Category Archives: Holidays

Cannibals and bridesmaid’s bouquets

I have been a very naughty florist and biz-lady and have not kept the old blog up to date AT ALL. 

It’s one of the hazards of being married to a teacher: when no one else in your house has to wear pants or go to work for two months, it’s difficult to stay in worker bee mode!

In my defense, a lot of our spare time has been spent on Mr. Spencer’s summer project. He is writing and co-directing an indie horror film called the Stronghold. (There is an awesome Station 14 clip about the film here, and the creative team has a facebook page here.)

I volunteered as boom-mic holder to spend some time with the husband. HAAA. Do I get an ‘A’ for effort? 

When I’m not rocking it out in a suburban cannibal dystopia, I like to make beautiful bridal bouquets for Kingston area weddings! We are long overdue for some more photos of wedding season 2014. 

Kate and Alexander tied the knot on May 31. They are from Ottawa, but they love Kingston so much, they decided to have a destination wedding here. Their reception? A rainbow-themed karaoke party on board the Island Star. GET. OUT. ( I actually thought Kate was a friend pranking me when she first emailed me about her unique rainbow, fruit-and-veggie infused designs, her preferences were so similar to mine and she was so easy going about everything. I’m so glad this was real!)

Here’s Kate’s bouquet

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Some of the guys’ billy-ball and eryngium boutonnieres 

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And a few of their rainbow centrepieces all packed up and ready to go

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and a few shots from the Island Star. 

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Events Coordinator Heather and her team at Kingston 1000 Island Cruises were great to work with. If you’re considering a wedding reception on lovely Lake Ontario, I’d highly recommend getting in touch. You can reach her at

Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises & Trolleys

email events@ktic.ca 

the Kingston 1000 Island Cruises website

tel 613-549-5544 ext.201 or 1-800-848-0108

If you follow us on facebook or twitter , you may have seen some of these images before- please click, follow or like for more regular floral show and tell. 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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New Toys! (aka new product for Spring 2014 and Mother’s Day)

Confession time: I phoned my mom and yelled “Santa’s here! Santa’s here!” when the wholesale truck pulled up this morning.
Yes, I am a 35 year old woman with her own business and home.
In my defense, I am jacked up on coffee, and that’s probably the way it’s gonna be until May 12.

Sunday May 11 being Mother’s Day, you see.
This is the biggest day of the year for florists, matched only by Valentine’s Day.
But blah blah blah, what does this mean for you, dear reader and customer?

This means new stuff with which to treat yourself, send best wishes, or win the belt and title for World’s Most Awesome Kid
of the Year.

Voila:
Little antique-look drawer planter boxes

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I had to buy these with plants in them. I plan to rip out what’s in there and add lavender, cuphea, calendula and other
botanical treasures- but my floral and plant wholesaler says to warn you all that the cold, dark spring is playing havoc
with the greenhouse growers. Our annuals may not be in full bloom for May 11. If that’s the case, I’ can add a few cut
flowers to any planters that aren’t showy enough. Once the sun kicks in, everything will blossom like crazy.

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And from left to right,
new burlap ribbon, chunky ‘natural’ textured planters, square tin planters/vases, 5″ ceramic pots with bark texture and
moss colouring, sweet green tinted ‘jardin’ mason jars, and a hanging grapevine globe with a little glass cylinder perfect
for a tiny hand tied bouquet.

Feel free to call, email, order online, or visit in person at one of our TWO pop up shop locations!
We will be at Lakeshore School, 2312 Princess St, from 9-5 on Sat May 10 and Sun May 11
and we are very excited to announce we will also have a table at the Queen’s University Club brunch from 10-2 on Sun May
11.

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Want to win Mother’s Day flowers for FREE?
Obviously!

Mother's Day giveaway 2014
Don’t miss our social media contest now through Monday- enter to win a hand tied bouquet for a special mother in your life,
as well as a $50 charitable donation in her name to the charity of her choice.
More details here.

Have a great weekend- hopefully everyone manages to catch a little sun in between the rain showers.
I will leave you with a photo of our quality control department, hard at work:

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RIGOUROUS TESTING, YO! Happy Thursday.

 

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Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11

Enter our Mother’s Day giveaway draw to win her a hand-tied bouquet from Sage Flowers…and a $50 charitable donation in her name to the charity of her choice!

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Here’s how to enter:

  1. Like or follow our facebook page, blog, or twitter account.
  2. Leave us a comment or tweet: three words that describe your mom or another special mother in your life
  3. Check back on MONDAY MAY 5th!  We will announce the winner on facebook/ blog and twitter.

 

The fine print:

  • Contest is limited to the Kingston and surrounding area
  • Prize delivery is included within Kingston City Limits. Pick up is available at our pop up shop at 2312 Princess St. on Sat May 10 and Sun May 11
  • Approximate value of the prize bouquet is $50. No purchase is necessary, but the winner can choose to receive a $50 discount on a  higher-priced item, or a delivery item with a delivery surcharge for addresses outside of Kingston City limits.
  • Contest begins Mon April 28 and closes at 8 am on Monday, May 5th.

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Good Day Sunshine- Mother’s Day Pop up Shops!

Did some impulse buying on the flower truck today, I just had to have this sunny calla lily.   I love everything about calla plants. The flowers are pretty rad, obviously, but I also love the the curves and mass of the whole thing. AND THOSE LEAVES! The ripply fan shape! The dots! I cannot wait for the callas to grow in my garden. Summer brides, get ready- you are probably gonna carry some of these leaves down the aisle with you.

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Callas are a popular wedding flower, but for me they bring back travel memories.

Spence and I lived in Pacific Grove, California, for a year back in 2009, and the callas there were bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.  Sorry, Ontario brides! Our primo $9 per stem bridal flower is Northern California’s garden weed. After a thunderstorm, I could walk around my block and  pick myself a $100 bridal bouquet from callas that had blown onto the sidewalk. (On the plus side…. yay, healthcare?)

These are amaryllis growing out of the sidewalk down the block from us, but same idea. Sorry, 2009 me really wasn’t thinking ahead…

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But I’m getting ridiculously off topic, I actually wanted to tell you all about Mother’s Day!

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Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 11! Don’t forget your mom, or the important mother-figures in your life.

I am excited to announce that we will be running TWO Mother’s Day pop up shops this year.

Lakeshore School has graciously rented us space from 9:00 to 5:00 on Saturday May 10 and Sunday May 11.  They’re at 2312 Princess St. between the CAA and the RONA.

We will also have a table at the Mother’s Day Brunch market at the Queen’s University Club on Sunday May 11 from 10:00-2:00. We are so grateful to Nina and her team for the invitation to this lovely event- we’ll pass along more details as they become available.

Come out for some treats, pick up your order, or shop from our selection of bouquets and plants. At our Lakeshore shop, we can even make you up a custom bunch on the spot 🙂

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Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be adding more products to the shop, running a social media contest to win a hand-tied bouquet, and playing show and tell when our new shipment of planters and vases arrives May 1st.

We’re already taking orders, so give us a call, send us a message, or order online to ensure you’re the golden child for the rest of the year. You’re never too old to be a good kid.

Happy Thursday, all!

PS. Mr. Bingley and his new favourite (disgusting) toy, THE POM POM, send their warmest wishes. Now where’s the kibble?

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Keep it real, Valentine! (How to avoid getting ripped off when you order flowers online)

Now through Feb 14, millions of customers will order flowers online. And on Feb 15, thousands of those customers will go back online to post photos of the terrible flowers they received, and nightmare stories of orders gone wrong.

The most common complaints I see about online orders are “this looks nothing like the picture”, “I paid a premium price for this cheap arrangement” and “my order never even arrived”!

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(photo from expectationvsreality.net)

I will bet you dollars to doughnuts most of these complaints are due to order gatherers. And I‘m a big  fan of dollars and doughnuts, so this is serious stuff.

An order gatherer is a company that sells flowers online or at a toll free number, but they aren’t actually florists. 1-800-Flowers? Justflowers.com?  Those are call centres. They take your money, take a 20-30% cut, and then forward your order to a local florist…who then has to subtract HST and the delivery driver’s fee from your reduced total before they even start working on your flowers.

Have a complaint? Need a refund?

Unfortunately, the local florist who ends up sending your flowers has no access to your original order or payment information.  We only know the dollar amount, verbal order, and company credit card the order-gatherer gives us.  You will have to go through them for refunds to your credit card.  And since they have no local reputation to lose… guess how interested they are in winning you back as a happy customer?

Many florists won’t accept orders from order-gatherers, because of their lowball pricing.  If your order is bounced around to every shop in town and no one will take it, does the order-gatherer call you, refund your money, and give you enough time to make other arrangements to get a gift delivered?

Nooooope.

It wouldn’t be such a problem if these companies were upfront about who they are and what they do. But because they don’t have to deal with the overhead of coolers, flowers, and design staff, they apparently have a lot of time and money to spend on some really greasy marketing tactics! I don’t mean “I am a Nigerian prince, give me your account number” or “Dermatologists hate her” scams, this is some nefarious stuff, and it can even trick experienced internet users and online shoppers.

I personally saw Justflowers.com piggyback on the google place page for a shop where I worked.  A customer called us on Valentine’s day, upset not to get a 10% discount as advertised. There was a popup ad with ‘click here for 10%off sale’ on our page… but the actual link redirected to Justflowers.com!

Apparently an order gatherer called Proflowers paid for google ads targeting specific local flower shops, claiming the  local shops were sold out on Feb 14th! (there’s an article here http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2012/02/15/valentines-florist-flubs-021512.aspx)

Order gatherers will even snap up domain names like [cityname]flowers.com and create a website to make themselves look like a local business!   When I was starting up my studio, I found a new listing for a florist on a residential street where I wasn’t aware of a flower shop or a florist working from home.  I called their phone number, had a very weird conversation with the person who answered, and then did a reverse lookup on their number.  Turns out this Kingston area business was actually my good buddies Justflowers.com in Los Angeles!

As a small indie florist who does most of my business online, I need to take a stand against these companies.  They make people mistrust online ordering in general and the floral industry in particular. If I fill orders for them and my customers are dissatisfied, I can’t offer them refunds or replacement flowers without paying out of my own pocket.

And on Valentine’s day, the stakes are already high for both florists and our customers. We’re paying premium prices and we only have one chance to get it right.

Here’s how to avoid an order gatherer when shopping online:

1. Beware pricing that’s too good to be true. 10% off on Valentine’s Day? IT’S A TRAP! I pay 250% to 300% more for red roses this week than at other times of year. There is no way I can sell them for a discount and still be in business by Feb 15th.

2. Take a look at the content on their site: how about that ‘about’ page? Do they have a twitter feed, facebook page, and blog ? Do you get the impression that there is a real personality behind this operation?(Bonus:  a real florist will feature photos of their actual designs in an online gallery or facebook album,  instead of just the  standardized Teleflora or FTD catalogue,  so  you can get an idea of their style and avoid ‘what I ordered vs what I got’ disappointment)

3.Check their testimonials and reviews.  Five hundred glowing, gushing, five- star reviews posted within days of each other, all written in the same not-terribly-literate style?  MAJOR RED FLAG.

4. Google streetview!  I don’t have a brick and mortar shop, so I could be doing myself a disservice with this tip, but when you’re sending your money off into the interwebs, you want to be as confident as possible that you will get what you pay for.  I once found a Quebec florist for a customer using google streetview- the google car had captured a lady leaving their shop with a really nice bouquet!

5. Ideally, give your florist a buzz or shoot them an email. Does a human being answer you? Are they able to give you information about exactly what they have in stock and exactly how it will be delivered?

Mistakes happen, and most florists are running on 2 hours’ sleep and a coffee drip IV by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. But if you make sure you are ordering directly from your florist, you will get more bang for your buck, and you will be able to talk to someone  who cares about your flowers and customer satisfaction in the event of any questions or complaints.

Keep it real, darlings! I wish you all a fun and romantic Feb 14th.

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Holiday Pop Up Shop

December 19 to 24  9 to 6 weekdays  10 to 3 weekends and Christmas Eve  at the beautiful  Lakeshore School  2312 Princess St. (Between the CAA and RONA )

Pick up your order or shop our beautiful selection of bouquets, centerpieces, floral arrangements, and plants.

There will be eggnog and coffee and cookies!*

Come have a nibble, take a peek at the historic Pleasant View building, and let us wrap up some holiday flowers for your table.

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*Florist may devour all eggnog, coffee and cookies before you arrive.

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12 Days of Christmas Sale

Ho ho HO flower shoppers,

not to be outdone by stampedes and crazy deals to the south, Sage Flowers’ very own holiday sale is on now!

Order your holiday flowers* by December 12, and receive 10%off.

Just use the promo code ’12DAYS’ at checkout… or whisper it in our ear while placing phone orders.

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*offer valid for orders delivered during the month of December 2013 only.

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