Joost Bongaerts, Florabundance:

“To avoid disappointment, we sell color palettes instead of specific varieties”

With events returning, wedding flowers are currently in high demand. “As a result, flexibility is important and when certain varieties are not available, we offer substitutions. Therefore, selling color palettes instead of specific varieties has been a good way to avoid disappointments,” says Joost Bongaerts, Owner of Florabundance, a boutique wholesale flower company located in California. In this article, Bongaerts shares how they cope with the high demand for wedding flowers, the influence of the increasing costs, and his aim to make America more floral-minded.


Joost Bongaerts 

Wedding flowers in high demand
Florabundance is a certified American Grown wholesaler, based in Carpinteria (CA), and supplies florists, flower markets, floral designers, special event companies, and other professionals in the floral industry all over the country. As weddings and other events are happening again, business has been very busy. “And from what we hear from our customers, next year is going to remain busy. Many weddings that were supposed to happen in 2020 have been postponed to now. So even though weddings have been scaled down in size, with less people being allowed to attend, many weddings are taking place and a lot of flowers are being used. Some of the wedding florists we supply are already booked for 2022.”



Selling color palettes instead of varieties
Because of this strong demand for wedding flowers, some varieties are hard to come by. Bongaerts explains that this has led to a change in the way flowers are being sold to brides. “In order to avoid disappointment, we suggest to our customers and floral designers to sell color palettes instead of specific varieties. For example, if some popular roses are not readily available, we can choose a substitution within the same color range. There are plenty of flowers available, just sometimes not enough of certain varieties at certain times, which is why flexibility is important.”


Example of a color palette selection. 

High costs need to be implemented in price
According to Bongaerts, one of the main challenges that his customers are dealing with is the cost increases. “Basically, everything costs more than before. Not only the flowers, but also the packing material and the logistics costs. Especially since January, the gas prices have increased tremendously in the US and there is a shortage of truck drivers, so shipping costs have gone up strongly. As the air freight cargo space is in high demand, those prices have gone up as well. When asking our designers how they manage these increasing costs, they say that they have to explain the situation to their customers and adjust their prices.”



“Making America more floral-minded”
Besides his job as President and Owner of Florabundance, Bongaerts is also a voluntary board member for the California Association Flower Growers and Shippers. “Because of the pandemic there has been a change in the US flower consumption, as flowers have gone from holiday to everyday purchases. At the Association we are working on an exciting marketing promotion that will help continue this trend. We are aiming to target the younger generation in the US through social media and inspire them to continue buying flowers on a more daily basis. We are hoping this will make the industry more united, as making Americans more floral-minded will benefit the entire industry, from grower to florist.”

For more information:
Florabundance
Joost Bongaerts
joost@florabundance.com    
www.florabundance.com
www.gardenrosesdirect.com




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