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Home » Petal It Forward Gives Thousands a ‘Reason to Smile’

Petal It Forward Gives Thousands a ‘Reason to Smile’

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Floral Industry News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Five hundred and eighty floral businesses in all 50 states (and six countries) spread the joy of flowers during the Society of American Florists’ ninth annual Petal It Forward event on Oct. 18.

From Alaska to Hawaii and California to Maine, 580 floral businesses in all 50 states (and six countries) spread the joy of flowers during the Society of American Florists’ ninth annual Petal It Forward event Oct. 18.

“Hi everybody, it’s our favorite day of the year here at Brilliant Blooms. It’s Petal It Forward, the florists’ national day of kindness — in a sense, for random acts ,” said Tami Gasch, owner of Brilliont Blooms in Brillion, Wisconsin, in an early morning Facebook post inviting the community to her store’s parking lot to claim the free flowers.

The event, in which floral businesses give away two bouquets — one for the recipient to keep and another for them to give away — shares the powerful message of how flowers are scientifically proven to help reduce stress and stimulate positive emotions.

Touting the scientific facts that flowers provide a sense of calm, Gasch ended her Facebook post by reflecting on the need for kindness. “We hope you can help us spread some kindness in our world because we all know that is something that can be desperately needed and can really make a difference,” she said.

While many florists focused on the feel-good nature of the day, the event is also a powerful marketing tool that bolsters the brands of retail stores, wholesalers, growers, suppliers and other industry groups. Many used their giveaways to form community partnerships with other businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, and local government entities including police, firefighters and schools. The efforts were captured in local media stories, and the thousands of social media posts tagged #PetalItForward.

Southern Charm

“Free smiles, free flowers — what a combination,” LaToya Ferguson of Sweet Psalms Florist in Conyers, Georgia, exclaimed in her Facebook Reel inviting people to come to her Petal It Forward event set up outside her shop.

In the Sunshine State, Floridians were treated to numerous giveaways from Miami and Fort Lauderdale to Orlando and Jacksonville. Beneva Flowers in Sarasota, Florida, dropped by area businesses to distribute its blooms, while In Bloom Florist in Orlando sent a team into the community to pass out bouquets.

In Texas, more than two dozen florists handed out bouquets. Country Flowers & Gifts in Emory passed out 500 roses – red, white, yellow, orange and pink – as they spread joy at the local elementary and intermediate schools.

Iowa’s Flower Power

No state had more participants that Iowa, where 49 businesses spread joy with colorful stems.

Fudge’s Flowers and Gifts, in Jefferson, Iowa, welcomed a new business to its community with two bouquets as they blanketed the community with blooms. “So far one guy didn’t know what to think, one didn’t want a photo but said, ‘I’m trying to think of someone more deserving than me,’ and two were overjoyed,” they wrote on their Facebook post. “We are all deserving of flowers!”

When Petal & Leaf Floral Design in Muscatine, Iowa, announced its participation in Petal It Forward on Facebook, its followers flooded the comment section with praise and love for the giveaway. “This is a wonderful idea in our community,” wrote one woman.

It was still dark outside when Stuart Flowers & Gifts in Stuart, Iowa, was out of flowers. The store handed out flowers from a parked van in the early morning hours at a local gas station and its storefront. By 7:40 a.m. all bouquets were claimed.

Northeast and West Coast Vibes

Lilies Florals in Galloway, New Jersey, cheered up teachers and students by taking its event to area schools. Students shared lilies and sunflowers with teachers. The store also handed out flowers from its store to ensure the event was community wide.

In Skowhegan, Maine, Boynton’s Greenhouse Skowhegan partnered with a local restaurant to pass out buckets of bouquets.

Having participated every year since its inception, J. Miller Flowers and Gifts in Oakland, California, volunteers prepared 422 handtied bouquets which were given away.

International Participation

Floral businesses from Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, England, India and Ireland also participated in the event.

Asocolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, handed out 1,000 bouquets in Bogotá and Medellín and used the campaign to highlight Colombian flower growers.

Its participation also demonstrated the importance of Colombia’s flower industry, Asocolflores noted in a news release.

“We would like to turn the 1,600 varieties of Flowers of Colombia into 1,600 reasons to smile,” says Augusto Solano, CEO of Asocolflores. “When we give flowers, we are giving away tranquility, love, and hope to our countrymen.”

Did your Petal It Forward giveaway make the news? Let us know! Email Amanda Jedlinsky.

Sarah Sampson is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.

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