We just survived our 4th Valentine's Day here at our Cold Spring Harbor boutique. Thankfully, each year we have experienced steady growth on the retail side of the business, even with each Valentine's Day. Last year we had a lot of red roses left over and I thought I simply purchased too many, over anticipating rose sales. It's very difficult to completely sell out of flowers for retail holidays. It's a complicated juggling game that seriously drives me nuts. Unlike weddings, for example, where you have a set budget to work with and specific quantities of bouquets and centerpieces to make. With retail it's nearly impossible to estimate the total amount of sales you'll have. You don't want to buy too little and sell out too quickly and you also don't want to over buy and have tons of flowers left over that essentially get thrown out. It can be heartbreaking. Now we know we can donate these flowers to local hospitals and other organizations like my grandparents Vet home. That makes me feel better but it's still a loss. When you own a florist, working with perishable product, every stem counts. This year we ordered a quarter less red roses to be safe and we still had a lot left over - 7 dozen to be exact. I have to admit I was upset and thrilled at the same time. Here's why...
What was super exciting to see this year was the unexpected response to our Instagram posts. Specifically this one:
Here is my husband Michael (more on him coming soon) holding the most jaw dropping French Anemone and Japanese Sweet Pea. The dusty lavender color palette we were offering was pretty gorgeous too! Customers walked into the store with texted screen shots of that photo and/or our Instagram feed open on their phones and said "This is what I want". We even received a phone call from a woman in California asking if we would ship those flowers to her. I can't tell you how happy that made us.
After witnessing the overly positive response to our mixed flower bouquets and vase compositions we decided not to carry red roses next year. At first I thought it was crazy to even consider that but really it's not crazy at all. Not to put a bad image on a rose as we LOVE roses. They are a flower staple here at the store and used in most of our designs. Roses will forever be the most classic flower to exist in this world. The anemone and sweet pea just showed to be the outliers this Valentine's Day.
I'm proud to say we really pushed the envelope this year. I believe the floral industry is changing as people are seeing how wildly beautiful and special flowers can be, beyond a red rose.