This must be the season of change because we have been getting a lot of inquiries lately for advice on starting a flower business. We love that people look to us for inspiration and as we thought about suggestions to offer, we realized most of our daily goings-on had nothing to do with arranging pretty bouquets. We decided to share a few days of our hectic schedule last week to give you a peek at some of the un-flowery things we do and some tips we’ve learned along our way.
1. Prepared trees and loaded the truck with all of our supplies and materials for a petite forest installation.
A little extra time preparing before an event goes a long way when you have to be out the door by 5am. We often have to go to the flower market, make delivery arrangements and open the shop on the same day we have installations and events. We make lots of checklists and gather our materials as far ahead of time as possible. It seems obvious, but when we are unprepared . . . things usually take twice as long.
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2. Cleaned and rearranged the shop to include new holiday merchandise and decorations.
We wanted to get every last second out of fall, so we decided to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to launch into the holidays at the shop. It was a big task to complete in a short amount of time, so we wanted to make it as fun as possible! All the Prairie Collective gals came in early on Friday for a “decorating party” and we got down to business (with some hot cider, brandy and leftover pecan pie, too).
3. Recruited husband to transport everything we couldn’t fit in the truck.
We used to try and do everything ourselves and got really burned out. We are learning to ask for help. In fact, we are even looking for an intern. Anyone interested?
4. Created DIY bulb station in the front window for our December walk-in workshops.
We love to do fun projects like forcing bulbs . . . and we are in retail! We thought providing a place to make things (with all the supplies included) would be a great way to bring people into the shop for the holidays.
5. Eat and relax a little.
As dumb as this sounds, this is one thing that is really difficult for us. We frequently forget to eat and then are so starving we eat the closest junk food we can get our hands on. We are often very stressed and tired and work on our computers until the wee hours of the morning. We work much better when we are eating healthy and taking a little time off for ourselves. We vow to do this more. For a good start, we went and got our hair done yesterday.
6. Created care tags on pretty botanical paper from the flea market for our bulb station.
We love to put little handmade touches in many areas of our business; for instance, we type all our gift messages and price labels on a cursive typewriter. It takes extra time but makes a difference to us, and we like to think our customers appreciate it.
7. Created holiday decorations for one of our favorite San Francisco restaurants.
We are always willing to be flexible and try new things. Most of our favorite projects have sprouted from a necessity to come up with a new idea. For part of this project, we needed to figure out a way to create a window installation of birch trees growing through a metal cross beam without drilling holes, chipping paint or scratching wood. We also have to be very flexible . . . um physically. A good amount of our time last week was spent precariously perched on stools, chairs, ledges and ladders. Yes, we do have health insurance.