INSIDE THE POLITICS OF FLOWERS & REAL FLORISTS
** A personal note:
Both grandparents & parents instilled a gracious sense of decorum & propriety to our family; while insisting honesty would always prevail in the end. These lessons were the foundation of the business over 30 years ago, and continue today. Idealistic? yes but how we live and feel. With these beliefs, I have made the decision to provide our customers and interested site visitors with honest information, facts, and alternatives to what I term, modern day “flower politics” I have chosen to combine this site for not just a shopping experience, but also an informative & insightful space of honesty regarding the floraculture industry, and our environment. I invite you behind the scenes with the hope of enlightening both true flower lovers, up and coming florists, and disenchanted consumers alike; validating the many talented designers, and to bring awareness to our environment.
Our business is not just about revenue, but having a human and environmental conscience. I encourage you to visit www.floristdetective.com for more eye opening information; perhaps much more than you thought.
The Blind Artists-Talented Floral Designers Against The World
Over the years, the floral profession has taken many turns, seeming to change dramatically both in our eye and the public eye. With the onset of flowers being sold in mass markets, big box stores, on line, and direct shipping; the admiration, credibility and honesty of ‘real’, talented, florists has declined. While acquiring an undeserved reputation of mistrust, poor quality product, unimaginative design, and apathetic customer service.
We apologize for the denigration of our industry; but as with most artists-we are more in tune to our craft than the big business & dollars surrounding it, and unfortunately those in control have allowed certain invasive, changes to happen. Corporate America and politics jumped on the floriculture wagon looking for a new avenue of trade and quick profit, thus systematically invading and distorting an exclusive profession; subsequently overshadowing the real florists. Unfortunately today, this is not only secular to our industry, but to many dedicated professionals & artists.
What is Really Happening To Florists?
Inexpensive, imported, flowers have now become a corporate commodity no different than any other retail product in the discount market; with a rise in cheaper qualities grown and a descent in the excellent quality we all knew at a higher price. Over 85% of the flowers sold in the US today are grown in the poorest countries of South America, Mexico, Africa, and farther. Outsourcing away from our US farmers was purely about the labor costs, chemical regulations, developmental land use, and politics. Can you believe… South American flowers are imported duty free? Or how they are used & displayed at all government & political functions while caucuses and commissions are created to save “American Agriculture and jobs”? Hmmm
see our Green Floristry and… what activism we are doing
More & more foreign countries are volunteering their land in joining to give us a flood of another cheap product with vicious competition to our own. These countries have little if no chemical & labor regulations, underpaid family labor, and given weak import restrictions into the US. All this not only opened the door for flowers to lose their exclusivity and become another bargain outlet item, but also for corporate America’s greedy eye for a new profit sector. The mass market & big box stores purchase these sub quality flowers, add a nickel or two and retail them un-arranged in plastic sleeves only as another market lure for their store.
The big flowers-by-wire services then joined the arena by also contracting deals with foreign farms alledgedly offering ’florist quality’ flowers. They promote the florist they call to fill the order with them or they drop ship them from their own websites-totally bypassing the hardworking US growers and talented florists who put them in business to begin with and… keep them in massive profit today. Everyone it seems is trying to get a piece of the cheap, cash & carry flowers. Without a quality product, creative designing, proper refrigeration, and customer service, it very much is easy to sell ‘flowers’ online-it is mindless.
Speaking of “Online Florists”-They Are Not Florists
Online order taking companies have created an entirely new business on the web. Contracting with in-home and small, rented offices across the country; these non-florists sit all day-gathering orders-without a clue. All for…the flowers-by-wire-services on commission or direct drop shipping of foreign grown flowers. These order takers unfortunately have no knowledge of flowers, design, or have a care to. Anyone can sign on for what is called an ‘affiliate flower website’ and be in business. They now take it even further by purchasing a local telephone number and rental P.O. box in your town to further allude they are right around the corner; when in fact they are 1000’s of miles away in a back room or kitchen. As we speak, legislation is forming in NY state to finally outlaw their deceptive, ’local’ Yellow Page listings eluding they are in your home town-but the internet is another story to conquer.
How To Know and Catch A Fake Online Florist
***TIP If you are unsure if a website is really a florist in your town just ask their hours as you want to come in and see their flowers of the week. You will get a multitude of excuses of why you cannot.
Unbeknownst to you, these online orders are all transferred to your neighborhood florist using one of the various flowers-by-wire services who only add more injury by taking an additional commission from said florist and you the consumer. Or, they pack un-arranged flowers from the SA farms to their holding facilities, and ship to your door. Both dirty little scams and politics make for big profits.
These online order sites assess a multitude of fees & handling charges giving a false impression as to the real value of the product you are ordering. A $75. ‘high quality’ total charge can translate to as little as $40 or less to the florist filling your order. We agree, you are not getting what you paid for. The pictures are false.
Who Gets Tangled in This Web Of Flower Deceit
You, us, the poor farm workers, and the environment of course. You are overpaying for a sub quality product of questionable origin & safety, minimal knowledge, uncertain creativity, and absolutely no personal service. We the florists are sidestepped and mistrusted, and our knowledge values and talent doubted. The farm workers and the environment are losing land to mega flower farms while being poisoned by the pesticide chemical runoff. Our own landfills are filling faster and also poisoned with the millions of tons of these toxic and short-lived flowers tossed every day. One should never compost the commercially grown flowers unless they are certified organic or earth friendly.
The online companies using the flowers-by-wire idea, are making all the profit at our and the planets expense. Years ago it was brilliant; an innovative means to send flowers across the country the same day, for a small fee. It was a customer service like no other, and to this day yet to be replicated. However, it has been invaded evolving into an innovative and underhanded means to generate quick profits, with the farm workers, the environment, the florist, and the customer….forgotten in the web.
Getting Back To Real Florists-The Alternative To Online Florists
What a complete circle of waste, all for money & greed, as there is no commercially grown, quality rose at 29.99 per dozen-vase arranged-and delivered. It sounds like magic, and it would be. Free delivery is a ludicrous statement today, as our vehicles cost the same to operate as yours and drivers must be paid a fair wage. The advertising terms of ‘fresh’ and highest quality’ unfortunately are now deceptive and mean nothing. There is a higher quality, and truly fresh cut flowers- just not from the importers or on line from these places. Real florists have the experience to guide you to what flowers would be appropriate, in season, where they were grown, the best quality that day, and most importantly-give a care with design suggestions for your specific order. What we send is a reflection of your thoughtfulness and our talent; which can be the difference between an ecstatic recipient and a disappointed one. And…real florists will offer you various options and outline your charges up front.
I can’t relate just how much …real florists love their profession; there is no scamming or poor quality because it goes against the love of their craft. We were given an innate design talent and love of flowers. We were not created with a class or home study course, a part time worker of a grocery fruit dept, or a computer operator. Real florists have a gifted talent, no different from any other type of artistry; either one has it or one does not. We apologize for this denigration of our industry; as artists go-we are more into our craft than the big business or dollars behind it, and unfortunately somewhere along the way we unwittingly, allowed this to happen. Artists and true devotees of any business are often blind to many business aspects. Corporate America as well as small, inexperienced ‘entrepreneurs’ have jumped on the wagon looking for a quick profit, and have systematically invaded and distorted an exclusive profession; subsequently overshadowing so many of the real florists. Unfortunately today, this is not just secular to my industry, but to many hardworking and dedicated professionals.
The Choices We Make Influence Everyone & Everything
We hope you will make wise choices and think twice the next time you order flowers. If you want a cheap bouquet, then buy one-the outlets are plentiful. But… if you want:
- something very special for yourself or your recipient
- created by a designer who feels each order
- the freshest local flowers that support our own farms
- flowers that are earth friendly and compostable
Then take the time to research and find a ’real’ florist and give a simple telephone call. Whether sending flowers local or out of town, personalize your purchase; ask for specifics-don’t leave it up to a computer screen or pretend florist. Whether it be us or any other ’real’ florist; we tell you what is in season, the best variety of the week, or what is just plain beautiful that time of year in any part of the country. With over 30 years in floristry; we are privy to recommendations of certain flowers and designs that are traditional, ‘foolproof,’ arrangements for sending out of town at a fair price. Florists love making people happy through their flowers; but more importantly, we appreciate you for allowing us do what we love.
My hope is for all those who love, work, and care about the art of floristry, that we will soon be rid of these flower politics.