Tying in to the much-anticipated release of “The Last Jedi,” the latest episode in the “Star Wars” franchise, one Beantown flower shop is selling glow-in-the-dark “light saber” roses.
A self-proclaimed “HUGE” fan of “Star Wars,” Exotic Flowers Managing Director Rick Canale knew fellow enthusiasts would go wild for the novelty product and said the movie offered a good opportunity to bring back flowers that lit up the neighborhood when he first introduced them five years ago.
“Foot traffic is a third of our business, so we want to engage customers,” Canale said. “They come into the shop and want to see what’s new. We want them to know we have cool stuff, and to say ‘Who knows what they’ll have next?’”
Though they appear to come from a galaxy far, far away, these phosphorescent flowers come from Glow Gardens, a distributor located in Ecuador and Colombia. In regular lighting the thick-stemmed blooms are creamy white, but in the dark they beam a greenish-yellow hue, thanks to a special paint (which is all-natural and chemical-free). The petals continue to glow even after they fall.
Canale purchased 100 stems and is selling them for $8 a piece or $100 for a dozen arranged in a vase. More than triple the cost of a regular rose, the roses are too pricey for Canale to keep in constant rotation, but he considers them a very worthy short-term expense to create a buzz. “For $350, I’m becoming a neighborhood destination,” he said. “And when customers get a rose and it’s glowing, they’re definitely posting it on Facebook.”
For the December 15 opening weekend of “The Last Jedi,” Canale will sell the light saber roses and pass out “Star Wars” playing cards. He’s considering giving away some of the roses to customers who purchase larger items, such as Christmas trees. It’s all part of the recipe to engage his customers and create a warm, exciting environment for the holidays, he explained.
When planning a promotion or social media content to attract customers and start a conversation, Canale often looks to pop culture for inspiration. In the past, he’s used The Golden Globes, Election Day and sports as fodder. “Staying part of the current trend is awesome,” he said.