Florabundance News

Tom Bowling 2011 > MULTIPLICITY

November 6th, 2011

Designing for holiday occasions can be somewhat of a challenge. Often the objection is that the flowers take up too much room on the table leaving little room for dishes, glasses, and the food. One great solution is to design in smaller containers and make them in multiple to allow for space considerations.
One of the hottest looks right now is the vintage bottle ‘collections’. These old bottles are an assemblage of different sizes and shapes that are grouped together to make an impact. While it does take the client some time to assemble their collection, they are the perfect find at tag sales, flea markets and yard sales from around the country. Since the bottles have odd shapes and sizes, the mismatched look works very well for holiday and everyday table decor. Vintage décor has been in and out of vogue for many years. Most people associate the word vintage with ‘Victorian’ so it might be a good idea to rename the collection to ‘Gatherings’. Whatever way you choose to market the concept, be sure to show lots of ideas that have the same concept.
If your customer is more contemporary, try using small 4” cubes on the table in a runner fashion. Small cubes filled with seasonal flowers can be placed on the table and then connected with pieces of Bear Grass, Lily Grass, or even decorative wire. Interface a few votive candles and you have the impact of a centerpiece without taking too much room on the table. This concept can also be staged in a circular fashion for those who have round tables.
The advantage of designing in multiple containers is that the client is not limited to where the flowers must go and only being able to afford to decorate a single location. Small Garden Collection vases sold in multiples allow the client to use some on the table, some in the powder room, maybe a couple on the kitchen window sill, and wherever else is appropriate for decorating. The idea of keeping them low cost allows for multiple sales. Consider offering 3 @ and reasonable price and then 6 at an attractive price that is less than double of the first 3 and don’t forget that some guests can and will purchase 12 if it priced in a cost effective price point.
Consider offering a holiday workshop that teaches table decorating for the holidays. You might even consider doing a DIY workshop to allow the students to make and take the designs they have created. A good idea is to let them make 3 for a fixed price and then purchase the additional products to complete as many stylings as needed. You can offer several choices in vases, sizes, and number of components to complete the projects. Be sure to sign them up while they are excited and successful about repeating the workshop for the Christmas holidays while at your flower shop. It is also a great time to create special buys and discounts for only the class participants. This gives the class added value and makes them feel special.
Think about the possibilities of stores in your area that carry furniture that you could team up with for the holidays to go to them and do ‘how to’s’ for their customers. How to Set a Holiday Table, How to Entertain With Flowers, or How to Decorate With Flowers, are just a few ideas that might catch on. Larger chain department stores often bring in outside resources to share their expertise with their customers. Also, don’t overlook the independent stores that may be smaller, but still have a good customer base to get your shop new exposure and customers. Be ready to share the features and benefits of your shop and have business cards or a special card with your shop information printed on it to pass out during your demonstrations.
Just think of the impact of selling in multiples could have on sales for the next 45 days in your store! It’s the time of year for home entertaining, so make the most out of Multiplicity!

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