Monthly Archives: November 2011

Working Designer Wednesday: Finding Your Niche

I know many of you have been anxiously waiting to see what Kate (Floret Cadet) has to say about Finding Your Niche…so welcome back, Kate…

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I took an advertising copywriting course a few years ago, and have found one central thing they taught us to be really helpful as I think about starting my business: Before you try to sell anything, you should have a particular statement completed in your head.

You don’t have to use the copy anywhere, but it will really help if you keep this statement in your back pocket, to position your business and define your niche.  The goal is to identify a unique feature of your product or service, and then to define how that feature translates into a benefit for consumers.

The statement goes:

X is the only product or service that provides/does Y (feature), so you can Z (benefit).

Some benefits will seem pretty concrete at first– like time or money saved.  In these cases, my copywriting teacher would always push us to drill down into the benefit.  What is the real benefit to saving money or time? Being able to spend it on something else, or doing something else, that you love.

You don’t have to state that your flowers will save lives or change the world, but the benefit that stems from your unique feature should ultimately have to do with emotional satisfaction or fulfillment.

Applied to floral design, examples for completing this sentence would be:

    Flowers Of Omaha is the only wedding floral design company in Omaha with a “coastal style.” We source varieties that other local florists don’t to provide designs inspired by the most current wedding blogs and magazines, so that fashion forward Omaha brides can have wedding flowers that truly reflect who they are.

    Feature – Coastal style

    Benefit – The bride feels unique and special

    Jenna from The Earth Laughs In Flowers is the only “green” special event floral designer in Albuquerque.  She uses only organic, local flowers and rented or repurposed containers, so that you can have a special event that reflects your values as an individual or as an organization.

    Feature: Eco friendliness

    Benefit: Pride in your impact / choices

    Kim’s Flowers And Gifts is the only flower shop in Baton Rouge that also provides classes, supplies and support for brides interested in creating some of their own wedding flowers.  Brides can have fun making their own centerpieces, trust a pro with their personal flowers, and save money that they can spend on making their other wedding dreams come true.

    Feature: DIY support

    Benefit: Money for the bride to spend on other things so that her wedding can be more full of things she loves

    The English Rose is the only flower shop in Boston with a Victorian floral design sensibility.  All designs, like its signature true herb and flower Tussie Mussies, are rooted in the Victorian “language of flowers” and all deliveries come with a card explaining their meaning.  With The English Rose, you can send or carry something uniquely meaningful.

    Feature: Victorian floral design sensibility

    Benefit: The feeling that you are truly expressing yourself

    Magnificent Flowers is the only floral design studio in Austin that specializes in Indian and East Asian weddings. With a florist who is already well versed in making the customary designs of those cultures, a bride’s time and energy will be freed up to focus on other things that are important to her rather than educating a vendor.

    Feature: A cultural specialization

    Benefit: A feeling of security, confidence, or calm during your wedding planning process

Even if you don’t fully define a benefit, just focusing on completing the first part of the statement for your business could be enormously beneficial – you should know what sets you apart, and if you don’t have that sort of a niche yet, consider carving it out. Look around, from a customer’s perspective, to see what is missing from the local offerings.

You don’t have to only offer to do whatever you define as your unique feature, but being known for something specific- being the first or only person who other vendors think of when they encounter customers with special requests or a distinct vision- could really kick start a business.

In fact, the East Asian / Indian example above was inspired by Marci of Entwined Design, who graciously gave me tons of advice and encouragement when I was first thinking of starting to do weddings on the side.  Although she does weddings of all types, she fell into a similar cultural weddings niche to this one and it’s been a source of constant referrals for her.  She echoed all of this wisdom from my copywriting class when she told me that every florist would be smart to find a niche or specialty.

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images via Entwined Design

That’s it for today – I’m off to think about what the unique feature of Floret Cadet will be (no, I have not completed this statement for myself yet, though I am kicking around some ideas!)

P.S. I came across this class, a two day “Floral Entrepreneurs Weekend” course at the Portland Floral Design Institute, that is all about finding a niche.  It covers the creation of a business identity and blueprint, a marketing plan, a financial plan, and embracing new technology, all for floral business owners looking for their niche.  It looks pretty cool – I might be a taker!

http://floraldesigninstitute.com/page002.05.00.00.htm

 Botanical Brouhaha readers: below are a few niche florists you might want to check out per Kate’s recommendation:

http://greenfloristchicago.com/ and don’t miss this page: http://greenfloristchicago.com/greener-wedding-flowers/

http://www.anastasiaehlers.com and don’t miss this page:  http://www.anastasiaehlers.com/#!__do-it-yourself

http://www.handmakerofthings.com/

http://www.faxongreen.com and don’t miss this page: http://www.faxongreen.com/about.html

Thanks so much, Kate! So much helpful information…so much generosity in sharing…

Happy Wednesday!

More Privet And Viburnum Berries

Last summer I wrote a post about these berries and they continue to catch my eye…

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image via Floret Cadet

IMG_6825 manic botanic and rebecca honeywell photo

image via Manic Botanic and Rebecca Honeywell Photography

IMG_1731 holly chapple

image via Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

IMG_1438  april flowers

image via April Flowers

IMG_1075 miss pickering

image via Miss Pickering

flowers11 studio stems

image via Studio Stems

florali_win008 florali

image via Florali

DSC_0012  blossom sweet

image via Blossom Sweet

bud_vase_amy petakena

image via Petalena

Bloom-4862 bloom by anuschka

image via Bloom by Anuschka

5 Katrina O'Donnell  adorations

image via Adorations

4  bows and arrows dallas

image via Bows and Arrows

_MG_3405-Edit branches

image via Branches

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m especially thankful for those of you who share this blog with me…those who create the incredible designs I feature each day, those who photograph the designs with such artistry, those who stop by for a visit each day, those who offer advice to benefit fellow designers and those who send encouraging comments and emails. I am inspired by you all and I feel blessed to share friendships with so many of you. I hope you have time to RELAX and enjoy family and friends this week. You’ve certainly earned it!

Bouquets For Blue Bridesmaids’ Dresses

6a01127918a34b28a4013487caf6ad970c Holly Chapple Flowers

image via Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

_MG_0907-Edit  flora fauna

image via Flora Fauna

81 my sweet and saucy

image via Sweet and Saucy and Frenzel Photographers

ACF4D our labor of love by heidi

image via Our Labor of Love by Heidi

_MG_0910-Edit  flora fauna

image via Flora Fauna

Alysha bouquet and dress detail heavenly blooms

image via Heavenly Blooms

image via Caroline Tran Photography

caroline-tran-rancho-dos-pueblos-035  tricia fountaine

image via Tricia Fountaine Design and Caroline Tran Photography

cass_wedding_mthreestudio-124 alluring blooms

image via Alluring Blooms and M Three Studio Photography

e7859eefc9832cfa8d7c757744c9c385 sarah rhoads photo

image via Sarah Rhoads Photography

ERAZMUS_WEDDING__2405-Edit hana floral design

image via Hana Floral Design

zenanadjesse-lanedittoe-417g7g5e2ew3258 lane dittoe

image via Lane Dittoe

Wilson_I_0253 sprout fredericksburg

image via Sprout

Happy Monday!

If I Said You Had A Beautiful Bout Would You Hold It Against Me?

_MG_3455-Edit branches

image via Branches

6  bows and arrow dallas

image via Bows and Arrows

8-krista-jon-st-regis-williams-104

image via Krista Jon

39-600x900 tend

image via Tend

433_0316 studio stems

image via Studio Stems

452  clayton austin photo

image via Clayton Austin Photography

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image via Cori Cook Floral Design

2011 - 06 - 28A - jl designs - floral detail shoot -06 JL Designs

image via JL Designs

20101017-00151 beautiful blooms

image via Beautiful Blooms Events

20110730-carrie-and-patrick-wedding-final-edit-2425-1024x681 april flowers

image via April Flowers

5728732038_e68504f457_z honey and poppies

image via Honey and Poppies

B 1 Matt Bout heavenly blooms

image via Heavenly Blooms

bnjoule15 bows and arrows dallas

image via Bows and Arrows

bout art with nature

image via Art with Nature

bout1 bloomersflowers.blogspot

image via Bloomers Flowers

caroline-tran-rancho-dos-pueblos-014  tricia fountaine

image via Tricia Fountaine Design 

…sorry for the title today…just couldn’t resist…we always have a good laugh remembering this song…

                                                                         Happy Thursday!