Recent Posts

Follow Me

Exotic Flowers - We Deliver Flowers in Boston

Thirteen Sign That Might Mean You’re Destined to Become A Florist

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

It’s true… I was a florist for over twenty years in the Boston Wholesale Floral Industry- a job the where the word “difficult” might be an understatement for adequately describing the profession.  Rain or shine, sleet or snow, the crew gathered together in the middle of the night to unload tractor trailer trucks packed with thirty to forty pound boxes which we would have to haul off, open and distribute before the sun actually had risen.  It was grueling exercise, the kind of workout that would leave you aching for days in your back, legs and arms with little to no rest that would allow healing.  Nevertheless, there was something inside of me driving the covers off when the 3:30 am alarm clock rang, the sound of a relentless drill sergeant commanding the start of a new day in the Boston Flower Exchange.  Looking back, I could have left and got a job in an office like most twenty something’s do but instead I made the choice to stay.  Regardless of the empty threats to leave the business in search of “easier” means of work, I continued to show up exactly on the hour required by employees (well, most of the time anyways…) and do my share of lugging, carrying and schlepping while being left with a strange sense of fulfillment at the end of the day.  There could only be one explanation for this feeling that also came along with pain, exhaustion and bruises… I really loved being a florist.

suziecanale-1.jpg

Unbeknown too many people out there, being a floristis actually one of the hardest professions to survive within, and that includes both in terms of physical and financial wellness.  There are long, grueling hours, limited opportunities for pay increases and the toll of heavy weight lifting on the body after years and years of exposure.  Truly, you have to be one tough cookie to make it in the flower biz and as you can imagine- it’s not for everyone.  


You might be wondering, “If it’s so bad, why do it then?”  It’s an honest question with an honest answer-you’re a florist because you were born to become one.  Seriously, it’s the truth.  There are several personality traits that can lead a person into this profession which will determine if it’s the right fit for you.  If you’ve always had an interest in this field, you might want to go over the top 13 traits of a true florist.  Your destiny may be calling you…


The Top 13 Traits of a True Florist


  1. You’re Hardworking No Matter What
  2. You LOVE Anything That Grows
  3. Not Having A Garden Is Sacrilegious
  4. Working Saturdays Is No Big Deal
  5. You’re Inherently Creative
  6. You Like To Gamble
  7. Weather Conditions Don’t Affect You
  8. You See Yourself As An Artist
  9. Your Work Means More To You Than A Paycheck
  10. You Continue to Enjoy Learning Long After You’ve Finished School
  11. You Like People But You Like Time Alone, Too
  12. You Prefer To Move Than To Be Sitting Down All Day
  13. You Use Your Hands More Than Any Other Part Of Your Body

Tags: Wholesale Flowers, Boston Florist, Working in a Florist, Florist Blogger, Florist

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Florist

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 24, 2017

When we have an important event to plan or a special anniversary to prepare for, we often turn to the advice of a florist to steer us on the right path.  Whether its an order of red roses for Valentine’s Day or the organization of a bar mitzvah’s centerpieces, we know our local flower shop is always available to help make our floral dreams come true.  For those of you who are anticipating a similar occasion and aren’t quite sure how to begin to approach a conversation with a designer, you might want to do a little research beforehand in order to be prepared.  It’s always good to do a little homework as well as be equipped with some suitable questions to ask the professional so you get the full picture what they can and can’t do.  If you’re not sure where to start, let me help you with some general points it might be wise to convey to your florist before finalizing your order.

brooke_shields_florist.jpe

Brooke Shields in “Flower Shop Mystery: Mum’s The Word”

Valuable Questions You Should Be Keeping In Mind…


  • Where does your product come from?

Most probably, you’ll get more than one destination for an answer since flower shops almost always use a wide range of suppliers from around the globe due to cost and availability of particular species.   Where the flowers come from will have a large bearing on the price and quality.


  • Can I get my favorite flower year round?

Unless you’re talking roses or pom poms, the answer is usually no.  Certain flowers grow at certain times of the year, especially those found local to New England.  Is it true that it might be possible to order these from another country instead of relying on local harvesting?  Yes, but be prepared for a cost increase or a variation in quality.  Examples may be sweet peas, freesia, grape hyacinth and lily of the valley.   


  1.  What exact colors do the blooms grow in shade?

This is something you should always be aware of when it comes to matching an exact tint to a fabric or other “idea” you may be relying on… you must be flexible!  It is more than likely your florist may not be able to perfectly copy a color to a swatch so please remember that tractability will save you a lot of stress, anxiety and most importantly, disappointment.  Flowers were meant to contrast and compliment décor so give the pro’s a little wiggle room to do their work.  

Tags: Community Florist, Boston Florist, Boston Florist Staff, Weddings, DIY

Sonny Canale is Celebrating 60 Years as President of Exotic Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jul 05, 2017

On Wednesday, July 12th: Arnold 'Sonny' Canale will have been the owner and operator of Lombardi Florist for 60 years. An amazing testament to talent, work ethic and care for clients. As we tell clients every day, he must be doing something right.

sonny_1957-resized-600.jpg

In 60 years - he's sold more than five million roses, one million carnations, more than one million deliveries, grown thousands of poinsettias and outdoor plants and has designed a million floral arrangements. He has operated five locations, supported dozens of charities and employed hundreds. Three Best of Boston awards, a World Series florist, a PGA Championship florist, FTD Top 1000, Top 500, Top 250, Top 100 and Top 10. Telelfora Top 50. Floral Management Marketer of the Year, RedBook Circle of Excellence. The numbers are not only staggering but humbling.

Stop by the shop on July 12 and say hi. We'll have treats and surprises.

609 American Legion Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131

617-247-2000 

 

Tags: Boston Florist, Exotic Flowers, Lombardi Florist, Sonny Canale

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Women's Day March 8th

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

mimosa in boston resized 600International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. 

international womens day boston resized 600

Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence.

mimosa womens day boston resized 600

Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.


Tags: International Women's Day, Mimosa, Women's Day, Boston Florist, March

Misconceptions about florists and their jobs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Sep 29, 2016

I just saw this hysterical video on line where two women put on a skit about the common misconceptions of becoming a florist.  The plot begins with a customer entering the store, presumably asking “typical” questions to the proprietor about different buying situations that are familiar to well seasoned florists.  If you work in the industry, you may have already seen the clip because the link has gone viral, particularly within the floral community.  Some of the inquiries and comments include: “This must be the most relaxing place in the world to work” (giggle, snort, sigh) and “Is this all you have to browse today?” when there are buckets of blossoms lined up in the background.   The whole thing is a farce and made to show the incredible misunderstandings that seem to be connected with the floral occupation.  So it got me thinking about a laundry list of lies that I have heard over the twenty-year stint I experienced while working in the wholesale sector.  

75d4720e-3c4c-479b-b8d8-c47f27e1b1b8_1.jpe

These are the ones I laugh at the most… Have you ever experienced any of these as well?


  1. Retail florists make so much money; they can afford to take as much time off as they desire.  Although wholesalers make more, they don’t even work past 1pm in most places.  Fact: Retail florists typically work six to seven days a week, generally from seven in the morning until eight or nine o’clock at night.  Wholesalers commonly start their day anywhere from two to three o’clock in the morning to meet the shipments arriving by truck from airports.  They don’t work less; they have to punch the clock in while you’re still in bed asleep.
  2. Working in a flower shop is the easiest job you can get because it requires no physical activity, the most being the task of arranging pretty blossoms together in vases.  Fact: The manual labor associated with the floral industry is congruent with the restaurant business where there is little to no “down time” during shifts.  Accurate physical responsibilities include heavy lifting, fast paced movement and constant up and down bending.
  3. Becoming a florist takes no prior talent or experience and there is absolutely no education required.  Anyone can do it.  Fact:  Most florists hold college degrees in horticulture, agriculture or business where it is imperative that they know how to handle, care and operate a successful self-supporting company.  Many flower shop owners now also make it mandatory for all staff to attend conferences, design clinics and other continuing education opportunities available within the industry to keep on top of trends.
  4. The majority of flower shops in Bostonstay open for at least five years with few closing before their one-year anniversary.  Fact: Opening a flower business and keeping one open are two totally different issues.  One in every three shops end up closing before twelve months in operation and only a few today have been around as long as ten or more years.  The flower industry remains one of the top most competitive markets in Boston.
  5. All that’s needed to run a successful flower shop is a few nice flowers and some empty vases.  The rest will work itself out on its own.  Fact: In order to organize a well run flower business, you must have a talented staff, a well thought out business plan, a great location, access to a demographic that will spend money on flowers, a dependable wholesaler that will supply product of the appropriate grade, enough start up cash to float you during the rougher months of the year, genius merchandising and marketing strategies, top notch sales people, talent and most importantly LUCK!  

Tags: Boston Flower Shop, Exotic Flowers Employees, Boston Florist, Boston Florist Staff, Florist

Fifty Nine is Fine

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

On Tuesday, July 12th: Arnold 'Sonny' Canale will have been the owner and operator of Lombardi Florist for 59 years. An amazing testament to talent, work ethic and care for clients. As we tell clients every day, he must be doing something right.

sonny_1957-resized-600.jpg

In 59 years - he's sold more than five million roses, one million carnations, more than one million deliveries, grown thousands of poinsettias and outdoor plants and has designed a million floral arrangements. He has operated five locations, supported dozens of charities and employed hundreds. Three Best of Boston awards, a World Series florist, a PGA Championship florist, FTD Top 1000, Top 500, Top 250, Top 100 and Top 10. Telelfora Top 50. Floral Management Marketer of the Year, RedBook Circle of Excellence. The numbers are not only staggering but humbling.

 

Tags: Boston Florist, Exotic Flowers, Lombardi Florist, Sonny Canale

Facts About Boston Florists That Make Them Special

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 26, 2015

We already know how fabulous Boston florists are, don’t we?  Possessing contemporary innovation, a wide variety of premium product and an outstanding reputation for knowledge within the industry, Boston floral designers are among the most elite in the country.  From the east coast to the west coat, Boston still trumps the skill and ingenuity compared to others in the business and there’s a good reason why!  Our finest florists are gifted with particular qualities and characteristics that set them apart from the rest.  It’s true!  Just take a look at some of these fun facts about our city’s fabulous florists that continually make them rise above the rest.


  • Mother Nature’s A Blessing To Boston Florists

Mother Nature plays a huge part in assisting buyers and designers from the northeast region and the reason why is because we are susceptible with four different seasons of change.  Unlike other regions, this allows us to have a deeper knowledge of texture and color.  Boston florists tend to have a richer compilation of tones and shading as well as utilizing a larger variation of height and size within their work.  Not only does it make the centerpieces, bouquets and daily arrangements more interesting to consumers, there is a constant theme of “change” making these pieces overall more enjoyable.


  • Boston Florists Are Wicked Smart!

Boston florists are among the highest educated in the industry possessing a 75% percent rate of college graduates.  Popular degrees range from business administration to agriculture, forming a well informed community of intelligence within operation, marketing, design and management.  Boston florists are also known to be extremely supportive of local design schools.  Not only do they participate by aiding learning branches with grants, scholarships and internships, they proactively help to prepare and ready the next generation of talent within the industry.  


  • “Flexible” Is Their Middle Name

It’s true that Boston companies struggle with a heightened expenditure of gas, electricity and rent than many other florists but this only allows them to be able to think outside the restrictions of cost better than competitors.  Bean Town’s finest are well crafted in downsizing, upsizing and substituting floral varieties when a client is strapped on a budget.  Being one of the largest importing cities in the industry, local buyers have a firm understanding of market trends and availability leading the customer to higher grounds of satisfaction.  No matter what the occasion calls for, designers are ready to sculpt and mold pieces that reflect all ends of cost while still presenting a stunning visual affect.  Their flexibility is so accommodating, there leaves no reason why Bostonians can’t enjoy fresh flowers year round!  



Tags: Boston Flower Shop, Floral Design, Boston Florist, Boston, Florist

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Womens Day on March 8th

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Mar 05, 2015

mimosa in boston resized 600International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. 

international womens day boston resized 600

Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence.

mimosa womens day boston resized 600

Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.

 

Tags: International Women's Day, Mimosa, Women's Day, Boston Florist, womens day

Did You Know That There Are Flower Trading Cards ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

 ALLEN GINTER SEEDS CARD

I have been collecting baseball cards since 1979. I used to wait for fresh packs of baseball cards to arrive at the corner stores in Roslindale and Scituate. I used all of my money for packs of baseball cards. Thankfully, I rarely chewed the gum. I do miss that smell though as baseball card packs today do not come with gum. 

My card collecting days peaked in 1985. My best cards at that time included a 1976 Topps Carl Yastrzemski, a 1975 Rookie George Brett, 1980 Rookie card of Rickey Henderson and all of Carlton Fisk's cards as he was my hero at the time. 

1979 CARLTON FISK resized 600

I have all these cards today. Thankfully, my mom never threw them away. My top cards now are bit a different. I own a 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson along with 1953 Topps cards of Mickey Mantle, Satchell Paige and Willie Mays. I also collect cards of my friends Ted Lepcio, Ron Kittle and Benny Ayala. Exotic Flowers has nice collection of cards of players who have bought their flowers here; David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes and Tim Wakefield to name a few. 

I still buy a fresh box of baseball card packs every year to share with friends and family on Opening Day. It is a great tradition. Baseball remains my hobby. I spend most of my time at Exotic Flowers selling flowers in Boston.  Like Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, I am an avid reader, passionate marketer, lover of flora and fauna (it was Veeck's idea to plant the ivy at Wrigley Field) and huge baseball fan. Like Veeck and myself, Topps Baseball Cards also sees the connection between nature in baseball.  

 GINTER FLORA (If you are looking to acquire any type of trading card, the best site out there is comc.com)

In 2011, Topps produced an insert set in its Allen & Ginter collection. This subset, known as Flora of the World comprises five cards. The cards were inserted into 1 out of every 144 hobby packs. The coolest thing about these cards though is that they contain flower seeds embedded in the cards. You can actually plant the card itself and it will produce the flowers on the card. How cool is that ? I would love to create a business card like that. Although I do have a pretty cool busines card.

Rick Canale

Tags: Baseball, Bill Veeck, Boston Florist, Red Sox, David Ortiz, Baseball Hall of Fame

What Place Does a Boston Florist Have in The Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jul 10, 2014

Baseball Hall of Fame

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are baseball fans. We celebrate the grand old game any chance we get. On Opening Day, we have a company cookout. We have partnered with the Boston Red Sox and sponsored many little league and softball teams over the years. If you're in Roslindale and talk baseball, rest assured your florist in Boston will always 'talk shop,'. 

Baseball and flowers go hand in hand. Glenn Stout tells us, in his book Fenway 1912, that on April 20th, 1912 Fenway Park opened and pots of flowers greeted the fans. Think about it, pots brimming with flowers welcome people. Baseball people knew this 100 years ago. Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck planted the ivy at Wrigley Field in Chicago in 1937 to make patrons feel more welcome. Yes. Baseball, flora and fauna go hand in hand.

cooperstown collection flowers resized 600 Flowers and baseball provide a spark of nostalgia. Whether you recall Fred Lynn crashing into the Fenway wall in 1975 or the beautiful flowers on your grandmother's dinner table, these images create a bond and experience that your cell phone cannot. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Cooperstown, New York celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. At Exotic Flowers, we have partnered with the Hall of Fame to bring our clientele The Cooperstown Collection. Exotic Flowers will donate twenty percent of the purchase price of specially designed baseball themed floral arrangements and gifts to the Hall of Fame to help raise money and awareness for this valued American Institution. The world needs more museums.

Rick Canale

On another note, Exotic Flowers is proud to announce that the team we sponsor in Westwood, Massachusetts won its championship. The Westwood River Bandits had an amazing run of 12 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie as it captured the third grade championship. 

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Bill Veeck, Fenway Park, Boston Florist, Rick Canale, Baseball Hall of Fame

Subscribe via E-mail

Contact Us for All Your Floral Needs