Skip to main content

Viewpoint By Kevin Vinicombe - Floral Management Magazine

We are excited to share with you an article by Kevin Vinicombe, co-owner of Monday Morning Flowers.  Kevin was asked by Floral Management Magazine – a monthly publication of Society of American Florists – to be featured as the “Viewpoint” in the December 2013 issue.

Viewpoint by Kevin Vinicombe

A LOADED QUESTION


“What do I do for a living?”  I hear this question at meetings, net-working events and parties.  Being a proud entrepreneur, I raise my head high and say, “I’m a florist!  My wife and I own Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Company in Princeton, N.J.”.  If I’m feeling poetic, maybe I’ll add that I help people express their deepest feelings, or provide top-notch customer service, sometimes during life’s most emotionally charged moments, or that I help bring beauty into the everyday world.  People are generally curious when I tell them about my work.  Nevertheless, I wonder: Am I under-selling myself when I only say, “I’m a florist”?

1.       Manufacturing.  We take a raw material and convert it to a customized, hand-crafted product.  In doing so, we put ourselves in direct competition with larger companies with deeper pockets, and so we have to be experts in costs, waste, labor, fashion and color trends, procurement and inventory management.
2.       Retailing.  Our industry is based on world-class service – the kind a customer might expect at Nordstrom, even if we have a staff of two.  We have to effectively and imaginatively handle visual merchandising, seasonal purchasing, product rotation, customer relations, inventory and sales team training.
3.       Consulting.  When businesses need help, they turn to consultants for third-party advice.  When a bride come to us for help transforming her dream wedding into a reality, or a grieving family hires us to honor a loved one, we’re also acting as consultants, called upon for our expertise.  Most of us consult multiple people every day, shifting gears smoothly between joyful moments (“Super Sixteen” birthdays) and hard ones (sympathy arrangements).
4.       Ecommerce/Online Shopping.  To stay in the game, we know that we must have a functional, customer friendly, content-rich, ecommerce-ready website.  That means we have to understand the strategy and backend of online marketing and transactions – and how to fix things quickly when problems arise.
5.       Hospitality.  We live for the moment when the wedding reception doors open and guests have that “jaw-dropping, magical” moment, but we also know the secret of great events: make them look effortless.  For events, we join the ranks of seasoned caterers, hotel managers and event planners to create moments that are unforgettable and unique, but also in line with budgets and building codes.
6.       Delivery/Transportation.  When you consider the supply chain of cut flowers and plants, you begin to see all of the potential for mistakes.  Getting the best product in house requires technical savvy, ongoing employee education and first-rate communication skills with growers, suppliers, whole-salers, transportation companies, and delivery drivers.

Independent, full-service retailers are never operating in just one area- we’re always straddling at least one line.  The next time someone asks you about your job, think about your answer,  Be creative and honest.  You’re a florist, yes.  But does the person really understand all that your job entails?  Or do they have a romantic notion of the shop around the corner?  Give a full answer, one that captures your expertise.  With any luck, your answer will surprise them – and bring them into your store to find out more.

Kevin Vinicombe is co-owner of Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Company along with his wife Georgianne. They have 2 locations in Yardley PA and Princeton NJ.  Kevin@mondayflowers.com
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

All of Your Prom Corsage and Boutonniere Questions- Answered!

All of Your Prom Corsage and Boutonniere Questions- Answered!
What is a prom corsage? A prom corsage is a small floral arrangement to be worn on a female’s wrist or collar. The prom corsage is typically purchased and given to her by her prom date. The wrist corsage is the most common kind, and is typically chosen to match the prom dress.
What is a boutonniere? A boutonniere is a floral design worn by a male on the lapel of a suit or tux. The boutonniere is typically bought for him by his prom date and is chosen to match the prom corsage.
What wrist is the corsage worn on? Proper etiquette calls for the corsage to be worn on the left wrist, unless the person wearing it is left-handed. If left-handed, the corsage can be worn on the right wrist.

Do the corsage and boutonniere have to match? It is not a rule that they match, however the couple will look more put together if they do. The boutonniere gives a touch of color to match the male to his prom date though a simple flower.
How do I get…

How to Make a Flower Puppy

It's amazing what you can do with 12 carnations and a little bit of creativity. Our Floral Designer Rocio loves making puppy arrangements so here she shares her tips with you! Here's what you will need ~ 12 full size carnations, floral glue, floral tape, a floral container, 1/3 of a block of floral foam and some assorted greenery.  First take your wet floral foam and tape it securely into your floral container.  Slowly start adding the 12 carnations starting with the top to form the head, the ears, the face and the 2 front legs. Keep going, adding carnations but only using 12 total! 
Now he has his 2 front legs, sitting over the edge of the container.  Using the floral glue, add the eyes and the nose. Be creative here. We use eyes and noses for the floral industry but you can use felt, screws or even a pip cleaner to form these facial features.   Next, start filling in with assorted greenery and mosses. This will become his little bed!  Be sure to fill in along the back. Reme…

Fall Sunflowers and Rose Wedding Bouquets

It's another busy weekend here at the shop and had to share one of this weekends wedding bouquets. The bouquet below is for the bride and is made using cream garden roses, beige colored Sahara roses, craspedia and chocolate cosmos. Not only is this bouquet pretty, it smells amazing!  I personally am in love with these bouquets of "ring of fire" sunflowers, hypericum berries and Black Bacara roses for the brides maids.  Wow, talk about drama!  These are going to look amazing in the photos, wouldn't you agree?   To see these and more of our Fall Wedding Designs be sure to visit our wedding website at www.perfectweddingflowers.com and if you are getting married in 2014, now is the time to book your wedding date with us before they are all gone!