Remember those Staples commercials with the elusive “easy button”? While that particular contraption does not exist (if only!), there are plenty of tools and techniques that help you save time — and money — on the design bench.
“Time management is absolutely critical for florists,” said Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CF, PFCI. As a competitor, his aptitude for clever shortcuts led him to first place finishes in the Society of American Florists’ Sylvia Cup (2016) and the American Institute of Floral Designers’ Bobbi Cup (2012 and 2014) and runner-up honors at FTD’s America Cup (2018). As the owner of Floral Underground in Traverse City, Michigan, this knowledge keeps him on the path to profitability.
On Sunday, Jan. 13, Woodruff headlines SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast in Nashville, sponsored by DWF Wholesale, with “Design Hacks and Smart Services to Delight Consumers,” a presentation jam-packed with best practices, new ideas and live demos.
“It’s all about practicability,” Woodruff said. “I never miss out on the AIFD Symposium — it’s where you’re introduced to what the big guys are doing — but a lot of the designs there are too grandiose for most occasions. At Profit Blast, I’ll show how to take AIFD principles and apply them to boost everyday arrangements’ perceived value.”
Woodruff will also demonstrate handy uses for some of Syndicate Sales’ latest products, including its Serenity line and Holly Heider Chapple collection.
“These products are really amazing,” Woodruff said. “Syndicate Sales worked with a designer who had come up with a solution for a need they saw in the industry. But [the products’] applications are continuing to evolve as they get into more designers’ hands. Their functionality really has no limits!”
For instance, the Serenity line started with a riser to elevate urns in sympathy designs. “I don’t do a lot of funeral work,” Woodruff said. “So, for me, it’s turned into a tool to create tiered arrangements that are especially good for hotel lobby designs or large-scale events.”
The presentation will also cover in-shop experiences that appeal to consumers who enjoy “recreational” floral design.
“The DIY trend isn’t something to hate or fear,” Woodruff said. Rather, it’s an opening to get to know people who want flowers in their homes regularly, appreciate expert guidance and will purchase materials from a florist again and again.
“We’ve been catering to this crowd for four-and-a-half years and it’s been wildly successful,” he said. “There are so many different ways to connect with them.”
One popular way? Terrarium bars. At past Profit Blasts, Woodruff has led workshops on how to set up this concept. “I loved learning how to do this,” said Madeline Bombardi of Sellwood Flower Company in Portland, Oregon. “His tips were very helpful — and fun.”
Joining Woodruff on the 1-Day Profit Blast stage in Nashville are the following retail experts:
- Paul Goodman, CPA, MBA, PFCI, president of Floral Finance Business Services and a frequent Floral Management contributor, will share smart hiring and routing strategies to keep Valentine’s delivery costs low during “A Roadmap for Profitable Deliveries.”
- Sam Bowles, a sales and customer service expert with FloralStrategies, will offer best practices to engage and satisfy shoppers during “Extraordinary Service in Your Shop Every Day,” sponsored by FloristWare.
- Crystal Vilkaitis, founder of Social Edge, will reveal social media’s latest features and how to use them to enhance your branding, reach more potential customers and increase sales during “What’s Up (and Coming) with Social Media.”
Registration also includes breakfast, lunch sponsored by Hortica, and time to explore products and services and network with vendors during a Supplier Showcase.
The cut-off date for guaranteeing the SAF room rate at the official event hotel is Friday, Dec 21. The deadline for early-bird registration is Thursday, January 3. Early-bird registration saves you $60; it is $139 for members and $189 for non-members. Bring your whole team — it’s just $99 for each additional participant from the same company.
Save the date: There’s another SAF 1-Day Profit Blast in the works. Sponsored by Jacobson Floral Supply, SAF 1-Day Profit Blast in Boston is scheduled for March 31.
Get all the information and register today at safnow.org/1-day-profit-blast.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.