When we opted out of our top 500 FTD membership, perhaps tiny shock waves rippled throughout the Industry as both of my Parents had long served on the Board of Directors with Peg, my Mother serving as President and CEO. When we opted out of our top 500 Telefloral membership, major shock waves reverberated throughout our little Flower Shop as we no longer belonged to a major wire service. Decades of record keeping became mostly obsolete as a rapidly declining sales number pummeled purchasing and staffing plans. However, once the initial shock of our "new sales figures" settled in and we adjusted to our "new way of doing things", a startling observation unearthed itself from the ruins in the bookkeeping office; our bottom line, long lived and most comfortable lingering beneath anything stable, was indeed turning black! Our focus deviated from special services containers and the specific products to fill them to OUR CUSTOMERS, who have indeed returned the favor as our little growth line continues north! We can do it, we all can do it. Get back to why you started and what you started for, satisfying your Customers and making an honest living.
Because of changes in the industry, it seemed were no longer able to sit and talk with Florist Friends from "who knows where" and come to realize the answer to my latest problem had already been discovered by the Florist across the table from me. The national associations and conventions withered as did the State associations and conventions as have the majority of the local associations. We must realize that we are all in this thing together. We must put aside the differences of our Industry past, save only for the fact that those issues have lead us to where we are, where you are, now,Las Vegas. We do not need input from suppliers, software vendors, and by no means, wire service vendors. We have to understand that we are the life blood of a very unique industry, just ask your CPA! Only we have the understanding of how we work. That is why Florists for Change will work. It must work. The Professional Retail Florist cannot be run like a Blockbuster Video store or a grocery store kiosk. We deal with real live people and their emotions one phone call after another. There is no cookie cutter method to what we do. Individually, our little flower shop strives to meet, and exceed, the expectations of an under educated consumer and with each design and delivery bring joy to a lucky recipient. In doing so we create our future. Imagine, better yet, remember, what we can achieve when the creativity and experience of all of us are brought together and pointed towards a common goal, the survival of our Professional Retail Florist Industry.