We've had a lot of inquiries lately about the ins-and-outs of our business. So, we figured we would put together a little Q&A session for you.
Question: Where do you get your flowers? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. JUST KIDDING! We source our flowers from growers right here in Solano County, some reach further north into Capay Valley and Roseville and as south as Half Moon Bay and Watsonville. We also work with wholesale markets in Davis, Sacramento, and San Francisco. We do grow some of our blooms right here in our home. Mostly greenery and vines but also some specialty accent flowers. My mom grows gorgeous flowers and I try to steal from her garden as often as possible but she's got a pretty tight eye on those gorgeous prize possessions. If you know of anyone with a garden or just some beautiful homegrown flowers in the area, please let them know I am always looking to source local blooms. I will gladly pay top dollar to cut fresh stems from their fields or garden!
Question: Do you use Floral Foam? Why not? We do not use Floral Foam. Haven't touched the stuff in years. Floral foam is chalked full of chemicals that are known to harm humans, animals, and the environment. Some of these chemicals include: formaldehyde, carbon black, and barium sulfate. Side effects from exposure to these can include: liver and bladder changes/abnormalities, lung damage, skin and eye irritation, muscle incoordination, central nervous system depression, narcosis, reproductive disease and disorders, cancer, and death. Pretty g-r-o-s-s. All of these chemicals are listed as acute and chronic hazardous materials under their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Floral foam is not biodegradable as it is a plastic and most often must be disposed of just after one use. Instead, we use other materials (for example: moss, vines, chicken wire, flower frogs) and techniques to hold our blooms in place and ensure they are well watered and fed. While some believe floral foam extends the life of the flowers, the best care for prolonging flowers and plants is simply, fresh water.
Question: How did you get your client(s)? Long legs and low blouses...duh. Yeah, right! Word of mouth and reputation. We have done minimal advertising and believe in building relationships with our clients through our flowers and our customer service. We like to think of our clients as our dearest friends and in effect we have many repeat loyal customers. We always appreciate when our clients write us reviews on Yelp, Wedding Wire, and Facebook. We also love the shout outs on Instagram and Pinterest. Social networking has been extremely beneficial for our business and the feedback is warmly appreciated. We receive calls and orders several times a week that are referrals from online reviews and "likes." So, thank you our sweet fiends and clients for spreading the love!
Question: Can you get any flower even if it isn't grown locally? Any flower that is available during the season we can order from a wholesale market. We encourage all of our clients to purchase flowers grown here in California and if not, at least inside of the U.S. However, if you need a specific flower or plant that is grown only in Ecuador or Argentina, we can get it for you. We limit the amount of orders we take with these requests and at some point we hope that we can function as a business that only uses local flowers. But, yes we can get the tropical flowers for your luau themed event, no problem (smiley face).
Question: Why do flowers cost so much when they just die? Great question! I encourage everyone to take their hand in planting flowers or a garden from seed. It's not as simple as you think. Plants (especially from seed) need specific care: water, nutrients, sunlight, proper environment for homeostasis, and space. Other factors such as insects, animals and fungi impact a plants ability to survive. Even in greenhouses, there are many facets that make growing plants a tedious job. So, the flowers alone are not cheap, even at wholesale costs and particularly now in a time of drought here in California.
Then you add in the time and process to supply flowers to the customer in the form of an arrangement. This includes time to pick out flowers at the grower or market, bring them to our location, prep and condition each stem, arrange the design, package for delivery, schedule delivery, and finally deliver the flowers. It's quite a system. This doesn't include the time and effort spent on taking orders, writing proposals, editing proposals, stocking materials, sourcing flowers from growers and markets, and all the billing and paperwork poop. I'd say most of our time is spent preparing proposals, sending estimates, providing example and inspiration photos and conducting billing...all the super fun stuff! I can only wish I spent all day long just playing with flowers! All of these steps to provide a floral design to make someone's day a little brighter. It's all worth it! We cringe when we hear people say "no one is going to notice the flowers..." especially at a wedding or special event. They Absolutely Do! 70-80% of all of our business comes from customers who have seen our flowers, loved them, and then booked us for their next event. Flowers make impressions and make events pretty.
Thank you for your constant support and questions! We love to hear from you and tell you about our little business! Keep 'em coming. XO Kim