This is a question I’m asked now and then. Considering that I have a titanium rod and screws in my left tibia (leg) worth about 2 to 3 grand, plus all the dental work I’ve had done over the years, I guess I’m not exactly cheap. My husband seems to think I’m worth my weight in gold – at least so he tells me.
Okay, so that’s a pretty cheeky answer, and one I certainly wouldn’t give to a potential client looking to hire a florist for her wedding flowers. Though my second most ‘tempting’ response of, “That depends on who you ask”, is not as cheeky. But on a more serious note, here is my ‘long version’ answer as it relates to the broader spectrum of the floral industry – more specifically what to look for in a competent, trustworthy, and reasonably priced floral designer.
There is quite a wide range of pricing in the floral industry, starting at the top of the scale with high end florists who cater to clientèle willing to pay the most for their blooms – from the small and exotic to the grand and extravagant. Even though many of these designers are undoubtedly gifted and extremely qualified in their craft, their skills aren’t necessarily ‘the best’ around. Ironically, their resources are the same as everyone else. But the difference is in their significant mark up on products and labor, giving them the loftiest monetary status in floral fashion.
At the very opposite end of the scale are the low budget florists who clearly are the most affordable, sometimes offering rock bottom prices to try and achieve sheer volume in customer sales. If they can cover their costs and make a small to moderate profit, that’s good enough for them. More typically, there are some in this bunch who will sell unacceptable quality products and/or workmanship – putting greater emphasis on the importance of ‘Buyer Beware’!
Occasionally I’m questioned about the ‘cheaper’ prices of flowers at places like Costco, Superstore, and many major grocery store chains. I have to admit that I cannot compete with these huge companies, quite simply because they buy and sell their floral stock in such large quantities which allows them to remain more cost effective, as well as convenient for the one-stop shoppers. However, the consumer will not receive the personalized service, attention to detail, or the best selection and variety that a fully committed florist can provide.
Blooms & Beyond falls somewhere in the middle of the price scale, which can also be the most challenging in the scheme of things. This is where we hope to be a cut above our peers, yet work together at times in a networking sense. Unfortunately, unethical practices or poor quality in products, workmanship, and service to clients exist here as well. So the consumer should always use discretion and be mindful of certain things before choosing who they wish to deal with.
The best advice I can give are these basic dos’ and donts’ when selecting a florist – especially for your event flowers.
- Probably number one is to ask friends, relatives, or co-workers who they might recommend, either from first hand experience or reliable sources.
- It can’t hurt to check out 2 or 3 different florists for quotes, especially if in doubt about the first one you speak to.
- Never divulge one florist’s quote to another if you expect to receive unbiased pricing. Sadly there are florist’s who will ‘undercut’ the prices of another just to acquire a booking if they have that information. This can sometimes compromise quality, so it’s also in your best interest.
- Always ask to see the florist’s portfolio. If they can’t provide one that shows THEIR work, then it’s best to move on to someone else.
- If possible, check out the comments of previous clients who have used that florist.
- If the florist has a web site, does it appear well maintained and current?
- Is the florist prompt with responses, correspondence and providing a quote?
- Does the florist book multiple events for the same day?
- Ask what type of services the florist provides such as delivery, and if any complimentary perks are offered.
- Don’t settle for a florist based solely on the lowest quote. You should feel confident & comfortable that he or she will meet your wishes & expectations completely!
Length of experience isn’t always an accurate indicator of a florist’s capability, designing skills and expertise. Again, take a good look at their portfolio & ask questions.
- Never assume that the most or the least expensive vendors (not just with flowers) are necessarily the best!
Personally, in my business, attention to detail is of utmost importance because the little things DO matter in EVERY aspect and with EVERY client. That in itself has greater value than in what things actually cost!
In going back to that initial question. No, I’m not expensive. But I am competitively affordable, conscientious, undeniably creative -while trying to earn a living with skills I’m very passionate about and extremely grateful for!