In a recent issue of SAF’s Floral Management magazine, contributing writer Julie Martens Forney interviewed Bill LaFever, PFCI, President of Bill Doran Company. His insights and tips for Mother’s Day were so helpful that we wanted to share them with our LivRio readers. Here are a few key takeaways from his interview:
Pre-order Your Mother’s Day Hardgoods Now
One of the main concerns Mr. LaFever voiced in his interview was the ability to get enough hardgoods. “I see a shortage of containers for Mother’s Day,” he said. “In a typical year, we can get anything we need, but this year isn’t that.” His advice? “Work with your local supplier to get your pre-orders in—definitely order glass and flowers in advance. Don’t overpromise on anything.”
Line Up Flower Alternates
Mr. LaFever mentioned weather-related issues related to supplies of certain flowers. “There will be hiccups,” he said. “For instance, a smaller Ecuadorean rose grower we work with has already told us that he knows he’s missed Mother’s Day due to weather. He is offering us less than half of the roses we normally purchase from him.” Due to this, Mr. LaFever recommends that florists line up second choices for flower varieties—and even with that, be prepared for substitutions.
Focus on Colors and Texture for Wedding Flowers
With shortages on certain flowers, it’s essential to use the same philosophy—not overpromising—when it comes to weddings. “Sell a color palette and textures instead of a specific flower variety,” Mr. LaFever suggested. “If you promise a Moonstone or Mother of Pearl rose on every table, that could be difficult. Focusing on colors and textures gives you the opportunity to work with what’s available and still deliver what your client wants.”
Capitalize on the LOCAL (THE “BUY LOCAL TREND)
With so many customers wanting to support small businesses during and after lockdowns, it’s important to feature your flower store as an essential part of your local community. “Retail florists have a huge advantage right now with consumers focused on buying local.” Said Mr. LeFever. “There’s a tremendous opportunity with same-day delivery and the kind of customization florists provide.
“What’s so awesome about our industry is that a retail florist can customize an arrangement with colors and textures—and still get it delivered on the same day. If a retailer stays active in the local community and pushes on those issues, I see them having tremendous success.”
Use these fantastic insights and tips as you prepare for Mother’s Day, Wedding Season, and beyond.