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The Kari Adams Show Talking Business and Social Media

I had so much fun last week being interviewed by Kari Adams. Talking business, flowers and social media - right up my alley!

Cooking and Staying at Home

 I just asked my husband to give me inspiration for a blog post and his response was "Why not talk about your love of cooking and wine"? Ah, I knew there was a reason I married that man. In case you don't know, I love being home, I love cooking and I'm fond of drinking local wine. I don't have much time too cook, most nights Kevin and I get home about 7:30  or 8:00 pm so no long, drawn out cooking times for me, it's gotta be fast, it's gotta be good and it's got to be healthy. In the summer we BBQ as much as possible, like the plate above - fresh bread with olive oil for dipping, veggies and steaks on the grill - all in about 20 minutes. Add a glass (or 2 if it's not an early day at the shop the next day) of local wine, like this Blueberry wine from Princeton's Terhune Orchards and the night is perfect. Sit in front of the tube and watch the TV Food Network (I know, it's a bit redundant at that point but we love it anyway, especially Guy

Do You Care Where Your Flowers Come From?

I can tell you that if you don't care, you really should. Did you know that 80% of the flower bought in the US are grown outside the US? It's true, that means that only 20% of the flowers sold in America area grown on American soil. You might wonder why this is and it's as simple as this - consumers want low cost. But wanting everything at a low cost can be a high price to pay as we see less and less being "Made in America". As I read a view point in Floral Management Magazine written by Lane DeVries, who is the current Chairman of the California Cut Flower Commission, part of what makes flowers less costly coming from Columbia has been because of the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act, which provided duty free access to flowers from being imported from South America. As part of the geopolitical interest of the US, through "Plan Colombia", as the federal government called it, our government has "Invested" an estimated $570 m

Baskets Have Made a Come Back

I love arrangements made in pretty glass vases but I have to say that baskets appear to be making a come back recently. Just like this colorful mixture of flowers, the summer is a wonderful time to send flowers in a pretty wicker or natural grapevine basket. Perfect for a desk, kitchen island or even bedside, flowers in a basket make such a cute gift and would be much appreciated for just about any occasion.

Putting Others Down to Pick Yourself Up? Not a good idea

My designer Gaby and I were talking the other day about the poor flower industry. Have you ever noticed how often other types of business's will put down flowers just to say that their product is better? Society of American Florist spends so much of their time letting other business's know that it's not cool to put us down to make their product look good. It's amazing how those that sell jewelry, candy, chocolates and goodness knows who else use flowers as a point of reference when saying their product is better. Yes, flowers you send today may be gone next month but is that what it's all about? What about the beauty of flowers or the way they can be personalized? What about how special they make people feel or how they physically brighten their mood? Does everything have to be about the long term? In a society of "let's collect as much stuff as possible" doesn't it make sense to bring a thing of beauty into your home that won't be collecting

What is it that you do?

This seems like it would be an easy question to answer but sometimes it's not so straightforward! Today I had lunch with a dear friend (and business associate) along with a gentleman whom I'd never met. He is in a similar industry to mine my friend thought it might be nice for us to meet. Anyway, back to the topic of this blog - have you ever noticed when you ask someone, "What is it that you do?" it's funny how they take a deep breath and really have to give it some thought. Most of the time, 10 minutes later, you are listening intently but you are still not sure you understand how they make a living, right? That was me today. This gentleman's business seemed so confusing to me but I'm sure his customers know what he does or at least I hope so!! I believe that's because business today is so much more complicated than even 20 years ago. Remember back in the day when you needed meat you'd go to the Butcher? Or if you need a birthday cake you'd

Do What You Love and Success Will Follow

I know it's the American dream to own your own home but who out there doesn't sometimes long for the days of being a renter and making the landlord fix the furnace? Being a homeowner has lots of advantages but along come some definite disadvantages such as bills to pay that you did not expect, leaky faucets, a downturn in real estate prices, not to mention increases in property taxes!! Yikes! Have you ever met a business owner who seems frazzled, unhappy and worn out? I know I have and there are times when I can truly relate. Being self employed is no easy task and in many ways being an employee is similar to the renter and being the owner is similar to the homeowner. There are good things about being the King of your own Kingdom. Then there are times when you think it would be wonderful to be the Court Jester, right? What does this all boil down to? It boils down to love. The feeling that you can't live without it. That you must have it, control it, and make it complete

Make Fear Your Friend - The Countdown to Christmas

Earlier today, home from work at a reasonable hour, I decided it would be nice to take a hot bath. The next few days leading up to Christmas will be long and crazy working at the flower shops so relaxing for an hour, soaking in a tub, soothing my tired feet, sounded like heaven. As my husband prepared to relax and watch some football, I mentioned my idea to take a bath and catch up on some magazines, including the latest issue of Fortune Small Business. He was quick to say, "make sure you read something fun" as I peddled off upstairs. I laughed to myself at his comment because to me reading Small Business Fortune is relaxing compared to the Floral Management, Retail Florist, Florist Review, Flowers& and Floral Finance magazines that I read monthly. Compared to how work related those are, Small Business is as down right non-work related as it can get. Anyway, I had been wanting to read the cover story in the December/January issue titled "Make Fear Your Friend&quo

Give and You Shall Receive

Just the other day a woman called the shop asking if we had foil, you know, the kind you use to wrap the bottom of a plant, in this case, a few poinsettias that she had. Believe it or not, we do use foil but not as often as you might think and so I told her that although I did not have a whole roll I could sell her, I'd be happy to have some sheets cut for her to pick up. When she asked me how much that would cost, I did my usual "I don't need any money, just remember us the next time time you need flowers". I've been doing that kind of thing for so many years, that I sometimes forget the response it gives people. I usually notice the affects when a new employee says, "You don't want me to charge for that"? They seem so surprised but I do this quite often, whenever a customer needs something that's just plain simple or small. I mean, if I have to charge for 12" of curling ribbon or a block of oasis when someone runs into the shop in a bin

Is it me or is the rest of the world crazy?

Honestly, I flip back and forth on my opinion on this matter. Somedays I think it’s me, I’m nuts, something is seriously wrong with me and other days, I look at others around me and I wonder how they function. I guess the truth lies somewhere in between. I was writing a job description for a new position at my shop yesterday and one of the concepts I wanted prospective employees to know about my company is that we have a “Think of it Today, Implement it Tomorrow” attitude. I’m thinking that this line really says it all about how I operate and how I expect my operation to run. Think of a great concept and act on it. No over thinking, no waiting, just do it. I’m the queen of just do it. Hear about a great marketing idea, well…no waiting, act on it, do it. Notice that something is dirty, well, no waiting, clean it. That’s me, that’s inside my head and so that’s what I do. I react to things around me, always seeing a better way or something that needs to be done. A good thing? I’ve always

Learning, Learning, Learning....the life of a business owner.

Have you ever noticed just how much there is to learn? I sure have. Every where I turn there's something new that I don't know, something that I should know, something that I'm not even sure I'm smart enough to know. And so, the story of my life, always feeling like I'm behind and have to play catch up. I often wonder if other people feel this way and I've been told no. I've been told no by very reliable and credible sources but still, even knowing that I'm not normal in this regards, makes me feel like I need to learn something. In this case, it could be that I need to learn to "Let It Go". Let go of feeling like I'm playing catch up. Let go of the feeling that things aren't exactly perfect. Let go of the feeling that I have to learn everything. Ah, I can pick things to learn and let others go? This is a novel idea. Why am I on this topic? This past weekend I went to a Floral Conference. I know what you are thinking, "how love

Networking, Does It Work?

Twenty years ago, when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together and I was trying to market myself and my business, networking was there to the rescue. I would meet people who needed what I had to offer and offered me what I needed. All these years later I still call these people customers, vendors and friends. How wonderful is that? To this day, networking is an important part of my business life. A few business cards and a chance to mingle with other business people still goes a long way. The last networking meeting that my staff and I attended resulted in a sale of over $1,000.00. True story and what a return!! How can you beat that. To that end, I’m helping to coordinate a Networking and Business Card Event on April 17th at the Yardley Country Club, hosted by the Yardley Business Association. The folks on the board wonder why I’m so passionate about networking but I’m a true believer. So if you happen to be available on that night and are going to be anywhere near Yardley, PA con