“Floral sprays and dyes are in high demand worldwide, with different cultures using them in different manners,” explains Denise Patterson, Director of Corporate Marketing of Smithers-Oasis. The company acquired Design Master, a floral spray color brand, in May of this year. In this article, Patterson reflects on organizing an acquisition during a pandemic, the uses of floral sprays and dyes in different cultures, as well as using the Design Master® products for education on preventing flower waste.
Different uses in different cultures
According to Patterson, the demand for floral spray colors is high and has always been so. “The high demand is represented by the abundant use of them in floral design shows. I still think that the use of floral sprays is much greater than many people realize, and this demand has always been there.” While Patterson explains that floral sprays and dyes are popular worldwide, the usage is different per culture. “For example, in North-America the paints are often used on flowers when it is for a specific holiday that has a specific color of flowers related to it. They are also largely used for big events, such as weddings, where color coordination is important to create a color theme. In Japan, however, floral paints will not likely be used in weddings. Instead, you often see them used on floral displays that are created for pop stars. The colors are then linked to that superstar’s personality.”
Influence of the pandemic
While the overall acquisition has been smooth, the pandemic meant that they had to put extra focus on supply chain issues. “We spent the first three months trying to restore Design Master to a place of positive inventory. Like many other companies, this has been a major challenge during the pandemic and we are bringing our logistics expertise and have been making this our primary focus.” Smithers-Oasis also hosts floral design schools, in which florists can get educated on many aspects of their career. Yet the pandemic has influenced that as well. “We were forced to take risks and had to suddenly start our in-person classes online. But we actually found that this helped connect florists and extended our reach even further, so that we are able to teach more florists.” And, because of the acquisition, they are now using the Design Master products to better educate during their program. “Through their products we can teach how to repurpose material by using spray color. For example, spray dye can be used on flowers that do not quite have the right color, instead of having to toss them.”
Longstanding partnership leads to acquisition
Smithers-Oasis is a company providing worldwide solutions for floriculture and the floral design market. The company has already been working with Design Master since 1983. Patterson explains: “Before this acquisition we were already the primary marketer and distributor of Design Master’s products outside of the US and Canada. Through this longstanding partnership we have found that our companies are in great alignment. Therefore, we were excited when the opportunity arrived to acquire Design Master through an asset purchase. Since the acquisition, we now have a greater role in driving the development and future the Design Master brand.”
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