Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 15

2008 06 28 004e

The Question:

“I am thinking of doing a pop-up flower shop for Valentine's Day.  I have a great location available and some nice support built in, but I am wondering about logistics.  I would love to hear from some designers who have pulled it off before - what did they learn and what they would do differently this time.  How many days were they open?  Did they take pre-orders?  How big of a selection did they have?  How did they know how much material to order?” (from a grower/designer in Tennessee)


The Answers:

“I did a pop-up shop for Mother’s Day last year at a cute coffee shop near my home studio.  It was great that it was so close by, because I had fresh product, as well as pre-made arrangements sitting in my cooler to stay fresh, and I was able to just replenish my inventory at the shop when needed.  The coffee shop itself is really large inside, so my little table set up didn't interfere with their business at all, and I wasn't awkwardly tucked away into a corner or anything.  I found it helpful to have a selection of fresh arrangements as well as a few smaller potted goodies, and I even had some cool airplants in hanging glass orbs - people like selection :)  I also had by favorite graphic designer in the whole world [Lindsay of Paper Bloom] design some simple and cute cards that people could buy for just $1 to go along with their gift!  [Way more convenient for them than having to stop at another store for a greeting card].  Another suggestion is to sign up with the SQUARE app!! I have it on my iphone, but found it really convenient to swipe cards and let people sign on my iPad screen.  If you get the Square "Register" app, it's way better for such a thing - works more like cash register... try it out!!  You can even keep track of your cash sales on there, and of course text or e-mail people their receipts, etc...  I also made sure to have cute boxes with tissue paper and pretty satin ribbon for people to carry out arrangements. 

Here are some links to my blog where I posted a few photos from the event:

Here's an announcement I did on the blog, and Facebook etc... I also had these flyers printed out and I left them at the coffee shop the day before, and the surrounding businesses!

Here’s a post I put up with photos of one of the arrangements I was offering.

Here’s a post I did DURING the event to entice people to drop by! ;)

If I were to do anything differently - I would have left the flyers at more local businesses, maybe more than a week in advance... I feel like most of my business came only from the coffee shop’s walk-in customers.  A lot of them had walked there, or ridden bikes, and weren't prepared to carry home a floral arrangement. ;)  So had I gotten the word out, more people would have come with the sole purpose to buy, instead of having the surprise of flowers being on sale at their hang out spot.  I would also advertise pre-orders... I went into this not knowing how much I would sell, so I just bought a bunch of flowers, made the arrangements, and hoped they'd sell.  With pre-orders, you have the guarantee that they'll sell, and will have a better idea of how MUCH to buy.”

-Liz Rusnac (Fleur:ology)


“I've never had a pop-up shop so I can't give you any smart tips. But if I have one in the future I would definitely make sure to spread the word about it and let people know that I would take pre-orders. “

-Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar)


“Pop-up shops are a great way to promote your business but a difficult way to sell lots of product. We set up a pop-up shop in the five star hotel, Blythswood Square for 8 days last year from Wednesday until Wednesday at the beginning of September. We chose the location because the hotel is one of our biggest clients and regularly orders the most guest bouquets of any of the hotels on our client list. The week long residency was successful for a number of reasons mainly because we built a number of activities around the 8 days: We hosted one of our flower school classes in the hotel on the Sunday, we printed up flyers and dropped them into local businesses, the hotel contacted all their brides who had booked their weddings in the next 18 months to let them know when we were in-house and a number of them contacted us to have their consultations during the 8 days, we printed up cards to go into each of the 100 plus bedrooms to inform guests that the pop-up shop was there, and finally we ran a competition in Scotland’s national newspaper The Herald to win a bouquet every month for a year and an overnight stay at the hotel.

If you are looking to host a pop-up shop to sell lots of flowers in a couple of days then this is very difficult to do. Instead I think you need to treat it as a promotional activity and put enough activities into the pop-up shop to ensure you make a small profit. We have also tried a one evening only pop-up shop in a department store a couple of years ago and this just didn’t work. Customers were not expecting to find us there and were not ready to make an impulse buy of flowers.

However, our pop up shop at Blythswood Square was so successful that we will host another one for four days from 12th-15th February. We are also hosting another for 5 days at another one of our clients

in April this year. Another benefit for us was that my team loved it! We are studio based and don’t have that face to face contact with retail customers that you do in a flower shop (most of our retail sales are done on the telephone). It was great to be out and about working in a new space, particularly when it was a very opulent five star hotel.”

-Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)


Thanks for the insight from your personal pop-up shops, Nick and Liz!


Here are some more pop-up shops to inspire those of you thinking of trying one…

pop up shop 563182_369846649734571_609993535_n solabee flowers & botanicals

image via Solabee Flowers & Botanicals (pop-up shop in West Elm)

vdaypopup27 JL Designs

image via JL Designs (Valentine’s pop-up shop in Sweet and Saucy bakery)

pop 12126

image via Janie Medley Flora Design and Kristin Moore Photo (see complete post here)

pop IMG_1416

pop-up shop by Amy Merrick (see complete post here)

pop IMG_5360

pop-up shop by Nicolette Camille inside West Elm (see complete post here)

What about you? Have you opened a pop-up shop? Do you plan to attempt your first pop-up shop this year? Do you have any additional advice for us?

Have a great Wednesday!


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