Shades of Purple – FSN’s Pinterest Picks

Here’s what caught our eye on Pinterest this week! The beautiful shades of purple incorporated into each design definitely makes for an unforgettable arrangement, no matter the occasion.
Each arrangement is simply stunning with purple intertwined into each design.
Celebrate the warmer temps of spring by enjoying these wonderful designs by some skilled florists.

The Wild Orchid Florist – Tulsa, Oklahoma
“Lovely cascade”

CR Flowers & Gifts – Bracebridge, Ontario
“Something Purple”

Apple Blossoms Floral Design – Tampa, FL
Follow us on Pinterest for more floral inspiration. Hey FSN Florists! Want your pins to be featured on our blog?Add your Pinterest info in Just use ‘Edit Social Media’ under the Marketing section of the orange side bar.

Read the rest here: Shades of Purple – FSN’s Pinterest Picks

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Don’t Wait to Order Your Easter Flowers

Easter is a great time of year for fabulous flowers!
Greet the Spring
Spring ushers in warmer days, those fabled spring showers moisten the ground making it perfect for sleepy plants struggling out of their winter hibernation and your local florist begins to receive her first shipments of gorgeous spring blooms. It is that breathtaking beauty which makes flowers so popular this time of year.

Get Your Order in Early
That’s why I know you’ve already ordered that traditional corsage for your mom, the gorgeous Easter Lilies for your significant other to find on her bedside table Easter morning and the amazing purple centerpiece for the dinner table, right? No? Well, there’s no time like the present! Easter falls on Sunday, April 20th this year, and time is ticking.
Your local florist will do everything in her power to meet your needs, she’s awesome like that, but it’s never a good idea to wait until the last minute to place your order. Believe me, advance notice is always appreciated.
Art and the Local Florist
When you buy local you are not only contributing to your local economy, but you are also working with a local artist that can offer you so much in terms of quality and style. You will get the arrangement you want and the service you deserve while getting full value for your dollar. Once you buy from your corner florist, you’ll agree that local florists do it better!
Easter is a time of celebration, and the best way to celebrate is with flowers. Contact your local florist for more information about how they can help you make this Easter one to remember!

See the rest here: Don’t Wait to Order Your Easter Flowers

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Friday Florist Recap 3/28 – 4/4: A Cascade of Beautiful Blooms

Another week of amazing and breathtaking arrangements for your viewing pleasure. These florists have put winter in their collective rear-view mirrors and are striding forward into spring with some truly magnificent pieces. So take a few moments to scroll through this incredible cascade of beautiful blooms.
Wedding Flowers

Lovely wedding arrangements from Fantasy Floral Designs in Schenectady, NY
Special Occasion Flowers

A gorgeous arrangement from Blue Shores Flowers & Gifts in Wasaga Beach, ON

Beautiful design from Hobby Hill Florist in Sebring, FL

Tropical arrangement from Blue Iris Flowers in Catonsville, MD

Low, contemporary and packed with color from Petals in Thyme in Wasaga Beach, ON

Rose and tropical mix by A New Beginning Florist in Moore, OK

A colorful arrangement from Backwoods Flowers ‘N More in Fairmont, WV

A gorgeous piece from Mabel Flowers in Mabel, MN

A lovely piece from Wilma’s Flowers in Jasper, AL

A low and colorful arrangement from Petals in Thyme of Wasaga Beach, ON

A prom invitation from Helen’s Flowers in Greenville, OH

A wonderful arrangement from Wilma’s Flowers in Jasper, AL

An excellent piece from Inspirations Floral Studio in Lock Haven, PA

Beautiful arrangement from Mabank Floral & Gifts in Mabank, TX

Classic Spring from Petals in Thyme from Wasaga Beach, ON

Gorgeous piece by Hobby Hill Florist in Sebring, FL

Beautiful spring arrangement from The Window Box Flower Shop in Wahoo, NE

A lovely tulip arrangement from Blue Shores Flowers & Gifts in Wasaga Beach, ON
Sympathy Flowers

Gorgeous cakset spray from Holtz Landscape in Ham Lake, MN

Amazing standing spray from Fantasy Floral Designs in Schenectady, NY

Oriental inspired funeral spray from Jocelyn’s Floral in Cedar City, UT

Breathtaking casket spray from Hobby Hill Florist in Sebring, FL
Who knows what next week will bring? Be sure to like us on Facebook for even more beautiful floral designs. If you’re a florist, we want to feature YOUR favorite design of the week right here on the Friday Florist Recap!
Learn how to submit! | See past recap posts!

Read more: Friday Florist Recap 3/28 – 4/4: A Cascade of Beautiful Blooms

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What’s in Season now – spring flowers!

I’ve been out surfing the net – seeing what spring flowers are popping up at wholesalers across the country.
And .. I seem to be crushing on Fritillaria!

G Page Flower Wholesale - Purple Clematis

G Page – Clematis

Resendiz Brothers - Flower is called Waratah Protea

Resendiz Brothers – Waratah Protea

San Francisco's Torchio Wholesale Flowers - Flower is called Silene

Torchio Nursery – Silene

Brannan Street Flower Wholesale - Burgundy Fritillaria

Brannan Street Wholesale – Fritillaria

Dutch Flower Line - green Fritillaria

Dutch Flower Line – Fritillaria

Florabundance Wholesale - Fritillaria

Florabundance – Fritillaria

Dutch Flower Line - Heamanthis

Dutch Flower Line – Heamanthis

Dutch Flower Line - Eucharis Lily

Dutch Flower Line – Eucharis

Florabundance Wholesale - Bunny Tails

Florabundance – Bunny Tails

Florabundance Wholesale - White Lilacs

Florabundance – Lilac

G Page Flower Wholesale - Green Ranunculus

G Page – Ranunculus

G Page NYC - Poppy

G Page – Poppy

Mayesh Wholesale Dutch Pom Pom Ranunculus

Mayesh – Ranunculus

San Francisco's Torchio Wholesale Flowers - Flower is called Pink Cirsium

Torchio Nursery – Cirsium

San Francisco's Torchio Wholesale Flowers - burgundy boronia

Torchio Nursery – Boronia

Continued here: What’s in Season now – spring flowers!

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DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case

We are always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to use flowers, and any time we find an idea that is “outside the box”, we like to highlight it. That’s the case today as we ran across this excellent DIY post on Etsy from author Clare McGibbon detailing how to decorate a phone case with dried and pressed flowers! The process is simple, though not without need for a steady hand. Still, Mrs. McGibbon includes a method for clean-up if you get a little wild with the resin.
It’s perfect for anyone wanting to customize their own phone case, and could even be used to make beautiful, flower-themed cases to sell! Check out the article here.

Read the original here: DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case

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FSN to Attend the NIA Florists 2014 Design Program

Are you planning to attend the Niagra International Association of Florists Design Program?
The event will be held this Sunday, March 30th at the Hilton Hotel and Suites in Niagra Falls, ON. They have a full day of events planned including talks from award-winning speaker J Schwanke AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI and a stellar lunch buffet. The theme will be “Trend Concepts for Everyday, Wedding & Special Events,” and at the end of the day, there will be Raffle Prize Drawings!
Come Visit Us!
This is the first time that Flower Shop Network has attended this event, and we are excited to make the trip! Be sure to stop by our booth and chat with Diane O’Rourke and Guy Laurin for all kinds of company info and some pretty nice free swag, if we do say so ourselves.
If you haven’t registered yet, there’s no time like the present! Pre-registration is encouraged and tickets will be a bit more pricey at the door. So click over to the NIA Florists website, and we’ll see you on Sunday!

View post: FSN to Attend the NIA Florists 2014 Design Program

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Q&A :: The Importance of Continuing Education

Last week for the Q&A Session we discussed if a living wage is possible with a flower business and how a designer can afford to take a workshop. Madeleine Elmer replied with a great bit of advice, enough advice that I think her reply warrants its own blog post! Thank you, Madeleine for your lovely and helpful reply!

I understand your concern about making a living wage with your flower business. It is always a concern these days, especially with so many other flower supply outlets for clients who want you to “match Costco or the grocery store flower costs”. I heard the term “labor of love” and therein lies the challenge. Because the work can be very difficult and physically taxing, if you are only doing it as a “labor of love”, you will burn out, as we learned in an aphorism at the Chapel Designers Conference which was that “Burn out is a result of resentment. “ When people take advantage of our good nature and don’t remunerate us properly, we will become resentful which was a universal theme at the conference. That is why it is all the more important to invest in your design education and developing a sharp business acumen so you can distinguish yourself and your brand, become more profitable and command the prices that will sustain your business. You need to keep getting better in order to stand out in the pack. We can’t do it alone!

I began my business in 2010 and have invested some of my earnings each year in conferences and workshops, which are tax deductible, as you know. Each year, my business has either doubled or grown by more than 50% and this spring I have more events in my pipeline than ever.

The conferences, beginning with Hitomi Gilliam and Jim Johnson at the Benz School of Floral Design in Texas, Christian Tortu at Flower School New York and most recently with The Chapel Designers at Florabundance Design Days have all helped me step up my game, learn new skills and find new resources. 2014 Florabundance Design Days presenters not only focused on floral design which is fabulous, as you have seen from the pictures, but also had an entire day of business presentations. From the pros in each area, ( including the author of this blog, dear Alicia ) we learned about branding, website design, social media, SEO (search engine optimization) , pricing and contracts, how to get and use great photography and styled shoots, and about shipping in flowers from a wholesale service (Florabundance) to get product that you may not have access to in your market.

(Which, again, will distinguish you from the pack.)

In between designing the fabulous florals and tablescapes, the 53 designers and our lead designers, photographers, web designers and bloggers were constantly talking to each other and sharing ideas, problems and solutions as we ate lunch, sat in the hotel lobby talking about business late into the night , rode the bus to the vineyard venue, etc. And the learning and support has continued ever since we left California a few days ago. It was by far, the most valuable floral design conference I have experience thus far. It has already benefitted me from the exposure on social media, the affiliation with the group and problem solving on upcoming jobs.

Some creative ways to save money to attend conferences are:
1. Look into your state floral association scholarship offerings. Texas State Floral Association offers them for deserving floral designers and can help offset or eliminate costs.

2. Find a friend who lives in a city where a conference is being held and stay with them to save on hotel expense. It saved me a bundle in California…

3. Share a room with another attendee.

4. Crowd source funding. Why not?! People are doing it for all kinds of things online. Why not continuing education? It will only make you a better event resource for the people in your community…

5. Make a good, well photographed photo shoot of the conference and set up some speaking engagements at local women’s’ clubs for a fee afterwards. Call it a Trend Talk and establish yourself as an expert! It may well generate some floral jobs as well as it has for me. You could even offer a workshop and lead the group in designing something you learned at the conference. I am doing that in April at a women’s club in Houston.

6. Offer yourself as a part time subcontract designer at another event planner or florist in your town to help offset costs. You will learn a lot from working with other designers! Plus they may be willing to loan you containers and props as you prove your value to them.

7. Attend every floral design presentation you can find (Garden Clubs of America have outstanding speakers in all the major cities and they are often free a service to the public held at museums).

A leap of faith and investing in your business will pay off in spades. Best of luck to you and hope to see you at a conference one day!

Madeleine Elmer
Fleur de Vie
Houston, Texas

More: Q&A :: The Importance of Continuing Education


Determining the value of you by Alison Ellis

Today we are sharing a guest post written by our friend, Alison Ellis, of Floral Artistry in Vermont. Thank you, Alison!

Determining the value of you.
How do you determine your value? As a designer, a business owner, a consultant to your client? As a boss, a friend, an individual?

As creative business owners we are constantly reminded that we set our own value and we are often encouraged by respected pros not to underestimate that value. But what does that mean to you in your business?

Does it mean raising your prices? Should you increase your hourly fee or the design percentage on each order? Maybe. (And I’ll got out on a limb and say probably!)

Or perhaps you have your value set right where it needs to be in order for you to be comfortable and profitable.

One of my favorite people on the planet, Danielle LaPorte, says you need to be comfortable in your “money shoes”. By this she means that you need to charge what feels right for you. Just because you CAN charge more does not mean you should. If raising your price means you’ll feel squeamish about quoting it aloud to a prospective client, then you’re better off staying where you are. If you are content with your price point, hourly rate, etc. then maybe your money shoes fit just right. You’re Cinderella. You don’t need bigger shoes.

If you’re stuck in a mentality that you “can’t” charge more because your customers won’t pay it, but you’re struggling to pay your bills at your current rate it’s time to evaluate what you can do to increase the value you provide (or more likely recognize the value you are already providing), thus allowing you to charge a little bit more for it. As Sean Low told the Chapel Designers in NYC your value is not directly related to the cost of your product…YOU bring the value to your customer.

What should your customers pay for YOU?

One way to help recognize the inherent value you bring to your clients is to review your reviews. Yes. It is that simple. Read (maybe aloud) the thank you notes and WeddingWire reviews your clients have written and look for reoccurring themes. Other than just “the flowers were beautiful”, you’ll find things like “set my mind at ease”, “I knew from the beginning that I would get what I wanted”, “helped with the overall design”, etc. These are the little gems. The things you do over and over again that you don’t give yourself credit for. Read them out loud to a friend or spouse or your dog. This is the value YOU add. Take note.

PS I started a draft of this post prior to attending the Chapel Designers Conference in NYC last week. Needless to say I’ve been inspired by some of the thoughts that were outlined in our discussions and I hope we can all be inspired to place a higher value on ourselves as designers.

View original post here: Determining the value of you by Alison Ellis

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Ask the Plant Expert: A Torrid Tale of Oaks and Azaleas

Dear Plant Expert:
I have 6 matured live oaks in my front yard. Can I plant azaleas around the bottom of these trees?
Plant Expert Reply:
Azaleas and oaks can live together quite happily. However, azaleas do not due well in deep shade so plant them as far away from the base of the oak as possible to give the azaleas access to the better light. Also keep in mind that you may need to water the azaleas in the summer since the oak trees will use most of the available water.
Hope this information was helpful!
Jamie Jamison Adams

Read the original here: Ask the Plant Expert: A Torrid Tale of Oaks and Azaleas

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Designing at Detroit Institute of Arts Museum by Sweet Pea Floral Designs

Growing up in Detroitmy family attended weekly church services at a gorgeous gothic cathedral on Woodward Avenue one block from theDetroit Institute of Arts. Even then I sensed the respect, awe, and wonder that still surrounds theDIA. When an opportunity to create floral designs for the DIA presented itself naturally I jumped all over it!! Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA

This is a museum of epic proportions, among the top six collections in the United States with over 100 galleries, a 1,150 seat auditorium, an art reference library and state of the art conservation services laboratory. Home toDiego Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycleand Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait. It is so easy to get inspired here and so Crazy to think we almost lost it inDetroit’s ongoing bankruptcy saga. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
I joined theFriends of Art and Flowersin 2012 after a recommendation from a florist friend. FAF isa group started at the DIA in 1985 for the beautification of the museum. The ladies and gentlemen who lead this talented group of designers are about the nicest people you could hope to meet and made me feel so welcome right off. Each week we create 3 designs with a leader for each. All of the designs in this post were lead by yours truly (and gleefully!!) Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
The above was designed for last spring’s Elizabeth Sikes Kuhlman Lecture This year the lecture/luncheon will be presented by Jane Godshalk on May 1st. Jane will represent the United States as one of six international demonstrators at the World Flower Show in Dublin. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
When I was getting started with these designs it was terribly intimidating. They are so much bigger in person then they appear in photos and they take a LOT of flowers to look appropriately full. On my first ever attempt I was so worried about having it look full enough from the front that I forgot to save flowers to fill in the back and ended up having to start over (oppsie). I guess I share this as my way of encouraging all designers to attempt larger scale work if they haven’t already… you can always take it apart and start over if you don’t love your first try!! Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Honestly what might have sold me on joining FAF (besides my friendly team mates) is the huge gorgeous collection of vases they have in the floral design room located in the basement of the museum. Every week we go in on Monday to clean up last weeks arrangement and drum roll please……… select our vases for this weeks designs from the candy shop which is their vase collection. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Unlike with wedding design I can pick the freshest in season flowers for the museum arrangements and let my imagination go nuts like with the above arrangement, I found the wild sage and various fall grasses and decided to wire up some ribbon to add the illusion of wind blowing the grass…. fun. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
The above was an experiment with a gluing technique I learned from Francoise Weeks while in Santa Barbara this January with the Chapel Designers. Maybe the first design that felt 100% like it belonged in an art museum. Wasn’t sure how to display it so I just hung it below the weekly design like some sort of weird floral plaque (plaque: n. an ornamental tablet) Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
I can not think of a better volunteer opportunity and I am so grateful that I joined up and got right to it. Designing on this large scale has taught me so much about mechanics, movement, texture and reconnected me to the city I loved as a girl. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
It has been a great place to tryout roses I’m considering for use in weddings, get a little kooky with designs that remind you of Dr. Seuss, and meet all kinds of kindred floral spirits. Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Can’t wait until I get to roll my sleeves back up and add my little bit of pretty to the giant halls of masterpieces in this Temple of art.

Thank you, Holly, for sharing your story with us. I know I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your pretty floral designs, and I’m sure our readers enjoyed them, too. Sounds like a lot of fun getting creative at DIA!

Holly Rutt is the owner of Sweet Pea Floral Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Read more from the original source: Designing at Detroit Institute of Arts Museum by Sweet Pea Floral Designs