September 2019 Linked Articles from Newsletter

AFH End of Year Meeting

Wow… what a time we had at the Allied End of Year meeting. We had over 100 in attendance, including almost the entire TSFA board of directors and education committee as well as many of our past presidents. It was a definite who’s who of Houston/Texas Floral royalty.

Kirksey Gregg and the team at The Ballroom at Bayou Place converted Southern Floral company into an elegant venue fit for the finest of events. The room was draped to 12 feet high in Hot Pink, Royal Blue and Purple Sheer curtains, with Cream colored sequined, floor length floor coverings. The tables were set with silver colored glass charger plates, white china, silver ware, a wine glass and a water glass.

Kim Jones, Alan Masters, Lynn Lary McClean

As the guests arrived and were seated, they were greeted with a beautiful strawberry and mixed green salad and a piece of the most luscious chocolate cake complete with a slice of strawberry. After our invocation, the meal was served. Each guest received sliced beef tenderloin, smashed potatoes and green beans and their choice of wines. It was a most elegant dinner, plated perfectly and served by a group of outstanding servers complete with welcoming smiles.

During dinner, our president Alan Masters laid out the plans for the coming year, including a new logo, changes in programing format and the plan for a Spring Summit, dates and times TBA. The board is super excited about these changes and is looking forward to presenting the awesome programs for the coming year.

Following the president’s speech, the next change was announced which switched the name of the Member of the Year award to the “Lynn Lary McClean Distinguished Service Award”. We felt that naming the award after someone who has dedicated her life to education not only in Houston but also in Texas and around the world, gave the presentation more clout and presence. Dianna Nordman, the CEO of TSFA, was there to introduce and give the bio for Lynn McClean who was also present to hand out the first ever LLMDSA. Lynn was in tears as the plaque recognizing her service was handed to her and for the first time ever, was nearly speechless when handed the microphone to speak to the crowd who greeted her with a standing ovation. In her acceptance speech, Lynn, the consummate orator, regaled us with stories of the past events and past members, the legacy on which we all now stand.

As guests continued dining, we introduced our presenter for the evening, Mr. Fabian Salcedo, who is always on point with his ever creative talent. Fabian spent about an hour delighting attendees with some of the most fabulous creations we have seen in recent programs. His talent is astounding and we at Allied are proud to call him our friend and colleague.

At the end of the program one final award was given. Our Horizon Award is given to a young person in our industry who demonstrates a passion, a drive to further the awareness of flowers and designers, and who is dedicated to the floral industry at large and its pursuit of excellence. Mrs. Tiffany Houck, of House of Blooms in Sugar Land, was presented with this award. Tiffany is definitely a mover and shaker in her community, being featured in local magazines, newspapers and on TV. Tiffany's drive to make our industry more recognized is inspiring and we are truly honored to have her as a part of our group.

Allied would like to say a huge thank you to Susan Weatherford for all her hard work and allowing us to use her facilities for this even, Susan is always ready, willing and able to help in any way possible and certainly showed that in this meeting. Susan, we love you and are grateful for the support of you and your team at Southern.

Kirksey Gregg, what can we say but wow. You created such an amazing look, no surprise there, for our final meeting of the fiscal year. In fact, it was said it was the nicest meeting we’ve had in many, many years. Thank you, my friend for being willing to help create an awesome atmosphere for us. You are truly a rock star. Fabian, as always, you delivered more than we could have ever imagined.

To the outgoing members of the Board of Directors, you guys are the best and nothing we have accomplished would ever have been possible without you and your dedication to the future of education in our great city, hats off to you. The incoming board is equally qualified and stands at the ready to continue to make the needed changes to breathe fresh new life into the last standing Allied and see her become greater than ever before.

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President's Message

Well, we have made it to another school year. WOOHOO… It is going to be a fun year for us here at Allied and I am looking forward to the changes that are taking place and seeing us grow bigger and better than ever.

I did a program in Louisiana the other day and had one of those moments on stage where something struck me and has been with me since that time. The “aha” moment… As I was showing one of the designs, a fall centerpiece, I turned the arrangement to show the back side which instead of the pumpkins for the showing side, had a large succulent that matched the colors of the arrangement. As I did, as if rehearsed, I said you can show your customer a little secret, because on this side we tucked a little succulent in. As they saw the succulent, there was a collective OOOO AHHH and a couple of wows. Don’t we love those moments and the feelings we get when people say wow to our work. We need to create with that thought in mind. Think about the wow moments as you design and create your displays in your store. Give your customers places and vignettes that will make them stop and say wow. It is a great way to increase your sales and serves as free advertising. When your customer has an “AHA”/”Wow” moment because of your work, they talk about it to others. When they have that occurrence in your store, they tell others to go check it out and sometimes come back and bring their friends. It often results in the sales of said item or items. Once they get it home, their excitement continues because they will post pictures of it on social media, with your shop being tagged the vast majority of the time.

Robin Sharma made the statement, “If we are paying attention to our lives, we’ll recognize those defining moments. The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and ‘being busy, busy’ that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that – if jumped on – would get out careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow.” Yes we have to work hard, yes we want to be busy, yes we should volunteer for our industry organizations and civic clubs, but not at the expense that we get too busy to “seize the moment”. Keep your eyes open, you never know when your “aha” moment will come and you don’t want to miss it. We all want to be successful in what we are doing, because wouldn’t we all love to have more than enough money. Yes, Of course we would… but never lose site of the fact that “Money cannot buy Happiness". I have been talking to the kids this week and I will say the same thing to you, “Don’t do something just because it makes lots of money, do it because it makes you happy, then look for that defining moment that will propel you into the future." Make sure you are not missing these moments when they do come, because chances are, they will never come again.

Keep blooming, go out and make something beautiful today.

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SAFD Meeting on September 17, 2009

The Society for the Advancement of Floral Design (SAFD) will hold its September meeting on September 17th at Christ the Good Shepherd Church, located at 18511 Klein Church Rd Spring, Texas 77379. Refreshments will be served at 6:30pm with the meeting to start promptly at 7pm. If you have an interest in flowers and the art of designing, then this is the meeting and presentation for you! We have members ranging from novice designers to floral shop owners and Texas Master Florists. All are welcome to join us to learn and socialize together.

For further information, please contact Deb Kahn at 713-582-8611 or email at

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4th Annual Jim Johnson Cup

Save the date of Tuesday night, March 3rd, 2020!

Pikes Peak Wholesale will be hosting the 4th annual Jim Johnson Cup! More information to follow soon.

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CAREing for Your Customers

Do your employees demonstrate how much they CARE about customers during their sales transactions? Put your staff on the right track by training them to use CARE with every customer.

This simple sales process works and it’s easy for employees to remember:
C - Contact…. Approach each customer with a friendly demeanor and make it clear that you are there to help, not just to sell merchandise.
A - Ask …. Qualify the needs, wants, and readiness to purchase of each customer with open-ended questions.
R - Recommend…. Always offer additional products that will enhance customers’ selections.
E - Encourage….. Remove buyer’s remorse by telling customers they are making the right decision.

The more your staff CAREs, the more your profits will grow.

- Team Floral

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Key Reasons for Success

What are some of the key reasons why some florists are so much more successful than others?

Success doesn’t have to elude anyone. You can improve your business just by following these managerial tasks:

•  Consistently great products. Above all, people like to get what they expect or get more than they expect. When you consistently deliver beautiful and healthy flowers and plants, you will maintain your customer base.

•  Smart marketing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing; just make what you do count. Your goal should be to create a buzz around specific products every month with aggressive and creative marketing. Do as much homework about your customers and their preferences as you can before investing your marketing dollars. Set a goal two or three times a month to focus sales on specific cost leaders – roses, plants, cash-and-carry bouquets – and use e-mail marketing, fliers, and posters to their greatest effect to get the word out and entice your customers to buy.

•  Deal with suppliers to keep costs low. Negotiating better prices from your suppliers and taking advantage of supplier specials reduces your costs and increases your margins.

•  Develop new products and customers. Never be complacent about what you sell and who you sell it to. When you start thinking that you know what your customers want and have enough customers to keep your shop in the black, you have entered dangerous territory. Look for products that you can add to your mix and create excitement around them. Consumers love to discover new products and new uses for old products. Always look for ways to grow your customer base. No matter how loyal you think your customers are, you lose some every quarter. People move, change jobs, and find other merchants with whom to trade. If you don’t add to your customer base, the gradual customer drain will sink you.

•  Sell products at the highest possible price for your market. To be successful you should think “higher prices/better products” instead of “lower prices/cheaper products.” Pricing all comes down to your customers’ perceptions of the value of your product. Sometimes it also comes down to the power of your personality. People like to buy from experts, and if they view you as one, they are more willing to pay a premium price for your services and products.

- TeamFloral

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