When you’re in the wedding and event business, you are familiar with only one segment of the floral industry. If you choose to add the retail segment to your business, you have a good foundation on which to build. However, design styles, containers and care and handling of flowers can vary greatly depending on your customers needs.
Simple things like the way you speak to a customer who is ordering an anniversary bouquet or the way you go about meeting with a bride are an entirely different approach. With the wedding client, you are basically interviewing them, trying to see if they’re a good fit for you. With a retail customer, your main goal is to spend a few minutes listening to their needs and creating the perfect gift for their loved one. You don’t have intake requests forms to fill out to decide if this is a project that you want to work on. There’s a very quick turnaround. People are contacting you the very same day and you don’t have the same timeline to get to know them.
Prior to the pandemic, many of my event florist friends weren't interested in dailies and subscriptions.
As the pandemic hit, I saw first-hand the hardships that many of our friends in the wedding and event business faced. All of their money went away overnight and some had to layoff employees and/or close down their business entirely. The opposite effect was experienced in the retail space of the industry. The florist, who has always been known to be a little bit recession-proof, found they were pandemic proof, for the most part. Consumers really started relying on florists to send everyday arrangements to friends and family because of lockdown.
Slowly, wedding & event florists started opening their hearts and minds to retail floristry as a way to generate some income in order to survive, and many of them fell in love with it along the way! The challenge was being aware of the differences in the two segments of the industry and seeking guidance from experienced florists willing to help. Personally, I had many conversations with florists wanting to know how to navigate retail floristry.
Many of the event florists I spoke with succeeded because they not only fell in love with designing flowers every day, they also liked the stability, predictability and consistent income. Making the choice to take their solid foundation and expand their opportunities further safeguarded their business for years to come.
Adding retail floristry to your already established event business will give you options and opportunities for continued success.