April 2019 Linked Articles from Newsletter

Jim Johnson Cup  March 5

Out and about the AFH March 5, 2019 for the 3rd annual Jim Johnson Cup. This prestigious floral competition held at Pikes Peak of Texas gathered together 17 highly qualified competitors from around the United States. There was so much talent representing 5 states this year with 9 AIFD members, 8 former winners of the Texas Cup, 3 CFD members, multiple Texas Master Florists, a Sylvia Cup winner. The Jim Johnson Endowed Fund began last year and had 5 years to become fully funded with $25,000. Thanks to the generous donations this evening $10,600 raised and with thanks to an anonymous donor who will donate the remaining amount, toward the goal of complete funding.

Congratulations to last night’s winners; 3rd Place Fabian Salcedo, 2nd Place Ace Berry AIFD, and the 2019 winner is Nicola Parker AIFD! Local Houston designers included Beth O’Reilly Kazen AIFD, Clay Honeycutt CFD, Kim Jones AIFD, Debbie Lyons TMF, Michael McCarthy AIFD, Ace Berry AIFD, Nicola Parker AIFD and Melanie Hugele CFD. Last year's winner advanced to the Gateway to the America's Cup and this years winner will go to the Mid American Cup representing the Jim Johnson Cup.

The JJ Cup is the brain bloom of Ken Senter AIFD as a way to honor Jim Johnson AIFD for all his service in floral education. Joining in the excitement and commitment is Jim Haley of Pikes Peak who has generously agreed to host the competition. Senter and Johnson have been friends for over 40 years.

Nicola Parker, AIFD WINNER 2019 Jim Johnson Cup! Photo courtesy of Ann Engelbrecht Sprout Fine Floral Concepts
Nicola Parker, Jim Johnson AIFD, Ken Senter AIFD- Photo courtesy of Karen Goza
Robin Martinez and Jim Johnson
Beth O'Reilly Kazen, AIFD
Kim Jones, AIFD and Debbie Lyon, TMF
Gerry Greg AKA "The Orange Man" from California competed this year.
Fabian Salcedo, won 3rd Place in 2019 Jim Johnson Cup
Michael McCarthy, AIFD and Beth O'Reilly Kazen, AIFD
Clay Honeycutt, CFD
Ace Berry, AIFD won 2nd Place in 2019 Jim Johnson Cup
Debbie Lyon, TMF
Melanie Hugele, CFD

Teleflora Program March 10th

Teleflora South Texas Unit Hosted John Hosek Education Specialist with Teleflora at Greenleaf Wholesale March 10. Led by the unit’s hard working President Alli Meaux and other Board members Chele Courtney, Alan Masters and Robin Martinez the day started with hands on class on how to create an aluminum wire posey holder. Thanks to the expert instructions from Hosek we were all able to create a great take home idea, something to perfect and to incorporate into our Proms or weddings. Our afternoon continued with a show and explanation of the designs and how easy it was to incorporate new ideas and interest into our event work.

Thanks to the hard working models, Adia and Kaylie and back stage helpers, Anabelle and Abigail.

Teleflora South Texas Unit Board: Abigail, Allie, Robin and Chele
Robin Martinez and John Hosek
Alli Meaux with John Hosek
Aida and Annabelle
Aida and Allie

President's Message

Alfred Whitney Griswold once said, “The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” This was today’s quote of the day and I found it to be very appropriate as I began this letter to you.

I hope your spring is off to a great start and that you are finding new business in every nook and corner you turn to. As Allied ventures into this next year and into uncharted waters for us we find ourselves thinking just as the author of the quote did, and that is, in order to change the way things are going, we need better ideas. As a board we have been working hard to come up with those ideas for the future and think that we may have hit up on one of those “better ideas”. I cannot share it with you just yet, but I do want to encourage you to attend the end of year meeting in June as we lay out our plan for the coming year and possibly the plan for our foreseeable future.

We are changing the format of our programs and offering you some of the things we have been hearing requested beginning in September. It promises to be an exciting year and I for one am looking forward to seeing Allied grow into a force to be reckoned with in the education arena. We are lucky in Houston to have the only remaining Allied in Texas and maybe the only in the nation still in existence and we owe it to those in our area, whether they are currently working in our industry or aspiring to work with us in the future, to continue this great legacy that has been established for us.

We are completely revamping the “look” of Allied in the hopes of reaching a new generation of floral artists and designers, as well as grabbing the attention of those who have dropped off our radar and stopped attending for one reason or another. We in Houston, as I have said so many times, have the most beautiful and talented array of designers when compared to other cities and as such have so much wisdom and knowledge that we could and should be drawing from right here in our own city. It is our hope that we will see Allied grow back to her former glory. While we know and understand that change can be difficult for some, we believe that continuing to do things the way we always have will continue to end in less and less of our friends and colleagues in attendance.

For those of you who have served in the past on our board, who built and established, through your blood sweat and tears, the foundation on which we today stand, our hats off to you and we say thank you, thank you, thank you. To those who are today serving and pouring their heart and soul into creating a better future for AFH, I say thank you. To those who will serve in the coming years, we all say to you, “ Welcome to one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever volunteer to do, welcome to this family of people who are so passionate about our part of the world and we charge you to find those better ideas." I know that we, together, can and will propel this awesome foundation and organization forward, full steam ahead, stronger and more beautiful than ever before. I am proud to serve as the president of this great group and look forward to greater things to come. 

Keep blooming…And go out and make something beautiful today.

Social Media Corner

5 Reasons You Should be doing FB Live in your shop

  1. Unique Content- No one else knows your shop as well as you. Heck, many of your customers have probably never been in your shop, they just ordered online. Show them your shop by streaming live! Facebook Lives should unedited and unfiltered. Don’t overthink it. Just do it!

  2. It’s Free - We love free marketing!

  3. Show new product- What better way to showcase new product than through live video. If you have a new line of candles, show them off. If you have an awesome Prom Bar, show it off!

  4. Connecting with your Customer- Go live and have a Q & A about anything Floral related. You can show how to create a holiday wreath, a quick Centerpiece or even a Prom Corsage

  5. Drives More Traffic to your Facebook Page - Did you know that live videos drive more engagement than standard video content (sproutsocial.com)? There have been multiple studies that show Facebook Live video will get you more Reach and engagement then uploading a video to your business page.(agorapluse.com)

Soooooo…… What are you waiting for….. Go Live!

Observations from the top of the bleachers

Before the boys of summer, there was Little League. I watched my 7 year old granddaughter play softball tonight. What a great experience! Oddly enough I was thinking about work and AFH friends while watching the game. Listening to the Coaches encourage and tease these little athletes. I wondered what I could learn tonight too.

“Stop playing in the dirt, be ready, watch the game! “ I love to play in dirt. repot plants, create floral designs, participate in the game of business ownership. We have to participate to grow. Participate in the game with enthusiasm and energy; learning from new sources and people, constantly learning and stretching our imaginations and desire to succeed.

“Great Job Kaylie! You caught the ball and got her out at 3rd base!” Teamwork makes the dream work – sorry for this tired pun. But the runner had passed 2 other bases and was headed home when teamwork resulted in a victory. At the end of each day congratulate your team on the victory they have accomplished today. Everyone comes to work with homebound burdens tucked neatly underneath the grassy soil and perhaps only finding joy and happiness in their job. Perhaps the workplace is the best place to find encouragement and acceptance. As an employer, it is not always appropriate to participate in workplace personal information, but encouraging words of “You can do it!” or, “You’ve hit a home run!” will go a long way.

“Grandma!! We lost!” With all of the enthusiasm of a stadium rooting for Altuve, this 7-year-old was grateful for her experience of hitting the ball, running the bases, earned 1 run and successfully getting one runner out at 3rd. Grateful. Be grateful for the beauty of our chosen profession. Be grateful for even the grumpy customers. Be grateful when you can take a moment and be thankful. Be thankful to those you work with. Consider encouragement over criticism. Critique with encouragement.

“You can observe a lot by watching” Yogi Berra

The definition of legend

1a: a story coming down from the past

AFH second Legacy program featured Norman Northen from Temple Texas Precious Memories Florist. Norman, TSFA Past President, interpreted sympathy designs to beautiful sympathy music. Setting the mood with each design, Norman took us through sympathy work featuring family pieces that were dear to his family for many generations. The first design was a multi generation child's rocking chair adorned with a family quilt and flowers. Each piece was lovingly created by Norman and AFH President Alan Masters with Norman commentating the design. Norman beautifully explained the cotton and windmill rustic pieces as they reminded him of the generations of farmers in his family. Norman’s Grandmother was very instrumental in influencing his love and passion for flowers.

Thank you to Norman Nothern for inspiring this generation of florists in traditions, as well as the importance of flowers in our sad times and the meanings of funeral pieces.We also want to thank Greenleaf Wholesale Florist for the beautiful flowers they provided. As always, AFH Member Lisa and Darryl with Oh So Elegant Events did a great job with catering our meal!

Ace Berry, AIFD and Maggie Bailey
Lori Wilson and Lana King
Dandree Thurman and Norman Northen
Shelby and Clay Honeycutt with Amy Neugebauer
The Bloomers Girls from Tomball!
Lana King and Diana Hanley
Beth O'Reilly Kazen and Lori Wilson
Alan Masters
Sympathy piece
Sympathy piece Windmill
Sympathy piece by Norman Northen
Brianna Owens, Kim Jones, Viviana Valverde, Ace Berry
Beautiful Ranunculus from Greenleaf Wholesale Florist

Are you in the prom business?

There are two indispensable merchandising tools that you must have to be successful in prom sales. You website needs to have a well- developed prom page that is visible during prom buying season and you must have a highly visible space in your shop devoted to displaying prom merchandise.

Your website is the reference source. If you aren’t on the Web with the kind of items teenagers are seeing in the magazines, then you aren’t visible to them.

When a teen walks into your shop, it’s probably his or her first time in a retail flower shop and it can be intimidating. The way to welcome teens is to have a large display of items related to their prom. This should include a nice selection of ribbons, bling, wristbands and samples of how aluminum wire will enhance their prom selection.

Teens could model dresses and suits or tuxes from local shops. Of course, they would also sport designs and jewelry from your shop. Partner with a dress shop and half of the work will be done for you.

Consider having an Open House for Prom. Orders that evening could be encouraged with a discount to those who place them during the open house.

Set the Stage
Make prom fashion fun in your shop. Show your enthusiasm for helping young customers learn to appreciate flowers, fashion, and style. It’s an important milestone in your young customers’ lives and they will remember it.

Overstaffed and Underpaid?

Overstaffing has sunk many a good flower shop. When flower shops close, most people (including florists) point to increased competition, a sagging economy, more consumers buying flowers online, but very few blame overstaffing. In actuality, overstaffing is the reason more flower shops struggle or go under more than all the other above-mentioned problems combined.

How can you tell if you’re overstaffed? It takes a calculator and 15 minutes. Pull a sales report from your POS system so you can compare your payroll to your sales.

Once you have sales numbers it is fairly straightforward to calculate a staffing budget. Staff according to sales; not staff according to your employees. Sales must support salaries.

Right now, you should be setting staffing hours for March and April Pull a sales report for March and April 2018. Take total sales times 20 (20 percent) to get your payroll budget. That’s what you have to pay your total staff, not including the owner. It’s really that simple. Want to set a budget for May? It’s 20 percent of last May’s sales.

Be sure to include the shop’s (the employer’s) matching taxes to calculate your total payroll costs and keep within the 20 percent number.

substitution guide for mother's day

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