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Grant McGowan of The Paper Studio has become the latest supplier to support the Good Florist Guide concept. Grant, who regularly supports initiatives in the industry, including The Lonely Bouquet. British Flowers Week and is sponsoring Laura Thornton (the singing florist from BBC’s Michael McIntyre Big Show) the guest singer at this year’s BFA Fleurex Gala Dinner, approached the GFG panel to see how he could help.

As a result, and with the support of the advisory panel, he is not only going to supply a starter pack of goodies for all the shops in the movement but a super keen price on additional GFG marketing collateral as well so that GFG’ers can really make the most of their accreditation.

Commenting on the decision Grant told theflorist.co.uk “I think it’s important that suppliers support any initiative that is aimed at promoting the best our industry has to offer and Good Florist Guide is one of them. Coming from The Florist Magazine stable it mixes independence with strong industry links and knowledge and strikes me as one of those initiatives everyone can get behind irrespective of size or affiliation.”

Speaking on behalf of GFG, Caroline Marshall–Foster said: “Over the years, Grant and the team at The Paper Studio have done huge amounts to help florists take advantage of all sorts of promotions and I am both chuffed and appreciative that they want to work with us. Coming at the same time we have announced our first three wholesale supporters it really shows how the whole industry is getting behind the idea of Good Florist Guide.”

The post The Paper Studio becomes official supplier to Good Florist Guide appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Meet Lesley Nash, funeral florist extraordinaire and owner of Jennifleurs florist in Colchester. With 26 years experience, Lesley has a sharp eye for good floral workmanship and the business brain for the finer details of retail floristry.

Why did you decide to join the Good Florist Guide’s advisory panel?
Actually if I’m honest it was more a case of being very flattered to be asked. Whilst I have 26 years experience, a high turnover shop and would consider myself to be pretty savvy business wise fundamentally my expertise is in commercial floristry. I’m always happy to pass on my experience in business along with the techniques I use in my floristry, particularly where bespoke floral tributes are concerned. Hopefully that’s why I was asked to be part of the panel?

What do you think you bring to the panel?
A good business head and an eye for profitable and appealing commercial floristry. That doesn’t necessarily mean high end design just honestly priced, quality floristry that wows the customer and makes a profit. I also think I’m extremely thorough when marking applications which means I take the job seriously and give an honest, objective opinion. I think all the panel have struggled having to be so critical especially when you see examples of florists doing a much better job with things like branding and social media than you have yourself but that has certainly spurred me on to improve things in my own business, which can only be a good thing.

Best business decision?
Easy question – leaving relay.  Also the hardest decision but definitely one I’ve never looked back on.

Worst business decision?
Easy question – ever working as a supplier for a relay company.

If you weren’t a florist, what would you like to do?
RETIRE. Having said that I do have a desire to pass on my experience in floristry when I sell my shop so I suppose my answer is “do something other than retail floristry”..

Your perfect day?
Personally? Relaxing on a cruise ship. Filling my face with luxurious food on a cruise ship and, if I’m honest, simply relaxing on a cruise ship. Business wise? Getting to the end of a challenging job and knowing my customer will be blown away.

Greatest indulgence?
My hot tub, my hot tub, my hot tub and fabulous food.

What’s your biggest pet hate?
Unnecessarily rude people. I’m a softy at heart but I turn into a rattle snake if someone is out and out rude, especially to my staff.
AND
Florist websites that have absolutely none of their own work on it. I’ve looked at applications from some absolutely amazing creative florists, their Facebook pages are crammed with individual, inspiring designs but when you look at their websites all you see is the same old stock images. These images say nothing about who they are or what an amazing, creative florist they are. It’s so easy to upload your own images to a website these days but it’s a score killer for me if I see nothing but stock images.

What do you find most difficult?
Accepting the fact I can’t physically do as much as I used to. I survived breast cancer a couple of years ago but the longterm effects of the treatment and surgery means I can’t swing from the chandelier or burn the candle at both ends anymore.

Is the customer always right?
I feel I want to say “yes” because as a general rule as long as I can do the job tastefully and they want to pay me I’ll do whatever they want.  However, recently I had a bride bring me a picture of a bouquet which she asked me to recreate EXACTLY as it was shown. It was so terrible that after giving her all my best advice and her still insisting she wanted it EXACTLY like the picture. I had to say “I’m sorry but I’m not comfortable creating something I wouldn’t be happy to put my name to”. Based on that the answer has to be NO the customer is not always right.

Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?
If you plan to open your own business from scratch do not be tempted to join a relay simply to establish a turnover. The work is soul destroying and even if you’re tight on your costings you’re barely looking at 10% profit. The biggest problem is once you’re invested in the branding etc it’s very difficult to get out. Invest your time building your own brand, never use your skills to promote someone else’s!
Be very careful if you’re buying an established business that has a high turnover of relay order sales. The shop may be busy but that turnover has so little profit that you should not be fooled in to thinking that means it’s a gold mine.

What are you most excited about in the next year?
I can’t wait to see The Good Florist Guide grow.  There are countless florist directories but GFG is the only one that requires its entries to be evaluated and accessed before they’re allowed in. You can’t buy your way in to it you have to show that you’re good enough. I’m excited about the potential GFG has when promoting its credibility to the consumer and I’m equally excited about the opportunities that will arise from networking with fellow GFGers.

You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?
I was gonna say daffodil ’cause you can eat them and I prefer food to flowers but I actually hate spring flowers so I’ll happily eat Witchetty grubs and fill my island with the sweet scent of Lily of the Valley which with a bit of luck will be enough to mask the inevitable effects of an upset tummy.

And finally, the plug…

I’ve been the owner of Jennifleurs in Colchester for the past 13 years, previous to that I had another florist for 13 years which I sold after a family breakup. Despite some ups and downs, some hard economic times and one or two poor business decisions my shop is thriving. I’ve been able to invest in new staff recently so I can take things slightly easier. I have a great team of 7 girls one of whom has been with me for over 20 years.

Our policy is to always offer a quality product and a friendly, personal service. I think that’s why Jennifleurs has been so successful. To my mind there’s a consumer out there that’s looking for more than just a cheap bunch of flowers. I believe I’ve catered for that whilst not getting caught up in being too niche.

Over the years I have become particularly known for my attention to detail and creative skills designing bespoke floral tributes. All my girls are as proficient as me hence I’m so proud of the l methods I use to get great results and my willingness and ability to pass those techniques on to the next generation. I hope I can continue to do that into my latter years.

The post Meet your advisory panel! 60 seconds with Lesley Nash appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Good Florist Guide by Caroline Marshall Foster - 1y ago

How to make those Valentine’s flowers last longer

A stunning bouquet of roses, or indeed any other flower, has arrived and that first flush of romantic delight quickly changes into blind panic … how to keep them alive!

Help is at hand with the Good Florist Guide’s checklist to perfect flower loving with not a drop of gin in sight.

1. If your flowers have been delivered in a ‘bubble’ of water (what the trade call an aqua pack) take them out as soon as possible. We know the packaging looks fab but a bubble is really only for delivery purposes. It’s fine to leave them in the wrapping for up to 12 hours but after that you should transfer them to a vase. A tip is to hold the bouquet over a sink and slice the wrapping at the bottom so the water pours out. If you tilt the bouquet like a jug you may get spillage.

2. If it’s a hand-tied you should keep the string around the stems in place so the bouquet holds its shape. If you want to make a couple of vases from your gift, snip the string carefully and arrange as required but always make sure that any part of the stem that will sit in the water is leaf-free as loose foliage will contaminate the water and decrease flower life.

3. Mix the flower food that comes with most delivered flowers with the right amount of water … the mix is important to make sure the flowers get the right amount of nutrients. If there wasn’t any flower food, then only use plain water, it’s an old wives’ tale that aspirin, lemonade or gin will help and a modern men’s tale that Viagra is the solution. They all have a purpose … just not with flowers!

4. Cut about 2 – 5cm of stem off the bottom at a short, slanted 45o angle using a sharp knife or scissors. We could get all technical about xylem vessels, micro-organisms and vascular take-up but basically the wider the cut, the better the water take up. Avoid blunting the stems as this causes a whole lot of damage and stops water absorption which will lead to premature wilt. It’s a bit like smashing your finger with a hammer or having a paper cut … both hurt like heck but the paper cut heals more quickly.

5. Enjoy … with the right care and the right flower food your roses should last at least a week … other flowers even longer!

For more information on flower care and how to enjoy them longer, log onto www.goodfloristguide.com.

The post Keep the love alive appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Good Florist Guide by Caroline Marshall Foster - 1y ago

Good Florist Guide gives words of wisdom on what to do this Valentine’s

Where you buy your Valentine flowers from says a whole load about how you rate your loved one. And while we know there are many who will appreciate the fact you bought them any flowers at all, we reckon you can earn yourself some serious brownie points by going the extra mile and choosing the right bunch.
That’s because most of us can spot a hastily bought bunch from the garage a mile off. Not only is that more likely to get you a slap round the chops than a kiss but they may not last long enough for making up time!
So to help you protect your cheek and your points, the team at Good Florist Guide has come up with some hints on where to buy your flowers.

Supermarket flowers
Flowers here are often incredibly cheap, because they are luring you in to buy the chocs and wine to go with them, and we kno w it can be very convenient but be careful! Even if you manage to get that dreadful sticky price tag off without ripping the packaging she’ll still know.

Garage forecourt flowers
This is probably the worst purchase of all because you weren’t even multi-tasking i.e. doing the shopping … you’d simply forgotten! Take it from us, garage flowers are a complete no-no for any self-respecting lover.

Online ordering
Not bad, especially if you use one of the decent websites who use a network of florists to make and deliver your order. However, be careful if you’re having them couriered, rather than delivered by a local shop, because you run the risk they may not arrive on time especially if the weather turns nasty or if they have to be delivered to the office given Valentine’s is on a Tuesday this year. If that big brown box is late or worst still never turns up you’re really going to be in the doghouse!

Street Stalls
A good combination of economy and personal choice. And because many stalls offer as good a range as a bespoke florist you can have your gift personally made and wrapped. The downside is that they probably can’t deliver and you’ll need to hide them somewhere overnight. Make sure you have a warm but not too warm place to keep them hidden (garages and car boots are a no-no – they’ll either freeze or overheat depending on where you live!) a bucket of water and can cut and condition them so they’re not dead by Tuesday morning. Failing that ask the florist stall to put them in an aqua pack or water bubble and then in a flower bag or box so you don’t have to faff about but keep them safe and upright to avoid large puddles.

Local florists
When it comes to special deliveries a local florist is quite simply the best option. Not only will your lover know you took the time to pick up the phone or visit the shop to speak to the person making the gift but you’ll have had the chance to really personalise your gift and, if you went in, hand-write the card. This sort of purchase shows real love and shouldn’t cost you any more than an online order and may actually end up being far better value because all the money will go on the flowers rather than any middleman charges.
And don’t worry if you’re stuck for ideas on what to buy or how much to spend, because we’ve got oodles of advice at goodfloristguide.com/how-to-buy-flowers.

Good luck and happy Valentines!

Lots of Love,
The girls at Good Florist Guide

The post How not to buy flowers appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Not everyone wants red roses at Valentine’s. Not only are they a little ‘old fashioned’ but with the world saying I Love You with red roses, market forces kick in and prices go up.

However, think outside the box and there are a whole lot of love flowers out there that will send your romantic message with style and impact.

Good Florist Guide, the only independent, merit based listing of florists around the UK and Eire have come up with their top twelve alternative flowers for lovers, each accompanied by a gorgeous picture to show you how wonderful they are.

  1. Anthurium
    Available in red, white, citrus green and palest pink, these heart-shaped flowers last for ages and look oh so stylish with either floaty bear grass all wrapped up in swathes of glistening cellophane and elegant ribbons or in structural designs.

2. Tulips
All Tulips are gorgeous when presented in a big bundle wrapped in Kraft paper and tied with raffia. But to be different ask your florist for the amazing feathery Parrot varieties like TopParrot and Rococo or the gorgeous, glossy and very appropriately named Pretty Woman. They last well and look absolutely amazing, especially as Tulips keep on growing and will curve and sway differently every day.

3. Ranunculus
Not the longest lasting flower in the world but certainly one of the prettiest with blooms that seem to have a million and one petals that gently open. Some of the best Ranunculus actually come from Israel. Ask for varieties like Fernandine, or the bigger and more exclusive Elegance and you won’t be disappointed.

4. Lisianthus (Eustoma)
They call it the poor man’s rose but that’s actually being rude about what is a very beautiful flower. There’s no red … the nearest is a dark pink called Piccolo Rose, but mix a large bouquet of green, purple and soft pink Lisianthus together and pop a heart-shaped pick in the middle and you’ve the perfect lover’s bouquet.

5. Carnations
Back in 2011 Oscar de la Renta chose them as his statement flower for his spring collection. Since then this once thought of Granny flower has seen a resurgence of interest, especially with growers developing ever sexier colour ways that look fab in a massed bouquet and will last forever.

6. Calla Lily
Very stylish, very modern and perfect for style lovers. Captain Romance is in limited supply at this time of year but its darker cousin, the richly warm Majestic Red, is in plentiful supply.

7. Alstroemeria
It’s also known as the Peruvian Lily which could be because some of the best Alstroemeria comes from South America. The multi-headed florets open into full blooms to provide loads of colour … look out for red varieties like Tornado and Napoli.

8. Anemone
They won’t last forever but a huge armful of red Anemones will thrill anyone and if you mix in some of the other stunning colours, like the decadent, fruity purple Meron Bordeaux, or the subtle Galil Pastel the gift will look even more amazing.

9. Bloom chrysanthemums
Forget the fuddy duddy image, Bloom Chrysanthemums, with their big bold heads and incredible vase life, are this year’s ‘must have’ flower especially if you choose the designer types like the deep magenta Luba or pretty Resomee Dark.

10. … and Button ones too!
And don’t underestimate the power of button Chrysanthemums … the ‘spray’ version of their big brothers. They are just as gorgeous and anything but boring … we like the pretty purple and white Saba, the appropriately named red Merlot and think a mix of Lollipop pink and purples are just great fun.

11. Heliconia
For red hot lovers, tropicals like Heliconia, with their bright red flowers, are definitely hot, hot, hot! Structural in appearance, these aren’t for soft and fluffy types but certainly pack a punch.

12. Gerbera
Gerbera are fun, funky and come in every colour you could want including some stunning deep reds. But if you want a zany love message we’d actually suggest you mixed pinks, purples, yellows, oranges and reds all together for a fun, starburst explosion of affection.

The post Good Florist Guide says … Have a rose-free Valentine’s Day appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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OK – we know you might think this is just a publicity stunt by florists to sell more flowers. However, three different research programmes – including one by the world renowned Harvard Institute – have proved conclusively it’s true. Oh yes and the chaps at NASA were hot on the case on how good plants are for you way back in the ‘80’s. In short flowers and plants can seriously improve your well-being – the non-edible five a day we like to think!

But why? We know they look pretty but scientifically proven to boost energy levels and improve moods??? Money savers and generators … come on … how does that work? We start with Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D, the lead researcher on the Harvard experiment, who explained to About Flowers (our USA equivalent) her findings.

“The morning blahs is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – like happiness, friendliness and warmth – manifesting much later in the day. Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up and reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning.

Dr. Etcoff was referencing the fact that participants in the study responded to the flowers, which had been placed in rooms they frequented in the morning. Overall they reported they liked to look at the flowers first thing in the morning, particularly in the kitchen and even reported a boost of energy that lasted through their day.

“What I find interesting is that by starting the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those happier feelings to others – it’s what is called mood contagion,” said Etcoff. “And, the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning – imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make.”

Making more money in the workplace is just one big difference as Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., a Behavioural Scientist at Texas A&M University, proved when he ran a study on the impact flowers and plants have on workers.

His eight-month study saw participants carry out creative problem solving projects in a variety of office environments; one with flowers and plants, one with sculptures and one with nothing. The results were amazing. In the flower and plant filled office workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improved substantially. Men generating 15% more ideas and women coming up with more creative flexible solutions to problems. A staggering uplift and in terms of return on investment (flowers and plants last for ages and don’t need to cost a fortune) as Dr Ulrich says, they can be a major plus for business.

“We know how natural surroundings affect drivers, school children, and hospital patients. In the corporate world it should be equally important to understand what can improve performance and make employees more productive. Our research shows that something as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important to businesses in the modern economy. If people’s productivity improve, it could, in certain circumstances mean the difference between mild and great business success.”

If we were you we’d get down to your nearest Good Florist today and start pumping those endorphins ASAP!

Image credit: Flower Council of Holland: Thejoyofplants.co.uk/ funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

The post Flowers are good for you and your business … Scientific fact! appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Meet Sian Wild, multiple wedding award winner and member of esteemed Chapel Designers collective. Sian grew up in a horticultural family and now puts her green fingers to good use running her seven year old business, The Flower Lounge.

Why did you decide to join the Good Florist Guide’s advisory panel?

I was privileged enough to be invited and I’m thrilled. I have read The Florist avidly since
I was a trainee florist 17 years ago, so to have Caroline Marshall Foster contact me personally about getting involved was the stuff dreams are made of and a real career high! I think the Good Florist Guide is an indispensable tool, raising quality standards across our industry and am so appreciative to be able to confidently recommend the site, knowing customers will be happy with any of the florists they find.

What do you think you bring to the panel?

A northern voice! It’s vitally important to me that that the needs of the many, many talented florist professionals beyond the Watford Gap are heard, as we face additional challenges specific to our region.

Best business decision?

Recognising that I can’t do EVERYTHING! Learning to focus on the tasks where I can add value and grow the business, and delegating the rest, has been crucial to recent business success (and my sanity!). I still work a lot of hours but I am now focussed ‘on’ the business and not drowning ‘in’ it. I wholeheartedly recommending outsourcing; we are human and only have so many pairs of hands. I have a fantastic support team in Queen Bee PA, whom I use for a variety of admin and marketing tasks. They are the difference between clearing my head on a walk in hill-top fresh air with my dog Charlie and crying into my laptop of unread emails.

Worst business decision?

I don’t think I have made many and if I have, I have learnt from them which is very important.

If you weren’t a florist, what would you like to do?

I genuinely couldn’t imagine anything else! Although I would definitely give professional gig-going a try…

Your perfect day?

It would have to involve a gentle stroll on the beach with Charlie, followed by a (veggie) Sunday roast and then a night in front of the log burner. You could twist my arm with a day in New York too.

Greatest indulgence?

My mulberry handbag. It was a present to myself on one of the shop’s anniversaries and as boss, I felt it important to recognise all the hard work and long hours I’d invested. It’s timeless and I love it.

What’s your biggest pet hate?

Poor customer service. It is such a fundamental part of retail but one that so many businesses get wrong or simply ignore. At The Flower Lounge, we invest in training with Tim at Floral Strategies to teach our staff properly and it really helps us to maintain the high standards of service that we pride ourselves on.

What do you find most difficult?

I’m not very good at switching off. My work is such a passion that it’s really hard to know when to stop working and wind down.

Is the customer always right?

Not always, but we constantly do our best to make sure that the customer is happy.

Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?

Understand your value and charge accordingly. As an industry I think we are prone to undervaluing our services. A decorator doesn’t just charge you for paint, they charge you for their labour and expertise! Believe in your talent and your experience and don’t be tempted to compete with inferior competition. Educating the customer and championing the florist professional who brings his/her A-game to every order, is a big part of what I hope the GFG will achieve.

What are you most excited about in the next year?

Being on the advisory panel and seeing some sensational branding has given me a kick up the bum to look at ours and we are currently in the process of having a new website and logo designed. Launching alongside a shop refurbishment, I can’t wait to do the big reveal!

I am also attending lots of fantastic courses, inspired by becoming a member of the esteemed Chapel Designers this year. You never stop learning in this industry which is why I love it so much.

You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?

It has to be hydrangea…they don’t quite suit the conditions on a desert island but I’ve decided it’s a special variety that only grows on that island!

And finally, the plug…

The Flower Lounge is a boutique florist in the trendy suburb of Didsbury, South Manchester with a reputation for creativity, innovation and passion, delivered with outstanding customer service. Our obsession with all things flowers is matched only by our love of weddings and events, recognised in The Wedding Industry Awards as North West Wedding Florist of the Year, two years in a row.

The post Meet your advisory panel! 60 seconds with Sian Wild appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Meet Pip Holley, joint-owner of Willow Floristry with his partner Tony. Pip’s won a variety of awards for his floral arrangements, working from his brand new shop located on the Dorset/ Hampshire border.

Why did you decide to join the Good Florist Guide’s advisory panel?

I decided to join because I totally believe in having an online directory for florists and customers where they can be absolutely sure that they will get great quality floral designs, the best customer service and great value for money from the best florists around the country. It is my personal opinion that customers don’t get great value for money from order gatherers and I can give my customers the option of going directly to the best in the area they need to send flowers. I’m my opinion GFG is invaluable!

What do you think you bring to the panel?

I know great floristry, I’ve seen appalling floristry and I have no hesitation in weeding out the bad from the brilliant. I feel that I and all of the GFG panellists bring wisdom to the table in our decisions on who is selected to be in GFG.

Best business decision?

To start with a studio, building up my client base and embedding our brand before opening my own shop. This has proven beyond doubt to have worked for me.

Worst business decision?

To take on the “most difficult to please bride” this year thinking of it as a great challenge. A mistake I will never repeat, but hey, we’re well over that hurdle now.

If you weren’t a florist, what would you like to do?

I would probably have gone into professional photography.

Your perfect day?

My perfect day is a Sunday, nothing to do with flowers and floristry. Just staying at home with Tony and the dogs. Everyone needs a day off even if you totally love your work right?

Greatest indulgence?

The simple things in life, fresh flowers at home and a bottle of good white wine. At the shop I indulge my customers with lots of different flowers they don’t usually see elsewhere.

What’s your biggest pet hate?

Sparse sympathy tributes that have cost the customer a fortune with all old flower used. Fair enough a couple of days so they’re beginning to open and look lovely, but five to six day old flower, this needs to change. I’ve seen some shockers. Also order gatherers, I won’t go on about it though!

What do you find most difficult?

I find floral crowns the most difficult, I dislike making them immensely.

Is the customer always right?

Absolutely not. However, sometimes as a professional it’s far better to keep quiet than let the customer know just how wrong they are.

Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?

I’d say learn professionally every technique you can, do as much work experience as you can, GO TO COLLEGE and keep up with trends by enrolling on workshops and classes.

What are you most excited about in the next year?

The peak periods in the next 12 months as they will be my first in a retail premises, I can’t wait for the madness to begin.

You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?

To be stranded on a desert island with only orchids wouldn’t be so bad, another of my greatest indulgences.

And finally, the plug…

Willow Floristry (aka Pip & Tony) is based in Verwood, a small town located on the Dorset/Hampshire border and is ideally situated to support customers from the New Forest to the Jurassic Coast.

We create beautiful arrangements for all occasions whether it’s a birthday gift, an anniversary remembered, a wedding celebration or a sympathy tribute for the loss of a loved one.

You won’t find us on the High Street and we are not tied to a retail chain or internet florist! Instead we have a wonderful workshop and the freedom to create unique and stunning floral designs to truly meet our customer’s requirements.  We offer a local delivery service or alternatively you can collect your order from us; the choice is entirely yours!

Fully trained and qualified to ‘ City and Guilds’ Floristry Diploma Level 3 standard, you can be confident the level of service you receive and the quality of our work is second to none.

Not one to blow our own trumpet but you really should know that Pip has won awards for his floral designs! Need we say more?

Find us on Facebook.

Or send us an email.

The post Meet your advisory panel! 60 seconds with Pip Holley appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Good Florist Guide by Caroline Marshall Foster - 1y ago

The first three wholesalers to pledge their moral support for the Good Florist Guide concept have been announced. Tom Brown Wholesale in London SE12, SouthEast Flowers in Ashford, Kent and FleuraMetz, who offer a national delivery service as well as cash and carry operations in Glasgow, Dublin and London. No money changes hands but all three companies have committed their help to spread the word and encourage their customers to be part of GFG, a movement which aims to highlight the very best florist shops, studios and event florists in the UK.

Commenting on their decision to become a founder supporter John Davidson of Tom Brown and a Trustee of the charity Floral Angels, told theflorist.co.uk; “I really like the concept of Good Florist Guide. At first I wondered if it was going to be too selective. Not a bad thing as the thought process is to attract the best of the best but I was concerned how it would impact of take-up. However, looking at the feedback on Facebook it seems these fears may be misplaced as florists are loving being part of it. Knowing that some of my customers have already applied and been successful is great, now I’d like to see even more of them take part.”

For FleuraMetz, and in particular Ian McClellan who heads up the London cash and Carry and whose own shop Pinks of Hazelmere, applied for and passed the GFG application process, it was natural to get on board. “I think it’s really important the industry gets behind GFG because it is the only programme that truly and independently sets the bar and tests shops rather than just taking the money.”

Chris Wolfe of Southeast Flowers in Ashford Kent is also a believer. She says “I like the concept of the GFG because it will give the consumer the confidence that may have been eroded over the years. Bringing the professional florist back where they should be in the eyes of the public is paramount and I believe GFG can do this. Florists need to ” big themselves up!” remind the consumer they are there. Shout from the rooftops that they have a skill to show off. GFG can train and help them to do this. It will inspire them, wake them up to what can be achieved and keeps them independent.”

Caroline Marshall-Foster, founder of the GFG project and Executive Editor of theflorist.co.uk said: “I am so chuffed to have the support of these three founding supporters. No money changes hands; I and the advisory panel felt it was vital for GFG to stay independent, but to be honest, having external support and endorsement from leading players who themselves set high standards, is worth its weight in gold because it means we are all sharing the same goal of promoting the best floristry we can.

If you’re a florist interested in adding the GFG logo to your branding visit goodfloristguide.com/apply-to-join/ to find out how to join.

If you are an industry supplier interested in becoming a supporter and spreading the word about GFG email caroline@purplespotted.com

The post Supporters line up for Good Florist Guide appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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Meet advisory panel member Nikki Meader, owner of West Malling Flowers in Kent which won BFA Retail Florist of the Year 2015. Nikki grew up immersed in flowers with a florist mum and greengrocer dad and returned to her roots opening West Malling Flowers in 2011.

Why did you decide to join the Good Florist Guide’s advisory panel?
We used GFG a lot in the past and wanted to give all the help we could to get the new exciting website up and running.

What do you think you bring to the panel?
Blonde hair and blue eyes.

Best business decision?
Joining the Good Florist Guide of course!!

Worst business decision?
Working with my husband!

If you weren’t a florist, what would you like to do?
A host on strictly come dancing.

Your perfect day?
A full day off.

Greatest indulgence?
5* Hotels.

What’s your biggest pet hate?
Raffia explosions (very common!!)

What do you find most difficult?
The Bridezillas!!

Is the customer always right?
Of course – she says with a smile on her face.

Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?
Prepare yourself for working hard.

What are you most excited about in the next year?
My niece following me into the industry.

You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?
English Lisianthus, to remind me of my home!

And finally, the plug…

I own West Malling Flowers based in the beautiful village of West Malling in Kent. We supply fresh flowers with passion and style. We are proud to have a fully trained,well-qualified and experienced team that strives to give our customers the very best in service, style and design. As a family we have been in the florist trade for over 25 years.

The post Meet your advisory panel! 60 seconds with Nikki Meader appeared first on Good Florist Guide.

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