Whether you have been flower-slinging for decades or recently started your own business, you can build trust with your wholesaler through these easy steps.
- Ask questions. We have flower buyers in-house that are in contact with farmers and sales representatives 24/7. They have firsthand knowledge of what’s going on in certain regions and can address any concerns you may have.
- Lean into longer wait times. Transporting flowers from Colombia to Austin, Texas used to take 24 hours. Now, we are seeing times closer to 48-72 hours. Embrace the relaxed time frame because it won’t always be this way. In the 1960s, shipments of cut flowers were destroyed by heat waiting at airports before cold chain transportation became available (worldbank.org).
- Be open to substitutions. Florists are given the opportunity to play around with varieties, color schemes, and greenery. Make every effort to maintain the look and feel of the bouquets, but have fun, too.
Ever since the pandemic started, businesses have been flooded with uncertainty that has led to a lot of us asking, “when will my product be available?” Though supply chain routines have improved since last year, we are still finding hiccups that affect our everyday affairs.
Building Trust Takes Time
Our platform allows us to communicate important details
Most floral wholesalers have been in this business for decades, as well as some of their clients. It’s important to us that we share an understanding of market downturns, freight delays, and innovations in this dynamic industry. We do our best to share available information from the farms to our clients because it bridges the gap between uncertainty and assurance. We’ve got you covered, even when the cargo airports are limited and you’ve got a wedding coming up.
Now that we are close to the end of COVID-19 *fingers crossed*, we can reflect on the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic-era of floristry. We weren’t just panic-buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but we also panic-bought flowers. Port closures, people contracting the virus and businesses shutting down, it’s safe to say that our supply chain infrastructure collapsed during the outbreak. Do you remember grocery shopping last year? Shelves were empty, restocking supplies took ages, and we weren’t sure how long it would last.
In hindsight, there are a few things we can build towards to ensure full transparency. One, we need to view situations from beginning to end. For example, what is happening on the farms affects transportation, which compounds the bride’s wishes, and can raise prices and extend shipping. Everything is interconnected. Secondly, real-time monitoring of inventory is an ambitious goal that we are working toward. It requires participation on all levels, and can be quite time consuming. Lastly, we are all in this together and are working toward providing the highest quality, specialty, and prompt flowers to our customers.
Passion and commitment will take you far
Commitment to your work also brings out the best in us. When wholesalers feel the energy and creativity of a florist, they match that level and go to even greater lengths in sourcing a variety of products. In essence, being passionate about what you do is contagious and uplifting to those around you.
Creativity can be a form of escape to another world. Being able to trust-fall into the world of floral arranging can be an ultimate form of expression that transcends weddings and events. It’s important to first visualize the vibe you want to achieve. Beyond colors and varieties, think of music and listen to playlists to really delve into the essence of your audience. The ideal customer profile has expanded well past usual demographics.
Caring for yourself is #1
Spending time practicing self-care is a must. Nap. Spend fifteen minutes in nature. Write about what you are grateful for. You already know what lights you up, so go do that! We love to see our florists flourishing, and that always starts with you. We know you have a family, life outside of work, and a million other obligations, so let us take the stress out of logistics. Freight delays and fuel costs are to be expected, but we can brighten your day otherwise.
Make sure to order your flowers in advance (at least 2-3 weeks), and talk to your sales representative about potential varieties you’d like to introduce to your work. A lot of the individuals working in floral wholesale have spent a majority of their careers in your shoes, so they know what to expect when operating a floral business. If they can’t guarantee a certain stem, ask them what else may be available to try.
Use your creativity wisely
Make a game out of substituting flowers. People love when they can see others are having a good time. With new styles on the rise, including several techniques borrowed from other countries, the inspiration can be endless. Wholesalers typically see blooms before they open and when they are tightly packed in boxes. Seeing your brainchild come to life is extraordinary to us (and your clients).
“What drives innovation is abundance and ease, not the pressure of scarcity.” — Adam Gopnik
Tell us about your life
The relationships built in the wholesale florist industry are deeply rooted in family, care, and joy. We all have a love for flowers, so start there. Tell us about your favorites, and we’ll try to go the extra mile by letting you know as soon as they’re available. Does your five year old have a tee ball game coming up? Cool, let’s discuss. Where have you been getting takeout from lately? We’d love to hear from you.
Ultimately, the relationship we build with you is something that we cherish over the span of years—decades, even. We respect your love for the floral industry and the commitment to your work. When you succeed, we have done our job. When your clients are happy, we’re happy for you (and them).
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