Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shopkeeper's diary:The merry old month of May

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.Keeping it real, pulling back the curtain of social media perfection to show the grubby, dirt under nails side of floristry and small biz.



We've been catapulted into May already. April was busy, but May even more so. In the shop we are enjoying the change in flowers. Tulips and ranunculus are beginning to wain, but  we've gotten to enjoy snowball viburnums and lilacs which help fill the gap. Late spring into early summer is a hard time though, because the beautiful seasonal blooms like the lilacs etc are so short lived in southern Ontario. One small string of too warm days and it's all over.

Mother's day was mayhem. Absolutely nuts, which I've heard was the case across the industry. The weather was cool and rather grey leading up to it, which always gives flower sales a boost. The whole team was in and it felt more like a party in here than real work as we got to enjoy the happy colours of spring and several days working together as a team. My staff are such a talented creative bunch, and such nice kind people. It really is a pleasure to spend time with them here. We suffered a major glitch with our software system on the Saturday morning, causing us to loose all our data from the 24 hours before. We had all our orders on worksheets, as we know better than to rely solely on technology, but it made for some extra work and a difficult morning. Our couriers were overwhelmed that weekend too. Always the weakest link in the chain and the one we have the least control over, delivery is a difficult job at the best of times. The added volume of a major floral holiday makes it even harder. 



As shop owner, I usually feel a bit schizophrenic.While running through May I'm actually working on and thinking about June and July. We have weddings starting up in June, and this year I'm so blessed with brides that have chosen really inspiring colours and that share a similar vision with me on the flowers. Every year gets better and better and I'm excited to get started on them, as they are such a different animal than regular shop orders.



And remember this post a few weeks ago, where I share how excited I am to have learned a new way of designing wrist corsages, one that actually appeals to me ascetically?  Well, I tested and tested them, wanting to be really sure they would work and hold up. Corsages are one of the things we have the most issues with. It takes a long time to take an order for what is a very small dollar purchase, the customer is usually hyper concerned over the exact flower and look ( although, weirdly everyone pretty much ends up choosing white. I find most canadians are very afraid of colour!) and they are something that once made has no water source at all and has to try to hold up in warm conditions while being waved around on the end of an arm all night. So, I tested the new designs. I made a whole bunch on separate occasions. I wore them in the shop all day to see how they did and was really happy with the result. And then we heard that two that went out fell apart while getting put on. We can't explain it. I've sobbed it out on a florist facebook group, and heard a wide range of answers- some florists  say the same has happened to them, others say they've used this technique for years with not a single issue. We've compared  notes, and traded secrets. And I have no idea why the two at issue failed, but I don't' feel confident enough in the new way to continue. Two is two too many, especially in this modern world of online reviews ( which, I think should be better termed online complaints and vents). So, it's back to the old wire and tape technique for now. I feel frustrated and chastened  but am trying to remind myself that there are no failures, only opportunities to learn, and that nothing ventured means nothing gained.


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