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Welcome to January & Happy New Year! I hope the information shared in this month's newsletter is useful and thought-provoking, Warmly, Debra
2017 Floral Insights & Industry Forecast
This is the 3rd Annual Report -- inspired by YOU and your stories!
Unlike most TREND reports, this compilation tracks changing shifts, emerging ideas and new concepts that are taking hold in the American floral world. Think of it as your Next, New and Now Report. These topics are gleaned from my conversations and interviews that took place with many of you during 2016 – Slow Flowers members, including farmers, florists and creatives. I know some of you have already experienced these emerging developments and your influence has inspired this list.
Here are the NINE Slow Flowers' Insights for 2017
#1 WHOLESALERS ARE DISCOVERING AMERICA. Farmer-Florists and small-scale floral agriculture have stepped into the gaping void created when wholesalers turned their backs on local flower farmers. And now those wholesalers are waking up to the missed opportunity.
#2 MORE FARMS ARE SELLING DIRECT. The conventional wholesale model is changing, as traditional channels of floral distribution are disrupted. I predict that more flower farms will seek and establish new ways to bypass the conventional wholesale pipeline and market direct to florists and consumers.
#3 RETURN OF BRICK AND MORTAR. There’s a lot of flower power going on as independent and progressive florists are signing leases and opening retail spaces in the same markets that have witnessed mainstream mom-and-pop floral storefronts being shuttered.
#4 MICRO-REGIONALISM. Across the country, farmers and florists are forming unique alliances for commerce, marketing and promotion. The net benefit means more local flowers available to more consumers.
#5 LOCAL FLOWERS MOVE INTO MAINSTREAM RETAIL CHANNELS. Major wire services and mass merchants embrace LOCAL Flowers. At least one major wire service, FTD, has determined there is customer demand for local and American grown flowers. FTD now devotes a single page of its web site to the new “Homegrown Collection,” with the tagline: Thoughtfully gathered and locally grown on American farms.
#6 FLORAL TOURISM. More than ever, design schools and flower farms are producing floral-themed experiences – from tours and dinners to private workshops. Truly, there is a cultural shift symbolized by the many inspiring ways that the Slow Flowers community connects consumers with local flowers. I’m excited to see what you create in 2017 — and move over wineries! Tourism is coming to America’s flower farms.
#7 LUXE AND LUSH TROPICALS MIX BEAUTIFULLY WITH GARDEN ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS. We're tracking a renewed fascination with tropical-infused arrangements and bouquets. These elements are used as accents that spice up garden-inspired floral design.
#8 COLOR UPDATE — Beyond Blush. The spectrum for wedding flowers is broadening, and two themes are emerging as favorites among Slow Flowers farmers and designers: Butter Yellows and Muddy Neutrals.
#9 SLOW FLOWERS INTERNATIONAL. Canada launched in 2016 and now floral designers and flower farmers in Italy and France have asked to join the Slow Flowers Movement! This has prompted our initial efforts to form Slow Flowers International -- stay tuned for news to come!
Last year at this time, listener downloads for the Slow Flowers Podcast had reached 76,000 over the course of two-and-one-half years. In the December 28, 2016 "Year in Review" for Slow Flowers, I reported that 2016’s listenership nearly doubled in 12 months' time, meanings as many people tuned into my weekly episode in 2016 than in the previous 30 months combined.
That’s the best news I could ask for as we reflect on the successes and strides of 2016.
ACCOLADES: The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market honored me with the Growers’ Choice Award for outstanding contributions to revitalizing the local floral community.
The Garden Writers Association honored Slowflowers.com – the web site – with a Silver Medal in the digital media category and also inducted me into its Communications Hall of Fame
MEDIA ATTENTION: Martha Stewart Living featured Slow Flowers and the slowflowers.com directory in its February 2016 issue, writing: “The benefits of choosing locally grown foods over those from all over the world extends to flowers as well. That’s why (we) like Slowflowers.com, an online directory of more than 600 florists and flower farms across the United States.”
AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK 2016: In a one-month period we generated more than 1.3 million impressions on Instagram and Twitter alone, up from 400,000 mentions during the same campaign period in 2015. These metrics indicate huge potential for those who get involved in American Flowers Week and use it as a marketing, promotion and branding tool. SLOW FLOWERS ON FACEBOOK: In 2016, we launched the Slow Flowers Community Page on Facebook, which now has more than 1,000 members. It’s a forum for you to share your creativity, your curiosity and your story with kindred spirits. Please find us online and join in the fun.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: In 2016, we launched our first Slow Flowers Editorial Look Book, an image package released to the press for stories and blog posts. All Premium members of Slowflowers.com are invited to submit images of their flowers and designs for inclusion in these themed campaigns. The first one — Harvest, Home & Holiday, was beautiful and inspiring, and it was picked up by countless news outlets across the country.
JANUARY 27th: American Beauty: The Slow Flower Movement from Field to Vase
Join Debra at the Alaska Peony Conference as she presents the "State of American Grown Flowers," a presentation highlighting the who/what/where and why details about increased consumer demand for local, seasonal and sustainable flowers.
Please join Debra at the 3rd Annual PNW Cut Flower Growers Meetup and make important connections with fellow flower farmers Price: $25/ individual $40/farm couple. Please bring a check or cash to pay at the door. Great Topics: Germination/Propagation, Soil Blocking, Farmer/Florist Movement and How to Create Your Own Niche, Design for the Flower Farmer + Important discussion on the future of this PNW Cut Flower Grower Group Special Guests include Dave Dowling-former flower farmer and Ednie Bulb Rep and Debra Prinzing, Slowerflowers.com Find more details here. Questions? Email to: email@example.com
FEBRUARY 22nd: Blooming Beauty: Tips, Tricks and Ideas for the DIY Floral Designer
Debra will share 10 useful and inspiring floral design lessons, giving you the confidence you need to channel your inner floral designer. She’ll also share proven Slow Flowers methods for extending vase life and provide her resource guide for DIY floral designers.
March 6th & March 7th
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Floressence Studio, 5628 Airport Way S #240, Seattle, WA 98108
Join the SLOW FLOWERS TWO-DAY CREATIVE WORKSHOP
Here is a great chance to spend two full days building and branding your creative voice and vision with two successful women in the floral world. Enjoy an extraordinary experience as you investigate the brand assets of your company and use visual storytelling techniques to communicate effectively with your audience. This intimate, hands-on, full-immersion course takes your floral or other creative business to the next level. You’ll leave with newfound confidence and essential messaging tools to share your professional passions with focused visual and written content. Don’t miss it!
Anne Bradfield, founder and creative director of Floressence, Seattle, Washington Debra Prinzing, founder and creative director of Slowflowers.com
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR SLOW FLOWERS MEMBERS: $995, includes your own video footage for your marketing and website content.