I did a Spotlight presentation at the Deerfield Circle on May 9, and as more meetings than not, we contemplated the interconnectedness of all things.
“The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.”
- Sandra King
Now this is really a GOOD quote for a woman whose business, Bloom Magic Weddings, is sustainable floristry! It’s the time of year when I am making the move from seeds started months ago in my powder room “greenhouse”, a hundred little pots and adjustable LED lights, and getting ready for the big prize: moving the plants outside into the garden. The group shared a number of ideas about the seed. And then I talked about how this shit is real for me – it’s not just reaching the light. There’s more. There is getting the right amount of light. Not too close or too far from the light. And water. Wow, that can really be fatal. Hit a tiny seedling with a strong gush from the watering can, and BAM you killed it! Tiny seedlings need spray water. They are fragile. Some seeds have poor germination rates and need extra sowing. There is always more. I easily lost a fourth of my seedlings, some just didn’t make it. We all need the courage to start, and we need some TLC. Kind of like the way I need my WB circle.
I brought in my latest work, a glass container configured with blush anenomies and pink scabiosas, rooted in a soil of sea shell chips and pearls. I mentioned that the hard part of this is positioning the blooms with sticks when the opening is only 3.5 inches at the top, trying not to poke a hole in anything. I am drawn to this modern tinkering, purely making bouquets bores me. The whole idea of being an artist means challenging and pleasing myself…. It’s nice but not necessary for others to like what I do. Now let’s talk about US.
FLOWER FARMING IN CHICAGO: Go Get Some Blooms!
As I have talked about the American Flower Farming Movement in our circle many times, I shared some information about how it’s going right here in Chicagoland. This is a sampling…
Started in 2016, floriculture pioneer Jessica Zeiger is growing flowers on a rooftop above a brewery. Jessica uses sustainable growing practices and doesn’t use any harmful or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. She grows in spent grain compost from the onsite brewery (Whiner Beer Company) and waters her plants with rainwater captured from The Plant’s rooftop.
TWO PEAS FARM & FLOWERS
This farm in Southwest Michigan is an hour from Chicago. They grow heirloom flowers and also do floral arrangements and events.
17064 Lakeside Rd
Union Pier, Michigan 49129
FIELD AND FLORISTS
Field & Florist is a Chicago-based flower farm and florist. They offer floral arrangement and styling for weddings and special events, as well as wholesale flowers for the floral industry. Visit their Wicker Park shop and buy blooms, or sign up for one of their wine tasting/flower arranging workshops.
1908 W Division St
Chicago, Illinois 60622
Creating nature-inspired floral designs in the Chicago area as well as flower farming and designing in southwest Michigan. The grow unique, heirloom flowers on their farm in Buchanan, Michigan and incorporate local blooms whenever possible.
333 N. Oakley Blvd.
Chicago, Illinois 60612
About 2 hours west of the city, Petal’s Farm grows on several acres and supplies studio florists and DIY clients for a uniquely colorful organic and locally sourced experience.
9518 Haligus Road
Huntley, Illinois 60142
BLOOM MAGIC WEDDINGS
Floral designers who grow some of the flowers used in client projects, and focus primarily on designing and servicing weddings and special events, emphasizing sustainable practices.
485 Niada Terrace
Highland Park, IL 60035
Kirsten’s tips for Processing flowers – Keeping them healthy when you bring them home
- Choose flowers that look fresh and have some unopened buds. Be careful not to get a bunch that has been smushed or petals are bruised or torn.
- Have a bucket of water with flower food (1 packet per quart, a Tsp of sugar is ok) ready with just a few inches of water. Put flowers in right away.
- Keep away from direct sunlight and high temps
- Remove any leaves that will touch the water, they encourage bacteria.
- Cut the stems on an angle and place in water right away.
- Cool or luke warm water is best.
- Allow flowers to hydrate for 2 – 3 hours
- Now you are ready to arrange or just place in a vase
- Do not refrigerate with regular food, gasses kill them.
- Change water every 2 or 3 days and recut stems
At BMW, we chart in/recut/out to ensure quality and also know vase life. Also plan for days for flowers to open before an event. A lot of work goes into maximizing the inventory!
FARMERS MARKETS near the Deerfield Circle – Google for more near you
Northbrook – Wednesdays 8 – 12 starts June 19
Deerfield Saturdays 7:30 – 12:30 starts June 15
Lake Bluff Fridays 7:30 – 11 starts June 7
Glencoe French Market 8 – 1 starts June 8
You are almost done reading – I may have saved he best for last…
MARKETING – Rules of the Road from the Wedding Industry
- 70% of millennials are planning their weddings on their phones at work. No shit.
- Respond the same way – email to email, don’t jump on the phone
- Don’t sound canned or corporate or form letter, sound conversational
- Assume they know about you from looking at your website, WeddingWire, etc. Don’t spend time telling them general info about your company.
- They ask for pricing because they don’t know what to ask. This does not mean throw pricing info at them on the first 1 or 2 contacts.
- Reply should be congenial, SHORT, end by asking a question
- Remember, your message must fit on a cell phone screen
- Practice this, send message to yourself or friends to see
- End with a question – low consequence (yes, no, or easy answer) not high consequence (let’s have a meeting, what is your budget, what is the timeline, these require thought, they may skip over and not reply)
- Follow up the next day, may try different way such as text
- Play this game 2 or 3 times until they ask for an appointment, or you do.
- Expect ghosting 4 or 5 days – you can send a short are you still looking message
- Don’t be discouraged if you get ghosted. You probably want a relationship. They might be price shopping. Not everyone is your ideal client.
MY SAMPLE REPLY TO AN INQUIRY
Thank you so much for contacting Bloom Magic Weddings, and congratulations! Good news, we have your date open.
Let me tell you a bit about why Bloom Magic Weddings is special. We only take on 20 weddings each year because highly personal service is essential to us. Our process is designed to help you create a wedding that is one of a kind. We are all about sustainability. Weddings are completely customized. We work with you on the must haves, the loves, and the wow factors. How many guests are you expecting?
In Best of Bloom, Kirsten Gordon
THANK YOU FOR READING, WB FRIENDS!!!!
Kirsten Gordon Bloom Magic Weddings Highland Park, IL 224 458 8310 firstname.lastname@example.org
Content provided by Women Belong member Kirsten H. Gordon