Yearly Archives: 2018

Mayesh Design Star Workshop | Seattle

We’re excited to share a bit about the latest stop in the Mayesh Design Star Workshop Series today. Here’s a peek inside the MDS Workshop in Seattle. Only one more stop in 2019! Salt Lake City, they’re coming to you next.


Kaylee Young and the Mayesh team held their first west coast workshop of the 2018 MDS Tour this past July in Seattle, WA. The workshop was held at Metropolist, a beautiful event space in the heart of SODO, just south of downtown.

The inspiration behind this workshop was a serene summer afternoon. Kaylee brought this inspiration to life at the event by curating a variety of wildflowers for attendees to arrange with, and by styling the space with woven baskets from Accent Decor.

On Monday evening, the workshop began with a networking event. Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers spoke on behalf of the local flower movement, and students shared their own flower stories with one another. Kaylee then led the students in a mood boarding activity. After each student created their own mood board, they then took turns helping each other put defining words to their boards and style. The mood boarding activity was a wonderful way for students to reflect on what inspires and motivates each of them.

On Tuesday, with a new sense of direction, students dove into flower arranging. Kaylee and her assistant Jamie led the students in two group installations; first, a field of flowers using Oasis bricks and wild grasses, herbs, and dahlias, and second a traditional ceremony set up using a beautiful trellis from Classic Vintage Rentals. Because the trellis was so detailed and pretty on its own, Kaylee taught the students how to minimally style the piece using clematis and trailing vines.

Following the installations, Kaylee taught the class how she creates textured, dimensional centerpieces. One by one, the students took their bud vases from Accent Décor and added a few blooms and foliages to inspire their own arrangements, and then created their own centerpieces in a compote vessel. Their arrangements were then photographed on a minimal yet beautiful table with natural colors and textures and simple details.

To join Kaylee & Mayesh at their workshop in Salt Lake City, head here for more
information!


Blog Post Sponsored by Mayesh Wholesale

Workshop Credits:

Hosted by Mayesh Wholesale
Taught by Kaylee Young of Flourish by Kay
Photography: Nicole Clarey Photography
Venue: Metropolist
Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals
Design Assistant: Jamie Heusser

Workshop Product Sponsors:

Jenn Ederer: Landing Luxury Floral Budgets

by Jenn Ederer (Modern Day Creative / Modern Day Events & Floral)

Last week on the blog, I shared all about how I approach the client lead process and the initial consultation meeting. This week, I want to share what happens after the client books. This is the part where we get to do what we do best – designing flowers and being creative, but there is a smarter way to approach ordering product than with a pencil, paper, and calculator. I’m sure you can already guess what I’m going to say…my lifesaver is my recipe program, Ularas. I know, I know…this is the thorn in all of our sides. But hear me out, because this is hands down how I’ve been able to find freedom in my business and scale from doing small weddings to large luxury six-figure floral budgets.

Safety Net

A recipe program is perfect for every business structure: solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, large teams, small teams – as long as you want to be profitable (of course you do!) and put yourself in a position to scale your business, a recipe program is right for you. As a solopreneur, it’s a lot easier when the flowers come in for you to make modifications on the fly – we are creatives, after all. However, using recipes creates a structure which allows you to step away if necessary.

There is so much pressure on us to deliver, especially when we’re a one-person show. We’re working with couples on one of the most memorable days of their lives, and as great florists, we don’t take that lightly. But at some point in time, we have to set ourselves up to not be the be-all and end-all in everything we do. What if we have a family emergency or crisis to tend to on the same day as an event? Now you’re faced with the task of having to choose between a family emergency and work, or you’re scrambling to try and convey to people exactly what needs to happen to create the event the way you would. Putting those parameters and safety nets in place through using a recipe program will save you SO much stress and give you a huge amount of freedom if something like this ever comes up for you.

Profitability

Let’s be honest, to err is human, especially as you start scaling your business and doing five and six figure floral budgets. The old school way of calculating your numbers using pencil, paper and a calculator is scary because those errors can easily be made. For many years, I used a comprehensive workbook in Excel. Over time, I found that the formulas and calculations can become tainted, which increases the margin for error when ordering product. Needless to say, working with an online based recipe program like Ularas ensures that I’m not making those mistakes that I made so easily with the less reliable methods I was using in the past.

I get the question all the time, “How do you design events with five and six-figure floral budgets, and where do you even start?” Honestly, you start with one design element at a time and it starts with having a recipe and organizational system in place. You can’t do an event of this scale all by yourself, so that means you either hire a team of experienced freelancers or your current staff works in conjunction with the guest designers to help execute the event. This team not only needs to be excellent at what they do, but they also need to know exactly how to create the designs you dreamed up with your client’s vision in mind. Effectively communicating this with your in-house staff and freelance designers will help keep the event production running smoothly and efficiently.

Months Before the Event

I recipe all flowers and hard goods per the approved design document provided to the client. All containers are either pulled out of our inventory to ensure we have no crossover with another event or new hard goods are purchased. A list of flowers is sent off to our wholesaler for pricing and all tentative rental orders are placed.

Two Weeks Before Event

To help keep us organized, I print a copy of the Ularas production report which includes a pull list for my logistics coordinator so she can pull and prep all containers and hard goods along with our bagging systems for bouquets and corsage and bout boxes.

Tuesday the Week of the Event

On Tuesday morning, I have a staff meeting where we go through any pertinent information pertaining to the overall design and client expectations along with reviewing what product will be arriving. I provide them the workbook complete with the final contract, the design inspiration, production report and a full recipe book which covers everything from the bridal bouquet to centerpieces. Everything is spelled out for them making it easy for anyone to jump right in.

Wednesday Before Weekend Event

Typically our product arrives between Tuesday and Wednesday morning unless specific flowers need longer to open. The team processes the flowers and cross references the quantities against the production report. On multiple event weeks, the buckets are labeled with the event name and placed on designated metro racks. Once the product is hydrated and accounted for, the design team dives in! Each designer is assigned a specific area to focus on based on their overall design strengths, a sample design is created for my approval and we’re off to the races. Quite often there is a mock up I’ve create for the client months prior for the designers to use as a guideline.

Side note, I also order 5-10% additional product in case we need to make adjustments on the fly during production. This gives me and my design team a little more creative freedom and flexibility which is so important.

Day of the Event

On event days, I typically have a team of anywhere from 4-10 designers working on-site including an incredible support team. The beauty of our recipe workflow is that I don’t always have to physically be onsite at every event. However, it’s also important to remember that whether you’re doing large or small events, it’s important for everything leaving your studio to match your brand and meet your client’s expectations.

I love comparing this to food….because really, is there anything better than a food analogy? If you were a chef who created fabulous and delicious meals, you probably wouldn’t let your sous chef just start throwing in whichever ingredients he wanted to. You would have a recipe for them to follow to make sure your guests received a consistent and on-brand dish. This is exactly the same in our floral design world with recipes.

Many of the freelance designers I work with tell me how much they appreciate when things are organized. They love the fact that they can jump in and design right away. The best thing you can do for your designers is to keep yourself organized so they can come in and knock it out of the park for you.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks

Even though I love Ularas, there are several other programs out there you can choose from. Here are some of the most popular options:

The reason I like Ularas is because it’s a highly functional program with lots of customizable options for proposals, contracts, organization, ordering the product, and lots more. But, like anything, I would encourage you to find one that best meets your needs and run with it!

One of the biggest arguments I hear against using a recipe program is the financial investment.  I get it, it IS a big investment, but I encourage you to really take a long hard look at what your time is worth. Our monthly obligation is $99.00 per month which is nominal in comparison to the time I save, not to mention the increased profitability.

At the end of the day, using a comprehensive recipe program like Ularas is by far the biggest contributing factor to how I’ve scaled my business and become more profitable. As your business grows, so will the demands on your time and talents, so be kind to yourself. If this old girl can do it, so can you!!  I’m wishing you all the success and I hope that this information is helpful, but please do not hesitate to reach out or leave a comment below.


Photography courtesy of Nathan English Photography

We invite you to read Part One (Top Tools for Wedding & Event Professionals), Part Two (Growing & Leading a Team), and Part Three (The Client Lead Process) of Jenn’s 5-part series if you missed them!

BB Podcast Episode 25: Eatherley Schultz

“I take as much pride in the team I’ve created as I do in my business or any floral design we’ve ever done.”

-Eatherley Schultz

Tom Robison Creative

Today we’re sitting down with Eatherley Schultz, owner of Floressence in Brevard, North Carolina to discuss:

  • why she’s currently working with a business coach
  • the challenges of transporting flowers in the mountains
  • how weather affects her business
  • how her experiences in flower growing and garden design have uniquely affected her floral design business
  • how she has managed to build a team who stays
  • some lessons she’s learned about dealing with clients
  • where she finds educational opportunities for her staff
  • a few of the challenges she’s overcome along the way

Katie Stoops Photography

Links mentioned in Episode Twenty-Five:

Rachael McIntosh Photography

Michelle Landreau of Morning Light Photography

Links of Interest:

 Website |Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

Natalie Watson Photography

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Today’s episode is brought to you by:

To learn more about HHC online classes at Hope Flower Farm School of Floral Design, click here.

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BB Podcast Sound Engineer: Landon McGee

Floral Arches

Cori Cook Floral Design | Laura Murray Photography

Bare Root Flora | Eric Kelley Photography

JF Floral Couture | Jada Poon Photography

Petal Society | Fulleylove Photography

Soil and Stem | Heather Nan Photography | created by workshop attendees: Brynne Parry | Sunwoo Kim| Davy Gray | Sweet Seed Flower Farm | Rooted and Wild | Ella and Company | 3 Leaf Floral | Sugar n Stems

3 Leaf Floral 

Amy Osaba Events | Sarah Ingram Photography

F. Dellit Designs | Catherine Smeader Photography

Poppy Design Co | Jon Cu Photography

Jenn Ederer: The Client Lead Process

by Jenn Ederer (Modern Day Creative/Modern Day Events & Floral)

A value I will always stand by in my business is being honest and transparent with our clients about our whole process, from beginning to end. Its about building trust from the very start of our relationship so that they know theyre in good hands when they book with us.

Before the consultation meeting is even booked, the potential client is required to fill out a questionnaire for us to gather general information about them and some details about their vision for their wedding and/or event. The questionnaire purpose is two-fold – it serves as a way to screen potential clients while also helping me best prepare for our client meetings. Unlike some, our minimum required budget is only listed on our questionnaire and not on our website, which has worked really well for us thus far. We can automatically deter clients who arent comfortable with the minimum. It saves the couple time, and it saves us from meeting with clients who have budgetary needs that fall outside of the scope of work we offer.

When we sit down for the first consultation meeting, I let them know exactly what to expect – that we will sit down for about an hour just to get to know one another, to learn about what theyre looking for, share with them what our company is all about, nail down exactly how we can help them, and to simply connect with them as a couple. I also always ask them, What are you hoping to gain from our time together?. This tells me exactly what they are wanting to get out of our meeting, so I can be sure to touch on those topics during our time together.

Questions I Like to Ask Couples in Our Consultation Meeting:

  • What are you hoping to gain from our time together during this initial consultation?
  • What is your overall vision for your wedding day?
  • What are the top three things that are most important to you for your wedding day?
  • Do you have a favorite flower? Does it have a special meaning behind it?
  • What type of floral design composition do you prefer – loose and organic, lush with minimal greens, gathered and styled, etc.
  • What do you want your personal experience to be like on your wedding weekend?
  • What do you want your guests experience to be like on your wedding weekend?
  • What are your favorite things to do together as a couple?
  • What restaurants do you like to visit?
  • Do you like to travel? What would be your ultimate dream vacation and why?

If you notice, I hardly ask them about the event design at all, and most importantly, I do my best to avoid asking them the standard questions like – how many bridesmaid bouquets do you need? Corsages? Aisle Decor?… We discuss their overall vision, but the details of the design and items needed come later once I get to know them and once they retain our services with deposit paid and commitment letter signed.

This initial consultation meeting is all about the connection between myself and the couple. The mental shift from selling to connecting is whats most important to me during our time together in this initial consultation. If Im simply focused on selling first and foremost, most potential clients can see right through it. However, if Im focusing on connecting human-to-human, this builds trust with the couple and makes for a more memorable and personable consultation experience for them.

When we get closer to the end of the meeting, I close by thanking them, letting them know how much Ive enjoyed getting to know them, and then follow up with the next steps to welcome them into the Modern Day family. I come to these meetings prepared with a folder of information for them to take home and consider.

Consultation Folder:

  • Marketing pamphlet to give them a well-rounded view of our company and services.
  • Featured reviews and testimonials from past clients.
  • Sample proposal with average amounts of what our clients normally spend on key floral and design areas.
  • Commitment letter – to be signed and returned with deposit to officially book our services for their wedding date.

 

Sometimes clients will elect to sign the letter and pay the deposit right there on-the-spot, but others need more time to think about it. Regardless, you can rest easy knowing that youve given them all the information they need to make the best decision for them and their wedding day. If they do book our services that day, I let them know that we will go ahead and begin building a proposal for them that normally takes around 8-12 hours to complete. Then, we will schedule a follow-up meeting where we will dive into all the pretty design details.

Im sure youve been in this position. You meet with a couple, and you connect with them beautifully. You talk details, colors, design, everything they envision for their big day, and then they want to know how much you charge for services. Since you have a fairly good idea of what they want, you go and work for 8 hours straight on a giant, detailed proposal for them. A few days later, they let you know theyve decided to go with another florist who beat you out on price. And now, youve lost 8 hours of your precious time and energy that could have been spent on your clients who have already committed to booking you.

This is why I no longer propose before a client commits to booking us.

Believe me, I used to do this for years. I know exactly how it feels to spend countless hours on clients who arent going to book our services. I spoke with another designer recently who told me that when she went back and tracked her time, she had spent 45 hours in the past year designing proposals for clients who didnt end up booking her. Imagine how well you could serve the clients who DID book you with that extra time.

At the end of the day, I created this policy out of necessity. It cut into my time spent taking care of my company, my clients, my staff, and my own well-being.

Because of our screening process, I spend most of my time meeting with clients who are already a great fit. Sometimes, however, even our dream clients have more questions for us and they can be difficult to answer.

Price Shopping

Something that was difficult for me to address early on in my career were those clients who were really just price shopping. I knew that if a couple came and were price shopping, they probably werent going to book with us. We specialize in luxury events, and we arent the right fit for every clientespecially those who are looking for a bargain or the best deal out there.

My philosophy when it comes to price shopping is this: youre not comparing apples to apples. Instead of selling your price, start selling your services, your expertise, and what you do differently than everyone else. At the end of the day, thats what matters and it’s how I gained confidence in the services we do provide.

Do I meet with as many brides as I used to? No. But, because of the way I approach this process, the couples I meet with now are more likely to book us. Our booking retention rate is now around 95%.

So, How Much Will This Cost?

This is another sign that these clients are looking for their florist based on price only.

What I do is give them our client averages in their packet of information, so they have a good idea of what our clients normally spend on their bridesmaids bouquets, bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages, elevated arrangements, ceremony designs, etc. Im comfortable with our pricing, and I dont apologize for it. I know that what were delivering is an impeccable, superior product. Being transparent about the average pricing combats the question of wanting to know exactly how much this will cost them before they book.

You have to be confident in exactly what you bring to the table, and what makes you different than the other designers theyre meeting with. In addition to knowing it, be sure that you can articulate this to your potential clients in a warm and honest way. There is NO shame in practicing this! I know I had to practice my approach before I was comfortable sharing it with my potential clients. If you work to clarify this and start practicing, soon it will become totally natural and effortless.

Im sharing the way I approach these meetings as inspiration for how you can approach your client lead process. But, I encourage you to remember that you have to do what works best for your business model and for your unique personality. At the end of the day, as a business owner, you get to call the shots and decide exactly how you handle this.

Im wishing you the best of luck with all of your consultation meetings! Id love to know more about your process. Feel free to let me know how you approach these meetings in the comments below!


All photography courtesy of Kelly Braman Photography  with exception of floral chandelier which is courtesy of Karyn May Photography

We invite you to read Part One (Top Tools for Wedding & Event Professionals) and Part Two (Growing & Leading a Team) of Jenn’s 5-part series if you missed them!