entertainingFood & Drinkstudio choowe like it wild

we like it wild: our week — holiday time

by StudioChoo

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.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Studio Choo’s post after the jump!

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.

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  • You had me at the red and white baker’s twine! I just adore the gorgeous wreaths and holiday decor. The tags made of vintage paper are to die for, what a great idea. And I ‘m glad to see you guys asking for a little help with all your work. There’s nothing worse than getting burned out this early in the holiday season.

    Merry Christmas guys!

  • Thanks for this great post. I thought I wanted to have my own flower shop/biz, then started working for a floral designer over the summer. I learned quickly that most of the job is about organization, client meetings and clean-up (washing buckets and vases takes up a lot of time) and only a small part is about handling flowers. I would recommend to those interested the more fun parts of working with flowers that they get experience working in floral design (interning or assisting at first), then freelancing for others as designers. One thing that’s great about San Francisco is that there are a lot of floral design studios that share from a pool of freelance floral designers, and during busy months, freelance designers can get a lot of work doing hands-on design that studio and shop owners are often too busy to do.

  • i worked for a florist while in high school and still have nightmares of having to dethorn 500 white long stem roses for a wedding….

    that being said, i think ya’ll are amazing!

  • Glad to see the real side glamorized :). I love having my own floral biz but it is a lot of hard work that most never see.

    Don’t you love the Element, that little vehicle was meant to be driven by florists :)

    Beautiful wreaths, Happy Holidays!

  • Oh Studio Choo, you can do no wrong! Your posts and photos are always such a delight. I really want to see the store in person some day!

  • I love how it says “eating healthy” under the pic of Pacifico and chips. Glad to see you share my views! Keep up the great work, girls. You are fantastically talented.

  • oh i could be reading this all day long…. these are such beautiful pictures with amazing details! i love the wreaths, the flowers, the candles… everything looks gorgeous! i would love to have such space! holidays really rock! ;) twiggs

  • As the Inventory Manager & Designer at the flower shop I work for I just want to say Thank You! for pointing out all the other hard work, prep time, cleaning, and often risky-woobly-high up work we do!!! I can’t tell you how often people are shocked when I tell them how little of my time is spent making floral arrangements! Wish I was in San Fran to see your gorgeous shop in person! I love your ideas & posts :)

  • Photos came out amazing! I love that you were able to capture all of the hard work put in to decorating a store this time of your, how beautiful it ends up looking, and that it is also so much fun to do! Thank you for sharing this adventure with us. There are some really inspiring holiday ideas in here!

  • This really pepped me up this morning. As an interior designer, I am tired of all the prepping for which I can’t charge and late night computer work too. I’m so glad it’s not just me!

  • After every We Like it Wild post, I think to myself, it must be so wonderful to have a creative job like this… I hope one day I can make that happen too. What you do is greatly appreciated, Studio Choo!