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Why do flowers cost so much?

Updated: Jan 22

Petals and Stems believes that helping you understand is our responsibility. It makes it make sense. There are many industries where the secrets behind the cost, leave us frustrated and disappointed. We don't believe in keeping secrets here.


Educating my people is something we 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, flower 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 the blog post called , the grocery store box stores have some huge advantages when it comes to the flowers 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. However it is far from our 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.


Supply/demand/popularity.


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.



Time.


Yes Time...as in my time.


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 face time). 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 color, tone and texture and how it compliments your weddings color 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.


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 approx. 10 bouts and corsages, can average the hands on time of 6-8 hours. Depending on the complexity.


Materials


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.


Creative expertise.


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 everyone's 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.









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