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I Have a Thorn To Pick

For over five years I have worked and built my career every season and week full of fresh flowers; floral nomenclature is filed in my brain ready to fire from the tip of my tongue as is the average price per stem. When making a bouquet they are arranged swiftly, no longer fussing over a single stem they appear effortless upon seeing. Five years in the business is good, but no where being a master. 

The desire in choosing floristry as a career can be incredibly rewarding, a profession that continues to build upon itself rich with knowledge, but heed this warning: being a florist is a labor of love and while your head is in the flowers the pay is rarely remarkable. You may have a vase of the finest flowers but they can't feed a belly. Sure become a martyr for beauty, an artist. It's just the way it goes.. my advice? Mary rich. 

As a consumer flower prices can be tricky, unlike a t- shirt from the Gap a price per stem can fluctuate dramatically with the season, demand and rarity. Remember the flower auction visit

Flower Auction Holland from Lea Ann Willett on Vimeo.

A certain locale of a flower can cost much more versus a similar variety from another country. Take for instance ranunculus from Israel versus Japan. Big difference. Regardless! I see most florists and the amount being charged to be preposterous! There I said it.  

Every season New York Magazine brings us a delicious wedding issue, an excellent guide to find the best vendors for everything a wedding could possibly need. Sprout Home the garden & floral center where I have been since '08 in Williamsburg is regularly featured in these mags and we are always surprised when our prices fall on the lesser expensive category. Really we don't try to do that, it's just what they add up to being. While i may appear a bit biased, our quality and varieties are no different than the rest! If not to sound too verbose ours being more diverse and the better. Believe me, we all have access to the same wholesalers. We know the markup. 

I think the over inflated pricing florists give to these magazines gives an unrealistic, pressure driven idea that flowers are only for the elite, and that should not be the case. I will never make a person uncomfortable or inaccessible to flowers. While my own business of Lea Blüm caters mostly to households who receive fresh flowers weekly, by no means to I overcharge for my service. Clients come to me because they want the finest flowers for a realistic price, which I am able to provide without much of the overhead costs. Blaaah! Did I just totally sell myself?

Suppose this three week hiatus from blogging has brewed a fire in my belly, but I say these things because I believe them to be truth. The simple goal is this: the more people have access to enjoy a single flower, learn and appreciate the better. Flowers do not not have to be something overly indulgent reserved for only for celebrations or to console ones grief. Enjoying flowers through blogs is great and being in the face of a blown out tulip is a testament to natures awesomeness. If we all worked a little harder to see such appreciation more I think more good would grow. This labor of love which is fundamental to being a florist and these details matter, otherwise one wouldn't keep it going these five plus years to infinity and beyond. Now lets go outside and enjoy this glorious spring weather. Cool?

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