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Small Business = Big Love

This week a story has emerged that details alleged abuse of former employees by a heavyweight in the floristry industry. The former employees allege that they were subjected to constant bullying and intimidation, and were not able to stand up for themselves for fear of losing their jobs. The story suggests that workplace safety was depriortised to increase productivity, pressuring staff (largely foreign nationals) to work in an unsafe environment simply to get the quantity of work done that was required.

What this story highlighted most for me was the strengths in a small business like Florist With Flowers. Whether we like it or not, small florist businesses like ours, need to compete with bigger businesses, and what the supermarkets have on offer.  There is certainly no comparison in terms of quality and artistry, however we will forever be subjected to comparisons in price, and that’s just business.

Small business BIG dreams
Florist with Flowers is a small business with BIG dreams

What you need to know when comparing supermarket flowers to you local florist’s bouquets:

  • The reason the prices are so low is because they are made to a ‘recipe’. There is no freedom in being inspired to create, and no freedom to add to an arrangement even when necessary.
  • Shortcuts. Flowers are not conditioned adequately to save time. Foliage may not be stripped carefully, thorns are mechanically smashed, however not completely removed from the stem.
  • Gift wrapping is basic, and incomplete. It is easy to spot a supermarket bunch a mile off right? The stems of the bouquets are always left unwrapped, although you are given the option on a bag to attach. It lacks the finish and finesse of a florist bought bouquet.
  • Flowers are delivered infrequently (usually weekly) with little or no care between deliveries. Older bouquets are usually discounted or disposed of at the end of the week.

What will your local florist offer you?

  • Your local florist will take time to listen to what you want, who the gift is for and will lovingly create the fresh flower arrangement for you.
  • The materials for your fresh flower bouquet will be carefully prepared (stripped, dethroned, worked if required) and then constructed. You will have the option to add a little more if you like, or to add another colour.
  • Your florist can package your bouquet ready for travel if it will be out of water for a length of time, or may suggest creating a self contained arrangement if more appropriate.
  • Your flowers will be fresher. The local florist will be replenished with fresh flowers regularly and the vases and buckets will be washed and filled with fresh water.
Florist with Flowers has amazing staff
Facebook post by Richard Branson March 27, 2014.

In a local florist, staff matter- your staff look after your customers when you can not be there. Looking after them, ensures they look after you and your business. Richard Branson advocates for looking after staff, acknowledging that although businesses differ it is vitally important to look after the staff you have and show them how valuable their efforts are to you.

If reading stories like this one in the news bothers you, the decision is yours. Rather than being just another number to a big business, support a small business. Every bouquet you buy, every bunch of flowers you take home, means that this little family business gets to keep our dream alive, and for that, we will be forever thankful.

Fwf x

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Gorgeous Summer Flowers – Add Pineapple Lilies to Your Floral Arrangements NOW!

If you want to create an instantly eye catching, dramatic and long lasting arrangement throughout summer, here’s a hot tip…

Pineapple Lilies.

Never heard of them? You are probably not alone…these striking bulb plants have not always been a popular cut flower, although I do not know why. Aside from being aesthetically beautiful, they prove to be amazing value as they are reasonably priced AND long lasting. Pineapple lilies can give you WEEKS of viewing pleasure!

Pineapple Lilies (which are not at all related to Pineapple fruit plants) are a seriously interesting addition to your flower arrangements. Pineapple Lilies (Eucomis) are like a floral representation of the tropical fruit, a long central stem with miniature flowers closely clustered together beneath a leafy top. They are a bulb plant, native to South Africa, and as they are endemic to a similar climate to Australia’s growing conditions, they grow well here and make a fantastic cut flower.

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Image; Gorgeous close up picture of the Pineapple lilies flowers via Top Tropicals
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Image; Pineapple lilies are available in a variety of colour tones like this gorgeous specimen via Easy to Grow Bulbs

Pineapple lilies come in a variety of colours including a white and green variety that works well within neutral colour schemes as well as bright colour schemes. They also come in a gorgeous burgundy variety which looks absolutely divine with rich and romantic colour tones (think pinks, reds, chocolate, plums, purples etc…) While some varieties are harder to come by commercially as a cut flower, the varieties that are available are very versatile.

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Image; Pineapple lilies come in stunning rich tones too, like this plum bloom via Longfield Gardens
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Image; Pineapple lilies make fantastic pot plant too like this example via  Longfield Gardens

These flowers can also be allowed to ‘go to seed’ before being cut which means that the centre of the bloom is allowed to become enlarged and firm. It gives the bloom a unique look, and the cut flower still last extremely well. This is one way that growers get creative, essentially creating a new line that may allow them to build on their business by extending the plant season (cutting the crop later than usual) or attracting new customers (by offering something totally unique). It also gives florists different textures to work with, allowing us to be more inspired when we create floral arrangements.

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Image; This pineapple lily has gone to seed, resulting in a plump berry like centre to each bloom via Top Tropicals

Pineapple lilies are grown locally which is beneficial because the cut flowers have not spent extended periods of time out of water or in unfavorable transit conditions. Buying local ensures you know the age of the produce, the conditions that they have been grown in and also provides jobs in the community.

Our staff are very knowledgeable, so ask us what flowers are grown locally if you want to continue supporting small business. By choosing this Carlingford Florist for flowers for home or deliveries throughout Sydney you are supporting a family business that actually care about it’s customers, and cares about it’s community.

Fwf x

 

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