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Exotic Flowers in Boston

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.  


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

Exotic Flowers' Sonny Canale Marking 57th Year in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Jul 12, 2014


57 Years at the Helm 

Sonny Canale Exotic Flowers Boston
Sonny Canale

On July 12th, 1957 - Arnold 'Sonny' Canale purchased Lombardi Florist & Nurserymen at 599 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. Sonny had worked there for years as designer, grower, salesman, delivery driver and floor sweeper.

Sonny's mantra since that day has been 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor.' That work ethic has remained in place at Exotic Flowers for 57 years.

Sonny remains at the top of the Exotic Flowers hierarchy. He works seven days on the property. So clients can rest easy knowing that the boss tends to every detail. 



Tags: Exotic Flowers Employees, Sonny Canale, Boston Florist Staff

The Exotic Flowers in Boston Father's Day Gift Guide

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jun 03, 2014

Father's Day is Sunday June 15th. Don't take your dad for granted. He appreciates being appreciated. Whether you buy him a card, a balloon or even a rose. Let your dad know how much you love him.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we currently have five full time fathers on staff. The dads at Exotic Flowers have put together a list of the gifts they would love receive this Father's Day.
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  • An antispasto fileld with tasty bites of olives, cheeses and salty meats is sure to please the men in your life. Throw in a bottle of red wine, an afternoon of the History channel and you have an event that rivals Super Bowl Sunday.
Fathers Day Gift
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  • The mini solar emergency radiofrom LL Bean. Hurricane season started June 1st. This is a must-have item for your dad's or husband's emergency kit, bedside stand or car. Or even if he just likes to listen to Joe Castiglione and the Red Sox in the back yard. Affordable, practical and comes from one of our favorite companies, LL Bean. Exotic Flowers in Boston has taken many pages from the LL Bean customer service program.
fathers day steaks
  •  They say a way to man's heart is through his stomach. While dad is listening to his new radio in the back yard. Why not pick him up a few thick ribeyes from Butcher Boy in North Andover. Of course, you do not have to leave Boston to buy beef, but Butcher Boy is the best in business. 
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  • While your dad is in the backyard grilling his steaks and listening to the Red Sox, why not help beautify the yard. Many make the mistake of buying dad tools and plants for him to plant. Why not give him a break and have the staff at Exotic Flowers send our Mixed Summer PlanterThis delightful planter bustles with lovely flowers and long-lasting garden plants. With so much to offer, it'll make the days of summer brighter.
boston childrens book
What better way to celebrate father's day than reading your children a book. This is one of the best memories you can ever share with children, a father reading to their child.

Tags: Baseball, Father's Day, Steak, Exotic Flowers Employees, Red Sox

Baywatch Star Traci Bingham is Exotic Flowers' Qupid for Valentines Day

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

traci bingham baywatch resized 600"I mean it's just a bunch of pretty people runnin' around on the beach, ya know. CHANDLER: Well that's the brilliance of it. The pretty people... and the running." Friends

Baywatch was a pop culture phenomenon and remained on television for more than ten years as one of the most popular TV shows in the world. From 1996-1998, Cambridge native Traci Bingham played the role of lifeguard Jordan Tate on the hit show.

After a successful career in Hollywood, Traci has returned to her Boston roots. Traci remains at the top of every A-list in Boston. Actress, reality TV star, spokesmodel and Playboy model, Traci Bingham personifies the Exotic Flowers' vision statement of 'Reaction Guaranteed,'.

traci bingham playboy resized 600

This Valentine's Day, Boston's Premier Florist is proud to work with Baywatch Star Traci Bingham as our very own Qupid. Traci loves flowers and really loves the flowers at Exotic Flowers in Boston. One of Traci's recent tweets lavished praise for her recent flowers from ExoticFlowers.  ":   !!!! .com !!!" You Do the BEST!!"

traci bingham florist As Exotic Flowers' Qupid, Traci will be tweeting about Exotic Flowers in Boston and the benefits of having beautiful flowers for the most romantic day of the year. Traci will promote her relationship with Exotic Flowers on all her social media pages as well tweet daily the week of Valentine's Day. Traci will make a personal appearance at Exotic Flowers headquarters at 609 American Legion Highway in Roslindale on Valentine's Day from 2pm-4pm. She will be available for meet and greet, autographs, fan photos and even assist clients in helping select the perfect flowers.

At Exotic Flowers, we continue to be on the cutting edge of the flower business in Boston. We strive to bring new ideas, exciting in store events and the best flowers in Boston.

Tags: Exotic Flowers Marketing, Baywatch, Qupid, Exotic Flowers Employees, Boston Florist, Valentine's Flowers, Boston Florist Staff, Valentine's Day, Traci Bingham

The Flowers for the PGA Deutsche Bank Championship

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Sep 07, 2012

golf flowers
For the past ten years, Exotic Flowers in Boston has been creating hundreds of arrangements for the Deutsche Bank Golf Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. In 2012, the designers and staff at Exotic Flowers in Boston created, delivered and maintained more than four hundred plants and floral arrangements for this high profile PGA golf tournament featuring Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy. 
Please take a moment to view photos of flowers for the event from Labor Day weekend 2012.
FedEx Flowers
Prime sponsor FedEx always asks for florals in their signature colors of purple and orange.
tpc boston flowers
Extra refrigeration is a requirement at Exotic Flowers in Boston when creating and storing hundreds of fresh flower arrangements. Hardy flowers like sunflowers, roses and alstromeria are chosen to ensure longevity.
mum plants boston
More than three hundred mum plants were housed in our greenhouses in Roslindale to be decorated in sponsor chalets throughout TPC Boston.
tpc clubhouse flowers
An impact arrangement for the clubhouse greets guests, golfers, celebrities and the media of TPC Boston in Norton, MA.
BMW Flowers
Sponsors like BMW choose a sleak and elegant look to match the classic lines of their vehicles.
If you would ever like to witness our staff in action, Exotic Flowers in Boston is open seven days a week and we're happy to share our show with you.

Tags: Deutsche Bank Championship, TPC Boston, Golf Florist, Exotic Flowers Employees, Event Florist

Florist in Dedham Arrested for Stealing More than $30,000

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Jun 30, 2012

cred card scam resized 600On Monday June 11th - Dedham florist Paul Gately was arrested by the Dedham police for allegedly stealing $30,000-$50,000 from an elderly woman with dementia. Gately has been charged with 13 counts of larceny and two counts of identity fraud.

At Exotic Flowers we believe in the justice system of innocent until proven guilty. Hopefully, Gately is not guilty and this Dedham florist can reopen his flower shop. Unfortunately for Gately and his alleged victim, there is a lot of evidence against him.

Stories like this one really put florists in a poor light. As florists, we are not only trusted with sending your emotions, we are also trusted with your credit card number as well. Please know that Exotic Flowers in Boston gives each employee a thorough background check and we also have a secure system in place where are all credit card numbers are encrypted.

Tags: Dedham Florist, Credit Cards, Exotic Flowers Employees

Exotic Flowers Boston Endorses ex Red Sox Roger LaFrancois

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Aug 16, 2011

Roger LaFrancoisDo you remember the 1982 Boston Red Sox ? The 1982 Red Sox finished in third place with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. The team was managed by the legendary Ralph Houk. Houk was considered an old school type manager and believed in carrying three catchers on the 25 man roster.

Roger LaFrancois was the third string catcher on that team. LaFrancois suited up for all 162 games and never spent any time on the disabled list. Roger also only appeared in eight games and had only 10 at bats (.400 avg).

LaFrancois At Bat

Making it to the majors is no small feat. Staying on a major league roster for 162 games is even more impressive. You cannot become a major league catcher without talent. Other athletes may have called foul, demanded a trade or stirred trouble in the clubhouse. LaFrancois proved just the opposite. The model employee and teammate. LaFrancois warmed up pitchers, cheered on his teammates. LaFrancois learned and learned and learned more. He used this opportunity as a major leaguer to become a career baseball man.

Even today almost thirty years later, a Boston florist is reminded of LaFrancois and how he should be admired and revered as much as the two catchers (Gary Allenson and Rich Gedman) whose job he competed for. LaFrancois is a role model for all business, not just sports. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, even the top staff members sweep the floor. No job is too menial. There is plenty of idle time in a Boston flower shop, our job at Exotic Flowers is to be like Roger LaFrancois is to use that idle time to our advantage.

Roger LaFrancois role model

Tags: Roger LaFrancois, Exotic Flowers Employees, Red Sox

Exotic Flowers Places Four on Injured Reserve

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Dec 01, 2010

Exotic Flowers Injury Report

Friends often ask, what is your busiest month ? Well May is really busy and often shows the most revenue, but December is the most labor intensive. Because of events, Christmas trees and decorating, the staff at Exotic Flowers is stretched quite thin. This December, the staff at Exotic Flowers will be giving all they can, as four employees will be out of commission.

The newly acquired Kevin G. of Jamaica Plain did not even make it to December. Kevin would have been working at Exotic Flowers in Roslindale selling Christmas trees, making flower bouquets and delivering flower arrangements. Kevin tore his ACL in his knee and will be out indefinitely.

Exotic Flowers InjuriesAt Exotic Flowers in Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Dennis Callahan has been a premier salesman for over four years. His infectious enthusiasm has created a loyal following. Dennis will be out of commission for the next few weeks.

Back in Roslindale, Exotic Flowers senior sales representative and gift basket coordinator, Shannon Rizza will be heading out on maternity leave shortly.

Exotic Flowers HummerAs we head into the intensity of the holiday rush, Exotic Flowers will also be without our most experienced driver Michael Schaaf. Mike has been an employee of Exotic Flowers for over ten years and also provides sales support as needed.

As Boston's Premier Florist, we are accustomed to pressure and adversity. Stop by, check in, say hi - we cannot wait to exceed your expectations.

Christmas Gerbera Daisies


Tags: Roslindale Florist Injuries, Exotic Flowers Employees, Boston Florist Staff

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