Welcome to my first blog for 2020. As part of my marketing plan, this is one way of sharing my story with you as Floral Designer and small business owner.
My ongoing plan involves choosing educational and informative topics, such as wedding traditions, workshop classes and ideas, flower care and conditioning, and specific floristry knowledge. I love what I do and want to share my insights and industry knowledge with you, my flower tribe. Originally, I would have chosen one of these topics, but there’s no escaping the elephant in the room, no, in the world!
Covid-19 has changed everything. We are living in dark and uncertain times, never before seen in our lifetimes. We have all been impacted in so many ways. Many businesses and industries have been forced to close or reinvent how to continue to offer products and services in different ways. Thousands have lost their jobs, uncertain of their financial future. We are adjusting our ways to deal with both a pandemic and economic crisis.
So, what does this mean for the flower industry worldwide and here in Australia? I have been following the devastating impact of Covid-19 through reliable online sources and articles in the Flowers industry magazine. You may have seen the disturbing videos of masses of flowers being dumped and destroyed in the Netherlands. As the virus spread its deadly tentacles, the demand for flowers dried up as people went into lockdown across parts of Europe, China and UK. Importing and exporting has mostly ceased, reducing the usual abundant supply to mostly locally grown.
So how does this affect me, as a studio Florist in Brisbane, and you, the customer? There are always two sides to a coin! On a positive note, some local flower farms in Queensland and interstate are still providing wholesalers with fresh local supply. The flower chain is still operating and connecting with Florists and customers. This is allowing any florists still in business, including myself, to design and deliver orders locally. I am taking phone orders to service my local area with next day contactless delivery. While the overall supply of flowers has decreased, there is still a good range of quality flowers to create beautiful custom designs, as of now in early April. My offer of a wide product range remains available for sending flowers locally, for any occasion, or just to “say it with flowers”.
As a response to the impact of Covid-19, I am now adding to my range “Hampers of Happiness” which include a floral arrangement and an assortment of products to suit the recipient’s needs. These are appropriate and thoughtful gifts in these hard times of isolation. As a home based, qualified Florist, I have no retail lease to cause disruption to my services.
Another related industry that has taken a major blow for the foreseeable future, is the wedding and event industry. This has impacted all wedding industry suppliers, including celebrants, photographers, hairdressers, cake makers, stylists, event planners, accommodation, and of course, Florists!!!
I’ve read some very sad stories of future wedding plans for 2020 being thrown into disarray. I really feel for the couples who have had to abandon their plans for their upcoming dream wedding, and for guests who had made travel plans. Most Florists and wedding providers are being flexible and understanding in helping couples in these distressing times. If you find yourself in this difficult position, the best outcome for everyone involved, is to postpone to a future date, not to cancel. That way you get to secure your chosen suppliers, and you are supporting a small business in the wedding industry now and in the future.
If you have a 2020 booking with suppliers, get in touch and negotiate the best outcome. Professional Florists and suppliers should have already contacted you. Wedding suppliers would have Terms and Conditions that you may have agreed to already. With postponement, usually suppliers would keep your deposit in credit for the future date, and may refund the balance if you paid in full. I would hope industry professionals would value your needs, and work together to reach a mutually agreeable result.
At this stage, planning for the rest of the year is still uncertain. If you need to postpone your wedding or event, I would suggest choosing a tentative month/date in the first half of next year, or beyond. These times are very uncertain and there are no guarantees this will be over by the end of this year.
On a positive, the repercussions of Covid-19 now, will certainly impact demand for weddings and events next year. I believe wedding bookings will flourish in 2021, so it may be wise to narrow down a future date to get first preference.
If you are still in the planning stages for 2021, choose professional wedding suppliers with good reviews, qualifications, and a good track record.
Finally, I believe there has never been a more important time in history to connect with others by sending flowers. I work in the business of emotions. Flowers are symbolic of every emotion we can express…love, empathy, grief, gratitude, care, happiness, joy and celebration. We are all sharing this unknown journey with family, friends, colleagues and strangers.
For that reason, I know we will get through this together. The flower industry will survive and flourish again in the future. I wish the best for you and your loved ones. Stay safe and happy until next time.
Pick of the Bunch