a day in the life of a florist during mother’s day week

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Another Mother’s Day is behind us! I thought it would be fun to give you guys a glimpse into what our days look like at the flower shop in the midst of a big holiday. Schedules go out the window, caffeine and sugar reign supreme, and our juggling act gets downright ridiculous.

Keep reading for the rundown!

Last Friday went a little something like this…

8:00am: Load the family into the car and head across town to work.

Swing through a drive-thru for reinforcements: iced tea for me, coffee for C, donut holes for everybody. During a holiday week, we toss a blanket over our ideals on proper nutrition and do whatever it takes to keep the engines running.

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8:30am: Open the store, and immediately begin fielding calls and taking orders. Perform a little triage to prioritize the work tickets, pushing time-sensitive orders (like funeral arrangements) to the front of the line, and scheduling everything else appropriately. This can be really challenging when you’re processing up to 20 new orders per hour, but it’s crucial to get it right.

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If you’re Doak, stand around looking adorable and wait for customers to come in and lavish you with attention.

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11:00am: Get on those orders! Take a stack of work tickets and start poking as many arrangements as possible. Stop frequently to catch the phone and/or sit down with clients for unexpected consultations. {Pat yourself on the back for all the prep work you completed the week before, which is saving both time and your sanity.} Feel optimistic about progress!

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Sweep the floors half a dozen times, because every 20 minutes they look like this:

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2:00pm: Switch gears and get to work on a green-and-navy-themed wedding order. Stop taking orders for delivery because the growing pile of orders in the work ticket basket is making your palms sweaty and if you don’t put a lid on it, you’ll never catch up. Prior optimism is waning…

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4:30pm: 6 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 corsages, and 10 boutonnieres later, switch gears again and knock out the prom orders. Silently curse the school board officials who scheduled two local high school proms on Mother’s Day weekend.

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Meanwhile… 

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Some employees are just so hard to motivate, you know?

5:00pm: Just as you’re starting to reach a level 8 panic about your quickly-depleting inventory, your supplier shows up with a fully stocked truck and you’re saved! Lose your mind buying heaps of fresh flowers like there’s no tomorrow.

6:00pm: Lock the front door. Go in the back to process the stack of boxes of fresh freight that arrived earlier in the day, as well as the armfuls of product you bought off the truck. This means wash out the flower buckets with bleach — if you can find buckets, because most are occupado in the walk-in cooler — then unpack the 12 to 24 bunches of dry-packed flowers from each box, carefully remove them from their protective wrappers, snip the stems, and put them in clean water.

Get a big mean blister from your shears.

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7:00pm: Re-caffeinate. Run to the local craft store to pick up navy satin ribbon to wrap aforementioned bridesmaid bouquets, and pick up dinner for the crew. Waffle fries, FTW.

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Oh, have I mentioned that this is just what I’ve been up to? C’s had his own chaos to manage including, but not limited to: handling all of the customer service, routing deliveries, managing the delivery driver, running the occasional delivery himself, and who knows what else. He could probably write his own blog post on the subject.

8:00pm: Drag yourself back to your design counter and all those looming work tickets.

Here’s the funny thing about holiday orders: one minute you’re ahead, with all of the next day’s orders completed; then you take a break to pee and come back to an avalanche of tickets, and now you’re 50 orders behind. Around this time Friday night, we had 60 arrangements to make for Saturday deliveries.

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9:30pm: Keep trudging along, albiet a whole lot slower than the first part of the day. Try to resist the urge to lie down on the floor and go to sleep. Tell your staff, “30 more minutes, and we’re all out of here!

10:00pm: Ha, that’s not happening.

11:00pm: Look at the clock and realize, “Cheese and rice, it’s 11 o’clock!” Count the number of remaining Saturday tickets. 25. Crank out just…a…few…more…

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11:30pm: Make an executive decision. At this rate, your entire staff will be worthless come tomorrow morning, when you’ll need everyone on their A-Game for the final push. Kick everyone out, despite their protestations.

12:00am: Lock the doors, load the family in the car, and head across town to your bed.

All in all, it was an exhausting but awesome holiday week. We exceeded the goals we set, made a few mistakes we’ll learn from next year, and made lots of special mommas happy. Our tanks are empty, but our hearts are full.

20 thoughts on “a day in the life of a florist during mother’s day week

  1. Your post made me smile with how hard you worked to make Mother’s Day special. You must be one of those who is always on the go and full of energy. :) Always love reading your posts.

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  2. Your little family ROCKS!!!!! As well as your extended FLOWER business family. If more people would treat there co-workers like family they by blossom like your business is. It sounds so fun to work in your shop. How many people do you know that have to be kicked out to quit working. More like they want out the minute 5 hits. Keep doing what you are doing. Your flowers make so many smile as does your blog. Question is your home filled with flowers???? Now that I would love:) BlessingS

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  3. I work at a florist shop myself, I know how you feel! I really like the work you show on the pictures.

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  4. Great post!
    Thanks for all of your hard work, making mom’s feel special!
    Also, your dog’s name is Doak? Did you go to FSU? If so, what year?? I graduated ’09!

    GO NOLES.
    If by some chance you named your dog Doak on a totally unrelated note, ignore me. :)

    -Katie

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    1. My husband graduated from Florida State in ’02! I went to USF.

      I love when people recognize his name :) Most people look t us like we’re crazy and ask, “Where’d you come up with that?”

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  5. I love hearing what it takes to get through so many of your big holidays. It’s pretty awesome actually! I’m so happy for you both and I think everyone should know even if you’re doing 60 arrangements on a Friday night, they’re absolutely gorgeous!

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  6. I LOVE your blog. You do such a great job engaging your readers, seemingly just by being yourself, being real. It’s always a treat to read it. Keep up the good work and congratulations on making it through Mother’s day alive!!!!

    Catherine

    Sent, with apologies for typos, from my iPhone

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