Finding the perfect retail florist

Finding the perfect retail florist

Why is it so hard to find a reliable, affordable florist?

I will tell you why… the simplest answer I can give you is, IT’S HARD TO BE A FLORIST! As hard as this is to imagine, we don’t just “play with flowers all day.” Most of the days are spent sloshing buckets, cleaning out dead flowers of vases from weddings 3 weeks ago, answering emails, or making sure you are going to pay rent that month.

“get to know a floral designer and then let them create something amazing for you!”

The Garden Goddess mentions this in her blog about the florists’ creativity that people seem to forget. ( So the first tip is…

  1. Give the florist the opportunity to show you their best work!

Sometimes, if you put too many boundaries in our way, it loses the opportunity to show you what our signature design style is. And sometimes, the biggest boundary is budget. Budget is one of the hardest things to plan, whether for a sympathy arrangement or a wedding. Because there are so many factors to pricing arrangements, this brings me to the next tip…

2. Ask the florist what is their ideal price range.

Every florist, especially retail florists, have a sweet spot that they want their customers to spend. Normally this is between $75-150 down here in Houston. Of course that could or could not include delivery. Some florists will tack on the delivery as a separate cost, others will lump it into the cost of the arrangement. Your best bet is to offer to pick it up. We don’t like to leave our shops if we don’t have to. This means finding a florist near you is also very important…

3. Find a florist as close to you as possible.

Because a lot of florists will charge you extra for delivery (especially deliveries over 10+ miles) you might want to see where your neighbors are getting flowers from. You don’t want to find yourself spending half of your budget on delivery. One way you CAN save money, is to ask the florist if they will do a bouquet wrap/posey instead of an arrangement. You just don’t receive a vase, but they package it very nicely and it saves you a lot of money! One of the places you are going to spend the most money on flowers is on your wedding, so take this tip into consideration…

4. Wedding flowers will ALWAYS be expensive. No matter what, just trust your florist. Don’t get sticker shock and run away, ask what would be the best options to meet your budget.

Weddings are so hard to do as a florist. It is a LOT of manual labor, a lot of late nights creating recipes, flow charts, emails to brides/coordinators and prep work. You might think it is the best job ever because its working with flowers, but we only ACTUALLY work with the flowers 20% of the time we work. And as soon as we get flowers, we are playing, “Doctor” to keep them alive and as fresh as possible for your wedding. With retail or events, it is important to make sure all of your flowers are still fresh, so make sure you ask your florist…

5. When do you get fresh flowers? How often do you turn your cooler? Do you go to the wholesalers yourself or do they get delivered?

Because this business is working with perishables, a lot of the time the want/need to sell as much product as possible gets in the way of knowing when to throw something out as a loss. Its shrinkage, and its normal. Make sure your florist is turning their cooler (meaning throwing out bad product and cleaning their cooler) once a week. If they are going to the wholesaler every week, that means they are getting to do quality control of their product, so they can see if its fresh and will last. Wholesalers also will keep flowers on their inventory too long, so if your florist goes to the wholesaler themselves, they will be able to pick and choose what product is the best.

Hope this helps you in your search for the perfect florist! And remember, flowers are ALWAYS a good idea! -A

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