Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Working Designer Wednesday: Nursery Floral License

I remember feeling a bit clueless about all the documents and licenses required to start a floral design business when I decided to open one of my own. I worried that I would inadvertently leave one out simply because I wasn’t aware it existed! Most people realize they must secure a DBA (Doing Business As) certificate from the County Clerk Office, but did you know (in Texas) you must also get a Nursery Floral License from the Texas Department of Agriculture? You choose a Class 1, 2, 3, 4 or M depending on what you will be doing with your business. Over the course of my business, I had to change my Class several times as the direction of the business changed. You can find the Dept. of Agriculture Nursery Floral License page here. I’m not sure if a similar license is required in states other than Texas. For quick reference, I’ve included a copy of the Certificate Application Form below:

In order to obtain a Nursery Floral License, you must submit a complete signed application along with the appropriate
fees. The license will be issued to the name appearing under Section B of this application.  A Nursery and Floral license is
required by each business and at each location where nursery products and/or floral items are sold, offered for sale or
leased, distributed, grown for the purpose of sale or lease, or offered as an enticement to promote the sales or lease of
other items.
Please check the appropriate box to indicate the type of business classification in which you are applying for. 
Class 1 - Allows businesses to sell, lease, or distribute, but not grow nursery products and/or floral items such as garden
centers, stores, landscape contractors, floral shops, interior decorators, and street vendors.  Class 1certificate holders may
obtain up to ten event permits at no additional cost to sell, lease, or distribute nursery floral products and/or floral items at
trade shows, garden shows, or other horticultural exhibits. 
Class 2 – Allows permanently located businesses to sell, lease or distribute, nursery products and/or floral items and have
a growing area of 435,600 square fee (ten acres) or less. Class 2 certificate holders may obtain up to ten event permits at
no additional cost to sell, lease, or distribute nursery floral products and/or floral items at trade shows, garden shows, or
other horticultural exhibits. 
Class 3 – Allows permanently located businesses to sell, lease or distribute, nursery products and/or floral items and have
a growing area of 435,601 – 871,200 square feet (in excess of ten acres to twenty acres). Class 3 certificate holders may
obtain up to ten event permits at no additional cost to sell, lease, or distribute nursery floral products and/or floral items at
trade shows, garden shows, or other horticultural exhibits.
Class 4 – Allows permanently located businesses to sell, lease or distribute, nursery products and/or floral items and have
a growing area 871,201 square feet (over twenty acres). Class 4 certificate holders may obtain up to ten event permits at
no additional cost to sell, lease, or distribute nursery floral products and/or floral items at trade shows, garden shows, or
other horticultural exhibits.
Class M – Allows business to sell, lease, or distribute nursery products and/or floral items at temporary markets such as
flea markets, arts and crafts shows, plant or flower shows, or other temporary markets.  Class M registrants must obtain an
event permit for each day nursery products and/or floral items are sold.  A Class M license consists of thirty event permits. 
An event permit is required for sale or distribution of nursery products or floral items at a temporary location as
indicated above under each certificate type.  One event permit equals one day (or any portion of a 24 hour period)
of operation at one location.
Ten (10) Event Permits may be obtained with each Class 1 – 4 license issued at no additional cost.  Additional event
permits may be purchased in blocks of 10 permits at a cost of $50 per block.  Please refer to the Nursery Floral Event
Permit Block Purchase form and instructions for more information.Instructions for
RNF-500 Nursery Floral Certificate Application
Licensing Department    Revised 10/20/05
Administrative Services Division
Page 2 of 4
Check the box that identifies the application type.  A new business application is an application for a business that has not
held a TDA license or is a recently established business.  A change of ownership application is an application where a
business has been acquired from a previous owner or is an established business changing type (see below).  If the most
recent license account number is known please indicate in space provided.
Check the box that identifies your type of business. Once submitted, this information cannot be changed. If you have to
change in your business type, a new application will be required.
This information will be used to generate your license. Enter the full legal business name as it is registered.  If applicable,
also enter a Doing-Business-As (DBA) name.  For in state businesses (except sole proprietors) a Comptroller Taxpayer ID
is required.  For out of state businesses and non-profit organizations a Federal ID is required.
For sole proprietors applying for this occupational license, a social security number is mandatory and required by Texas
Family Code § 231.302. Social security numbers are required to assist in child support enforcement. In the event the
applicant does not have a social security number, an affidavit of no social security number (form OGC-001) must be
attached and a driver license number or state-issued ID number provided. This form is available on our website or by mail. Failure to provide a social security number or an affidavit of no social security number
will result in rejection of your application and a license will not be issued to you.
Indicate name of person responsible for the business. Enter contact information.
Enter mailing address for indicated responsible person.  If a web address is available for company please provide
NOTE: The Person to Contact, named by the business in Section C of this form, is the preferred signatory of this
application. That person may be the Responsible Person.
Enter the name of a designated person, along with that person's contact information, who can discuss and answer
questions about license-related issues. Instructions for
RNF-500 Nursery Floral Certificate Application
Licensing Department    Revised 10/20/05
Administrative Services Division
Page 3 of 4
NOTE: The Person to Contact, named by the business, is the preferred signatory of this application. That person may be
the Responsible Person.
All correspondence, licenses, and other documents will be sent to the Person to Contact at the mailing address listed
below. If an e-mail address is listed, and e-mail is indicated as the preferred contact method, correspondence will be sent
via e-mail.
In addition, the contact employee will receive, through regular mail, a login ID and password to access TDA's internet
website. The contact employee will then be able to conduct business related to their assigned license(s) online, including
viewing their licenses, making changes to their company information, and renewing their licenses. A business can appoint
one contact person to manage online all of the company's licenses.
Enter the address at which the Person to Contact receives general correspondence
Enter facility name.
Enter the actual physical street address of the licensee, licensed activities or the equipment, including directions to this
location if the address is difficult to locate.  Please do not enter a P.O. Box. This information will assist TDA inspectors in
locating your business in the event that an inspection is needed
Check either the Texas Secretary of State or the “Other” box and enter the resident agent’s contact information.  Only fill
out the Resident Agent contact information if the Texas Secretary of State box is not checked.  If the address provided in
section C is out of state, agent information is required before a license can be issued.
NOTE: Texas Department of Agriculture accepts only checks, cashier's checks, or money orders.
Certificates and fees are NOT transferable.
Class 1 license fee is $75.00
Class 2 license fee is $110.00
Class 3 license fee is $145.00
Class 4 license fee is $180.00
Class M license fee is $180.00Instructions for
RNF-500 Nursery Floral Certificate Application
Licensing Department    Revised 10/20/05
Administrative Services Division
Page 4 of 4
License is valid for one year and shall expire on the last day of the anniversary month.  For example, a license effective on
November 1, 2005 will expire on November 30, 2006.
Request effective date for license. Check method of payment. Enter check number or money order number. See payment
information above. Enter amount remitted.
Please remit to: Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12076, Austin, TX. 78711-2076.
Additional Information
Each location is required by law to renew its registration annually by the expiration date.  Failure to renew will result in
late fees.
Businesses operating with an expired certificate or without registering with the department may be subject to
administrative penalties up to $2,000 for each violation.  Each day a violation continues may be considered a separate
violation for penalty assessment.
Anyone making false representation for obtaining a certificate may have a certificate revoked and/or may be liable to the
State for civil penalty of not less than $50.00 nor more than $1,000 for each violation and/or subject to administrative
penalties of up to $2,000 for each violation.  Each day a violation continues may be considered a separate violation for
purposes of penalty assessment.  (Texas Agriculture Code §12.020, 71.055 and 71.059). 
To promote Texas agricultural products and services, the Texas Department of Agriculture may publish the names, license
types, contact persons, addresses and phone numbers of licensed businesses in written form or on the internet.  Under
Texas law, TDA may be required to furnish other information contained in our files under the Texas Open Records Act
and Chapter 555 of the Texas Government Code.
After reading the summary, print and sign your name, and date the form. Your signature here indicates that you have read
the summary and that you are aware of your responsibilities regarding the issuance of the requested license.
Check all boxes to verify you have completed the application process and attached/enclosed the necessary items (e.g.,
payment, documents, labels, etc).
NOTE: Integrated Pest Management Plan
A nursery or greenhouse grower, in cooperation with the Texas Cooperative Extension or research agencies, may develop
an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM). The plan must be approved by TDA prior to implementation.


Feel free to leave details of license requirements for your state in the comments today…maybe you’ll help a new designer navigate the system a little easier!

And because we can’t go a day without flowers…

You Are My Sunshine dolce design studio

image via Dolce Designs Studio

Yellow-and-white-floral-spheres-wedding karen tran

image via Karen Tran

5548040628_3a883a069c_b Natalie Galasso Designs

image via Natalie Galasso Designs

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flowers + Striped Ribbon

Loving this trend…

april flowers

image via April Flowers

spring-1 jacqueline ahne

image via Jacqueline Ahne

18965_246993120934_123600345934_4670692_7131670_n  lani elizabeth

image via Lani Elizabeth

303968_10150342554298011_285498448010_7986002_242775322_n isha foss

image via Isha Foss Events

Boutonniere & corsage ever after florals arizona

image via Ever After Florals

cb2ab226e9cec4036a4dec3149eb0b9e boutwell

image via Boutwell Studio

daintyblue-140 studio choo

image via Studio Choo

FLO00004 jayson home and garden

image via Jayson Home and Garden

flowers9 studio stems

image via Studio Stems and Kate Osborne Photography

greenewristcorsage cross pollinations pollen austin

image via Pollen Floral Art

IMG_2504  blossom sweet

image via Blossom Sweet

RW1040_0159 beautiful blooms events

image via Beautiful Blooms Events

sarahwinward1 ea

image via Honey of a Thousand Flowers

Screen shot 2011-03-16 at 10.42.27 AM brown paper design

image via Brown Paper Design

table number from punch portland

image via Punch

the daily petal 11

image via The Daily Petal

wreath straight blush floral design

image via Blush Floral Design

What do you think of stripes with flowers?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Bouquets For Grey Dresses

Last September, I wrote a post featuring bouquets for grey bridesmaids’ dresses and it continues to be a frequently viewed post…so, I thought you might be ready for some new examples! Enjoy…

06emily-patrick-pe338-copy-copy krista jon

image via Krista Jon

6a010535ded4be970c0154338639f4970c just bloomed

image via Just Bloomed

8_e19 ariella and jose villa

image via Ariella Chezar and Jose Villa Photography

9 park place design

image via Park Place Design 

111_8245 stoneblossom

image via Stoneblossom and Snap Photography

00267_Jessica_ⓒAlexZ quatre coeur

image via Quatre Coeur

0776_101809 jessica's country flowers

image via Jessica’s Country Flowers

110320_424 flowerwild

image via Flowerwild

937960793_GaqzD-M fleuretica

image via Fleuretica

5450764348_fd45761939 Jessica Ruisan photography and always flowers australia

image via Always Flowers and Jessica Ruisan Photography

CL18c16-R01-018 hana floral design

image via Hana Floral Design

jenn_mike_211 justin marantz photo

image via Justin & Mary Marantz Photography

jill-00589-753x1024 the flower house dot com

image via The Flower House

shadehotelwedding3 jl designs

shadehotelwedding7  jl designs

images via JL Designs

Welcome to a brand new week! Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful…


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Which Bouquet?

The Dress…

…from Alita Graham

The Bouquets…

Bouquet #1 (Park Place Design)

308235_275102669192964_164728087_n park place

Bouquet #2 (Tricia Fountaine Design)

34490029  tricia fountaine

Bouquet #3 (Floral Verde)

Bouquet #4 (Birch Blooms)

DSC_0082 birch blooms

Bouquet #5 (Honey of a Thousand Flowers)

kateosbornephotography-3 honey of a thousand flowers

Which would you choose?

Hope you have a great weekend and I’ll meet you back here on Monday with more flowers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


image via Amy Merrick

Working Designer Wednesday: Finding Your Niche

I know many of you have been anxiously waiting to see what Kate (Floret Cadet) has to say about Finding Your Niche…so welcome back, Kate…


I took an advertising copywriting course a few years ago, and have found one central thing they taught us to be really helpful as I think about starting my business: Before you try to sell anything, you should have a particular statement completed in your head.

You don’t have to use the copy anywhere, but it will really help if you keep this statement in your back pocket, to position your business and define your niche.  The goal is to identify a unique feature of your product or service, and then to define how that feature translates into a benefit for consumers.

The statement goes:

X is the only product or service that provides/does Y (feature), so you can Z (benefit).

Some benefits will seem pretty concrete at first– like time or money saved.  In these cases, my copywriting teacher would always push us to drill down into the benefit.  What is the real benefit to saving money or time? Being able to spend it on something else, or doing something else, that you love.

You don’t have to state that your flowers will save lives or change the world, but the benefit that stems from your unique feature should ultimately have to do with emotional satisfaction or fulfillment.

Applied to floral design, examples for completing this sentence would be:

    Flowers Of Omaha is the only wedding floral design company in Omaha with a “coastal style.” We source varieties that other local florists don’t to provide designs inspired by the most current wedding blogs and magazines, so that fashion forward Omaha brides can have wedding flowers that truly reflect who they are.

    Feature – Coastal style

    Benefit – The bride feels unique and special

    Jenna from The Earth Laughs In Flowers is the only “green” special event floral designer in Albuquerque.  She uses only organic, local flowers and rented or repurposed containers, so that you can have a special event that reflects your values as an individual or as an organization.

    Feature: Eco friendliness

    Benefit: Pride in your impact / choices

    Kim’s Flowers And Gifts is the only flower shop in Baton Rouge that also provides classes, supplies and support for brides interested in creating some of their own wedding flowers.  Brides can have fun making their own centerpieces, trust a pro with their personal flowers, and save money that they can spend on making their other wedding dreams come true.

    Feature: DIY support

    Benefit: Money for the bride to spend on other things so that her wedding can be more full of things she loves

    The English Rose is the only flower shop in Boston with a Victorian floral design sensibility.  All designs, like its signature true herb and flower Tussie Mussies, are rooted in the Victorian “language of flowers” and all deliveries come with a card explaining their meaning.  With The English Rose, you can send or carry something uniquely meaningful.

    Feature: Victorian floral design sensibility

    Benefit: The feeling that you are truly expressing yourself

    Magnificent Flowers is the only floral design studio in Austin that specializes in Indian and East Asian weddings. With a florist who is already well versed in making the customary designs of those cultures, a bride’s time and energy will be freed up to focus on other things that are important to her rather than educating a vendor.

    Feature: A cultural specialization

    Benefit: A feeling of security, confidence, or calm during your wedding planning process

Even if you don’t fully define a benefit, just focusing on completing the first part of the statement for your business could be enormously beneficial – you should know what sets you apart, and if you don’t have that sort of a niche yet, consider carving it out. Look around, from a customer’s perspective, to see what is missing from the local offerings.

You don’t have to only offer to do whatever you define as your unique feature, but being known for something specific- being the first or only person who other vendors think of when they encounter customers with special requests or a distinct vision- could really kick start a business.

In fact, the East Asian / Indian example above was inspired by Marci of Entwined Design, who graciously gave me tons of advice and encouragement when I was first thinking of starting to do weddings on the side.  Although she does weddings of all types, she fell into a similar cultural weddings niche to this one and it’s been a source of constant referrals for her.  She echoed all of this wisdom from my copywriting class when she told me that every florist would be smart to find a niche or specialty.

entwined designs467

entwined designs0784

entwined designsIMG_7195

images via Entwined Design

That’s it for today – I’m off to think about what the unique feature of Floret Cadet will be (no, I have not completed this statement for myself yet, though I am kicking around some ideas!)

P.S. I came across this class, a two day “Floral Entrepreneurs Weekend” course at the Portland Floral Design Institute, that is all about finding a niche.  It covers the creation of a business identity and blueprint, a marketing plan, a financial plan, and embracing new technology, all for floral business owners looking for their niche.  It looks pretty cool – I might be a taker!

 Botanical Brouhaha readers: below are a few niche florists you might want to check out per Kate’s recommendation: and don’t miss this page: and don’t miss this page:!__do-it-yourself and don’t miss this page:

Thanks so much, Kate! So much helpful information…so much generosity in sharing…

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Privet And Viburnum Berries

Last summer I wrote a post about these berries and they continue to catch my eye…

IMG_8761-819x1024 floret cadet

image via Floret Cadet

IMG_6825 manic botanic and rebecca honeywell photo

image via Manic Botanic and Rebecca Honeywell Photography

IMG_1731 holly chapple

image via Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

IMG_1438  april flowers

image via April Flowers

IMG_1075 miss pickering

image via Miss Pickering

flowers11 studio stems

image via Studio Stems

florali_win008 florali

image via Florali

DSC_0012  blossom sweet

image via Blossom Sweet

bud_vase_amy petakena

image via Petalena

Bloom-4862 bloom by anuschka

image via Bloom by Anuschka

5 Katrina O'Donnell  adorations

image via Adorations

4  bows and arrows dallas

image via Bows and Arrows

_MG_3405-Edit branches

image via Branches

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m especially thankful for those of you who share this blog with me…those who create the incredible designs I feature each day, those who photograph the designs with such artistry, those who stop by for a visit each day, those who offer advice to benefit fellow designers and those who send encouraging comments and emails. I am inspired by you all and I feel blessed to share friendships with so many of you. I hope you have time to RELAX and enjoy family and friends this week. You’ve certainly earned it!