Jennifer Barnard, owner of Tillie’s Flower Shop in Wichita, Kansas, kicked off the holiday shopping season last month with a welcome surprise: an interview request from Krista Miller, a reporter with KAKE, her local ABC affiliate.
While researching a story about stress and how to reduce it, Miller came across a new study from the University of North Florida, “The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women,” in partnership with the Society of American Florists and funding from the SAF PR Fund. She asked Barnard if she could come in the shop and film at Tillie’s, to get a local take on flowers’ stress-busting powers.
During the nearly four-minute segment, which aired on Monday, December 3, Miller addressed the many over-the-counter stress-relieving products available on the market, including essential-oil sprays and scented lotions, and performed tests to see what truly worked.
While pleasant to use, she said, these products don’t really move the needle from frazzled to serene, Miller concluded.
“But there’s something that grows all around us and it’s scientifically proven to reduce stress: flowers,” she said. “Not only do they look great and smell amazing, but they make us feel good too.”
Miller cited the UNF study, naming a few of its findings, such as flowers’ ability to increase happiness, foster creativity and provide a boost in energy. Barnard then backed her up with her anecdotal evidence.
“A lot of it has to do with the smells, a lot has to do with the colors,” Barnard said. “Orange is a color that makes people feel happy. So, you can have flowers like orange roses, orange gerberas that bring out the happiness in people. Others like the peaceful colors like the blues and greens and whites, which brings a calm and peacefulness to their home,” said Barnard.
Prior to filming, Barnard suggested that Miller conduct a social experiment by taking flowers out to people and watching the effects. “Kind of like a mini Petal It Forward,” she said. “I explained that giving flowers is just as powerful as receiving them.”
Miller did just that. As Barnard expected, the flower recipients responded with glee.
“You just brightened my day,” one woman said through tears before offering Miller a thankful hug.
“Seems ‘stop and smell the roses’ is pretty solid advice,” Miller said to end the segment.
In their correspondence, Barnard sent Miller links to additional SAF-sponsored research studies she thought could help with future stories and urged her to keep in touch.
Read more about the new study in the January issue of Floral Management — and head to SAF’s new StressLess Resource Center to find out more about the tools you can start using today to put the study findings to work for your business.
SAF’s consumer programs are 100 percent funded by the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations. Established in 2001, this industry-wide fund supports the development of innovative public relations programs to reach millions of consumers with positive messages about the unique benefits of flowers and the expertise of professional florists.
For a list of current leaders in industry promotion, or to support the PR Fund, visit www.safnow.org/prfund.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor of Floral Management.