Category Archives: flowershop

Window Dressing

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We had some downtime at the shop yesterday, so we busied ourselves fall-ifying the place.

{Speaking of fall: in the spirit of the new season, I’m burning a gifted Rafa Natural “harvest” soy candle as I pound out this post; it’s warm, spicy heaven in a jar.}

When all the day’s deliveries were done, my right-hand lady, Shanna, stopped at the local market for some big pretty pumpkins. Armed with an inspiration photo from Anthropologie — where creative merchandising dreams come true — we got to work on the front window display.

Shanna and I spent the afternoon making dozens of simple little garlands by tying dyed oak leaves onto strands of raffia. I hung the garlands from our drop ceiling, knotting them together as I went until they made a web-like curtain.

When that was finished, I spent a couple of hours pretending I was on Project Runway in an “unconventional challenge” (aren’t those your favorite?! mine too). I individually wired silk flowers and sheet moss to our wire mannequin until she had a fabulous (albeit revealing ;)) floral frock. I placed her in front of the curtain of leaves in the window, next to a big vintage metal trough filled with more flowers and pumpkins.

As soon as I figure out how to take a photo of the whole set up without mega-glare on the glass, I’ll share it!

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holiday hangover: mother’s day edition

A Pretty Penny | Holiday Hangover

{ This bouquet has nothing to do with Mother’s Day; I made it  for a sweet bride last month. But isn’t she lovely? Hydrangea and peach campanella garden roses, for the win. }

I’m slowly making my way back to the land of the living after spending the last week in a flower shop black hole. I’m a little worse for the wear this afternoon. The adrenaline is gone; the lack of sleep, hydration and decent nutrition is catching up with me — it turns out you can’t sustain on donuts and Starbucks alone past age 25, which is a real letdown– and I haven’t had a proper break to recharge.

But — it was such a great week.

One of the biggest challenges of small business ownership (besides the near impossibility of following through with vacation plans) is finding a team of people who get your vision and share your passion for what you do. Our small staff is incredible and dedicated, and together we powered through over 300 orders last week like it weren’t no thang.

They showed up early every morning and I had to literally kick them out every night; they never complained and even forgot they were supposed to get paid when I passed out their checks Friday afternoon, several hours later than usual because I missed the day-of-the-week memo. They love our business as much as I do, and I love them for it.

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation or deep-muscle exhaustion that’s making me extra emotional, but I can’t stop thinking about how lucky we are; I even get a little choked up when I realize, hey, we’re totally doing this. Despite my irrational worries that I’ll wake up tomorrow and the florist industry will cease to exist, people keep calling, and coming in, and sharing a small part in our story. They like us, they really like us!

My cousin called from St. Louis a few weeks ago, and in our long-overdue convo about life and work and sports and such (just kidding, he knows better than to bring up sports) he asked if I wanted to stay in this business for the long haul. To which I honestly and emphatically replied, “You know, I really, really do! But maybe ask me again after Mother’s Day.”

Well… even now, headachy and overtired and in the throes of an epic holiday hangover, I can’t imagine any place I’d rather be.

Window Dressing With Paper Flowers

A Pretty Penny | Window Dressing With Paper Flowers

Inspiration: Flourish

Yesterday afternoon was rainy and quiet around the shop. It was the first mellow day since the first of the month, so after sending my staff home early for some much-deserved R&R, I searched out some happy music on Spotify and got to work springifying the place.

These paper flowers were so simple to make!

I used assorted scrapbook paper and cut out petal shapes of different sizes. I folded the petals accordion-style, and attached them* to a small square of cardboard for support. For each flower, I put the largest petals on the bottom, then layered the smaller petals on top of each other to build a 3-D bloom. I used textured craft paper (recycled shipping packaging from my Valentine’s vases) for the centers.

I hope to find time to make more for filling up the front window and scattering around the shop.

* A hot glue gun is probably ideal for this project. I didn’t want to fuss with the mess, so I used shipping tape and a heavy duty floral sticky-tack and they held up really well.

Check out my previous window projects: Paper Poms and Ribbon Curtain.

UPDATE: Remember how I said I put these together with shipping tape and sticky tack? Yeah, don’t do that. Especially if you’re putting them in a window; those particular adhesives just can’t hold up to the sunshine. I had to remake the largest flowers with a glue gun after an unfortunate petal-falling catastrophe. So just use a glue gun, k?

in lieu of a proper holiday recap

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At the start of each holiday, I tell myself I’m going to take a bazillion behind-the-scenes snapshots around the flower shop, which I’ll use to pen a deliciously detailed Day in the Life of a Florist blog post. Won’t that be interesting?!

Don’t get excited just yet; I only managed to snap five [poorly-lit] randoms with my iPhone last week. Not exactly Valentine’s recap worthy, I’m afraid… womp womp.

But God willing, I have a lot more holidays ahead of me, so let’s not give up on the idea just yet, mmkay? There’s always Mother’s Day.

In the meantime, I give you my best shot captured in the melee: my handsome husband — snagged for a couple of days from his new job because FLOWER SHOP SOS — holding one of my favorite bouquets from the week.

Now without boring you with the details of the hand-wringing dramafest of six missing cases of flowers, the impracticality of TOMS ballet flats when spending hours on your feet, or the intense planning/organization that resulted in the first V-Day in history that didn’t require a design over-nighter (so many self back-pats on that one) let’s suffice it to say that it was a great holiday.

And I’m glad it comes just once a year.

be my valentine

Dollar Store Valentines Decorations

{ Dollar Store Valentine’s Day decorations haul }

In our business, the weeks leading up to a major holiday are usually more critical (and stressful) than the holiday itself. I don’t know much about football, but I imagine it’s similar to training for the Super Bowl. If you don’t put in the weeks of planning and preparation leading up to the big game, you’re going to get creamed by the competition.

And that will probably be the first and last sports analogy you’ll ever see on this here blog.

I’ve spent the last week laying the groundwork for Valentine’s Day. Which means lots of organizing, to-do list making, flower ordering, shop decorating, marketing planning, and chocolate eating.

I’m hoping to share some of the behind-the-scenes action with you as the holiday unfolds!

while I was out…

Remember when I used to blog? 

Life’s been crazy, but so good. I took a little break to soak it all in, away from my laptop.

Since we last saw each other, I designed two weddings, a rehearsal dinner, an 18-table brunch, and a sweet 16 party (and those were just the big ones). A few new clients hopped on board, we booked several upcoming events, and we added a sweet and talented lady to our little flower family. She’s already made my life so much easier.

And since every rose has it’s thorn: Quickbooks ate five weeks worth of irretrievable data, the air conditioner in the flower van petered out, and my delivery driver took a two-week leave of absence. Small business ownership, man. “It’s like a box of chocolates…

Oh, and I turned 29. My family and friends went above and beyond to make this birthday extra special. There were celebrations and cupcakes and the most thoughtful gifts; text messages and singing voicemails and sweet handwritten cards. It was a lovely beginning to what I’m sure is going to be a really great year.

I always thought I’d dread the end of my 20s. But here I am, more content than… maybe ever? Not because things are perfect or easy. They’re messy, restless, and peppered with {ever-increasing} grey hairs; but I’m surrounded by amazing people, making my dream happen one day at a time.

And I’m proud of who I’m growing into…

Getting older ain’t so bad after all. 

while I was out…

Fall

In the last seven days, I:

Designed 88 event centerpieces, two bridal bouquets, 32 boutonnieres, and 1 homecoming corsage.

Threatened bodily harm to my computer when my point of sale network crashed last Monday afternoon. {Did you know a florist’s POS system is like the central nervous system of her business? Me neither, until mine decided to go on strike.}

Processed 100 orders the old-fashioned way — by hand.

Shopped for a new point of sale system; the old-fashioned way is for the birds!

Discovered that Paul Newman makes a pretty decent cabernet sauvignon. I drank a lot of it when I drug myself home from the shop at 10pm.

Ate three pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Damn Publix BOGO sales. Should you be curious, S’mores is where it’s at, and has taken first place over my previous favorite, Chunky Monkey.

Went through more than 30 cases of fresh flowers and 20 buckets of locally-farmed greenery.

Broke down — literally and figuratively — in a bank parking lot with a car full of wedding flowers.

Swooned over my hero of a husband, who swooped in like a knight in a shining minivan to rescue me from said break down. We moved everything to the van, made it to the venue, and set up with hours to spare.

Drank Nancy Botwin under the table in iced coffee.

Wore some variation of a t-shirt and jeans every day, and kind of loved it.

Booked two weddings, a 50th anniversary party, a 40th high school reunion, and a 1st birthday party for October.

Justified a lot of very bad food choices in the name of convenience and comfort. So much Panera mac and cheese, y’all.

Realized I’m kind of a rock star at multitasking and crisis management, even when running on very little sleep.

Received a sweet handwritten thank you note from a family we helped with funeral flowers last month, reminding me that all the exhaustion is totally worth it. 

be right back!

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Look who hasn’t updated her blog in over a week! In case you’re tired of seeing my fedora-topped mug on the homepage — I know I am — here’s a bouquet to freshen things up until I get back. Which will hopefully be next week; if I survive this one.

flower girl

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If we’re Instagram friends, you may already know that I spent this evening peddling (free) roses at a downtown “date night” block party. The weather got a little crazy, and I may have screamed like a little girl and ran down the sidewalk to the safety of my favorite gift shop after a particularly treacherous lightening strike; but despite the downpour I ended the night empty-handed —  empty-bucketed? — and with lots of new friends. {People love you when you surprise them a lovely, sweet smelling rose just because.}   

I may have the best job ever.

Thanks to my friends Katie and Sharon for sharing these photos with me!  

so long, july…


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BlingFB

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AnnShower

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Dear Seventh Month of 2013,

I’ve never been happier to bid someone adieu. You put our little flower shop through the wringer, tested the limits of our patience, faith and business checking, and gave me a whole lotta’ heartburn. On the plus side, I think we set a new personal record of clearing unexpected hurdles in the last 30 days; an achievement I’m in no hurry to reattempt.

August, I have high hopes for you. Don’t let me down. 

a day in the life of a florist during mother’s day week

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Another Mother’s Day is behind us! I thought it would be fun to give you guys a glimpse into what our days look like at the flower shop in the midst of a big holiday. Schedules go out the window, caffeine and sugar reign supreme, and our juggling act gets downright ridiculous.

Keep reading for the rundown!

Read more…

a gorgeous garden affair

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Last Saturday, I spent the loveliest afternoon helping set up a wedding at Mackay Gardens. The sweet bride was Sara, who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since our days of conjugating verbs and reciting the translation of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in Mrs. E’s latin class {more than 10 years ago, whew!!}.

No detail was left untended in this garden soiree. Sara wore her mom’s wedding gown (which she had altered to fit her classic, impeccable style) and her bridesmaids donned JCrew dresses with gold glitter peep-toe pumps. I designed her bridal bouquet with creamy Vendela roses, waxflower, and seeded eucalyptus, and used a variety of bright spring blooms casually arranged in vintage bottles and jars for her outdoor reception. I also designed the swag above the altar on site — a new feather the hat of my event design repertoire!

For most of the weddings I design, I deliver the flowers and scoot long before the bride even arrives to the venue. This time, the family let me hang around for the afternoon to be part of the action and watch it all come together. I loved every minute of it, right down to the final moments in the bridal room before Sara walked down the aisle.

Wishing Sara and Mike a lifetime of happiness! Thanks for letting me be part of your special day!