey will talk about the women in their lives who influence them on a daily basis and how we will celebrate them and all women on March 8th. Join us!

Women's Day

Tips on Starting a Floral Design Business

Flower Shop photo by Wikipedia

Buying a flower shop is a very large investment of money and time. Working in a shop teaches the business side and allows the chance to pursue the type of floral business best for you.

To support the mission of the 2017 International Women’s Day, we pledge to help empower women to forge their own advancement. Make 2017 your year to #BeBoldForChange in your own life.

Many of our students are exploring new career paths which include fresh flowers. During our workshops, we offer guidance on how to choose the freshest product, arrange the flowers and transport them so they arrive in good form. After each workshop, we answer many more in-depth questions such as:

How do I price my work?
Use the standard industry pricing (see below tip on pricing). Pricing that is too low will undercut your competitors and hurt the overall local industry.

Do I need a floral cooler?
No. Buy just the flowers you need for your projects. Create them in a space that is cool. Make designs like boutonnieres a few hours before delivery.

How do you balance a full-time job with weekend flower jobs?
Start small. Enlist help from friends and family. Be prepared to get up early before work to go the flower mart on a regular basis!

Here is a short list of tips we offer to our students and to you, our loyal readers!

Tip 1: Keep Your Day Job

Keep your day job - #WOCinTech

Keep your day job while trying out a new career like floral design! Photo from #WOCinTech.

A tip you’ll often hear from career coaches is to keep your day job while working on your floral skills. There are many reasons for this. A day job will assure you extra income to fund your floral education. It offers you the ability to take risks on weekend floral jobs. It helps you test the waters to determine if this new floral career is right for you. We started our floral businesses in the kitchens of our apartments while we worked full-time corporate tech industry jobs!

Tip 2: Take Lots of Floral Design Classes From a Variety of Instructors

Flower Duet Floral Workshop

Flower Duet teaches classes each month at our studio and gives guest lectures at garden shows, garden clubs and for corporations and private companies.

While there is no certificate required to practice the art of floral design, it is a great idea to take a variety of workshops from a collection of seasoned instructors and working floral designers. We’ve been teaching floral design for almost 20 years and we’ve taken classes from lots of different instructors. While classes on YouTube can offer an introduction, there is a lot to be gained by attending classes in person and learning from the instructor and from networking with other students.

Tip 3: Start Small

Bridal Bouquet with bridesmaids bouquets

When starting out, try to tackle smaller jobs first such as just the bouquets for a wedding.

Take small jobs as your first jobs. Our first paid wedding was for just the bride’s bouquet and her bridesmaids, the boutonnieres, corsages and a sign-in arrangement.

Tip 4: Use Standard Pricing

In the standard floral design student textbook, “The Art of Floral Design” by Norah T. Hunter, she writes in chapter 21 how to price florals. This is her guide to pricing:

Standard Floral Design Pricing Model
  • Cost of goods = 30%
  • Labor expenses = 20%
  • Profit margin = 15%
  • Operational expenses = 35%

= Retail Selling Price

Another way to price would be to use the standard divisional pricing method. Add up the wholesale prices of everything tangible that goes into a design (flowers, foam, container, ribbon, card) and divide by 30% to figure the retail selling price. For example, if the wholesale cost adds up to $18.60, divide $18.60 by .30 to arrive at retail selling price.

$18.60 ÷ .30 = $62.00 (which would be the typical selling price with labor at 20% equaling $12.40).

But…if you are creating a more intensive design which requires higher skilled labor and costs more, you’ll need to price with those costs in mind. If labor were 30% of the cost of the flowers and the flowers are only 20%, here is how the floral design would be priced.

$18.60 ÷ .20 = $93.00 (retail price for a higher labor intensive design which takes longer or more skill to make)

Be mindful of the time it takes to procure flowers and to condition, prepare and design them. Include your transport and set up time. All of these labor costs need to be reflected in the bottom line price of each floral design.

Tip 5: Be Nice, Be On-Time, Be Consistent

Be nice. Be on time and Be consistent!

Be nice – Be on time – Be consistent!

To be a professional in any job is to be nice, on-time and deliver a consistently good product. Greet every person you meet nicely…one of them might be your next potential flower client!

We enjoy referrals from all aspects of our lives from the moms of our kids’ baseball teams to the teachers of our children. Show up when you say you will show up and always have fresh flowers that will last beyond the event.

These are just a few tips of hundreds more. Sign up for a class and we will help you explore your possible next career!

Empowering Young Girl Scouts to Learn a New Skill

By Kit Wertz

Flower Duet donates its skills to teaching Girl Scout troops the art of Floral Design to help them achieve their Flowers Badge.

Lessons include how to dye a flower, identify its parts and how to make a corsage. Recently, I taught a group of Scouts to make a  bouquet of flowers emphasizing each of their meanings.

Casey and I were Girl Scouts and, at times, our parents were Troop Leaders. In addition to camping, whitewater rafting, learning skills and visiting the elderly, we marched in parades, sang songs and sold cookies. Casey’s troop was approved to design its own aviation badge and carry out its requirements to earn it. In high school, I learned to fly a small airplane with the Explorer Scouts and even soloed!

Girl Scouts have many exciting opportunities to earn badges and I would have loved to have earned the Flowers Badge as a Junior Girl Scout.

Girl Scout Flower Badge Workshop.

In the most recent Girl Scout workshop that Kit taught to a group of Juniors, she covered the Language of Flowers, How to Dye Flowers and What Floral scents help heal people.

Flower Tool: Rolling Cart Tables

Rolling Carts for Floral Design

Our new rolling carts have two levels for building floral designs and moving them from our workspace to the floral van!

When we redesigned our workspace last summer, we upgraded our work table from folding tables on bed lifts to stainless steel rolling carts with two levels! We have about 15 of these fantastic tables and they allow us to change the format of our studio for each event we are designing for and for each class from our intimate private lessons to small groups of 5 or 6 students to our fully sold out classes!

The old tables did not move or have a second level for storage. We use the second level for our work stools or for flower buckets or for our students to place their personal belongings on during class.

These are wonderful tools to have in any workspace…but we love ours for our flower studio.

Cut Flower Garden

Book Recommendation: Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms

“Grow the flower garden of your dreams.” In this second book from the seasoned floral farmer and blogger Erin Benzakein, you will learn what you need to grow, harvest, and arrange seasonal blooms.

This book includes:

  • Steps for planting, cultivating, and harvesting more than 175 varieties of flowers including cottage garden favorites and new varieties.
  • Designing your plot and preparing the soil.
  • What tools you’ll need to grow and design with flowers.
  • Three floral projects for each season with titles like: “Sherbert Butterfly Bouquet for Mom” and “Dahlias en Masse.”

On sale date: March 7, 2017. Can be preordered on

Book Tour Dates & Locations