- Written by Caroline Marshall-Foster
- June 20, 2017
- Category: Editor's Blog
I remember when the Flower Council produced their first Green Gallery online magazine. Lord what an uproar on Facebook! ‘Had they lost their minds’ people metaphorically shouted! ‘This isn’t floristry’ wrote Mrs Angry of Dagenham. ‘Why aren’t they supporting the florists who buy their flowers?’, ‘disgusting … a waste of money’ dah de dah de dah.
Thing is, if Flower Council did what the average florist wanted, chances are the flowers and plants wouldn’t get noticed. Because, much as it pains me to say it, floristry can be V V BORING. In today’s new world journo’s and consumers want to see something different from the rose and lily hand tied. Yes it may sell but, let’s be honest, it’s hardly riveting is it?. And OK we have moved on from Scholl sandals and polyester overalls but are Crocs and fleeces any better? Comfy maybe but not exactly cool! And yet sadly that is how many perceive floristry. Slightly naff, something you do when you’re not clever enough to go to Uni and clothing wise deffo not Urban Outfitters.
Which is why I love the fact we have featured so many newbies and young bloods in our Jubilee edition. Because to get noticed and bring floristry out of the doldrums we need to be cool and seen to be cool. In the same way hairdressing has its cool cats (or should that be cuts!) we need florists like Pentalon, Swallows & Damsons, MUD, Grace & Thorn, Flora Starkey et al to be different, to have huge Instagram and Pinterest followings.
We need florists that wear funky aprons and Doc Martins.
We need websites that are independent and different, not templated and boring.
We need floristry that is anything but a poor replica of what the online operators sell.
We need to get our act together.
Because I can’t help thinking the florist industry is slowly but surely killing itself by being very boring and predictable. In fact, having done the numbers, the traditional florist sector is sadly indicating another dip in market share and value as more aggressive players come into the market (see our Digital Disruptors feature) and consumers look to them rather than a high street shop.
And that’s why the sector needs another 80’s experience to happen; the decade when a whole host of new names (Jane Packer, Paula Pryke, Simon Lycett, Paul Thomas, Rob van Helden, Kenneth Turner et al) were raising the bar and making an impression so that journalists flocked to feature them and promoted flowers so everyone benefited.
It’s starting and in the main it’s London concentric. However the ripples are growing. S&D are in Sheffield, MUD is in Glasgow and with cities like Bristol (number 1 place to live) ripe for the taking, the opportunities are huge if you are prepared to go out and get it. Because what all these hipster cool florists share is not just an ability to spot trends and be different in their design but use social media to the hilt; not to bleat and moan but to get out there and sell themselves.
This is one of Caroline's editorial pieces from our Jubilee Edition. If you want to have your own copy and see everything we've covered click here and order your limited edition copy today!