The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was released in August, 2011. Since then, this novel has touched the hearts of florists, flower lovers, romantics and fiction fans. As a florist in Boston, many of my clients, colleagues and vendors have been asking me for months if I have read the novel. I am an avid reader and what better target market for the author than a florist in Boston who enjoys reading.
Upon the book's release, Diffenbaugh was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She even credits Cambridge florist, Brattle Square Florist in Harvard Square as being a valuable resource for the creation of the novel. Although the author is not a florist, she creates real life floral characters in Renata and Victoria as florists and Grant as a wholesale florist.
The book which is now in papeback was a New York Times and Boston Globe best seller. The accolades and reviews continue to pour in for the first time author and this novel. What really grabbed me as a reader was the insight into the meanings of flowers. Often times as a florist, we get the question "what does that rose mean,"? The author gives the reader so many floral meanings that your head will spin.
Victoria Jones, the protagonist, realizes what many other florists come to realize as well. Depending on which book you read, there are many flowers that have multiple meanings. This revelation forces Victoria to create her own floral dictionary. Florists throughout the world will realize that working with their own interpretations of the language of flowers will work best for their clients too.
Here is a video of Vanessa Diffenbaugh sharing her personal commentary on her debut novel.
"The Language of Flowers" cane be purchases in local bookstores, like The Andover Bookstore.
- Rick Canale
Having worked in a Boston flower shop for more than thirty years, I am proud to share my experience in how to go about being a florist. I always joke that my first job was cleaning geraniums in the Lombardi Florist greenhouses in Roslindale when I was six years old. But you'd be amazed that creating amazing weddings and stunning florals starts at the bottom. My father has been an established florist in Boston for more than sixty years. His best advice has always been, 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor,'.
I strongly suggest starting at the bottom, sweeping floors, cleaning roses, assisting flower delivery drivers. Start as an intern or apprentice in any flower shop. Whether you are in a Boston florist or New York city flower shop, never lose sight that the basics are so important to provide with you a solid foundation for your career choice as a florist. I also believe that your career path as a florist should begin in a flower shop and not in someone's garage or design studio.
I am not knocking the design studio florist. As a matter of fact, some of the most elaborate floral displays and wedding flowers are created in these flower design warehouses. I suggest working in a flower shop because you will be a witness to all types of clients and their unique requests.
In a flower shop, you will learn how to wrap flowers, make corsages, design funeral tributes like rosaries, crosses and heart shapes of flowers. The more every day requests you fill for a client, the greater your skill set will be. You will also be forced to think on your feet when dealing with rushed and demanding clients on the retail sales floor of the flower shop.
Turnover in a flower shop is generally pretty high. New associates often have no idea that the job is so physically and mentally demanding. What the floral apprentice must learn is that paying your dues, working for little starting pay and working holidays can lead to a great career. As florists, we make a difference in people's lives. Florists share emotions. When someone dies, when someone is born, married, sad, celebrating a birthday, falling in love; your local florist becomes a part of your life.
If you cannot wait any longer and your visits to Craig's List are just let down for job openings then get on Twitter and follow @GetFloralJobs. Recently, they posted a job link for a florist in Boston. Check out these requirements, do you have what it takes ?
Ability to work well in fast-paced environment
Completing tasks in an efficient manner
Pleasant manner and outstanding customer service skills
Ability to work well with others as well as independently.
High level of enthusiasm and self-motivation
Team members manage the following responsibilities on a daily basis:
Provide excellent service to customers
Assist clients with product selection
Flower Preparation and Processing
Ability to take phone orders.
Making impressive outdoor displays daily
Please send your availability include hours, from Monday-Sunday. Candidate must be able to work 30-40 hours/wk including at least 1 weekend day.
I know the first reaction from my colleagues is 'why don't my vendors visit me,?' And of course you are right. Your vendors should be visiting your flower shop often. As florists in Boston and throughout the world know, we work our asses off. Time in our shop is often way too long and when we get out, we look to spread our wings socially and with our families.
As the old saying goes, in order to grow your business - you need to work on it as well as in it. As a Boston florist, we are blessed to have access to the Boston Flower Exchange on Albany Street in Boston. Only five miles away, we often take the Flower Exchange for granted because of its proximity. Florists from all over New England flock to the exchange every day to procure orchids, herbs, roses, tulips and thousands of other magical flora and fauna.
At Exotic Flowers, we have drivers in the Boston Flower Exchange every day picking up product. Often times, we are so busy in our flower shop that our buyers, designers and management rarely get to visit the Exchange. We have been dealing with many of our vendors for decades and they have become personal shoppers for us.
Recently I was invited to stop by Jacobson Floral Supply and visit with COO Nick Fronduto
. Nick and I not only have a common interest in business, but getting to meet face to face has showed us how similar we are as baseball fans, history buffs, Italians and fathers. My visit to Jacobson's
left me inspired and refreshed. I was able to meet many of the phone faces as well as touch base with the reps I do know. I came away with new product ideas, met a legend in Buddy Jacobson and got a behind the scenes tour.
As a florist, we are in the business of relationships. Exotic Flowers has a responsibility to our vendors to show an interest in their products. Vendors are our business partners. A strong vendor merchant relationship will benefit both parties.
Next time you visit the Boston Flower Exchange, stop into Jacobson's and tell them Rick Canale at Exotic Flowers in Boston told you to get a tour.
Paris would be an asset to any company whose vision statement is' Reaction Guaranteed.' Paris is a marketing genius who reinforces her personal brand daily. Born with no marketable talents like singing, acting or nuclear science - Paris Hilton has turned her charm, looks and enthusiasm into a multi-million dollar empire.
Paris Hilton lives out loud. She engages with her fan base through social media outlets like Twitter. She grows her brand through shock and awe. Arrested, vilified, and x-rated; Paris' star only shines brighter. She is a fighter. Exotic Flowers in Boston believes in this energy. She turns lemons into lemonade and rarely hurts anyone in the process.
Although Paris has never exhibited the work ethic we look for in employees, she has proved her mettle by doing all types of labor intensive jobs to succeed. And at Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are looking for go-getters like Paris. Paris lives out loud. She is a trail blazer who generates revenue. What business would not want an employee who is rings the cash register? Paris Hilton is a rain maker and every small business especially florists could use a rain maker.
Paris also recognizes her fan base, also known as her customers. Paris realizes every fan matters. Just like Exotic Flowers realizes every customer matters. When a fan asks for an autograph request, her response. "Of course.' Paris Hilton gets it. She is in the marketing customer service business. Paris knows every customer helps build her brand/business.
And of course, by evidence of the photo below: Paris Hilton loves flowers too. So Paris, if you're interested; you have a job at Exotic Flowers in Boston.
Some say working in a flower shop is a dream job. Others might say being a florist is physically exhausting and financially challenging. Some might even relish or dread dealing with demanding customers on a daily basis. Florists know one thing for sure; being a full service florist is an emotionally fulfilling and rewarding career. Florists send emotions.
In 1996, Christian Slater starred in the movie - Bed of Roses. This movie gives a glimpse into the life of a florist. A few things have changed since 1996, but the pride and purpose of a florist has not.