• Katy Gardener

How not to make a few quid over Valentine’s Day

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Buying and playing with flowers has taken up a lot of my maternity leave. Bertie is now a regular at the local flower wholesaler where I go a few times a month to bring nature inside. Flowers are my ultimate mood-lifter, but after so many visits, I needed another excuse to justify my floral expenditure. So, in December I ran three Christmas wreath workshops and last week I made Valentine’s bouquets.

When it came to marketing my Valentine’s bouquets, I had to be careful. I wanted enough demand to make it worthwhile, but I didn’t want a Groupon cupcake calamity either. It turned out that the perfect marketing solution was Jack! He sent a message to his beer group of local Dads with a link to my online flower shop. He roped in his father and brother to buy bunches, and then when I was panicking that I’d ordered too much stock, he even got his employees to buy some bunches.

I had seven orders in total. It does not sound like much, but the night before Valentine’s Day I was told I looked ‘like a bus had hit me.’ I had underestimated how much time it would take. From the conditioning, to the arranging, and then the finishing off with hessian, ribbon, labels etc. it took HOURS. I think the end results were passable, but I’m not sure they looked like they were worth what I charged!

If I count the cost of the flowers, petrol to get them, as well as the time spent making them, I actively lost money, and that does not even cater for all of Jack’s time selling them for me. Now with blurry hindsight, I remember how much I enjoyed the process, the romance of it, the buzz of making others happy, but I need to remember that 1) this is not a viable business, 2) I was ridiculously tired and stressed by it all and 3) without Jack, his father and brother (thank you for being so generous) I wouldn’t have had any customers! Why then am I already plotting an Easter shop?!

Valentine's Bouquet ingredients

3 x stems Naomi red roses

2 x stems Rubicon red spray roses

3 x stems of alstroemeria dynamite

2 x stems of red Safari Sunset

3 x stems of white wax flower

2 x stems of Asparagus fern

2 to 3 x stems of Eucalyptus

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