US: Floral pros share Petal It Forward tips

Think the Society of American Florists’ Petal It Forward is “only” about retailers? The big-hearted outreach also provides a chance for those floral professionals who are typically behind the scenes, including growers, suppliers and wholesalers, to experience what retail florists witness every day — the happiness that flowers bring to others.

“It’s a great opportunity to remind us why we all grow and/or sell flowers,” said Tracy Easter of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers. “The joy experienced by the gift giver and gift receiver is something that we are somewhat removed from so this is a great chance to experience what we are working for.”

“We catch them by surprise, which adds to the experience of what Petal It Forward is all about,” said Easter, who helped hand out 300 bouquets last year.

“Sometimes we get too close to our product and to see the joy on someone’s face when you give them flowers — there’s nothing like it,” said Jamie Kitz, a key account sales manager and corporate citizenship specialist with Sakata Seed America. Sakata passed out 250 bouquets last year, partnering with grower Kitayama Brothers.

Kitz urges everyone to participate, advising first-time participants to start small.

“It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production or a huge number of flowers; it’s the one-on-one interaction of handing out flowers that matters,” she said. “Any amount of flowers that you feel comfortable handing out — small bouquets or even single stems —  they have the same effect.”

Read more at the Society of American Florists (Renee Houston Zemanski)

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