Working in the flower business with independent retail florists I hear a lot about “shopping local” and supporting Main Street. These are great ideas that I support.
These causes are also important to local florists. Order gatherers and drop shippers are aggressively marketing to their local customers and, even though local florists provide better products and service, people like national brands. The local florist, like so many small retailers, is at a serious disadvantage.
The “shop local” concept is a good one – it is better to shop local and keep money in your community – and florists are smart to reference it.
But it can’t just be about their retail customers doing the right thing for their community. It’s also about the choices FloristWare makes as a vendor and the florist makes in their business-to-business purchases and how it all affects our shared community - the retail flower business.
As a vendor to florists FloristWare tries to make purchasing and hiring decisions that make this industry better and support local florists. I’ll get into that more on the FloristWare blog but it is something we take very seriously.
We hope the florists will do the same. We hope that they will choose their vendors based in part on what they bring to the community, just as they ask their local population to consider what they as local businesses bring to their communities.
It doesn’t always work. Just as some retail customers will ignore the benefits of shopping local and choose a drop shipper or order gatherer some florists will ignore vendors that give back to the industry and the causes they cherish.
Fortunately most florists do take a look at the bigger picture. They appreciate just how much the smaller vendors are trying to help them by providing education and supporting their events and associations.
We appreciate the florists that recognize that we are trying to help. You make us want to do even more and we’ll try.