Eager to entice foot traffic and create a buzz on social media, Nic Faitos planned an interactive fashion-inspired event in front of his shop to close out September.
The president of Starbright Floral Design in New York City played into the popularity of floral headdresses, which have been a major trend at festivals, awards shows, school dances, weddings and magazine photo shoots, by throwing a “Flower Crown Friday” party.
“We actually added ‘dot dot dot’ to the title because the event carried over through Saturday,” Faitos said. Doing so, he explained, allowed employees to mingle with people commuting to and from work on Friday and neighborhood residents on Saturday.
Faitos offered his designers the chance to earn some overtime pay “and have a field day with their creativity.” They created 30 extravagant flower crowns for the occasion. Throughout the two days, Starbright employees took turns greeting passersby, asking if they’d like to take photos with the fancy toppers in front of a floral wall — and share the images on social media, of course.
“Employees handed out business cards and engaged people,” Faitos said. “If the conversation went especially well, they’d invite the person to come inside and make a crown for themselves.”
A handful of visitors made their own crowns that weekend, with another five or six scheduling an appointment down the road. Starbright offered the private demos for free. “It’s good PR,” Faitos said. “We know they’ll talk about their experience. We’ll do paid classes later on, but that’s not what this event was about.”
The event cost Faitos about $600 in materials and $400 in payroll —expenses he considers meager compared to the excitement and goodwill it generated.
“It created opportunities on many different levels,” he said.
He lost count of the number of people who came in the shop. “I’m confident we talked with more than 500 people,” he said. “We captured less than 10 percent of them on Instagram, and we had around 50 posts.”
In those two days, Starbright gained 50 new followers (equal to its average monthly gain) and had 450 views on its Instagram stories (triple the norm).
Among those who came across the Flower Crown festivities? Fashion model Francia Fonseca, who urged her 11 thousand followers to “Come to Chelsea right now and get your #FlowerCrownFriday @starbrightnyc on 26th St and 8th Ave. They are doing a beautiful job at this amazing flower store. Go give them some love and follow them to see their crazy and cute stories!”
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.