November begins this week. Soon the holidays will be here!
Which means this is the time to promote and sell Advent wreaths and DIY wreath kits.
Since their first recorded appearance in Germany in 1839, Advent wreaths have become widely popular in Europe. Yet they remain an untapped revenue source in most US flower shops—and an opportunity for you to become the number one resource of holiday wreaths designs and materials in your area.
This holiday season, use these five design steps and seven ways to introduce Advent wreaths to your clientele.
Advent is coming
The word Advent means coming in Latin.
For children, Advent calendars and wreaths allow them to count the days until Christmas. For Christians, Advent wreaths celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, with one candle for each of the four Sundays before December 25.
Non-traditional decorative wreaths have also gained popularity through the ages.
However people celebrate the holidays, one of the joys of the season is bringing people together through their traditions of choice. We can support their celebrations with floral designs!
To increase seasonal sales
How can Advent Wreaths fit into your plan of increased seasonal sales?
A mix of wreaths used for both religious and decorative purposes can expand your sales options.
Offer interesting Advent wreath designs, hands-on wreath classes and displays of DIY wreath materials to create new sales opportunities for your shop’s holiday season.
To inspire your customers to purchase Advent wreaths or design materials:
- Research Advent wreaths and print a handout explaining the history and meaning.
- Make an in-store video explaining the history and modern-day usage of Advent wreaths. Post it on your website and social media and play it in your store to build interest.
- Develop a menu of Advent wreath designs to promote on your website and social media.
- Set up a DIY sales area in-store and online for assorted wreaths, decorative materials and accents, kits and candles and provide a step-by-step instructional guide.
- Offer hands-on classes to assist customers in designing personal wreaths for a fee.
- Present ‘how-to’ wreath-making programs to local church groups and garden clubs.
- Suggest clients Google the subject for information regarding prayers, verses or mediations and special meanings for the design materials they use.
Designing an Advent wreath
Follow these basic steps to create the purple Advent wreath shown above.
Feel free to improvise. Other shapes, materials or themes can be used to design the wreath that accommodates your customer’s purpose and preferences while still following these basic guidelines.
A floral foam wreath
provides a basic circular form and a water source for natural materials.
waterproof tape can be used to apply a grid around the wreath form for added security. Pre-soak the form in water that has flower food
Cover the top of the wreath form with a basing material to hide the foam, in this case fresh mood moss.
Cut short stems of your favorite seasonal greens at a sharp slant with a knife. Clear excess greens from the last inch of the stem. Insert each stem into the wet foam to cover the inside and outside of the wreath.
Add four candle stakes
to support the pillar candles on the wreath. These keep the candles separated from flammable materials. Add a note of caution to wreaths that you sell with a reminder not to leave burning candles unattended.
The four candles represent the four Sundays or weeks of Advent and the arrival of Christ to light the world. One is lit each of the four Sundays.
The meaning of candle colors varies but most sources suggest that three purple candles represent penitence, prayer and preparation. A fourth rose-colored candle is said to symbolize joy.
A modern practice is to add a fifth white candle in the center of the wreath on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to symbolize the arrival of the Christ Child, Christmastide, or peace.
For this design, add decorative wire. Cut two lengths of 3/16” silver flat wire
and two lengths of ½” purple flat wire
to wind around the wreath, expanding the visual space of the design and updating it with a trendy industrial look.
You can add as many pieces of decorative wire
of whatever lengths, widths or colors you choose to personalize your designs.
Cut the wire ends at a sharp point that can be inserted directly into the foam to hold it in place.
If you have concerns about the wire staying in place, apply Floralock
to the foam in the areas where the wire is positioned.
Advent wreaths as a decorative element
Today, Advent wreaths are designed in a variety of shapes, materials, and design styles and many are purely for decorative purposes.
Use current floral trends to update these Advent wreaths to modern-day style as in this design with red candles below.
Rewind to our previous blog - Want a Holiday boost? Try this 6-step floral Advent Wreath
for design tips and techniques on making a decorative bark trimmed wreath base.
See 200-plus more Advent wreath photos and ideas, in a variety of styles, by visiting my Pinterest
Advent wreaths as a religious practice
The tradition of hanging fresh evergreen wreaths in winter to symbolize life and the return of spring first began about 500 years ago in eastern Europe. Circular evergreen wreaths were used to represent eternal life. Over time, candlelight was added to fresh wreaths placed on indoor tables to brighten dark winter days inside the home.
Lighting one Advent wreath candle each week became a religious practice that has continued for centuries in family homes and places of worship. The use of candlelight is often accompanied by the reading of a spiritual meditation, meaningful verse or prayer.
The meaning of different greens
Some people attribute special meanings to specific greens or herbs and use them to create a symbolic message with their wreaths.
For example, some say cedar is heaven, pine is wisdom, juniper is protection, spruce is energy, hemlock is cleansing, holly is perennial life, boxwood is immortality, ivy is charity and rosemary is remembrance. All are popular evergreens of the season you can use for inspiration.
Other natural materials that work well in these designs: flexible vine materials, small twigs, sticks or crushed pieces of cinnamon, reindeer moss, pinecones, pods, dried sponge mushrooms and wool or other natural fibers.
Since fresh greenery dries out quickly, suggest that your customers mist it with water daily, replace greens as they dry out or spray dried materials with fire retardant.
Offer traditional and non-traditional designs
If you are not currently focusing on sales opportunities for Advent wreaths in your floral business, now is the time to prepare and promote designs and DIY design materials for this holiday season.
Explore the concept and see what options might appeal most to your clientele.
What interesting forms and materials will you choose for your Advent wreath collection?