Americans spend billions of dollars each year on vitamins and herbal supplements in search of a magic potion for looking and feeling better. We suggest fresh flowers! In fact, according to a Society of American Florists study, enjoying fresh flowers can enhance a healthy lifestyle.
Shonda Cunningham AIFD of Shonda’s Secret Garden in Ogden, Utah, knows that when it comes to sending get-well sentiments, a gift of fresh flowers may be just what the doctor ordered. Her ‘Healing Wishes’ arrangement was chosen as the Most Inspirational Get Well Floral Design in the inaugural OASIS Floral Products INSPIRE Floral Design Showcase
Flowers impact well-being
Results from a behavioral research study conducted on behalf of SAF by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, confirms a flower is more than just a pretty face!
"Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy," says Dr. Haviland-Jones. "Now science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well-being.” For more details about the study, visit aboutflowers.com/research
What gives this design a healthy vibe?
Three elements infuse Shonda's design with a healthy vibe: energetic colors, natural materials and stress-free design.
Shonda says flowers are like fashion. “I see what colors, textures and flowers others are using and then recreate that look in my own style for my customers.”
“A lot of the items in this design are staples in our shop. While this is a simple, easily reciped design, the energetic colors make it pop,” shares Shonda. “This pink and green combination is refreshing to me.”
At the photo session for the print advertisement, Smithers-Oasis Design Director Frank Feysa AIFD, PFCI recreated Shonda’s INSPIRE design and added a couple of other creative recipes of his own.
to see Shonda’s Healing Wishes original entry and the resulting advertisement.
Shonda explains, “What makes this arrangement unique is the dramatic line created by the curvature of the OASIS Midollino Sticks
. The repetition of using two colorful, textural rattan sticks really does draw your eye through the design.”
“I wanted to show that one could use Midollino to upscale even a budvase,” she says. “I like that you can manipulate it. I often choose it as an element when I want to do something unique. Midollino Sticks add visual interest to a simple design for just pennies. Best of all, it has a great shelf life!”
Shonda says the ‘Healing Wishes’ design is different. “It’s not your typical three rose budvase. It’s also not labor intensive. You can use odds and ends blooms which are left over from other arrangements to create this same look.”
This makes the design cost effective and allows a designer to work from the availability of flowers already in their cooler. Shonda used simple design techniques like inserting a chenille stem into the orchid to wick water up to the bloom and binding the arrangement with OASIS Bullion Wire
“One selling feature of this design is that this combination of flowers is typically long-lasting.” When the flowers flourish, customers are encouraged to buy again.
Why choose a life of flowers?
“Despite degrees in education, business and marketing I have spent 22 years working with flowers,” says Shonda. “I was in retail management when I took job at a high school which offered a floral class that was open to the public. I participated in the classes they presented and learned to design.”
“I feel that time spent attending an educational design event is never wasted. I always learn new ideas and techniques that I can use to improve my skill. Learning something new helps keep my work fresh and exciting.”
What keeps business blooming?
“Collaborating with other people inspires me. Surfing floral chat groups, finding new ideas on the OASIS website, attending design shows and participating in webinars are all ways that I get fresh, new ideas. I then adjust these new ideas to the needs of my clientele.” Shonda confides.
“This design says to my customers that I like to think outside the box. I choose to offer my customers something creative that expresses their thoughts and emotions.”
That’s a great prescription for selling healthy blooming flowers and plants in a robust floral business.
What solutions can you share for building a thriving get-well business?