There are a few different industries out in our world where I would really like to ask the people what happens behind the scenes that they can justify charging what they do. In fact that exact question just rose up within me the other day and the feeling got me thinking.
This is something I can unpack for my clients too. They also may wonder how come flowers cost so much for events and weddings.
Educating my people is something I highly value. If you know more about how what and why, it helps you understand. The other day when I was frustrated with the price we were being charged regarding a completely different industry, I realized that I just wanted to understand. So lets unpack this thing friend.
Flowers cost more than you think. In fact, flowers can even cost more than I think sometimes too.
First of all lets chat about where flowers come from.
Did you know that flowers that you purchase are not very often locally grown? Did you know that some flowers you purchase, if not most flowers you purchase are shipped in from as far away as South Africa? Holland is another huge flower producing country as well as Ecuador and others. So picture this, there is a big flower farm that employs many people somewhere in our world. Those flowers have to be picked at the perfect stage, at the right time of day, cleaned, packaged and shipped, each flower being handled and prepped. There is also a good chance that between myself and the actually flower farm, there are a couple floral companies involved, one buying from the other, so extra shipping/handling charges accumulate that way too.
Grocery store florals...
As I have mentioned in another blog post, the grocery store box stores have some huge advantages when it comes to the florals that they sell. I will spend a tiny min. sharing about that here too, as the price you see in the flower section of Costco, can be what becomes the normal.
Big box stores have a few advantages.
They can receive discounts due to high volume purchases.
Some box stores own their own flower farms somewhere in this world, and can eliminate a bunch of the middle men(and ultimately extra cost) that companies like mine rely on heavily.
When it comes to the stores themselves, large box stores win big in some cases and just break even in other cases, but all in all it all balances out and they gain. Flower shops are not that diversified to be so privileged.
I could list more, but I think you get the idea. We are not in the same game as the large box stores, however it is what flower shops pricing is often compared to and so it is good for you to understand that privately owned flower shops do not have access to those types of options.
I will mention this also. Box store flowers have their place and I have no problem with them at all. That being said, when it comes to your event, you will be limited to the product choices you have if you were to approach Costco for instance. Privately owned shops have many options for sourcing the flowers of your choice, and allows you to get the blooms of your dreams.
Oh darn, you mean this is a thing in the world of flowers too?? Yes my friend, unfortunately every industry has this all figured out. If something is in high demand or a go to for almost every bride, the price will go up. I don't believe this is due to greed if I am honest, but instead due to the fact that all of a sudden the demand puts a lot of additional pressure on flower farms. They are forced to grow more, to have hire extra hands etc. so they can fill more orders.
Another crazy reality is that currently because of our friend(or enemy rather) Covid, shipping and availability has become a huge hurdle. If your heart is set on protea, there is a good chance that in order to get that there may be some challenges and high costs involved.
Yes Time...as in my time. Maybe I will start by mentioning one more thing about ordering flowers through a box store. You will be given "x" amount of choices. There will be somewhat of a recipe that is followed, and a system that works across the board for every person who orders. That is one huge difference when it even comes to time investment from box store to Florist.
I love to make your visions bloom. It is what I am known for, what I am good at. Knowing your vision means we will spend a lot of time communicating. It may be by message or email to start with, and then face to face(or facetime). I will spend time asking you questions and observing your Pinterest boards. Once I get a good feel for what you are wanting, I start to create vision boards. These are collages or just one collage, that show you how everything will pull together. It gives you as a bride the chance to see visually the flowers I will be using, their colour, tone and texture and how it compliments your weddings colour scheme and over all vibe.
There is time on the road picking up your product, there is time handling and prepping the flowers once they arrive. Each flower is removed from their packaging, and each one is prepped before being placed in a special water solution to re-hydrate. Once the flowers have had a good drink, they are then placed into "Rosie" the flower cooler. Having a flower cooler in the hot months is essential for my work, as it keeps things fresh for you.
When the time comes to start actually designing many hours have already been invested into your day. In fact, quite possibly just as many hours as it takes to design for an average sized wedding, just as many have been spent in the planning and prepping, if not more.
The flowers then are carefully checked over, some have to be wired, bows have to be made, taping stems has to be done, wrapping bouquet handles etc. all the things. I would say an average wedding of 1 bride, 5 bridesmaids and aprox 10 bouts and corsages, can average the hands on time of 6-8 hours. Depending on the complexity.
Nothing is free. Ha, shocking I suppose? Well let me tell you what. It was not until I owned my own floral business that I started to be really aware of how all the small things add up. Each business card, sticker, wrapping, wire, pin and ribbon(etc) had to be paid for. At the start of this journey, it was easy to over look some of these costs, but all of a sudden I realized that if those costs did not get covered, then Petals and Stems would not last long. Sometimes it is the little things that make a real big difference over time.
Ok, I will be honest. I don't charge enough for this. This is one aspect of what I do that I can hugely undervalue. I am just being 100% with you. However, that said, florists are artists. We are. We have a gift you may call it, that you can benefit from. It isn't everyones gift or florists would not be a thing. There is a value to what florists offer you as valued customers.
Ok this is long. Oops. However, was it helpful? I would love to know! Was any of this insightful? Leave a note in comments.