In this article series, we give you a peak in the life of a fellow florist. This week’s article features florist Sian Wild, who delivers beautiful and innovative floral designs for all occasions. She has her own beautiful flower shop called The Flower Lounge, which was voted the Florist Shop of the Year 2018. Read on to see what a typical day looks like for Sian, outside of the seasonal madness.
Written by Sian Wild – The Flower Lounge
The Flower Lounge by Sian Wild
The Flower Lounge first opened its doors in 2009. Having grown up in a horticultural family, I’ve always been drawn to flowers and plants. Being green-fingered came instinctively to me and it’s always been my dream to run my own shop.
The ethos of The Flower Lounge has been clear since day one: to deliver beautiful and innovative floral designs. I’m constantly pushing for creative excellence and am thrilled to have received membership to the coveted Chapel Designers. I also won multiple industry awards, including Wedding Florist of the Year 2017 and Best Wedding Florist in the North West 2015, 2016 and 2017 at the Wedding Industry Awards, as well as a very recent win from the BFA for Florist Shop of the Year 2018!
The Flower Lounge caters for all occasions; weddings, funerals and events. Besides a beautiful shop in the pretty suburb of Didsbury, we also have an online shop and run seasonal floral workshops both at the shop and at outside locations. We get incredibly busy during key seasons like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. And if we’re working on a wedding, it’s a very early start for the whole team. Usually setting off before 9am, so we can install the flowers we prepped earlier that morning. However, with this ‘day in the life’, I wanted to show you an example of what a typical day looks like for me outside of the seasonal madness.
My favourite way to start the day is an early morning walk with my beloved dog, Charlie. It gives me the brain space to plan my day, fills my lungs with fresh air and I start as I mean to go on, feeling refreshed and raring to go. I’ll then head off to the shop. I’m usually there by 8am with team member Steve to receive our first delivery. Closely followed in by Mark who we’ve usually coerced into picking us up a much-needed coffee. Unpacking deliveries builds up a serious thirst!! Emily and Grace are next in to complete The Flower Lounge team.
We’ll then review the day’s orders and prep any orders that need to go out immediately. Steve usually handles deliveries. It can be hard to keep him inside, as he loves the experience of delivering flowers and seeing the look of joy on people’s faces as well as meeting their dogs! We usually deliver to our corporate clients first; hotels, restaurants or offices. Then – in a fuel-efficient order – we deliver to our consumer customers. I’m passionate about doing our bit for the environment and have recently made significant moves to reduce the amount of plastic I use in my business.
The madness begins
8.45am…doors open, we get our second delivery of the morning and the madness begins! Only joking. Although the day does seem to get a bit hectic from this point on, as this is easily when we get see the most customers come through our doors requesting same day orders. Around 10am, I have to remind myself to breathe, energy levels restored with a lovely cup of tea. Hmmm…I wonder if our window display could use some tweaking?
Around mid-morning I’ll usually get stuck into some administrative work. When I opened The Flower Lounge, I had no idea how much answering emails and updating spreadsheets goes into running a successful business. That’s why I’ll usually schedule a meeting with my virtual assistants, Queen Bee, who support me with vital marketing, PR and social media tasks. This is so I can spend the maximum amount of time doing what I love: floristry. I’m now free to be where I belong, up front with customers, in the back snipping away, or somewhere in between being pulled from pillar to post! I love it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
Lunchtime. Yes! Although it’s a sandwich at my desk while responding to our Instagram posts. Yikes! I just lost 30 mins! Seriously though, social media is vital to the success of The Flower Lounge and creating a beautiful, digital presence has seen my business flourish and grow.
The afternoon sees me tackle more admin, responding to customer emails, organising appointments, accounts, scheduling online orders etc. We usually get another rush of customers around 2pm, so I find it very difficult to keep my behind firmly planted! I’ll just nip out and advise someone about which beautiful autumnal foliage to choose…oops, my phone alarm goes off to tell me it’s 3pm! It’s time for Florismart ordering.
I always log on at 3pm exactly. This is the best time to grab bargains and when the most stock is available. I could shop for hours but I usually have a wedding consultation around 4pm and this lasts around an hour and a half. We ask the couple lots of questions about their style, their wedding theme, the colours they like and the effect they want to achieve. After the consultation, I will put a detailed quote together including images of proposed flowers and arrangements for reference. Three days after our meeting, I send it over to the happy couple.
After that, it’s time to start tidying up the shop. It’s also a great opportunity to have a good natter with the team. Find out what’s been happening throughout the day and discuss ideas for a new window display and stock arrangement. We look at the shop through a customer’s eyes. Especially looking from the angle they see when they first walk through the door. We always try to remember that first impressions count and make sure we look as beautiful as possible. Without fail, five minutes before closing, a customer walks through the door asking for a hand-tied bouquet. Luckily, we always have extras made in the back for just this scenario! We close the shop and complete any prep needed for tomorrow morning.
Back home, I decompress with a walk with Charlie. Usually coming home inspired by foliage or dragging branches for a new window display. It’s so important that the shop always looks Insta-worthy. It shows our customers exactly what we’re capable of creating.
While my days are spent focusing on the things that need doing right now, the evening is time to do a bit of business planning. To decide what I want to achieve and where The Flower Lounge can go next. Plants are becoming increasingly popular. Since we’ve dedicated a prominent space in the shop to bang-on-trend houseplants we’ve seen footfall and online orders increase. I wonder if there’s something else I can be doing to capitalise on this trend?
Around 8-9pm our Instagram account is most active. I usually spend a bit of couch-time interacting with our commenters, compiling new pictures to send to Queen Bee to upload and having a general browse. Now, time for bed!