– Good morning, everyone. Welcome to April’s
Mornings with Mayesh Show. I’m Yvonne Ashton, I am
the Director of Marketing from Mayesh Wholesale Florist and I just wanted to welcome you guys and let’s get this show started, woo-woo. So while I’m waiting
for everyone to join us, as per our usual, I’m just
gonna take a few minutes to give everyone a chance to come in and do a little housekeeping, if you will. So today, I’ll be here with
Dave Tagge and Shelley Anders and we have a very special
guest today, Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business. Super excited about
all three of my guests. I love having Dave and Shelley
on with me in the morning, they have so much knowledge about flowers and Shelley with design
and Dave with the product, it’s just really a great combination and I hope you enjoy it. And then I also have Ali,
she is in the control room. She’s gonna be helping post links and help answer questions, so
if you guys have any questions go ahead and post them
in the comments below. And I see we already have
some people saying hello. Hi Erica, from Charlotte
and Debbie from Portland, thanks for joining us. Jennifer from Huntress
Florals in San Diego, she says, “We love these mornings.” And I’m so happy to
hear that, I love that. I’m gonna show that, and I
feel like Jennifer’s here, I feel like almost every time, right girl? I think so, so thanks for coming, and I love these mornings
too, so much fun. Marianne says, “Oh boy,
Alison! So excited.” And Alison is here as well, so say hello, say good morning, let me know
where you are watching from, I would love it. If you guys are listening
to the replay, thank you, and please know that
we’ll also be turning this Mornings with Mayesh Show into a podcast, so that way you guys can listen to it anywhere and everywhere. We are on, let’s see, we’re on
Google Play, we’re on iTunes, Stitcher, and one other one
that I can’t think of right now. So we’re making our
way, just getting added to all the main podcast places, so I hope that you guys
enjoy this podcast. I’m gonna, I think, split this show, because it’s a longer
show, will be about an hour if not a little bit
more, so I split the show into two podcasts, one is the first half where we’re just talking about flowers and then the second half will
be with our special guest, so for this month, for
example, it’ll be with Alison. So keep on posting your questions, say good morning, love hearing it. Hi Hannah from New York
City, good morning. Oh, Roxanne says, “Best
morning show ever!” And I love that, that makes me so happy. Thank you, Roxanne. Such a nice compliment and a
great way to start the day. Okay, I talked about the
replay, but if you guys want show notes as well,
make sure you head on over to our blog in about a day it takes me. Sometimes I get it done right away and sometimes it takes me about a day, so it just depends, so
head on over to our blog and you’ll get all of the show notes, all of the details that
we’re talking about, so that way you have them and
you have ’em for reference. It’ll be the show notes, the replay video, and then also the podcast replays. And then also, I wanted to let you know that today’s show is brought to you by Mayesh Design Star
flower workshop tour. I hope to see you guys
at one of our stops. Our next stop is coming up in
May, 21st and 22nd I believe, in Charleston, and we only
have, guess what, guys? Two tickets left; I almost said two and that would be four,
but two tickets left. Can you believe it? And then we have Seattle, Santa
Barbara, and Salt Lake City still and I’m going to be
ready to give out some details about our Quito workshop
experience in 2019, so make sure you stay tuned for that, because it’s going to be amazing. Also, some very exciting news before I bring on Dave and
Shelley, I wanted to let you know that in two weeks, I have another show. On April 24th, it’s
going to be just with me and my special guest, Gretchen
Sell from Design Master. I’ve been wanting to get
her on the show for a while. She has so many great things
to share with you guys, she’s also a really great educator, so she’s gonna be with us on April 24th, so I will be sending out
information about that to you and make sure you save
the date on your calendar. All right, guys, let me
bring on Dave and Shelley and we will get this party started. – Good morning.
– Good morning, guys. How’s everyone doing? – Good, how are you doing? – I am good, thank you. – Good things, then, good morning. – I know, good things, and I love all the compliments that we’re getting. I know we do this every month
and I really didn’t know how it was gonna turn out
when we first started it. I didn’t know if no one
would tune in and listen, so it’s just really exciting to see all of those great things
coming from everyone, all the great feedback. So, you guys are such a huge
part of that, so thank you. – You’re welcome, we love it.
– It’s a pleasure. – I forgot the last part of my intro, so I wanted to do that real quick. I mentioned how Dave and
Shelley will be here, guys, with us for the first
half, and then Alison Ellis will be here for the second half, and just in case you guys
don’t know about Alison, and I want you guys to stay
on for our special guest, ’cause I know it’s a long
show, as I mentioned. She’s a floral designer and educator. She teaches florists how to embrace the business side of the business, so that way they can make more money and take control of their future. So we’re gonna be talking with Alison about minimums and all the
whys, whats, whens, wheres, that type of thing, around minimums, so make sure you stay on for that, ’cause it’s gonna be
really great information, she has so much knowledge
to share with you guys, so I’m excited to share her with you all. – All right, Dave.
– That’s great. – Yeah, Dave and Shelley, what’s going on in the world of flowers? – Well, it’s heat wave
up here and we’ve got some hot stuff to show you today. – Woo!
– Yay! – Okay, let me– – Love to show and tell.
– Change this screen. Yeah, I know, this is… How do I do this? Hmm, I wanna make you bigger. It’s not letting me, can I? Hold on, let me hide
you, Shelley, real quick, and then I’m gonna make
Dave bigger, okay, hold on. There we go.
– Okay. – There!
– Bam, in your face. Okay, so, we’ve got some really good stuff that’s popping not only
domestically in the United States right now, but we’re importing
some really cool stuff that goes in and out of season. So we’ll talk a little bit about that, first off, I’ve got this
beautiful, domestic viburnum. This is coming from Oregon right now. It’s absolutely gorgeous,
it’s nothing like the Dutch imports that we
get, it’s got all the foliage and stuff on it, it’s
huge, it’s beautiful, and it’s kind of gone in a flash. So get it while it’s hot, guys. This is its season right now, for the big stuff here in the US. – Awesome, I love it.
– And that’s that. And then next, we’ve
got one of my favorites, Paranoia.
– Oh, it’s beautiful. – It’s just coming into season,
and it’s super-fragrant. It’s an awesome pop of hot
pink for your arrangements. I wish you guys could smell
this, (sniffs) it’s amazing. And these are huge bunches,
by the way, gigantic. So get that while it’s hot, too. – Yeah.
– Everybody loves this next flower and the
Dutch have perfected a way of growing this stuff just huge. This is cockscomb Celosia
or Celosia cristata, which means crusted in Latin, and just look at the size of these guys. This, I don’t know if
you can get this view, here lemme put it next to my face, though. I mean, that stuff I huge. – Yeah.
– Comes in orange, yellow, green, hot pink, red, I mean,
it’s got all the jewel tones that everybody just loves. And it’s back now and
it should be in season for a while from Holland. So.
– Awesome, love it. – Love these, all right, we’ve got, trickling in right now,
tada, domestic lilac. One of my favorite flowers.
– Can you… Will you put it closer?
– Let’s see if I can get a good side of it. There, is it focusing?
– Uh, little bit, yeah. I have a hard time seeing,
’cause I have my screen so small. Lemme see.
– I know, it’s kinda hard to get it to focus perfectly, sorry guys. I wish you could smell this one also. These will continue to
bloom up the west coast, so we should probably see these right through beginning of May. It’s always a big question every year how long they’re gonna last. The usually don’t make it to
Mother’s Day, unfortunately, which is coming around
the corner. (laughs) – I know, I cannot believe it. – All right.
– I feel like yesterday was just January.
– I know, we’re getting a heat wave here, so it’s
gonna be 99 degrees by tomorrow so…
– Woo. – Yeah, all right, this next guy is also imported from Holland. This is bleeding hearts,
Dicentra is the genus. It comes in white, it comes in red, well, kind of a salmony red
color, and this beautiful pink. It’s fragile and delicate, but it makes an awesome movement in your arrangements, ’cause it kinda hangs out and over. – Yeah, I love bleeding hearts. I used to, when I was in Cleveland, I used to have them in
my garden, so pretty. – My grandmother had them in her garden in Hartford, Wisconsin, so
I remember that as a child, looking at all her stuff she grew. – Wow. – Well, those are my features for today. – Great, and now I’m gonna
bring Shelley back on. Thanks Shelley.
– Hi. – Hi, what’s happenin’?
– I have a couple of fillers to show you too, but I have
some white bleeding hearts and I also have pennycress,
I don’t know if you guys are getting that there, but
this is really beautiful and it’s a nice green,
it’s almost like a foliage more than a flower, but it
has a little white flower on the end that’s really pretty. – Awesome.
– Yeah, and then the always popular heather. – Heather, awesome. And then does this go along with the what are some new awesome
different fillers that’s not gyp? – Yeah.
– Yeah, okay, so this question’s from Penny. Hang on, let me, can I
make you even bigger? I don’t know, I don’t think I can. So this question is from
Penny, she wants to know what are some new awesome
different fillers that is not gyp? Anything else? Pennycress and heather? – Pieris japonica Eriostemon, those are all really good, ‘course Dave showed you
the Boronia heather, which has an amazing fragrance. We always say it smells electric and it has just a crazy good fragrance. – Electric, I like that. – Yeah, it has such an unusual scent. It’s hard to describe it, really,
but it’s really beautiful. We have gorgeous waxflower here
in California that’s grown. I know a lot of florists love waxflower, but right now it’s in season
and it’s just fantastic. Woo hoo.
– That’s amazing. It’s beautiful, I love
waxflower, I love the little tiny flowers on it.
– And these are the white bleeding hearts, Dave showed
you guys the hot pink ones. But they’re so delicate and pretty. So had to show you those. – Amazing.
– Okay, I brought some other fillers too, to show you. – Look at you guys.
– Are you still showing, Shelley?
– Filler bonanza. No, that’s all mine. – All right, I’m doing this now, instead of kicking people off, so now we’re all.
– Okay, we’re all equal. – We’re all equal.
– So for Penny’s question, yes, there’s a bunch of
fillers that are available. I’m gonna show you a couple alternatives to the old classics. Monte Casino has been around forever, it’s in the Aster family, actually I have two different
Asters to show you today. But thanks to being grown in South America and having a better growing season, these things are on steroids. – Wow.
– This is a Mardi Gras Aster Monte Casino,
and it’s just enormous. This is one bunch, guys. I mean, it’s equal to
probably about four bunches of the standard stuff
that you usually see. – Wow, beautiful.
– Yeah, that is beautiful. – I have Golden Glory Solidago, which again, it’s just enormous. This is one bunch and it’s huge. It’s got all kinds of laterals on it that you can pop into your
arrangements and stuff, so yeah, total perceived
value here on this. It is a little bit more money,
but it’s totally worth it. So, let’s see, where was I? Okay, so there are a lot
of flowers that you can use as an alternative to gyp. I’m gonna show you some things
that do come in white also. I am bringing more hot
pink and pops of colors. This is chocolate lace, this has kinda got
those muted tones in it. It goes from cream to mauve
to almost a brown color. I didn’t have any of the
darker stuff to show you, but– – So pretty.
– That’s choco Queen Anne’s lace. We’re getting, imported
from Chile right now, some snowberries. Ya know, these are usually
something that comes in around August in the United States, but those are pretty healthy-looking and they were grown in Chile, so those are imported right now. Great pop of color,
those also come in white. – Yeah, they come in a
bunch of different colors. I think I did a post on them on Instagram and I’ve been meaning
to put it on our blog so that way everyone can see it, but if, lemme see if I
scroll down, where is it? – Yeah, they’re whites to pinks. – Yeah.
– Variegated purple tones sometimes, depending on
the temperature, yeah. – Yeah, I have the link.
– So they do all kinds of really cool stuff. Yeah, I found the link,
I’ll post the link. Here we go, there we go. I’ve never posted a link
while I was talking. I think it posted, if
not, I’ll send it to Ali so that way she can post it,
but it was back in March. So yeah, lots of really great
colors in those snowberries. – Okay, we got a couple more here. Astilbe and Astrantia,
these both come in white. Again, I’m showing their hotter colors. This is the Astilbe, and this is the Astrantia,
very popular in wedding work. – Yeah, I love the little guys. – Yeah, not your usual filler. Cool stuff.
– So pretty. – All right, couple more here. I’ve got rice flower. It’s domestically grown, look at that. It comes in a white, it
comes in kind of a blush, this is the hot pink version of it and it’s got some
variation of color in it. Super cool textures,
nice alternative to gyp. – Yeah.
– There ya go, Penny. Hope we gave you a few– – Love it.
– Ideas there, today. – I love it.
– So Penny. – Yeah, so Penny, and then to go along with all of the product information
that we just showed you, if you go ahead, Ali will post a link to our latest Flower 411, so that way you guys can get a good idea of everything else that we have available. I think we’re missing a
few updates from someone in our producing department,
but it’s a really good start. And then in about a day, too,
I’ll be updating our website, because I have a availability list that I post there every month too. So right now it’s from last
month, but I’ll go ahead and get that updated for you guys as well. So be sure to check
those out, and of course, I’ll include links in
our blog post replay. So good, good stuff, thanks guys. – You’re welcome.
– Also from Penny. She had a great question,
she said, “We’re losing “our Gerber daisy
growers to another crop,” we’re not gonna name that crop. “If the future of the Gerbers
going to be all imports?” And honestly, do you guys have any ideas and thoughts about that? Like just in terms of US growers, but she’s asking–
– Yeah, this has been going on for years, as the real
estate market in the ’90s started developing, a
lot of people are selling their farms and their real estate for development instead of growing. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the evolving political
climate and it’s making it more difficult for a lot of growers to stay lucrative without
changing their business models. As you said, we’re not
gonna mention the crop, but what used to be domestic crops are now being grown in other countries where the overhead is lower. The plus side is a more
consistent year-round supply and a huge increase in
novelty colors and varieties for our market in the United States. So there’s a payoff to it. The pricing and the logistics of it are a little bit trickier, but I find that we’re seeing a lot
of different varieties from different countries, so
it’s a double-edged sword, basically.
– Yeah, yeah. Shelley, you’re in a growing region, yeah? Is there any?
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– We have a local competitor, basically,
that grows Gerbers here, but we have difficulty even
getting them from them. We are getting them from
Canada and they’re gorgeous, but at our branch, we don’t
sell a lot of Gerber daisies, so it’s not something that
we keep a lot of stock of. It’s mostly for custom orders. – Right.
– I can get them from Holland and there are really some interesting varieties, the little pompano ones and all those– – Yeah.
– But the Canadian ones were really nice, we had a, we were really pleased with those. – Cool, good, good stuff. Our next question is about flannel flower. Does Mayesh have them and do
we import then from Australia and Jamie’s asking this question. – Okay, well Actinotus or flannel flowers, it’s available sporadically
throughout the year. We do import those from Japan
via the Naniwa Flower Auction. It starts in early December and runs through about May from Japan. Last year, we also sourced
through the Dutch auction in Aalsmeer, May and June it
was available a little bit and then it seemed to gap
a little and come back in September and October. Whenever people ask questions like this I like to go back and
go through all the data that we have available just to research when it came and went, so
it kinda ebbs and flows. It’s kind of an inconsistent flower, which makes it a true gem
when they are available. – Yeah, and then Shelley
brought some to show you guys. – Doo doo. – I wanna touch it, I wanna pet it. – It’s so rich, it’s like little flannel. So fun fact, you guys have
seen the “Sound of Music” and that beautiful song “Edelweiss,” that’s what flannel flower is. And it’s actually native
to Austria, not Australia, but a lot of what we’re getting
right now is from Japan. The Austrian variety or what we get out of Holland is a little smaller, the Japanese obviously doing their thing, always makin’ stuff.
– Always. – But we do have it, it’s fairly pricey as far a stem, for the size of the stem, but the value of them,
they’re so unique and unusual and most people haven’t really
seen this flower before. It’s a Alpine flower, it grows up in the cold,
winter mountain areas. Isn’t that gorgeous?
– I love it. ♪ Edelweiss, edelweiss ♪ ♪ E’vry morning you greet me ♪ That’s the song, but yeah, we have those. – Awesome. I saw a question pop up
in the comments, guys. Mary wants to know, “Do you guys ship?” And we do, Mary, we actually ship from two different locations. If you are on the west
side of the country, we ship from LA, if you’re on
the east side of the country, we ship from Miami. They both do by the bunch and boxes. Boxes direct out of Miami, so definitely check
that out and if you have any other questions, go ahead
and go over to mayesh.com and you can fill out contact
form or the registration form just so we can get interest
and someone will contact you about all of that great stuff. All right, guys. Let’s see, the next
question is from Christina. She wants to know, do we
know how Pieris japonica holds up in bouquets and
is it available right now? – You wanna go ahead, Shelley? – Yeah, it holds up really well. I’ve used it many times in
bridal work, it’s gorgeous. It gives a nice texture and
movement to the bouquet. Right now it is available,
actually, I was just in Arkansas this past week, when I was on vacation, and there were just giant
bushes of it growing everywhere and it was so fantastic, I
just wanted to grab it all up for you guys and bring it back. It’s so pretty, it does
shed when it’s in full bloom more than when it’s just budding out, so you do have to kinda keep that in mind. Shake it, loose blooms, but
it does hold up really well. We’re getting it now, I
think from Oregon, I think. I’m not 100% about that, Dave might know, but it’s growing around the
country, where it grows, and upstate is usually where
you find it growing mostly. – Awesome.
– Yeah. – Yeah, I actually did
a little research on it. We did get the last cuts from
Oregon a little while ago. I mean, there’s some
bits a pieces, I think, that might still be
happening in some locations, but we’re actually importing
from Holland right now. They’ve got a variety called debutante and it’s harvested while the buds still haven’t fully developed. It’s not the budded form, but it’s got a little bit of white
development of the flowers on it, so they’re calling it debutante. And actually, it looks like
it hold up pretty well. The nature of Pieris is to
shed once it’s fully open. There’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to embrace that
characteristic of that flower. This year, we saw a good production February through April. It’s gonna gap for a little bit. New Zealand is going to be
our next crop of Pieris. It generally hits around June, depending on temperature
and climate down there. Sporadic production is gonna
continue July through October. It comes in, it goes out, it’s not a, it doesn’t have like a set availability. – Good, good stuff.
– Another gem. – I know, everyone loves Pieris japonica. – Sorry, Yvonne, I was just saying– – It’s okay.
– The foliage on it is very hearty as well.
– Oh, that’s good to know. Good, thanks, guys. Okay, next up is from Penny. She said, “Are you finding
more different greens, pods “for trending boho weddings?” The boho looking stuff, it’s
not necessarily my style, but I always love looking at
it, I think it’s beautiful. – Ya know what’s really been exciting this past couple years,
especially this past year is drieds have made a big comeback. We’ve talked about them before. – I actually dry stuff here at
our location and we sell it. Like this is dried Portia. You can see that they dry really
well and the textures well. This is yearning desert
amaranthus that I’ve dried and it’s got just a really, it still looks just as pretty, but a lot of seed pods dry well. A lot of the scabiosa pods dry well, eucalyptus pods dry well. You’re seeing a lot more of
that for texture in seeds. People are drawing palm branches. We’re seeing big installations
with palm branches and pampas grass and all of those things. That’s kind of more what you’re looking at for the more unusual dried
seeds, pods, grasses, and things like that, so
it’s the same old standbys we always had, but now we’re drying them and using them texturally
and it’s very cool to see the combination of dried
and fresh that’s going on. It gives it a more unique look, I think. But the grasses, we get a lot
of different kinds of grasses, you can dry those, any kind
of seed pod you can dry. The trick with drying is always
try to hang it upside down, cause gravity, everything’s
gonna kinda do this. – Right.
– So when it’s upright, when it’s dried, it’ll
look like it’s straight. So don’t try to dry things just
kinda flopping them around, they look wilted, that’s the trick. – Good to know. Next question is from Rebecca, she said, “What are your tips for
doing a flower application “directly to an element, like a tree?” Which I think is a great question. – Yeah, that’s something, first of all, make sure you have
permission at the venue, if you’re at a venue, to
attach anything to the tree. Most of those places them
for their altar area, unless there’s already a nail there that the venue has put
there for hanging things, it’s best to try to use the tree itself as an armature, so you can decorate it, you can wrap garlands on it,
our old favorite, zip ties. You can zip tie anything to anything, you just make the zip ties longer. But you can drape on a
tree, you can actually take a really beautiful, thick,
double-faced satin ribbon and tie it if you wanna hang a wreath. There’s ways to do it that
are not invasive to the, hurting the tree or doing
anything to the tree. And really, you have to
kinda look at your tree and see where its natural
branches and shapes are going to kinda give you a good hang. So it takes a little
practice working with a tree. It’s not a flat, easy surface, but garlands work really well, anything that you can
zip tie and arrange on, you’ll be fine with. Zip ties are really strong and
they will hold directly to, if you tighten it really well, it’ll hold directly to the tree. – Yeah.
– But always get permission. – Got it. I promise I will. I have a really great question from Hannah in the comments, so I’m gonna
bring that up real quick. She said, “When a bride wants burgundy, “I often get reds or plums
instead of the burgundy “I’m asking for when I speak with my reps. “Is this just the way
it is with burgundy?” “The color is just hard to actually get?” Burgundy’s a funny color,
who wants to talk about it? – There are very few burgundy
flowers that are natural, unfortunately, and the
ones that are so popular kinda go out of season quickly. That’s my experience with burgundy. – Yeah. – There’s a lot of,
actually, there’s a lot of true burgundy flowers,
like burgundy carnations, black Baccara roses, there’s only, I think the carnations, in my
opinion, are the only thing that are true burgundy, but
I think you have to work in that color pallette,
different shades of red, so black scabiosa, there are
amarillas that are burgundy, are true, truly burgundy, so
there are quite a few flowers that are burgundy, burgundy amaranthus. So they just have to make sure they are what you’re asking for.
– Yeah, and I think, kinda in going back to what Dave said, I feel like when
burgundy’s really popular, it’s really popular, I mean,
when it’s burgundy season, those things just literally
fly out of all of our branches. But this is also when,
if you get something that’s not really the right
shade that you’re looking for, this is where Design Master is
a really great tool as well. So, Hannah, I hope you
join us in two weeks, when I bring in Gretchen
from Design Masters so we can talk about that, tips and tricks about how to get that really right color if something comes in not so correct, so that way no one’s getting
upset or freaking out, but also really great tips on how to use some of those blooms that
you might throw away, but she has some really great ideas too on what you can do for that. – Yeah, I’m a huge fan
of using Design Master, and I think people should
not be afraid to use it. It’s really a great tool. – Yeah, exactly.
– I feel like the most popular burgundy
flowers are like Ranunculus and scabiosa and dahlias,
and some of them, like dahlias aren’t even really in what you would call season
right now, and people ask for them and we do our
best to fill the orders. And a lot of times a grower
will send whatever they can to fill our orders as a wholesaler in not necessarily the
absolute correct color. – Right.
– Sometimes you gotta paint. It’s unfortunate, but…
– Yup. – Yeah, I feel like red and burgundy are the least-prolific flower
color, strangely enough. There’s not a lot, there’s
not a ton of red flowers, there’s not a ton of
burgundy flowers, so yeah. – Yeah, yeah. Good, good stuff. Okay, so we have another
question from Summer. She says, “What are your favorite tools “for booking potential bridal clients?” Shelley, it seems like you had a lot of thoughts around this. – Yeah, so I think the question is either how to get them booked or
when you’ve spoken to them and how to get them to book
with you, from what I understand with this question, but if
you’re new to the business and always referrals, word
of mouth and all of that are going to get you
those brides in the door, but if you haven’t really
booked your business up yet, a good way to get this is to get yourself into a wedding venue,
meet wedding planners, go to a church where they
have a wedding coordinator. I know that church
weddings are not as popular out here in California
as they are in the South and the rest of the country,
but the rest of the country, if you get yourself in with
a good wedding coordinator at a church, she will send
you weddings left and right if you’re in her list and she likes you and she likes your work. The other thing is to be
consistent and follow through. I have booked more brides just because I answer their emails. We have a lot of people
right now that are just, they have auto-response in their email or they’re not getting their emails, or they’re not answering
their emails quickly. People, if they’re taking
the time to write to you and they want to, and they’re
interested in your business, get back to them immediately. It took effort for them to do that, so you need to say, “Hey,
I want your business. “I’d really love to talk to you,” and “How can I help you?” And as soon as you give that wedding, get that bride in the door and
you have your consultation, get that proposal out quickly. Don’t wait two or three weeks. What’s the holdup here? You have a business, that’s your business, get thee an assistant, like I said. You need somebody helping you if you cannot answer these emails quickly or make appointments with people quickly. I think follow through is the
biggest problem with florists, because we’re artistic types and we kinda, ya know, we just do our
thing and we’re like, “Oh, I’ll get back to
them, and I’ll do that.” You have to be professional and when you show that
professional side of yourself right from the get-go,
they know you’re gonna be professional the whole
way through dealing with you and sometimes that can
make or break that bride booking with you.
– Yeah, sorry, yes. I think that’s great. I’m echoing, let’s see if
I can talk through this, so a couple things I wanted
to add to what Shelley said, definitely when someone is emailing you and wants to work with you, if they’ve already done the research, in their mind, you’re a
really great candidate, they wanna spend their money with you, so if you get back to
them within five minutes, you’re gonna wow them, ’cause
no one else is doing that. So get back to ’em, I know
we all have to take time off and so maybe set some business hours, but if you have, if they’re contacting you within those hours and you’re available, if you respond immediately,
I feel like your chances of booking that client are
gonna increase exponentially. When I hear, also, when I
hear you say the word tool, Summer, I feel like maybe you’re asking about software, I’m not sure yes or no. But if you are, obviously
our favorite right now is Curate, it used to
be called StemCounter. I’ve had Ryan O’Neil
on our show a few times and I just think he’s really great. He offers really great
software that definitely helps you build proposals
and things like that, make you look very
professional, businesslike, and helps you keep you
organized and things like that. So definitely check that out. We can post a link to that,
I think it’s curate.co, I believe, but I have a really bad memory, so Ali will post the correct link for me. So check that out, and then
we also have a blog post. It’s getting old, we need to redo it, but it’s called “Florist
Apps,” and so it has a bunch of different things
too, that could help you out. The other thing that I
wanted to add, what was it? I feel like I just forgot. Tools, um, oh, CRM, if there’s a way for you
to kind of tie your website and have a form and then the
form puts that information into kind of a CRM, we use
HubSpot, HubSpot has a free CRM. That would be, I think a very useful way of kind of making sure
you’re keeping track of all the people that
are connecting with you, and so that way you kind of
keep the communication going, so look for tools and stuff
that kind of involve CRM and that way it helps you keep you on top of all those things and getting back to the people in a timely manner. Cool?
– Yeah, definitely. I think that’s the most
important thing, is followup and follow through with people
as soon as they email you. – Yeah, yeah, great, and then Summer says, “Thanks! Yes I am asking
more along the lines “of what software tools are and ways “that florists present
proposals to their clients.” And I think we talked about some proposals and things like that
too in some past shows, so definitely check that out, but definitely check out curate.co. Ali posted the link there for you as well. I’m trying to see if there
are any other questions before I let you guys go. Oh, I just wanted to
show, Kristen was talking about mini carnations for light accents, “she remarked that carns are cheap and should not be offered?” I think, do you guys
have thoughts about that? I feel like it’s just
talking about carnations and letting people know that
they’re not cheap flowers. I mean, they are inexpensive, but they’re good quality flowers. – They have such a bad stigma– – I know.
– And with all of the new colors they’re creating and hybridizing and messing around with, I think we should really
reinvest our perception or rethink our perception on carnations. – Absolutely.
– Yeah. – I think you guys have to blame all the old FTD-style arrangements
and “Sex in the City.” Do you remember that
episode where Carrie said, “Never bring a woman carnations!” And she just was like… But our generation, older
florists, always saw them as this pedestrian, basic flower and didn’t really, ya know, we used ’em, I mean, good shops never used carnations and every customer that called would say, “Just don’t put any carnations
or baby’s breath in it,” ya know?
– Right. – But I have a hashtag that I do, it’s called #newgenerationcarnation and I think that the
much maligned carnation has made a comeback this
past year especially. All of my younger, hipper
florists order them by the butt load, like they just get, all of our antique colors and
ya know, it’s hard though. The older public still has that perception that they’re just the cheap flower, but I think it’s how you design with them. Is your design modern?
– Right. – And interesting and are you using some other expensive
flowers in there with it to make it look like the
value or is it carns and mums and glads and lilies and
the old school stuff? So you have to be relevant too
and they are very beautiful. It’s an old-fashioned
flower, even mini carns, it’s all Dianthus family, so they have an old-fashioned feel to them and you can make ’em work, so keep trying. – Keep trying, yeah, and
maybe use that hashtag. What was it called?
– #newgenerationcarnation. – Love it.
– #newgenerationcarnation. Carnation, I think I spelled
that right, there we go. – Yes, that’s my hashtag, I
have all of our fabulous carns. We have some amazing colors. – Yeah.
– Totally stealing your hashtag.
– Everyone steal the hashtag. Yeah, start using it and
I think that will help the carnation make a, get rid of its– – Hey, I have a other cool
– Shed it’s bad repu– Yeah?
– Random thing I wanted to show you guys that
I just found in the cooler when I was looking for the
flannel flower for you. Look at these waratahs. – White waratah.
– Ooh. – They’re white, I have
never seen these before. – I’ve never seen white ones either. – Can you guys see ’em?
– Yeah. – I bet they’re expensive. – Oh, they are.
(all laugh) But I got ’em! – Those are amazing, I love ’em. Thanks for sharing.
– I had to show you all that. – All right guys, do you have anything else you wanna chat about? ‘Cause if not, I’m gonna
wrap this part of it up. – Uh, I brought some tulips, if y’all, ’cause it’s tulip season, they’re cool. – Yeah, let’s see, I love tulips. – We love sharing product, right? – Yeah.
– These guys are the ice cream tulips.
– Ice cream! Ice cream! I scream for ice cream.
– I scream for ice cream, woo Dave, aren’t they cute? – They’re idle. – They don’t really do anything, but they’re so neat, they’re
just weirdly interesting. – Yeah, we posted those, we
posted ’em not that long ago and someone asked, “What do
they like when they’re open?” And that’s what they do,
they don’t do anything, they just stay like that,
just FYI, they’re… – I don’t think they need to do anything. They’re already doing their thing, right? – Yeah, yeah.
– That’s what’s they’re doing. These are cool. These are like a really
pretty peppermint striped. I don’t know the name of this one, Dave do you know the name of this one? – I don’t, but that
looks like one of those multi-petaling, like opens
up like a peony type. – It’s gorgeous. – Ah, very pretty.
– Very pretty. – And these, ooh Latinas.
– Latino. Oh, is it Latina?
– Latina or Latino, one or the other, I can’t remember, but they’re so pretty. – Choose your gender.
– You decide, you decide. They’re a really pretty tan,
nude, beigey-brown color. – Oh, and that reminds me, I
have something too, real quick. – That’s all.
– Okay, lemme… Have you guys, so just before I show this, let me preface it so I don’t
get in trouble by Purchasing. This rose that I got, Brian brought home. He’s my ME manager and
he’s also my husband, and it’s this new rose
from one of our really, Mayesh Luxe Blooms Rose
Growers called toffee. The toffee though–
– Oh yeah. – ‘Cause we posted a picture online and it doesn’t really look like
the color that I have here. I don’t know if it’s
because, is it focusing? – It’s gorgeous, it sorta
looks like the Koko Loco. It’s almost like it’s that shade, that nude, brown, beige color. – Yeah, it’s new.
– Yeah, we’re creating a little demand for those right now. – I know, so don’t order it,
because there’s literally, literally just a few boxes for the whole entire country right now. They’re just starting, they sent out some, here’s a better, it’s a
little bit different color. And it has, a lot of
the ones in this bunch have these, what do you call it when it’s, has the, looks like
cowlicks in the middle, the two swirls in the middle.
– Oh double, it’s like a double, yeah, double part. – Yeah, they call it quartering sometimes, it just depends on how many, yeah. – Yeah, I don’t know
if it’s a stem of hers, ’cause like I said, a lot
of my, a lot of the heads in the bunch that I have
at home look like that, so I don’t know, so we’ll see. We’ll see how this happens, but, and again, don’t order them,
’cause I’ll get in trouble. If I get in trouble, I’ll have to stop showing you guys new stuff. – You just created a unique
market for that rose now. – I know, I know, so, but if you see it, try it out and let us know what happens. Again, it’s not something you can order. You might see it sitting
around here and there and some of the branches
might be testing it out and wants some opinions,
so look out for it. – Yeah, we just got some.
– Yeah, I think in a few months, there’ll
be a little bit more, but not a lot, it’s
gonna take a little bit, since it’s a brand new rose, but anytime there’s anything
new, there isn’t a whole lot of quantity and we can’t really order it, but I wanna share this kind
of information with you guys because I feel like it’s important and I wanna be the first to tell you. There.
– As long as those muted colors stay in vouge,
which they seem to be– – Yeah.
– Give it another year or two and it’ll be in full production, ’cause that is right in
line with the color palette that people are using now.
– Yeah, yeah, so cool. Awesome, all right, well,
thank you Dave and Shelley for all of–
– Thank you. – Your wisdom and
knowledge sharing with us and I will see you guys next week. – Okay.
– Next month. – Next month, sorry.
(all laugh) Thank you for that, next month
we will see Dave and Shelley. All right, bye guys, have a great week. – Have a good one, thank you.
– Bye. – Bye.
– Buh-bye. – All right guys, so now it’s
time for our special guest, Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business. Before I bring her on, lemme
just describe who she is again, in case you’re just joining us. And also, while we’re
here, and if you haven’t done so already, please
share this live video. Let people know that you’re watching, share it to your flower groups, I would really appreciate it. Like me and also put some
comments and questions. I want you guys to be involved
with the conversation. Okay, so part two, part
one we’re wrapping up, part two is beginning, so part two is my interview with Alison Ellis. She is a floral designer and educator that teaches florists how
to embrace the business side of business, so that way
they can make more money and take control of their future. She’s been working in the
floral industry for 24 years and after spending eight years
in half a dozen flower shops, she opened a home-based business in 2002, which focuses exclusively on weddings. Alison’s business tips
and teachings can be found at realflowerbusiness.com,
we’ll post a link to that, which is listed in the top
40 of best flower blogs on the planet, she’s been
featured on flirtyfleurs.com and is currently a regular
business contributor to Florist Review Magazine. Love Florist Review Magazine now too, they totally revamped
it and so it’s amazing that Alison gets to be a part of that. She has tons of knowledge
to share with you guys. I’m so happy to share her
with you and welcome, Alison. – Hi, thank you, I can’t
see you or anybody, so I’ll do my best to stay
focused on the camera. – No, you’ll do great,
and if there’s questions and things like that, I
will walk you through it, I promise.
– Perfect. – So, do you wanna add anything? Do you wanna talk a
little bit about yourself and kind of how you all got started? – Well, I always love
talking about myself, Yvonne, but what I wanna say first
is I so agree with Shelley on the idea of simply
being prompt is such an in for booking events.
– M-hmm (affirmative) – Just replying, just
getting that response in, getting the proposal out
quickly is everything, ’cause florists drag their
feet on proposals all the time, because I understand why,
because we put in so much work before this person has paid us any money. – Right.
– Price shopping, right? There’s a lot reasons why we have more important things to
do, but that timeliness, it is so, I was just sitting here, I don’t know if you could see
me, I was like shaking my head like, “Yes, sista, preach
it,” ’cause it’s true. It’s our job to get that out. – Right.
– So I needed to say that. – Love it, yeah, we can get
started with our first question. I had a question from Arabella, she said, “I know you got started with
several restaurant accounts. “How did that work? “Did you have two sets of bud vases “that you would just switch
out or did you design on-site “during times the restaurant wasn’t open?” And, “Do you have any tips “on how you built those relationships? – Yes, so I did have two sets of vases and I built those relationships
by seriously hustling and going on foot to the restaurants to any place that I saw that had flowers, if they were kinda like
not great-looking flowers, I would say, “Hey, there’s flowers. “I do flowers,” so not
that I stole accounts, but clearly there are people
who are having flowers that looked like there wasn’t
a lot of love going into them. – Right.
– And so then I stepped in. And so I did steal a couple
of accounts, I guess, if I’m being honest with myself, but yeah, and that’s sorta how I did,
I just introduced myself and it was that face-to-face connection. This was pre-Google when
I started my business, so you had to do things face-to-face. – Right.
– That was it, – Love it.
– That’s the way we did things, and yeah, there were a couple of deals that we had. Like they would display my business card and then I would give them
maybe a small discount just for having a stack
of my business cards, and they would hand those cards out. Some places I would do the bud vases, so I would buy two sets of
vases and I would bring them, already arranged, take out the old stuff, and one way that I made it profitable was by having a set price every week on the vases, but I didn’t necessarily… Let’s say it was $5 a bud
vase, I didn’t necessarily fill it with $5 every
time, sometimes it might be an Alstroemeria, which lasts really long, so the restaurant’s super happy, but then maybe the next week it
might be like a Protea, so it’s a little different,
also long-lasting, but maybe costs more, so it sort of had a set price every week,
but I really considered it like a monthly budget, so that
allowed me to be a little bit more creative instead of
every week having to be like, “Is this to value of $5?” It was like, “Is this
to value for the month?” So that’s sorta how I made that work. – Great, I love that.
– Yeah. – Before we get into
the minimum topics too, I had another question
come in from Carrie. She said, “Lately I have had more brides “wanting me to do a mock-up
of their wedding flowers “so they will be able to see “what they look like prior to the wedding. “When I tell them that I
charge for this service, “they are appalled and decide against it. “I haven’t lost any clients over this yet, “but wondered how other florists handled “these type of people and
are there florists out there “that do this for free?”
– Great question. – Yeah.
– I don’t know if there are florists
who do this for free, but there are florists who
say they do this for free. I imagine–
– Yeah. – They build it into their cost somewhere and they just consider
it part of the package. At least, that’s what I hope you’re doing if you say you’re doing this for free. – Exactly.
– ‘Cause it costs a lot of money to do a mock-up, ya know? To make one centerpiece or one bouquet, you have to bring in, unless you’re doing an all-rose bouquet, you have
to bring in multiple bunches of things, so it can cost you wholesale almost as much as you’re
charging for the bouquet. So if anybody asks me for a
mock-up, I do the same thing that you do, I tell them there’s a fee and actually, I usually charge them more than what it costs for their wedding. So if the centerpiece is
$95, I might tell them it’s $200 for their
mock-up, because by the way, it’s also my time, right? I have to–
– Right. – It takes the same amount of time for me to go to my supplier, get
the product, bring it back, deal, process it, make the arrangement, then I have to have a
meeting with you, right? So there’s a cost that
goes along with that. And that’s just all there is to it. – Yeah, that’s exactly
kinda what I was thinking as soon as she said that,
you just gotta build it into your business, whether
it’s you do it separately, or you build it into the pricing. – Yeah, and I’ll say this, I
know that there are some people who are really super high-end, like they do luxury, luxury
events and then it might be a little bit different,
where sometimes they might do an entire mock-up before
the client even commits, because they’re just playing in a whole nother ball field, ya know? They’re playing where that
wedding might bring them hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? Whereas we’re talking about
a $3,000, $5,000 wedding, it’s just completely different in terms of that risk/reward for something like that. – Right, right, can you
guys hear me still okay? I turned on my game, can you her me?
– I hear ya. – Huh?
– I can hear ya. – Okay good, all right good. So Kristen, or Kirsten
said, “I too have had people “expect free mock-ups,” so
this seems like a common thing. And then she said she’s done some mock-ups “because I’m just starting
out,” which is good. Let’s see, so it’s good,
people are saying, “Yup.” It’s good.
– Yup. – So hopefully you can
use some tips from Alison and work out those, the mock-up requests. – Well, you know what
happens too is the same, there are all these wedding
publications, right? And they’ll say, “Here’s how
you save money on flowers,” and then they’ll say, in the same breath, “Ask your florist for a mock-up.” – Right.
– So I’m getting these conflicting messages about
one, our value, like– – M-hmm (affirmative)
– You didn’t charge a lot but they should give you
something for free, right? And two, what you should
be expecting, ya know? So we’re up against people
who are in our own industry who are basically working against us. It’s just part of the deal. – Right, right, right.
– You have to educate. – Good stuff.
– Yeah. – So now, I think we’re
gonna move on to minimums. If you guys have questions about minimums or any other types of
questions for Alison, go ahead and post them in the comments and if we have time, we’ll
definitely get to them. – Yup.
– But our first question is, why should a florist set a minimum? – Florists should have a
minimum because you have to know where you start, you have
to know your starting place. So if you don’t have a
minimum, you don’t necessarily have to have a huge minimum,
but you should have a minimum on at least your individual pieces if you don’t have a set minimum. Like for example, flower shops, right? I work from home, I have a home studio. I’ve had my home studio
for, this is my 17th season in business, and it grows
incrementally, right? That’s always the hope, but
if you have a flower shop, you can take orders of all sizes, right? So having a minimum might not make sense if you were like, “Yeah, I love doing “pickup bouquet orders,” or whatever, but you should have a minimum at least on what do your bouquets start at, right? So that when someone, this helps also with that proposal promptness that we were talking about before, because if I have a minimum,
when someone says to me, “Oh, I’m getting married
and I need a bridal bouquet “and seven bridesmaids,”
or let’s be more realistic, 12 bridesmaids, ’cause that’s
what everybody has these days. I don’t even have 12 friends,
they have 12 bridesmaids and this many centerpieces, I don’t… I can put together a quote for you, I can tell you what your
minimum purchase is gonna be with me, ’cause I have
minimums on all those pieces, so it’s not like, “Oh,
what should I quote her? “Lemme pull these
numbers out of thin air,” I really have a handle on it already. – I think that’s great,
so when, I feel like when people talk about minimum, they think of a grand minimum–
– Yeah. – But you set minimums
on individual things. – I do.
– Yeah. – Starting price, right? It’s like, “Where do we start with this?” So someone asked me
this, I was at a workshop with Ariella Chezar a few years ago. Jelly, jelly much?
– M-hmm (affirmative) – And we were chatting and someone said, “What’s your starting
price on a bridal bouquet?” And so I told her and
I said, “What’s yours?” And she works in a shop
and she said, “$35.” I was like, “Wow,” if
you can do that, great. – Right.
– But you should at least know what your starting price is. – M-hmm (affirmative) Wow, $35 huh?
– I mean… And what was interesting
was part of why she asked is because she said she gets undercut, she loses gigs ’cause
people do stuff for less. And I was like– – Wow.
– “Let them have it then, honey,” if they’re
gonna do something for less than what you’re charging, I
mean, you can’t touch that. You can’t touch it.
– No, wow, that’s crazy. – Yeah.
– All right, okay so if designers
are just starting out, should you start with a minimum? – That’s a great, that’s a great thing for people to consider. I think you don’t
necessarily need to have the a grand total minimum, but
get those starting places, at least, set for yourself. You have to know, if
you’re gonna make money in your business, which
is, by the way, required. It’s a requirement that you
make money in your business, otherwise you have a hobby, right? So if you run a business, you have to know how much it costs you to make something and then how much you
need to charge for that and then as you grow your business, you can start to get a little more, I’m gonna say it, snobbier,
and say things like, “I need to raise my price,
because I don’t make “$35 bouquets anymore,
I make $75 bouquets, “because this is what it
takes to make the look “I want to be representative
of my business.” Hands down, as you grow,
you have to be able to grow that starting place. – Right, good, good stuff. How do you determine what
your minimum should be? How do you figure that all out? – Okay, so here’s how I do it. Oh, you know what I just realized, ’cause I was, we were on for so long, my computer’s starting to
die, I might have to hop up and grab my charger.
– Okay. – It’s dying quickly.
– Okay, okay. – But here, lemme tell you
this, I can tell you this one. I shoulda had the charger right here. I was at 100% when we started. I promise, I was ready. When I’m setting a minimum,
I use real-life numbers, so I don’t just say, ya know,
it was a little bit scary for me to set my first minimum,
where I said on my website, “I have a $3,000 minimum for weddings,” but the number has to
come from someplace real. So what are your current minimums? What’s your current average wedding sale? How many of your weddings
are $2,000 versus $5,000. Can you implement a starting
place that makes sense based on what you have
done already, right? So everything in your
business should be based on real-life facts and I always
feel like I come across as someone who’s great with numbers. I am not good with
numbers, I hate numbers, but I love flower math and I
love checking in on my numbers. I like visiting my money, I like visiting what’s coming into my business
and how I can increase that, and then I’m also super
focused on delivering value to the customer, so it’s
not like I’m just about “How much money can I make?” It’s like, “How much money can I make “to fulfill this person’s request?” right? All right, I’m fading
fast, I’m hopping up. – Okay.
– You can enjoy my orchids on my table.
– Awesome. – Play some lounge music or something. – All right, well, while
Alison is doing that, let me, I’ll talk about
some marketing stuff, ’cause if you noticed, I didn’t
do a marketing piece today. Just because we had so many questions and I wanted to make sure
I gave Alison a good amount of time as well, to answer
your guys’s questions, but I did a YouTube Live, guys. Remember, last month I said
YouTube Live, gotta try it out. But then I was feeling a
little bit like a hypocrite, because I haven’t used YouTube Live, so this morning, I do a pre-show
and I went onto Instagram and I do a live video all the time on Instagram as a pre-show,
but for some reason, it’s wasn’t working for me, so I was like, “Ya know what? I think
I’m gonna take the time “and go and do YouTube Live,” so I did it. I only had a few people watch,
I have like 12,000 followers on YouTube, so I’m not
really sure how many people actually hang out there, but we’ll see. I don’t know if it’s gonna help or not, it’s too early to tell and I
didn’t have time to rewatch the show, the pre-show before I did this. So we’ll see, but I wanted
to let you guys know that I tried it, it was super easy, and just wanna encourage
you guys to try it out too. Ya never know, ya never
know what’s gonna happen. – And you can embed that right
into your website, I believe. – Yes, yes, that’s how I do it now. I always upload my videos
to YouTube and Facebook and so even the Facebook
Live that we’re doing now, I’ll upload to YouTube for my replay, and that’s what I embed
in all of our blog posts and I use MailChimp and so
you can put the watch link in MailChimp in your emails and obviously, you can’t watch the video in there, but it will open directly into
the browser, and so that way, the people can what the video,
so it’s kind of the common, I feel like YouTube and Vimeo are the common video platforms right now. So yeah, I use that and I love it, so I want you guys to use
it too, I know Alison’s super familiar with doing live video and I want you guys to check it out and we talked a lot about that with Jodi and all that good stuff.
– Yeah, and you don’t have to want to do it,
you just have to do it. – Yeah, no, I, if you think– – Yeah, we’re like I have–
– I hate how I sound. – To be live on video?
– Yeah, yeah, I hate my nose. I can tell you all the
different things that I hate when I do these videos,
but they’re rewarding and they definitely bring benefit and as long as you’re
putting content out there that your community wants to
hear and it’s entertaining and educational, that’s
all that it needs to be. Try to let go of all your insecurities, ’cause we all have them, I promise you. I’m not even a great
speaker, I’ve gotten better, but ya know, you gotta start somewhere, so you just gotta do it. Nike’s, “Just do it.”
– “Just do it.” We just invented that. – Yeah, right?
– Yvonne, I see a question from Kirsten–
– Yeah. – About prom boutonnieres and corsages, I think is kind of a good one, about “How do you stay profitable “if you only have a
few orders of a color?” Do you mind if I field that one? – Yeah, go for it.
– I think that’s a good one, because, especially, I don’t
know if you have a shop or you’re in a home studio,
but I think you can, we have to set rules
in our business, right? So even though we wanna
make the customer happy and like, “Yes, I can do
that,” if you’re gonna start losing money in your
business by saying yes, like, “Oh yeah, we’ve got
red, we’ve got fuchsia, “we’ve got purple, we’ve got…” You can just set some colors and say, “This is what we have,”
because most of the time, I think also, people, when
they’re ordering boutonnieres and corsages, they need some help. – Right.
– I don’t know what florists, it’s been a long time since I’ve worked in a actual shop, but it always was like,
he would order something from one florist and she ordered something from another florist and
then they don’t match. – Right.
– So I feel like it should be a new thing where we say, like if someone calls for
one, you make ’em both. Like, “Oh, we’ll do both of
them and here’s the price “for the two of them, you
pick them both up,” ya know? And then they’re guaranteed to match, and you just have some colors
that are pretty standard. Like white will go with
pretty much anything, ya know? – M-hmm (affirmative)
– So that you have some standard things that
you offer, so you’re not, we aren’t doing every single
color under the rainbow, but this is what we have
available, and then, here’s the thing, if you
don’t have what they want, they’ll just have to go someplace else. – Yeah.
– That’s just how it is. – Sad, but true
– And it’s okay. – It is if you’re gonna lose
money to fill the order. – M-hmm (affirmative)
– Then what are you doing? – Exactly.
– Right, why do it? – Exactly, yeah, it’s good, good stuff. Do you, we’ll go back
to minimums real quick? – Yeah.
– And we’ll come back to the questions, so
when, so we talked about how to determine what
your minimum should be. Now, when should people
raise their minimums? Or should they?
– That’s, so that is something that
I think it really depends on where you are in your business. So what I notice is a lot
of people who do courses and things for floral designers,
it’s all about luxury. – M-hmm (affirmative)
– Like high-end, right? How can you get the
biggest, biggest wedding? Like I was just talking
to someone the other day and she said, “Oh, this wedding, “it must be $100,000 in flowers,
I want weddings like that.” I’m like, “I don’t,” a team
of people, that’s stress, that’s expectation, that’s
so much that goes into that. – M-hmm (affirmative)
– Some people want to do that and that’s great, but it can’t
be the goal for everybody, so everyone has to
know, people like to say this phrase lately,
“Let’s stay in your lane.” – M-hmm (affirmative)
– I don’t actually subscribe to that, I
think you can switch lanes from time to time if you
know where you’re going. If you have, if you’re
setting a path for yourself, you don’t just stay in the slow lane just ’cause this is where I am. – Right.
– You have to know where you’re going and sometimes
you gotta switch lanes. And you can always switch
back if you need to. And in fact, I would even
say I have done that myself in my business journey,
regarding minimums. So when do you raise the minimum? It depends on where you
are in your business, okay? It just depends on, can you
demand more from your customers because you have so
many inquiries coming in that you know that you can
get a certain amount of money. You can get $5,000
consistently from 20 customers or however many customers you have and that, you can just
set that and that’s it. And that’s just where you
are and they’re gonna pay it and it’s okay if people walk away. Or are you not there yet? And so setting a minimum is
going to turn people away and then diminish your
business, so you have to know what your current average is. And here’s another thing, it’s
not just about the average. Now I’m really gonna sound
like I know about numbers, but I really just Googled
this the other day. I was like, “What’s that thing
when you’re doing averages? “It’s like the mean and the mode,” the number that occurs the most, right? So you might have a big
wedding and then small weddings and you have an average
here, but what number do you do the most of?
– M-hmm (affirmative) – How many of your
weddings are this number? That’s where you can start,
here’s where I’m setting, and then you can determine
if you need to raise it. – I love that.
– The busier you get. Sorry, I’m fighting this cold,
I have a tickle in my throat. – That’s okay, I have to drink water the whole entire time,
otherwise I have no voice when I’m done.
– I know. – That’s why you guys
see me sipping water. That is why, I’m sorry. – And we have crazy straws.
– Yeah. Should you post the
minimum on your website? I’m curious to what you
have to say about this. – I think it depends, again, who you are and where you are in your business. I used to have the minimum on my website, so when I first decided,
“This is it, I’m breaking out. “It’s time to say I don’t do
weddings below this amount.” Put it on my website, loud and proud under the pricing section, right? Or consultation or something like that. – Right.
– This is where we start. – So it basically sends a message, “Don’t even think about contacting me “if you’re not spending this much money.” Which is okay sometimes,
again, you have to know who you are, you gotta know. You don’t have to stay in your lane, but you gotta know what
lane you’re in, right? You gotta know if that’s
gonna work for you or not. But then here’s what I
started to notice after years, where that was working just fine. I’m sending out proposals that
were higher than my minimum pretty much every single time. So I might have on my website
that I have a $3,000 minimum, but then I’m sending you a
proposal that says $4,000 or $5,000, or $3,800,
and it occurred to me, ’cause I like to think
a lot about business, that I’m coming, I’m setting
this expectation of a minimum being $3,000, and then
I’m sending you this quote that’s $3,800, so now I seem expensive in comparison to myself,
in comparison to the number that I gave you on my own website. So I decided I didn’t like that. I decided that wasn’t profesh
for me to do that anymore, because setting this $3,000 baseline and then sending out a
quote for more than that again, I’m seeming expensive
compared to myself. Compared to my own
number that I threw out. This isn’t the Knot doing
it to me or Martha Stewart or any other people who tell
you what flowers should cost. The people that are
like, “We have to educate because of these people,”
it was because of me. – Right.
– I’m putting out this number and then coming in higher than that. Oh, well, how do we get to $3,000? Well, you can’t, because
you have 25 tables and 12 bridesmaids, right? So I nixed my minimum
years ago, it’s been years since I’ve had a minimum,
and what’s interesting is that I don’t actually get a lot of, I’m gonna air quote it
here, our low-budget brides. It didn’t just open the
floodgates for people to be like, “Oh, it’s $500,” right? – Right.
– Sometimes, of course, I get that, ya know, “We
have $500, what can you do?” Or it’s, “$1,000, at
the top of a mountain.” And you’re like, “What? I can’t. “No way, can’t happen,” but I do ask on my inquiry form on my
website, “What is your budget?” And that is where I
tend to get more details about that kinda stuff, so
I don’t lay it out there like, “Don’t call me unless
you’re spending $5,000,” but once they give me some details, then I can come back
to them and oftentimes, in that very first email they get from me, I’ll introduce what might be
a reasonable minimum for them. And here’s why, because
I have minimums set on my individual pieces.
– Right. – So now I know if you have 12 bridesmaids and 25 tables, here’s
where we’re starting, this is what I would estimate
as a reasonable starting place for you and then they
can see how that feels. If that feels good for them, we continue. So it’s part of my
pre-qualification process is just getting some
details and then me like, “How do you feel about this?” And then they’ll know,
’cause they may not know. This is what a lot of florists will say, “They never tell me on the inquiry form, “they won’t tell me what their budget is, “they just say, ‘I don’t know.'” Well, maybe ’cause they don’t know, right?
– Right. – ‘Cause they’ve never done this before. – And I bet most of them
don’t know, yeah, I really don’t think that they do
know how much flowers cost. – No, and like I redid my
kitchen seven years ago or something and yeah, I didn’t know what it was going to cost, right? I had to get some numbers from people and when they gave me the
numbers, that’s when I knew, am I shuddering from this or like, “Okay, that feels worth it,” right? So sometimes we just have to
start that initial conversation and just to tie up this
kitchen piece with a bow, ya know, I also think of ourselves, like that initial process,
like a contractor, right? – M-hmm (affirmative)
– The contractor doesn’t get me to sign before putting
together some numbers. We do some work, just like a contractor. We do some work, we do some calculations, we put together a proposal,
and they either accept it or they don’t, that’s it,
just how we gotta do it. – Awesome, I like that. So when I originally was
reading off that question in my pre-show, I was,
I’m the kinda person that I like to have, if
I don’t have to reach out or talk to someone about pricing, then that makes me a happy camper. – Yup.
– Like I wanna know what I’m getting into beforehand. For me, I’m a little different,
if I’m looking for software and they don’t have the pricing,
I just automatically think they’re likely out of my range,
I won’t be able to do that. – Exactly.
– But I like, you’re kind of like a hybrid,
so they reach out to you and then you send them
what the minimums are for the different things.
– I do. – And I think that’s a really
great way to got about it. – I don’t do it as
methodically as I used to. Again, your business grows and morphs, you have ebbs and flows and
hopefully you’re always ebbing and ebbing and ebbing.
– Right. – But, ya know, there
was a time where I did have to weed people out a
little bit more strictly than I do now, and so yeah, that was… I won’t say I was aggressive,
but I was very clear, “Based on what you said,
this is what I would expect.” I share this stuff too, in
my, I have email templates that I share, where I share
all this exactly how I word it, so that it’s friendly,
’cause it’s a balance, right? A balance of friendly and
informative and also like, “And this is how it goes,” ya know? – Right.
– These are the rules, and if it doesn’t work for
you, it’s okay with me. But yeah, I have a really
clear way where I introduce it like, “This is what it is,
does that work for you? “If so, we can talk,” ya know? So that they have, it’s not
like they’re gonna say… I don’t get into a situation, it’s been a million and one years
for me, since I’ve gotten into a situation where there
isn’t a meeting of the minds on what that minimum price is gonna be before we have our initial
phone consultation. – Good, this ties into Gay’s question. She said, “How do you
tell a bride your minimum “without hurting her feelings?” And so I feel like you kind of
touched on that a little bit. – Yeah, like my email templates are sorta where I share that kinda
stuff, but yeah, I just… Here’s the thing, we can’t be afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings. I mean, if we’re gonna
say, “Oh, I’m sorry, honey, “that’s just not enough money.” – Right.
– That’s gonna really hurt somebody’s feelings,
but I’ll give you an example. So someone, that $1,000
thing I just mentioned, so someone, it’s a real thing,
so someone sent me an inquiry the other day, “We have $1,000, “this wedding on top of a mountian.” There’s no way anybody can
do all the things she wants, probably, within that
budget, and so I’m not gonna do her wedding, but what I’m going to do is I’m gonna educate her in my reply. So even though she’s not
gonna be my customer, I’m gonna help whoever she goes to next by priming her with,
“Based on what you said, “this is what I would expect you to spend. “I’m not available, but I’m
sure you’ll find somebody “who can do something beautiful for you,” but I’m gonna prime her,
I’m not just gonna say, “No, I’m not available,” because I think that’s part of my job. I think it’s part of my job
to help educate even people who aren’t my customers, ’cause
I’m a busy body like that. – I love it. And speaking of helping
educate, Dottie want to know, “Where do we find the templates?” Do you have those available?
– Yeah, they’re right on my website at realflowerbusiness.com. I’ve got two sets of templates. One is like my, they’re
like my starter templates, like, the basics, like how to… It’s the business, like how
to introduce your minimum, all that kinda stuff, and
then I have a second set that I created that’s more
difficult conversations, like how to tell somebody
that they’re new quote exceeds their desired budget.
– Right. – Or just some of those
things that we have to do that we don’t like to do,
but like, you gotta do it, ’cause you own a business, so that’s it. Like, “Your payment is due now, “or I’m not gonna order your flowers.” Those kinds of conversations,
we have to have sometimes. We don’t want to, but we have to. – Good, good stuff, I’m
gonna take one more question, because we’re already at
quarter after the hour. So I appreciate everyone
for hanging in here with me. – Yeah, awesome.
– So the last one is from Megan, she said, “What
equipment do you need at home “to start a successful
floral business from home? “For example, a specific
cooler,” type of cooler? – Equipment really, I mean I
started out of a second-story apartment kitchen, so you need a vehicle. I had a hatchback Subaru. You need a knife and some
buckets and water and that’s it. That’s all you need.
– Right. – To start your floral business. I didn’t have a cooler for
years and years and years. And then I got super lucky
and a former employer of mine was getting rid of a cooler
for free and I still have it. It’s this super old Coke
cooler that I adore. I love my Coke cooler, but
yeah, you don’t need a lot. I am a huge bootstrapper. I talk to a lot of
florists, I have florists, I have a lot of free courses
on my site too, by the way, you don’t have to buy something from me, you can go over there and get free stuff. But I am a bootstrapper
and what I realized as someone who now sells
courses to florists, florists are cheap, man. We are cheap, cheap, cheap. We don’t wanna spend
money if we don’t have to, because again, all these people that sell to this luxury market, we
don’t make tons of money, there aren’t these florists
driving around in limousines. We are hard-working people,
we work like teachers, ya know?
– Right. We don’t educate children,
we educate brides, right? So it’s a lot of hard work, so
you have to really be careful before investing, I really feel that way. Like, you can start with
practically nothing, if you know how to design, you can, I worked outta my kitchen, I worked out of a second-story apartment kitchen, we moved to our house, I
worked in this kitchen, I worked in my basement, I always say, like, my husband will come home from work and want a glass of water
and I would be like, “What? You want what? “You wanna get in my sink right now?” Like, “This is a work zone,”
so if you have a will, ya know, where there’s a will
there’s a way kinda thing? – Right.
– You don’t need a lot. If you an afford a cooler, fantastic. Oh, I forgot, one other thing
you’re gonna need, a table. You need a table, you
need something to work on. – M-hmm (affirmative)
– But other than that really, you don’t need
to invest that much. When you are ready to
invest, though, a website. You need a website more
than you need a cooler, believe it or not, and a good one, right? That shares who you are
and what you’re all about, shares pictures of your
work, and then yeah, if you can afford a cooler,
get yoself a cooler. It’s a game changer,
it’s so great to be able to make things a little
bit more ahead of time to feel like, “Oh, this
vernaculus is kinda open, “but ya know what, it’ll
be fine in the cooler “till Saturday.”
– Yeah. – It give you peace of mind, for sure. – Right, no, that’s great, great tips. Thank you.
– Yup. – I know you already said it once, but where can people
find out more about you and what you do with Real Flower Business? – You can find me right
at realflowerbusiness.com, you’ll find, like I said,
my free courses there, I have a pricing course,
which is like my baby. That’s my very first
course that I ever made, called, “Flower Math,” so
if you’re ever not sure how to make a 70% profit on
your flowers and supplies, that’s where you learn
how to do that there. I teach everything I learned
in flower shops there. I also have a proposal course, actually, so like Ryan’s software for
what used to be StemCounter is super great for putting
together your orders and things. If you need something
that’s less expensive and just a, I call it my
quick and dirty template. – Right.
– It just shows the amount of information I give to a
bride, because we do invest a lot of time and money, or not money, we invest a lot of time and heart– – Right.
– Into our proposals sometimes, so I show
you how to do a proposal in an hour or less.
– Oh, awesome. – Two hours or less,
depending on how new you are, but we don’t wanna give
away too much detail, because again, I think one
of the pet peeves of florists is someone takes your proposal
to another florist, right? You’re like, “Ah, it’s mine.” So if someone took my
proposal, they wouldn’t get any any special information from it. – Right, right.
– But I still book weddings. – And then you also have a
really great Facebook group. – Thanks, eah.
– Do you wanna talk about that?
– Thanks, yeah, I do. – I love it.
– There’s a lot of great people in there.
– Yeah, so let me, I posted that in the comments,
if you guys don’t know about the group, it’s just
Alison is always live. I feel like out of everyone that I follow, you’re on there the most,
just sharing everything. You’re such a sharer
and you’re so passionate about what you do and
articulate and thoughtful. – Tell me more about my eyes, Yvonne. Tell me more. – Yeah, I’m being dead serious, though. Sometimes groups and things like that are a little bit of a
waste of time, ya know? You don’t really gain anything
from being a part of it and this one you definitely do. – Thanks so much, I really–
– Yeah. – That means a lot to me, I was
so glad when you reached out to do this Monday morning thing, or rather, Mornings with Mayesh, because I was really thinking
of reaching out to you, because what I do is so, I don’t wanna say “It’s so different and it’s so special,” but it’s so from my heart–
– M-hmm (affirmative) – And not just like a gimmicky thing. – Right.
– So, and there’s so many free things for people that I just want, I just want florists to
make money and be happy, because this work is
so hard and stressful. – M-hmm (affirmative)
– That’s the thing, people always say, “It must be so
nice to work with flowers.” It’s like, “Yeah, except
for when,” ya know, to refer to what you guys
were talking about earlier, except for when the burgundy is purple that you ordered.
– Right. – You’re freaking out, ya know? It’s just not easy, so you have to love it and you have to streamline your
process as much as possible. – Yeah, and we have the same goals too. Ya know, obviously, we wanna sell flowers, but we want our customers
to be profitable too, because we need that, we need them to grow and be strong and so that’s
why doing these things are so important and again,
why you caught our eye. So thank you.
– Oh, thank you so much. – If you guys have any
other questions for Alison, go ahead and post them in the comments, I can shoot them over to her later. – Yeah.
– Maybe we can work on getting those answered.
– Yeah, I love answering questions,
you know that, so yeah. – Yeah, we’ll make that happen for sure and then that’s it, Alison, thank you so much for joining us. – Thank you so much for inviting
me, I really appreciate it. – Yeah.
– It was fun. – That’s awesome, good, awesome. Well, have a great week
and I will let you go. – Cool.
– And I’ll talk to you soon. We’ll be in contact.
– Yes. – All right.
– Have a great day. – Thanks, bye, Alison.
– Everybody. – All right guys, wasn’t this show great? I love it, I love her energy, I hope you guys enjoyed Alison. Donna says, “Alison is so amazing, “she will respond on
such a personal note!” And yeah, she does, it’s been someone that I’ve been wanting to have on the show for a really long time and also, I wanted to throw out there,
if there’s other people you guys, that you really connect with and you just think are
special and would love to have them on the show, or if you’re one of those
people, let me know, reach out. Always looking for really
great people, really, things to share and so I would
love to hear from you guys. So with that, we are gonna
close out the show, guys. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes, so for all of you guys that have been here from the beginning, thanks for staying on. For all of you guys that had to leave, don’t forget, I will
be posting this replay. It will be up on our blog
and thank you for listening to this replay, if you’re
listening right now. And just, you guys are amazing. Again, this show is
nothing without you guys and your participation, your questions, and your energy and for
helping share our show as well. Be sure you mark your calendar down for April 24th at 10
o’clock, Eastern time, ‘Cause I will be having
Gretchen Sell from Design Master on with me to talk about all of her wonderful things
too, from Design Master. Hopefully some new products
and tips and techniques and how to help you be more profitable. And with that, it’s time to wrap up, guys. If you again, have questions, put them in the comments below. If you are new to the show,
I hope that you follow us and next, if you found value in our show, I hope that you share us and finally, thank you for coming and
being a part of our show. Dave, Shelley, and I will
be back with you next month, so send in your questions
and ask us anything. With that, I hope you have a rocking day and I will see you soon, bye guys.