Be Like Kris Kringle
It might seem crazy for a florist to recommend another florist. But we do it all the time. For example, we have never really concentrated on the Spring Formal or Prom business so when we receive those inquiries, we have two or three florists we trust in our area that we know do love that business. If we are out of town for a wedding date, we’ll recommend two florists we love that we think will fit our same business type and floral aesthetics. When we need to order flowers for our own friends and family that live outside the Los Angeles area, we’ll first try to find a floral designer on the website directory Slow Flowers. This collection of businesses and floral designers belong to a group that pledges to using American-grown flowers (and Canada, too!). The definition of Slow Flowers are flowers that are shipped in from overseas. They are grown within a couple hundred mile radius of where they are being sent.
Befriend Your Fellow Florists
One of my friends actually became my friend because she is a florist. Everyday when my twins where babies, I would walk with them in their double stroller by her shop. We would chat and share flower stories. I was taking a break being really active in the business but it was great to swap ideas and go shopping at our local wholesale supplier together. When she needed to order white Chrysanthemums, she asked us to help her find them! When we needed Vendela roses in a pinch she was willing to share. Whenever Casey makes a recommendation of another florist for a client, she says it makes her feel good.
“I feel like Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.” — Casey Schwartz on recommending other florists.
Volunteer with Other Florists for Fundraisers
Since we are not a shop, we have never pursued the prom flower business, so when that season rolls around, we have 3–4 florists we recommend and trust to refer to local high school students.
It’s important to team up with other florists in your area. When my kids were older and entered Kindergarten, the PTA was looking to make corsages and boutonnières for their 1980s-themed party as a fundraiser. One of the mom’s parents owned a local florist shop that I actually had used for corsages and boutonnières for my own wedding in 1997! The mom knew I taught flower design so we teamed up and I taught 20 PTA moms to make the corsages and boutonnières and her parents supplied the pre-made bows and flowers. I hosted the group in our studio and we helped raise money for the school. I still recommend their shop for prom corsages today!
Recommending Former Students & Designers
Flower Duet’s former freelance designer, Adrienne moved to NYC with her husband, but now she grows flowers and designs with lots of exciting companies in the Big Apple! — Photo by Adrienne Sorg
As a floral design company that has taught hundreds and hundreds of students the art of floral design, we are also proud to recommend former students, too! Sometimes, I interview former students who are taking off in their own successful business ventures (read about Drew Rios in Bloomin’s News August 2020 - a former Flower Duet student). We are also sad to say goodbye to students who move away to places like New York City and Utah.…but, then, we get to make recommendations for their next flower gig like Casey just did for Adrienne Sorg, owner of Fortissimo Florals.
We Use Farmgirl Flowers for Shipping Nationwide
Farmgirl Flowers Instagram Account Post from June 2021
Finally, if we cannot find a Slow Florist in the area where we want to send flowers, we use Farmgirl Flowers. We have watched this business grow like crazy over the past three years and are fortunate to know the founder and owner. We cannot recommend highly enough this floral delivery service. We sent our mom flowers for her birthday in 2021 and it just so happens to be four days before Valentine’s Day. Because Farmgirl Flowers guaranteed delivery by a date (that was only missed by a day due to the crazy air cargo shortage during Covid-19), they sent an additional bouquet! My mom was amazed that the beauty, variety and longevity of the flowers. It was so inspiring to receive them in the middle of her Virginia winter, that she continues to pick up locally-grown flowers at her Trader Joe’s weekly. Did you know the country’s largest tulip farm is in Virginia? We are excited to see Christina Stembel again this month at the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit in Northern California. We’ll being touring the Farmgirl Flowers headquarters as part of the Summit activities. Look for more on that in next month’s newsletter.
So, as a floral designer, reach out to your peers. Jump on Instagram and cheer them on. Get to know your local competition in a friendly way so we you need to pass on some work, you know you can send the client to someone you trust. The more we help each other, the stronger our industry will be.