5 Tips for a More Earth Friendly Flower Business

Pink Echinacea blooms snapped at The LA Flower Market by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main
 
The BOOM is here. Weddings, events, activations are all booking up and booking out- in fact our calendar is full for 2021 and our weddings are about 30% booked for 2022.

WILD.

One thing I know is that when we’re busy, it’s easy to rush, to throw money at problems, or just to get it done by any means necessary (caffeine, caffeine, caffeine).

Being busy makes it a lot harder to make intentional decisions.

SO….

If you’ve been meaning to make your floral biz a little more earth friendly, but don’t know where to start, here are 5 tips to get you started. Don’t be overwhelmed, just get going!
 
White vases prepped with chicken wire and greenery, fresh coffee, and our favorite floral snips for a foam-free floral arrangement by Winston & Main.
 

1. Eliminate Floral Foam in your arrangements.

Flowers LOVE fresh water so much better- they’ll last longer and look WAY happier at your events. Use chicken wire, flower frogs, and/or curly willow (or other branchy goodness) to create the armature for your designs.
Pro Tip: There will be some splashing during transport- pack your arrangement in reusable bins/totes and bring a small watering can to top up on arrival.
 
A colorful summer arrangement featuring local dahlias & zinnias in shades of yellow, peach, coral, pink and more, by Winston & Main.
 

2. Shop Local

You’ll find amazing variety, and the freshest blooms from your local flower farmers. Do a little research and discover which farmers (big and small alike) grow near you and then figure out how to get your grubby florist paws on those fresh blooms! 🙂 Less travel means a lower carbon footprint AND A longer life for your blooms. We sourced these beautiful Zinnia’s from local micro-farm, Elley’s Flower Farm.
 
Anita  of Guided by Flowers helps us repurpose florals from an event to hospice patients.
 

3. Repurpose/Donate your blooms After an Event

We love to send our blooms to hospice patients via the lovely Anita of Guided by Flowers. Find yourself an Anita OR call around and see if there are hospitals, convalescent homes, or community organizations who would like to enjoy your blooms.
 
A trash can full of brightly colored flowers, following an event.
 

4. Compost Green Waste

When biodegradable items (like flowers/plants/food) are tossed in the regular trash and end up at the landfill…they don’t break down the way they can/are supposed to. Make sure you are sending your compostable items to green waste (if your city offers it) and/or use a composting service to ensure that all those plants are turned into compost…instead of garbage. ps. I snapped this photo of what happens to flowers after too many events- they’re tossed straight in the garbage. BUT these are not our blooms/our event! 🙂
 
A Winston & Main team member finished a foam-free floral installation on a gate for a recent wedding.
 

5. Sustainable Business Practices

Speaking to all of my floral friends, but especially my solopreneurs here: you are not a flower making machine. You’re just not. Hire help to make your days shorter, and spread the wealth around. Schedule breaks. Meal prep or have meals delivered on event weeks so that you actually eat (I do this and it’s the best!) Drink water. Take days off (and don’t respond to client emails on your days off). Schedule exercise.

It’s all too easy to hit the market before the sun rises and grind away in your studio until after dark. Step into the light my flower friends- sustainability starts with you ensuring that your business practices support you for the long haul.

If you’d like to hear more tips on sustainability from me you can grab your FREE ticket for the Wedding Series Summit: Design Edition right here!

Over 40+ speakers, panelists, and experts will be diving deep into ways to hone your design skills, and sharing actionable tips that you can implement right away.

See you there!
xo, TAB



Lessons from Flowers: 2020 Edition

A bold and colorful bouquet created by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main, featuring local & seasonal blooms like dahlia & zinnia.
 
2020 started out so hopeful. I attended the Team Flower conference in Pasadena. The next week I took Amy Nicole’s Bouquet Bootcamp. I love education and I loved getting it in right at the beginning of what was sure to be a busy year. A profitable year. The MOST profitable year yet. (ha ha ha)
 
A modern cascade bouquet, created by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main in a workshop taught by Amy Nicole.
 
Photo: Rebekah Lemire Workshop: The Floral Coach
 
We did two beautiful weddings, a few brand activations, and one AMAZING celeb event (NDA be damned). We did our final design meetings for our spring weddings…
 
Red wedding details from Winston & Main, Malibu, California
 
Photo: Brooke Allison Photo Planner: Events by Emily Kay
 
A beautiful cascade bouquet in white, green, and orange for our Leap Day Wedding at the Ebell Los Angeles, as featured on Martha Stewart.
 
Photo: Miki and Sonja Photography Planner: Moxie Bright Events
 
A lush, foam-free, tropical installation by Winston & Main for a celebrity event in Los Angeles in early spring 2020.
 

And then the world shut down.

Our studio building, aka The Original LA Flower Market, shut down, and I had a couple hours to take everything “valuable” out of my studio. To watch my vendors throw their product/profit in the garbage. Talk about a surreal and heartbreaking day. What IS valuable in your business/workspace/life when you have to choose what to take with you?
 
Bold pink bouquet featuring peonies, dahlias, spray roses and more from Winston & Main, Los Angeles, CA.
 
After a month at home without flowers, I tentatively dipped my toe back in, and started figuring out how I could safely get flowers (both locally and from my wholesaler). There was a veeeery strange period of picking up flowers 100% no contact- checking out my pull from a parking lot, and then putting it in my car before dousing myself in sanitizer lest any covid nasties were hitching a ride.
 
Creating flower arrangements in my backyard during the pandemic.
 
Tabitha Abercrombie created a makeshift floral studio in her living room during the pandemic by keeping the lights low and the AC cranking.
 
I arranged flowers in my backyard and turned my tv/guest room into a temporary cooler by cranking our AC.
 
Iphone images of bouquets created by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main during 2020.
 
I advertised my new delivery biz solely via instagram AND the response was overwhelming.
 
Clients, old and new, embraced flowers in a way that felt absolutely sacred. The joy I witnessed when I delivered flowers from a grandchild to their grandmother, who was isolated at home alone, was beautiful and heartbreaking and so very meaningful.
 
A beautiful elopement planned by Opus Events Co. with photography by The Hendrys and flowers by Winston & Main.
 
Photo: The Hendrys Planning: Opus Events Co.
 
A beautiful elopement in Los Angeles, featuring a flower crown by Winston & Main, and photography by The Hendrys.
 
Photo: The Hendrys
 
A bride and her beautiful Winston & Main bouquet, photographed by Heirlume Photography at The Bel Aire Hotel.
 
Photo: Heirlume Photography Planning: P.S. & Associates Event Planning
 
A beautiful Joshua Tree Elopement, featuring blooms by Winston & Main, and photographed by Michael Gomez Photo.
 
Photo: Michael Gomez Photo
 
Getting married at home never looked so good- a bright bouquet from Winston & Main, beautiful photography by Faye Casaje.
 
Photo: Faye Casaje
 
There were elopement blooms too- in national parks, backyards, hotels, and homes.
 
A bold and local bouquet by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main, featuring dahlias, cosmos, and rudbeckia.
 
A bright & bold bouquet by Winston & Main featuring peony, dahlia, ranunculus, and zinnia for a 2020 elopement.
 
A colorful weekly delivery bouquet by Winston & Main.
 
2020 was an excellent reminder for me about just what I love about flowers.
An opportunity to come back to my WHY again and again, one bouquet at a time.
 
A lush arrangement featuring local and homegrown garden roses, by Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main.
 
Flowers are magic and they have the power to transform spaces, people, and bad days alike. Flowers are a powerful reminder to be present, and they teach us to cultivate a more mindful relationship with ourselves and the world around us.
 
They remind us that joy is now.
 
This is one of the lessons I’ll be taking into 2021, and the busy season ahead.
How about you? What did you learn or relearn about your business in 2020?

Photography:
All photography by Winston & Main, except where credited otherwise.

Rebekah Lemire / The Floral Coach / Brooke Allison Photo / Events by Emily Kay / Miki and Sonja Photography / Moxie Bright Events / The Hendrys / Heirlume Photography / Michael Gomez Photo / Faye Casaje



5 Ways to Build your Biz while Social Distancing

5 Ways to work on your small business while social distancing.
 
Hi friends!

If you work in the event industry (or let’s be honest, live in our COVID-19 world) you are likely a little bit scared right now.

Scared of the unknown- getting sick, cancelled events, lost bookings, running out of toilet paper. We ALL feel ya on that last one, right?

So wash your damn hands. Educate yourself.
And stop hoarding the TP.

Also, don’t panic.
 
Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main shares 5 tips for boosting your biz while social distancing and living in the COVID-19 era.
 

I am a big believer that action alleviates anxiety, so here are 5 things you can do while bookings are slow and we’re all engaging in social distancing. AKA working without pants.

It’s something you likely excel at if you’re an entrepreneur, small biz owner, or freelancer, so you’re already winning. Give yourself a pat on the back with those super clean paws and get on with it already. 🙂

Okay, all jokes aside- here are 5 things you can do right now to work ON your business and not IN it, so that you’re in a great place when those bookings start rolling in. And they will. Trust.

Here are 5 ways to strengthen your business without putting on pants:

1. Update your website copy. Seriously, when was the last time you did this?
2. Refine or Create Systems & Processes. Inquiry, Booking, Onboarding, Budgeting, Ordering, Event Week Execution just to name a few. You should have a rock solid system in place for each of these that you execute EVERY single time to deliver EXCELLENT results EVERY single time. Okay, I’ll stop internet yelling now if you’ll stop reinventing the wheel. Deal?
3. Update your Portfolio & Crank Out those Blog Posts. I know I’m not the only one with a backlog of 20 events that deserve to see the light of day. The SEO isn’t bad either. 🙂
4. Practice Self-Care. Workout. Meditate. Acupuncture. Yoga. Read a book. Take a bath. Whatever you need- just start working these things into your routine NOW while you have time, and then continue them when you get busy.
5. Know your Numbers. Are you ready for tax season? Are you feeling good about how your offerings are priced? Are you tracking your numbers (or paying a professional) so that you can look at past booking patterns and see when you’re likely to be busiest as you deal with rescheduling your current clients? I always feel SO much better when I dive into my numbers and I bet your will too!

*Bonus- Do something nice for someone else. Drop off flowers. Go leave 5 reviews for your fellow small biz owners. Call your grandma.

Book Recommendation- The E Myth. Read it. Especially if you have no idea what the difference is between working ON your business and IN your business.

And finally- reach out if you need support in any of these areas, and we can book a germ-free mentoring session to deep dive into your specific biz needs.

 
Info graphic for small biz owners showing 5 ways to work on your biz while social distancing by Winston & Main
 

*Not a doctor. Not giving medical advice-
Please listen to scientists + experts. 🙂
** As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.