Valentine’s Day 2019

Blog Post number 3.

Valentine’s Day:

  • The reason you were born in November.
  • A ‘holiday’ maliciously created to make singletons feel lonely and down in the dumps or to set panic on those in relationships to convey a sign of affection.
  • A corporate conspiracy by chocolatiers, rose growers, lingerie stores and jewellers to make people  to spend money on thoughtless last minute gifts!
  • Also called St. Valentine’s Day when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts…a day of romance….ahhhh………..

I’ve repressed V-Day to the back of my mind, not gonna lie, I don’t really like it. Maybe being a florist we are forced to like it somehow?! And I hate forced emotions. Forced fun at Christmas time, forced friendships and worst of all, forced love. Why send flowers on a day you feel you HAVE to… do it spontaneously….or at birthdays. I am biased but it really is a wonderful thing to receive a bouquet of flowers. Here is a little insight into my experience of Valentines Day 2019. PLEASE feel free to anonymously share any hilarious eventualities during the 14th Feb!

The most heard phrases over V-Day:
“Jesus, how much for 12 red roses?!!”

Yes, you heard it, anything between £70-£90 for 12 x red roses, of course with some foliage and probably a sprig of something like gypsophila wrapped in a ghastly cello wrap placed into a box or bag. YAK. They look alright don’t get me wrong but SOOO cliché right?! Or am I just being a bore. Maybe it’s because after stripping the thorns off the 400th stem, or individually wrapping the 150th I am sick of the sight of red roses or anything red for that matter.

Back to my point, the price. We don’t decide to pop our prices up just because it’s valentines, we have to. The growers put their prices up… meaning the auctioneers put their prices up meaning the wholesalers put their prices up meaning we have to. What would be the point in breaking even or even making a loss (that may have happened on my first year of trading actually… sigh) and not only do the put their prices up on red roses, it’s pretttttttttty much everything red, white, pink, blue, yellow, green, purple and orange.

“You florists must make an absolute killing on Valentine’s day!”

See above. We don’t. and usually, we have to pay an extra member of staff and delivery guy. Obviously we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t make money, so we use and abuse the Saint Valentine some may say. It does bring people into the store, shop/ brand awareness etc. Mothering Sunday is not far around the corner in the U.K. so one hopes one receives an order again.

“Ahh… that’s a little more than I was expecting/hoping to spend.” “No problem, we have lovely mixed spring handties for 25.00 or perhaps a planter more around the 15.00 mark?” “hmmmmmm I was looking to spend about a tenner!?”

This applies with every day trading. “ I want to spend about a tenner” which is fine, absolutely fair enough. You may have splurged out on a meal, a piece of jewellery and the flowers are just a small gesture, but let me just show you an insight into ‘A tenner’ Once we have gathered a few stems, tied them together, wrapped them in some paper, maybe cello ( cellophane) too and probably finished off with a bow, definitely a business logo sticker and thrown in a card for a message with an envelope with some flower food maybe…do you really think we take much profit from that?! Nada. You really are better off going to a supermarket and I ain’t afraid to say that.

“Can I get two please…”

Ahhhhhhhhhhh man. This is the gut wrenching awkward ‘want to know more’ question.

I’ll grab two of those please, may be two individually wrapped roses, may be two bouquets, two cards. WHY TWO. Are you having an affair?!?! You must be ……. Of course it could be that this person is buying one for his daughter, it’s a tradition he has always done it. Cute. Bit creepy. BUT WE ALL WANT IT TO BE SOME SCANDALOUS STORY REALLY!

One man did say to me on his way out of the shop ‘I hope you get given some flowers as beautiful as these’ and I replied ‘Ahh thank you, lets hope so!’ with a sarcastic smarmy smile. I fucking hope not! Give me a bottle of Malbec and some luxury chocolates and run me a hot bubbly bath babe! Afterall, I do smell of ingrained Euclapytus mixed with coffee and dry shampoo. It’s probably what I need….

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What my friends think I do…

Blog post number 2.

“What my friends think I do…” and also a lot of other acquaintances in life.

Pinterest

Sound familiar? “Hey nice to meet you, what do you do?” (Which is such a mundane boring piece of small talk anyhow) “Oh I am a florist” and you many have experienced one of two or both or more responses; “Oh how lovely, I bet that is so fun!” or/and “Oooh I’d love to play around with flowers all day, I bet you’re happy all the time!” or/and “A what, you work in a forest?” Which a distant member of my family recently admitted thinking I did for a few years.

Don’t get me wrong. Floristry is a great industry to be in, it can be really lovely in fact, it can also be fun. But some of the time it is not. Some of the time, it can be really fricking hard physically and mentally. It can be a very bitchy environment if you let it and sometimes lonely. Here’s an insight as to why. Feel free if you are a florist to comment below to agree/letting me know I am not the only one out there that sometimes lies with their head in their hands wanting to just.go.home. or simply add your reasonings to the list!

  • It’s cold. We can’t have heating on in our stores, workshops, studios, home garages, sheds for obvious reasons, the flowers, foliage and plants will die. So, you will commonly see us in A LOT of layers misrepresenting our body images, which can be a blessing to cover up our natural bodily layers that God gave us, they do help.
  • Gloves don’t work. Unless fingerless, which are kinda ok but then you look a little hobo like, or I like to call it ‘hobo-chic’. Wrist warmers will be your new best friend, they’ll get a bit scabby but they’re washable. Who cares what we look like anyway?
  • We work with perishable goods. Meaning their lifespan is short-lived meaning there are stresses involved keeping these bad boys alive and the work carried out involving these beautiful things is a last minute jobby. Greenery is slightly better, we all love a greening up sesh right? #gettingaheadofthegame! But generally, this means, LONG days, long ass days, that we all must do. None of us give up, we simply have no choice, your orders must be completed whether that be 80+ Mothers Day orders for collection from 9am the next day or intricate wedding work that seems to never end… but a lot of us will have experienced, especially if working for someone in floristry the ‘I just want to go home, I don’t care about the extra 2 hours over time I just want a cheeseburger and to get into my bed.
    I know I have certainly used the “Ah, I’ll go to the toilet again and have some time out for 2 mins.” or “I’ll just make another cup of tea” completing the task reeeeeeeeealllllllly slowly whilst staring into space realising the cups aren’t clean again but a quick rinse under the hot tap will do.
  • Over ordering or under ordering and just getting it right. “Keep a waste diary”. Who really has time for that? Over ordering is fine if you have a store to sell off the excess but not so much if you then end up with a helluva lot of gyp for example.
  • Manky buckets. The foliage buckets seem to be the worse in my experience, we used to keep them outside in the store I worked at and some months the water would even be frozen inside meaning those poor little stems were not coming to the party! THEY STINK. Rule one since having my own business, DO NOT LEAVE THEM LONGER THAN A WEEK (Or two). A gorgeous milky film arrives and bang you gotta get rid of that shit. We use bleach and hot water, but my oh my how I have many bleach spots on items of clothing and ruined shoes.
  • Suitable footwear can be anything from UGGS to flip flops to crocs (ew) to Birkenstocks to Converse to NIKE to Gucci Sliders the list goes on. What you really should be wearing is Sketchers to support those growing bunions cos one foot is starting not fit into its shoe.
  • Gillets/bodywarmers work although terribly unfashionable, again, who cares as long as you’re warm right?! Scarfs become a collector of food, usually biscuit crumbs and favourable for runny noses.

BUT, and it’s a big but… we really do love it, and we can’t see ourselves doing anything else. (other than perhaps somehow bringing in the dollar whilst looking out over Monaco sipping on Dom Perignon eating lobster and caviar?!) New varieties of flowers personally bring me excitement and generally being surrounded by flowers, foliage and sometimes plants. It all makes it worth it when you receive wonderful comments from clients (usually after you’ve prodded them for a quick review!!). Comment below if you agree/have anything to add or email me directly if you’d rather remain anonymous! theanonymousflorist@gmail.com.

@Monacolives

T.A.F

The first.

T.A.F. The Anonymous Florist.

So, here we are. The launch of The Anonymous Florist’s blog.

Firstly, let’s just clear this up . . . I remain anonymous for the reasons below:

  • I can be a lot more truthful about the flower world/ floristry industry and not dramatically tap the backspace button worrying I would sound too brutal if I were representing my own business.
  • The purpose of this blog, kind of, is to reach out to all you fellow florists and the absolute ridiculousness we have to deal with weekly if not daily and also to try to give you a few laughs and to shine light to the G.P. (general public) about the fascinating and at times, frustrating world of wonderful flowers. And let’s face it, I have been in this industry for over 10 years now so there’s a fair few things to share! That being, I am more than happy to where possible, to answer any industry related questions. Afterall, this will ultimately be easier as it’s all thing anonymous here!!
  • Please note, all ‘stories’ are true life events and I welcome you as florists, to anonymously share yours. They won’t all be bad, moany stories, I will be able to share the sweet ‘say it with flowers’ moments too. (pass the sick bucket)
  • Any photos used I will be using through the social media rabbit hole aka Pinterest and of course crediting where possible.
  • Lastly, no names will be named. All names used, are made up. I met a dog called Dave today. (That was true, his name was actually Dave. Human names for dogs are cool.)

More interesting content coming soon…you hope. Oh and… I’m on Instagam of course. @theanonymousflorist .