Oh, there are so many. Once, there was a family in Yonkers that didn’t have any money but needed funeral arrangements for their child that passed away at only two years old. I felt for them so much, I did their whole funeral and didn’t charge them. Honestly, that’s what I’m about, giving. This is a giving business after all.
I used to work for a bank — I worked there for ten years until my husband passed away, that’s when I went back to art. I would take floral design classes in the evenings to keep my mind occupied, and I loved it! The “J” in my shop name (J&L Heavenly Florist) is for my husband, the “L” is for myself, and heavenly is the backbone of my shop. It’s why I’m here.
My shop gave me something to wake up for in the mornings, I love what I do. It’s all about love. I had done a bride’s wedding flowers, a long time ago, and now I’ve done all her kids’ weddings! Every single one! All these moments are what being a florist is about.
I’ve tried so many wire services, I’ve tried them all! By the time you’re done paying their percentages plus their fees, you’ve basically given away 10-12 arrangements! Who can afford to do that?
Sometimes the fees would pop up and surprise you, I’d have nothing left after them all. Something had to give, you can’t survive when you’re basically giving away 10 arrangements a day.
I’m not here to be the biggest shop or make the most money — I love what I do — but you’ve still got to pay the bills.
Get out there and sell yourself. Nobody’s waiting for you, you have to sell yourself. Do something different. Oh, and don’t overdo your store! Have just enough to show what you can do but can still walk through the shop. Sometimes simple is better.
With Lovingly, they don’t make money until I do so I know they’re working for me. It don’t feel like I’m wasting my time just to keep my head above water, so to speak, like it was with the wire services.
And having a secure website makes it so easy and comfortable for my customers. They know immediately when they place an order on my site, their credit card and other information is safe! That’s one less thing I have to worry about, my attention can be put on other areas of my business, like making arrangements.
Oh, plus, the wedding referrals! The new Lovingly Weddings referral feature is wonderful, I’ve booked several weddings already! It’s so much easier than trying to get referrals by word of mouth, or going to expensive bridal shows. With Lovingly Weddings, the brides come to me, and better yet — they come prepared! It’s great! Lovingly Weddings asks them questions that prepares them for their consultation, so we can hit the ground running.
But what I like most about Lovingly is that I’m in control. They don’t come in and try to take over, it’s your business, they’re here to help me grow. Everything is so easy and simple and they give me the control that other services don’t, that’s what matters. At the end of the day, it’s my name and my shop on the line. I want to keep a good reputation, a good name for myself. In the end, I want my name to have respect behind it.
I took floral design classes in the evenings at BOCES, and went from shop to shop learning from different designers after my husband, who was a police officer, passed away at the age of 29. I started my shop in Yonkers where I ran it for nine years before moving up to the Hudson Valley, where I’ve been for the past 11 years. I now run my shop with the help of Taz, my two-year-old rescue pup who’s been with me at the shop every day since I got him at just two months old. He’s my little mascot.