Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Shopkeeper's diary: spring flowers, frozen fridges and future plans

A new feature that I hope will be monthly, Shopkeeper's diary is a series of posts sharing a little about life behind the scenes of a local brick and mortar shop.

We are half way through April already. While we've had spring in the shop for a couple of months now, it's finally happening outside too and grey and beige Toronto is starting to show a little bit of green here and there.

Passover is a fairly big floral holiday for us, many of my clients celebrate and we just went through an intense week of hustle, taking and making orders.  The full team was on hand on Saturday, which was the biggest day for making, and I had a moment that got a little emotional, as you can see here on my instagram/facebook post that day where I talked how it feels like this shop is finally working the way I always wanted it to, and maybe vented a little bit of frustration on how long it took to get here along with heartfelt love for the amazing team I have with me now ( by the way, this was the most liked and commented on post I've EVER had!) 

With Easter hard on Passover's heels, followed by Secretary's Day and the run up to the biggest floral holiday of them all, Mother's Day, needless to say the shop is in constant motion and constant mess. Priority goes to the front section of the shop, where customers walk into and browse, but this means that the back section is less than pinterest worthy right now- no clean white office space for me, I'm squeezed onto the back table along with succulents waiting to be potted up and pots we've rescued from years in the basement that are getting a fresh coat of paint and a new life.

The weather warming up brought our first muggy day this week, which caused a freeze up of my fridge unit overnight. I was up in the early hours of the morning with a call from my alarm monitoring station  telling me the temperature sensor had triggered, which meant waking my son and racing up to the shop to defrost the unit and assess the damage. Luckily I got here in time before any product was spoiled, but it's made it a multiple coffee day and my poor kiddo is likely having a rougher day than usual at school. All of which of course leads to major mom-guilt.

 Running a shop is always a weird mix of being in the moment and looking towards the future. In between getting orders out and talking with customers, I'm flitting back and forth to upcoming events that need to be finalized and scheduled, emails that need to be answered or sent and all the while chugging along in the back of my head are big plans, big ideas that are waiting for their chance to get some attention. It's a constant buzz of noise. On the big list right now: getting more organized about social media with an actual content plan and growing our presence more ( seriously, there are florists out there with 10k or more followers- how the heck did they get that to happen???), bringing in a special idea for grab and go bouquets on the weekend (how will I buy for it, how will we price and package it, where the heck will we put it in the shop), fixing the myriad of little and not so little things that need it (such as a dehumidifier for the basement to help my very old fridge survive another summer and finally getting vinyl wording on the window), deciding if I'm actually going to run some classes/workshops again this year ( I want to, I really do...except I don't)....the list gets longer, never shorter it seems.

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