US: Florists find inspiration and growth strategies in Albany

Mary Jones’ two younger employees have sought to expand their education through college classes and with training at other flower shops. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to pull it all together and have some formal education very specific to our industry, very specific to what our needs are,” she said.

That’s why Jones, of Rodier Flowers in Ridgefield Connecticut, brought her two employees to the Society of American Florists’ 1-Day Profit Blast in Albany, New York on Tuesday. “There’s no better way to invest than in the people who are going to be next generation for us,” Jones said of the two employees who accompanied her. The information they gleaned from three educational sessions will help the trio grow the business, she added.

Jones and 118 other floral professionals from 12 states and Ecuador picked up tips on boosting online sales, communicating effectively and creating easy, trendy floral designs. Attendees also had an opportunity to see the latest fresh product from South American growers, as well as talk with other floral industry providers, during the supplier showcase.

The event was underwritten by Bill Doran Company. James Dempsey, CFD, AIFD, of Studio Herbage in Johnstown, New York, said he was eager to implement the advice from Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, in his session about trendy floral designs that can be duplicated by designers of all skill levels.

“It had a lot of information that I could identify with, and there were a lot of things he pointed out that would be good to implement in my shop,” Dempsey said. “We can always use great advice.”

Other educational sessions included those by Renato Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, vice president of digital strategy and education for BloomNet, who focused on boosting online sales by optimizing websites, and by Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson of Flower Clique, who talked about communicating effectively. Recaps of those sessions will be featured in upcoming SAF Now e-newsletters. See pictures of the event here.

Abigail Szlasa, of Dehn’s Flowers in Saratoga Springs, New York, is new to managing a flower shop. She attended Profit Blast because she knew it would help her understand the industry.

“It has been very enlightening,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot about marketing and advertising that I never even thought of, so I am really looking forward to implementing all of the things we learned.”

Bill Doran Company is also underwriting Profit Blasts on June 7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and on Nov. 9 in San Marcos, Texas. Denver Wholesale Florist is underwriting the Profit Blast scheduled for Oct. 11 in Denver, Colorado..

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