Balance and Blooms https://balanceandblooms.com Live Better With Flowers Thu, 03 Oct 2019 03:28:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.7 Simple Ways to Incorporate Flowers into the Gifts You Give https://balanceandblooms.com/simple-ways-to-incorporate-flowers-into-the-gifts-you-give/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=simple-ways-to-incorporate-flowers-into-the-gifts-you-give Sat, 21 Sep 2019 21:14:28 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=467 Sometimes flowers are the gift. If someone in your life has just bought a house, a big basket of fresh flowers makes the perfect housewarming present. If your best friend and her spouse just welcomed a new baby into their lives, a bouquet of flowers in subtle shades of pink and blue is the perfect […]

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Sometimes flowers are the gift. If someone in your life has just bought a house, a big basket of fresh flowers makes the perfect housewarming present. If your best friend and her spouse just welcomed a new baby into their lives, a bouquet of flowers in subtle shades of pink and blue is the perfect thing to give. If you are attending a holiday party, arriving with a centerpiece of fresh flowers is sure to make you their favorite guest.

All those are great ideas for floral gifts, but you can also incorporate fresh flowers into other gifts you give. Here are some great ideas for adding a floral element to all the presents you give.

Dress Up That Plain Old Gift Bag

Gift bags have become increasingly popular for holiday presents. Unlike wrapping paper, gift bags are easy to open and close, and they are completely reusable. Unfortunately, gift bags can also look pretty generic under the tree.

If you want to dress up that boring gift bag and make your Christmas tree more beautiful, just wrap a flower stem around each of the handles. The flower will bring new color and beauty to your home, and the fresh scent will waft through the room.

Create a Personalized Gift for Your Loved Ones

Giving a personalized gift is the perfect way to show how much you care. A crystal bud vase engraved with the name of the recipient is the perfect gift for virtually any occasion. If you want to personalize the gift even further, you can incorporate a birthstone and make the bud vase even more beautiful.

After you have chosen the perfect vase, you can top it all off with a single bloom from your floral centerpiece or decorative bouquet. Your loved ones are sure to love the gift, and they will appreciate your generosity for years to come.

Give a Unique Gift with a Floral Treasure Hunt

If you want to give your spouse something special this year, consider setting up a floral-based scavenger hunt. Just pick up a pack of note cards, write out some cryptic clues and attach a fresh flower to each one. Then hide them around the house for a fun scavenger hunt.

Your spouse will have endless fun trying to figure out the clues and find their special present.. You can even start a new tradition with an annual Valentine’s Day or Christmas scavenger hunt.

There is just something fun about giving flowers. A floral gift might make the recipient feel better, but it makes the giver feel better as well. Incorporating floral elements into every gift you give will make every occasion more special and memorable. Whether you are creating the perfect graduation gift for your cousin or the world’s best Valentine’s Day present for your spouse, adding a special floral element is a great way to show how much you care.

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3 tips to make your gifts stand out with supermarket flowers https://balanceandblooms.com/3-tips-to-make-your-gifts-stand-out-with-supermarket-flowers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-tips-to-make-your-gifts-stand-out-with-supermarket-flowers Sat, 21 Sep 2019 20:55:22 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=470 Sometimes only flowers make the perfect gift for someone in your life has just bought a house, a big basket of fresh flowers makes the perfect housewarming present. If your best friend and her spouse just welcomed a new baby into their lives, a bouquet of flowers in subtle shades of pink and blue is the […]

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Sometimes only flowers make the perfect gift for someone in your life has just bought a house, a big basket of fresh flowers makes the perfect housewarming present. If your best friend and her spouse just welcomed a new baby into their lives, a bouquet of flowers in subtle shades of pink and blue is the perfect thing to give. If you are attending a holiday party, arriving with a centerpiece of fresh flowers is sure to make you their favorite guest. All those are great ideas for floral gifts, but you can also incorporate fresh flowers into other gifts you give.

Here are some great ideas for adding a floral element to all the presents you give using supermarket flowers:

Beautiful gifts with flowers and decorative rope, on old wooden background
Dress Up That Plain Old Gift Bag or wrapped gift

Gift bags have become increasingly popular for birthday and holiday presents. Unlike wrapping paper, gift bags are easy to open and close, and they are completely reusable. Unfortunately, gift bags can also look pretty generic in the gift table.

If you want to dress up that boring gift bag and make your present standout, just wrap a flower stem around each of the handles. The flower will bring new color and beauty to your gift, and the fresh scent will waft through the room.

Create a Personalized Gift for Your Loved Ones

Giving a personalized gift is the perfect way to show how much you care. A crystal bud vase engraved with the name of the recipient is the perfect gift for virtually any occasion. If you want to personalize the gift even further, you can incorporate a bouquet with that persons birth flower and make the bud vase even more beautiful. Supermarket flowers have bunches with the same flower type and good quality.

Give a Unique Gift with a Floral Treasure Hunt

If you want to give your spouse something special this year, consider setting up a floral-based scavenger hunt. Just pick up a pack of note cards, write out some cryptic clues and attach a fresh flower to each one. Then hide them around the house for a fun scavenger hunt.

Your spouse will have endless fun trying to figure out the clues and find their special present.. You can even start a new tradition with an annual Valentine’s Day or Christmas scavenger hunt.

There is just something fun about giving flowers. A floral gift might make the recipient feel better, but it makes the giver feel better as well. Incorporating floral elements into every gift you give will make every occasion more special and memorable. Whether you are creating the perfect graduation gift for your cousin or the world’s best Valentine’s Day present for your spouse, adding a special floral element is a great way to show how much you care.

Share with us your gift decor ideas using supermarket flowers in our share this box!

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LA-LA-LIVING https://balanceandblooms.com/la-la-living/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=la-la-living Sat, 21 Sep 2019 17:47:39 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=455 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI A crucial part of trend forecasting is to routinely analyze pop-culture and it’s influence on color, design and decor. The importance of what is on our screens, from the theater to our phones, is one of our strongest modern influencers. Screen-culture trends and celebrity influencers […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

A crucial part of trend forecasting is to routinely analyze pop-culture and it’s influence on color, design and decor. The importance of what is on our screens, from the theater to our phones, is one of our strongest modern influencers.

Screen-culture trends and celebrity influencers are key to style in the modern world. Movies and television no longer just offer us the latest in kids action-figures and halloween costumes. What happens on our screens now leads into the lifestyle of everyone watching. It can be subtle or obvious, but it definitely affects culture as we know it. Paying attention to Hollywood and celebrity style can help us track trends that are on the horizon.

The LALA Land Difference:  California is known for it’s sophisticated yet casual design. The design is inspired by the natural beauty of it’s surroundings and the fusion of it’s many cultures. Relaxed, organic, natural elements, a twist of exotic tastes and flavors combine with the sparkle and glamour of Tinseltown to create a very unique and distinctive style. 

GM Floral company, in the Los Angeles Flower Market, caters to many facets of L.A. design. Gregory Switzer AIFD, CFD is GM’s Floral Director. He works with designers daily that are servicing high-profile clients and events. Businesses like GM pay close attention to trends and celebrity influencers so they can stay one step ahead of what the next big thing is going to be.

“Hollywood directly affects our business. Our customers include the movie studios and television networks. We strive to be on the “cutting edge” on a daily basis. Set Designers, Floral Directors, and Event Companies expect the latest and greatest products and ideas to be innovative.”

To keep up with the ever-changing trends of L.A., GM must constantly be ready with the right products to fulfill the needs of their clients with fresh flowers and trend-worthy supplies, no matter what season we are currently in. Greg points out that if a movie is filming in June and needs a Christmas scene for the set, GM’s goal is to be ready to meet the needs of the customer.

Current trends GM is paying close attention to are styles that are “good, clean metropolitan design.” This means the trend is staying classic and polished. Not too formal and not too crazy.

Greg reminds us that Pantone’s Ultra-Violet is well on it’s way into L.A. design. “Purple shades are definitely popular and you will find them in floral and interior design.”

Color and Decor: We watch for color in celebrity gowns at award shows. We study who’s wearing what and when there are repeated nods to certain colors we eventually see them pop up in bridesmaids dresses, and then wedding decor, including flowers.

Color makes an audience feel. Hollywood pays close attention to how it uses color design in film. Filmmakers chose colors to communicate a film’s ideas and emotion. It is used subtly and moves us on a subconscious level.

Film’s color and style, interior settings and even locations can have a huge influence on design and decor trends. Popularity of color and imagery in films create a familiarity that consumers are often drawn to, thus becoming a trend.

Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby 2013 and it’s abundance of lush gardens and rooms filled phalaenopsis, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids spurred a trend in the wedding and event world by putting them on the big screen to tantalize brides around the world.

2014 released Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel with it’s Photochrom, pastel-pastry, retro-kitch pink giving an unforgettable tone to the entire film. This was the public introduction to Millennial Pink.

The small screen also holds a powerful impact on consumers. Game of Thrones’ dark and textural atmosphere is a current design influence inspiring decor with furs, antlers, wrought iron and rich color palettes of royal blues, velvety reds and opulent burgundy.

Netflix period shows, like the retro-1980’s Stranger Things, spark a resurgence of nostalgic touchstones like classic arcade games, bright yellow wall-telephones, wood panelling and Eggo frozen waffles. All of these kitchy objects and their colorful retro-appeal are influencing trends in all facets of things we buy.

When the 2017 Beauty and the Beast live action film was released, it had an instant audience of people who were influenced by the animated film from their childhood. Now watching the story as adult consumers, the film’s colorful style and new human cast spurred a market for everything from New Balance and Asics athletic shoes to Williams-Sonoma Le Creuset pot; the same blue as the Beast’s velvet coat.

At the same time as Belle’s iconic marigold-color gown whirls through the Beast’s castle, another 2017 film reinforced this emerging trend color with Emma Stone in a bright, retro style dress, thus creating the new “it color”,  La La Land-yellow.

Celebrity Influencers: Pop culture trends are highly influenced by celebrities. Celebrities are viewed as influential role models; their looks, fashion  and lifestyles and studied and emulated. There has become a strong trend in companies replacing models with Hollywood stars to help market products. Companies love to have a celebrity at the focus of their branding.

In a world that heavily revolves around data; a celebrity influencer’s endorsement of a product, can help it to become a major trend. Kylie Jenner Snapchatted herself eating pomegranate seeds and launched a major wave of on-line searches for ‘pomegranates’ and how to eat them and where to get them.

We love to know where a celeb mom bought her baby decor, and we can’t help but wonder what sofa our favorite celeb sits on and what designer water they drink. The consumer’s desire for what they perceive as “celebrity-worthy” can have a major impact on driving trends and brand recognition.

A millennial celebrity like Natalie Portman, being the face of a classic company like Dior, not only brings influence to the product being sold, but refreshes the brand itself. The trend of Millennial Pink is reinforced by Dior with the Eau de Parfum Miss Dior 2018 campaign: the perfume is pink.

Kim Kardashian and her wedding flower-wall began a craze that has given the floral industry a trend still evolving today.

In September 2017, Jennifer Lawrence arrived at the premiere of her movie Mother with flowers in her hair, her social media followers clammer to do the same. In the floral industry, we have been watching floral hair designs for years, but this is consumer awareness and it makes a difference. This starts a wave of prom and wedding hair flower requests. A trend is ‘born’ or ‘reborn’, ‘revitalized’.

Trends are what you make of them. Most trends have their foundations in other areas of life. Many of them you may have already been using in your designs or marketing, but it is often the positioning of the nationally and/or internationally recognized celebrity that breeds consumer awareness. Do you really believe that Pantone’s Untra-Violet is the actual color of 2018? Does it matter? If you use their international notoriety as a springboard for your marketing campaign; you show your trend ‘awareness’ by putting your brand next to theirs and using their brand’s advertisements to boost your own. The same can be accomplished by using La-La-Land’s ‘star-power’ when posting your next creation on social media sites.

Originally published in the October 2017 Issue of Florists Review

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FLORAL DESIGN EDUCATION https://balanceandblooms.com/floral-design-education/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=floral-design-education Fri, 20 Sep 2019 23:13:46 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=449 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI In 1852, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to pass a Compulsory Education Law. Since then, it is generally accepted in the United States that compulsory schooling ends in most states by age 16. Through self-motivation or a parental push, many in society continue their […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

In 1852, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to pass a Compulsory Education Law. Since then, it is generally accepted in the United States that compulsory schooling ends in most states by age 16. Through self-motivation or a parental push, many in society continue their studies through trade schools, college and beyond.

In the mass-market segment of the floral industry, once an interviewee becomes and employee: is that the end of their floral education? Many job-seekers bring years of floral design and floral management experience to their newly hired positions while others are wide-eyed and unskilled, but willing to learn. For years, the newly-hired employee has been trained on care & handling and merchandising and finally as a floral designer. Floral Department Managers and other experienced designers are often designated as trainers for these new hires. In some it is hard work that nurtures success; in others it is a natural talent that emerges: but again, is that the end of their floral education?

In 2012, we were in attendance at a Floral State Convention when the audience was asked to raise their hands to the questions: Who works at a traditional mom & pop, brick & mortar flower shop? Who works exclusively in the wedding/event industry? Who works out of their home or non-storefront studio? Hands were going up everywhere … though not all hands were being raised. After some serious consideration; the other 30% + attendees finally and timidly raised their hands when a lightbulb turned on and the question – “who works in a supermarket?” was asked. It was an eye-opening realization for both of us. We always believed it didn’t matter how flowers found their way into a consumer’s hands and these people were there to do exactly what we believed in. We were educators because we have always been concerned about the quality of floral design that was being produced.

Since then, we have both had the continuing opportunity to work with mass-marketers through overseas product development through nationally recognized companies in both the fresh flower and hardgoods industries. It isn’t that we just started working in that capacity – it is now we were working with a better understanding and a heightened awareness of who was actually using the products that were being developed. So, we ask; is floral education a new trend. For years, companies have invested in their floral division through available Wire Service Design Shows and other industry-related events. What makes floral education a trend is that more and more companies are investing in the conscientious education of their employees.

Companies are no longer waiting for design shows to come to them. Mass-marketers are bringing the education through the front door. They are educating their floral division through internal design shows, design workshops and merchandising competitions. Some companies have created local, regional and corporate-wide design competitions. These competitions push the limits of their floral designer’s skills in not only design but recipe and time management. These internal floral education business and design shows offer conversation through their in-house networking. The designers are pushing their skill levels at each event.

Four years ago, during a floral design presentation for a grocer; the hundreds of attendees were asked if they knew who many of the top Instagram floral designers were. Less than 5% of those in attendance knew who they were. At the same company’s show this year almost 50% of the audience raised their hands in awareness of knowing who some of the top online Floral Design Influencers are from around-the-world. Their company’s educational dollars are nurturing their employees desire to reach out, become more aware of what they do and what others are doing. They are challenging them and in turn their employees are challenging themselves to improve their skills, to better themselves and in the end – through education – become better employees.

Floral education in the mass-market segment is trending – at least it is in many companies. If not in yours: it should be.

Originally published in the March 2018 Issue of Super Floral Magazine

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MACRO CULTURE https://balanceandblooms.com/macro-culture/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=macro-culture Fri, 20 Sep 2019 23:07:43 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=447 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine AIFD, PFCI SPRING TREND-WATCHING Every year, as winter ends and spring begins to bloom, new trends embark on a 2-year migration into our fashion and home environments. The trends begin their journey as ripples within our culture. Culture has a huge impact on what we wear, what we […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine AIFD, PFCI

SPRING TREND-WATCHING

Every year, as winter ends and spring begins to bloom, new trends embark on a 2-year migration into our fashion and home environments. The trends begin their journey as ripples within our culture. Culture has a huge impact on what we wear, what we watch, what we listen to, and what we feel from social and technological influences. From Hollywood award show-glamour to desert concerts to cutting edge European design we begin to glimpse what will influence our decor path for an almost 2-year cycle.

The largest trade fair of its kind in the world, Milan Design Week is an event that showcases the world’s newest design innovations in furniture, lighting, and home decor and act as a barometer for current and future interior trends that will directly affect the consumer’s awareness of packaging and color when making floral purchases. The red-carpet awards shows give celebrities the chance to share their style influence through fashion as well as share their influence on social issues. Mega-festivals like Coachella and SWSX are not only music festivals but are also a window into film, interactive media, sound and style. Not to mention the latest in casual-chic fashion. These events have evolved into visionary experiences that transcend popular convention and allow the event go-er to be a risk-taker and take advantage of experimental styles. The attendees aren’t just our modern-day consumers, they are our social media Influencers that spread these changes around the globe.

CULTURE INFLUENCES EVERYTHING

With this whirlwind of style happenings around the planet, how do we sort through it? It all begins with culture and observing people. In today’s fast paced world, we must have our eye on the consumer in order to stay ahead and drive innovation. We look for moments, movements and shifts in social events that give a level of emotional connection with people, A.K.A. consumers. We do this by studying cultural trends and connecting them to product inspiration.

Before we can source colors and pick out the next trend-worthy pillows and sneakers, we need to see the big picture of what people are being motivated by. Consumers are influenced by how life around them is making them feel. Emotion is a huge part of culture. When we are happy we feel bold and daring and ready for something different. When we are worried and stressed we retreat to what feels comforting and safe.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

So now that we have spent a good part of our Spring studying culture, what is on the horizon for Fall and Winter 2019/20? Subtle changes and shifts in color are happening. New neutrals are coming forward. Colors that have been accents will become stronger and more focal. Colors are getting deeper and richer, but are accentuated with bold brights in a nod to technology. Decor items follow suit. They are combining organic materials, functional shapes and futuristic textures.

With a Macro Culture shift back to all-natural or mostly natural and transparent floral bouquets, it becomes a more challenging design direction to combine the colors you want with what is available naturally. Without color-enhancing your flowers: one way to continually stay on top of the trends that are on the forefront of consumer awareness is through updated packaging. Fall/Winter 19/20 will see distressed oxidization to playful, unexpected stripe and block saturations through marbleized painterly dye effects and bold zen garden corrugation to Concrete Flora, Faded Blossoms, Hologramic, and Aquarelle Flora patterns.

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1 STEP BACK, 2 STEPS FORWARD https://balanceandblooms.com/1-step-back-2-steps-forward/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=1-step-back-2-steps-forward Fri, 20 Sep 2019 23:02:40 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=445 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI Throughout 2018, we have been reporting on existing and emerging trends. Now that 2019 is almost here; companies, freelance forecasters and private prognosticators will be forecasting their Color-of-the-Year for 2019, the Textures-of-the-Year for 2019, the Patterns-of-the-Year for 2019, the Sustainable-Product-of-the-Year for 2019 and more. Does […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

Throughout 2018, we have been reporting on existing and emerging trends. Now that 2019 is almost here; companies, freelance forecasters and private prognosticators will be forecasting their Color-of-the-Year for 2019, the Textures-of-the-Year for 2019, the Patterns-of-the-Year for 2019, the Sustainable-Product-of-the-Year for 2019 and more. Does this mean that everything you became aware of in 2018 should be forgotten … discarded? NO!

2018 was filled with trends that connected the floral world to cultural consumer shifts around the globe. As the relevance of the Iberian Penninsula connected colors, textiles and textures in the U.S. and world markets so did the story of the individual flower touch consumers everywhere. Transparency and Sustainability: Causality and Color: The Human Touch and Hyper Tech Awareness all tell the stories of the flowers that we consume.

Where did the flower come from? Who picked the flower? How do the flowers benefit the communities they came from? This trend is not new, but its growing awareness among consumers has turned this movement into a macro trend. It is this Macro concept that moves trends in and out throughout an entire nation and regional and local purchases. TRENDWATCH: What we need to be aware of is ‘How does a consumer feel?’. This is not changing for 2019; it is only deepening through social and political awareness.

2018 has been in the middle of the ‘human shift’ within the floral industry. Who are your employees, where are they coming from, do they have floral experience, what floral education level do they have, what is their continued floral education needs and demands, and furthermore; can you provide them? It is the answer to these questions that allow for knowledgeable employees to better service your customers. It is this personal touch that the 2018 consumer has been looking for and the 2019 consumer will demand.

2018 has seen social media advance awareness of floral styles. Garden stylings, textural components, and a Royal wedding all have affected how consumers perceive floral value and connect to their personal aesthetics. Personal choices in flora and fauna in 2018 have grown ever-stronger in the ‘Living’ trend. Green, green, green … it is much easier ‘being green’ today than ever before. From Kinder Care ages to Millennials through to Boomers our green thumbs have offered a world of responsibility … well, not too much responsibility is what this trend in 2018 has been all about. This trend will only get stronger in 2019.

Last, but not least, color! As of this writing Pantone has yet to release its much-vaunted, Color-of-the-Year for 2019. Pantone itself advocates that it is not forecasting the colors but reporting on the world around us. All of its colors over the past few years are still in the trend mixes today and tomorrow with hue changes and tonal redefinitions. That does not stop paint companies from forecasting what their consumers want for 2019. Not only want , but will paint their walls, doors, cabinetry and more. These are colors that some of the biggest color companies in the world believe that their consumer wants to wrap themselves in by living with these colors everyday.

  • Behr Paint: Blueprint: a dark, rich complex true-blue hue
  • Benjamin Moore: Metropolitan: neutral, comforting, contemplative and calming gray
  • Clark + Kensington: Pineapple Cream Granita: a light and airy yellow
  • Dunn Edwards: Spice of Life: a dark, browned, fire brick red with orange undertones
  • Dutch Boy: Garden Patch: an optimistic, happier rich green seeking greater peace and celebrating diversity
  • PPG: Night Watch: a restorative, rich, luxurious, and classic shade of deep, rich green
  • Sherwin Williams: Cavern Clay: a warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots

Awareness more than anything else is the trend for 2019. Awareness of our cultures, our environment, and the people around us. Listen. Watch. Learn. Do.

Originally published in the March 2018 Issue of Super Floral Magazine

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Kinder-Garden https://balanceandblooms.com/kinder-garden/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kinder-garden Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:56:46 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=442 It’s not just adult consumers shaping the trends of today, but children as well. Kids are as every bit impacted by advertisements, the internet and friends as their parents are. Adults often acquiesce to their children’s demands when shopping, and kids are very aware of products they desire and where to purchase them. We are […]

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It’s not just adult consumers shaping the trends of today, but children as well. Kids are as every bit impacted by advertisements, the internet and friends as their parents are. Adults often acquiesce to their children’s demands when shopping, and kids are very aware of products they desire and where to purchase them.

We are currently in a time when the “green” trend is in full focus and is primed to capture the attention of kids as the future consumers of flowers and plants. The reason lies in the benefits, which include; a healthy development of curiosity, creativity and a stronger bond to our surrounding environment. According to scientific study, kids that play with flowers grow up to have a stronger nurturing tendency towards both nature and human beings.

The farm to table movement has been introducing kids to nature and helping them to understand where their veggies come from. They already have an awareness of ecosystems, clean air and environment and how their footprint is effecting the planet.

The latest trend in indoor gardening is geared toward kids. Plant kits, child-sized gardening tools, bright and whimsical containers all scream ‘fun and playful’. We’ve even seen white painted succulent plants that come with colorful water-based paints to let kids create their own artistic color enhancement.

Accessories to create ‘Fairy Gardens’ have become a sought after item at craft stores, and even kids herb gardens are a trendy way to get kids to grow edibles.

Helping to educate these new budding gardeners, stores are offering short workshops that allows parents to browse while their kids begin to learn about plants and flowers. Having events where parents and kids interact can open a door to a new generation of people who love our industry.

According to market research, more than a quarter of parents learn about a new product as a request from their child. Child demands product. Parent learns about a product through their child. Households then begin using these products. The child ideally grows up to encourage his or her own household to use these product; at least until their own kids start making requests, and then it all goes around again.

Children learning what it takes to handle plants and flowers help them to gain good work habits and a sense of responsibility, along with an understanding how flowers and plants grow and how they effect our daily lives.

Originally published in the March 2018 Issue of Super Floral Magazine

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AWARE https://balanceandblooms.com/aware/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=aware Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:52:28 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=431 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI There are many types of trends; some have nothing to do with the usual color, style and stories that we have traditionally followed. During a 45-day period from May 31 through July 12, 2018, we had the opportunity to attend 4 floral industry events in […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

There are many types of trends; some have nothing to do with the usual color, style and stories that we have traditionally followed. During a 45-day period from May 31 through July 12, 2018, we had the opportunity to attend 4 floral industry events in the hopes of reporting on the movement of existing trends and trend habits and the emergence of new trends. These events included Breeders, Growers, Importers, Floral Wholesalers, Bouquet Operations, Supermarkets, Mass-Market Chains, Retail Florists, Freelance and Event Designers, Event Planners, Floral Internet Gurus and Floral Transportation Experts. We have learned that forcing a trend to show itself is not realistic. A ‘shift’ in transparency through blockchain Connectivity and collaboration seemed to be the only consistent message throughout all 4 happenings. The trends that did emerge all connected to awareness. Is awareness itself a trend?

AWARE: PMA FRESH, MIAMI

We are living in the “Age of The Little Guy,” as pointed out by Shawna Suckow, a buyer behavior expert and keynote speaker at PMA Fresh in Miami, FL. In 2013, Nikko Mele proposed this in his book, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath – therefore, the Amazon Experience. Our modern 24/7/365 consumer has DISRUPTED how everyone does business. For the first time in history, the end-user is in control of what they want, when they get it, where it comes from, and who they buy it from. This has created a new global world order of consumerism. This internet educated ‘Me’ consumer is socially conscious and through transparency wants to Trust in each and every purchase. “A rising tide lifts all boats:” it is in embracing this awareness of the consumer’s needs and wants and how to satisfy them that will offer a solution to these disruptions and a Transcendence beyond the current normal for how we connect with them.

AWARE: THE MIAMI FLOWER EXPERIENCE

At AFIF: America’s Flower Connection’s Miami Flower Experience, Executive V.P. Christine Boldt of AFIF explained the evolution of the logistics of bringing flowers into the United States since their formation in 1982. With planeloads of flowers arriving daily in Miami there is an actual semblance to what seems like utter Chaos. The logistics of transportation maneuvering through the USDA, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the FDA is mind-bending. It was in these seminars that the awareness of how we get the majority of flowers into the United States came to an understood fruition. It is also where many transportation representatives, importers, wholesalers and retailers alike began to realize the overwhelming need for transparency from the inside-out and why the consumer needs to understand it.

These attendees all had a basic awareness of the trending retail and consumer purchasing habits in the floral industry. They also are acutely aware of their competition. They all sell the same product at the same prices and transport them on the same planes into Miami. The boutique-style niche that we are finding more and more florists turning to is the same concept that wholesalers are now trending towards: service. Concierge-style service that includes knowing a purchaser’s likes and buying habits. As in any business, this service is not only a friendlier approach to the process of taking a floral order; it is meant to reduce stress, increase Happiness and productivity and boost efficiency.

AWARE: IFE

At the International Floral Expo (IFE) in Chicago we had the opportunity to sit in on Keith White AIFD’s presentation of the American Floral Trends Forecast (AFTF) 2018-2019 (as can be seen in Florists’ Reviews January 2018 edition). Every worldwide trend prognosticator has given their opinions on ‘what will be hot’ for these years. Story boards upon more story boards have offered the crystal ball analysis of the colors of the year. The AFTF goes beyond this with the color, style and story of why it works for today’s floral consumers. This need for a Certainty of awareness of what the consumer sees and the colors that they surround themselves with, in their everyday life, is a strong marketing tool that provides us with the insight of what equates to Harmony in the life of the shopper. This awareness allows us to better understand who we sell to.

AWARE: AIFD

In 1998 Archetype Analytics burst forth in the world of Marketing Research. What are Archetypes? In Carl Jung’s Instinct and the Unconscious, he first used the term in 1919 to describe images that derive from the collective unconscious and will often manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world. At the American Institute of Floral Designer’s 2018 Symposium in Washington D.C. they were given life and meaning for the floral world in a wonderful program by Talmage McLaurin AIFD titled “Trend Archetypes: Unconscious Motivations.”

Talmage transcended traditional marketing analytics of motivators like Millennials are leaders in the Sharing Economy, retired Baby-Boomers who live in mid-western cities or single, Gen X moms over the age of 40 who have 2.25 kids, work and try to have hobbies. He showed, that though understanding traditional trends and why they are important in your Growth of awareness: there are decisive archetypes that play a deeper role on the ‘stories we tell to sell flowers.’ Talmage’s Contribution to AIFD’s Symposium uncovered 9 specific unconscious motivators for the floral industry and showed them in a visual style through design and the story of why (for the full presentation go to AIFD.org to purchase this 2018 Symposium presentation video/the 9 motivators are in bold print and underlined in this article).

In the never-ending search for what consumers will do next, trend awareness is crucial. Our industry is paying attention, as witnessed in the realization of the need for B2B; to network and then collaborate with each other. The be more aware of not only what we do, but what others do, and how connected we all are, the better the chance of success in every part of our industry, Growers need wholesalers, importers need shippers, designers need everyone, and consumer’s needs drive it all.

Originally published in the October 2017 Issue of Florists Review

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CULTURE KALEIDOSCOPE https://balanceandblooms.com/culture-kaleidoscope/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=culture-kaleidoscope Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:48:38 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=437 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI Color inspiration comes from many places, emotions and imaginations. As our world has become intimately connected, our horizons have broadened and become more insightful, more influenced and definitely more colorful. In this time of global connectivity, world cultures create color trends and style inspirations more […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

Color inspiration comes from many places, emotions and imaginations. As our world has become intimately connected, our horizons have broadened and become more insightful, more influenced and definitely more colorful. In this time of global connectivity, world cultures create color trends and style inspirations more than ever before. Images of exotic travel destinations, the excitement and anticipation of Olympic venues, social and environmental awareness and even pop-culture locales influence cultural trends. Cultural Colorscapes easily inspire as they tend to blend earthy neutrals with accents rich and vibrant in hues that define their location on the globe.

As much as we have recently been making a study of soft almost “colorless” colors as U.S. trends, we are seeing an addendum of brights adding contrast to our neutral “greige” and blushes thanks to the influence of our connected world. Playing off the “new neutrals” of camel, millennial pink, and navy, we are seeing pops of vibrant color that give contrast and excitement to modern design palettes.

The colors of deserts of North and Central America are still trending with their sandy golds and grays, greens of every shade and hue, and subtle reds and plums. Think succulents, tillandsia and cacti with the natural earth-tones of river stones and terra cotta pottery.

New to our world-map of color is the southern Mediterranean region. The Iberian Peninsula with Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal are among the latest influencers in color and interior trends. The laid-back styles focus on embracing traditional handicrafts and community experiences such as street festivals and outdoor dining on late summer evenings. Fringed textiles, woven textures, crochet, brightly glazed ceramics and rustic pale wood tones tell the tale of the lifestyle of people enjoying humble and sun-drenched days by the sea. Colors focus on blues, intense shades of dusty pink, bright orange and kumquat citrus tones.

Less than 10 miles due south of Spain we explore the next trending continent; Africa. Inspiration is everywhere in this land of deserts, grasslands and forests. A dynamic blend of deep, Saharan mid-tone colors  are sparked by an array of saturated Bakongo brights. African craft techniques are modernized through unexpected color applications and a fusion of organic and synthetic materials. Intense color combinations and a bold graphic edge inject contemporary design. Ancient traditions collide with modernity blending a creative mix of dynamic textiles and surface textures. Neutrals such as warm browns and terra-cotta combine with reds and coral, rich blues, bright grass-green and warm gold.

One last Cultural Colorscape leap and we arrive in Japan, who’s cultural aesthetic has always been inspired by an appreciation of nature, art and design. Japanese tradition meets a sleek modernism. Handcrafted elements are essential alongside minimalist architecture and spherical patterns and prints. Trending in decor, we see abstract, watercolor strokes and floral patterns, calligraphy characters, and the retro stylings of traditional Japanese imagery. Neutrals of black, indigo blue and white contrast powerfully with bright saffron gold, red and burgundy, rich plum, soft latte and foggy grays.

Just as that very first flower may have been picked for sheer beauty and color, the world continues to have that same passion. As trends shift and merge, one thing we can be sure of … the culture of color will always inspire.

Originally published in the October 2017 Issue of Florists Review

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CREATIVITY IN THE MODERN WORLD https://balanceandblooms.com/creativity-in-the-modern-world/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creativity-in-the-modern-world Fri, 20 Sep 2019 22:43:35 +0000 https://balanceandblooms.com/?p=435 Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI DISCOVERING OUR CREATIVITY Our brains were built for being creative. Creativity is one of the most fundamental of human qualities. It is truly part of our basic human nature. Creativity is sometimes looked at as being rare and reserved just for a certain gifted few. […]

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Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

DISCOVERING OUR CREATIVITY

Our brains were built for being creative. Creativity is one of the most fundamental of human qualities. It is truly part of our basic human nature. Creativity is sometimes looked at as being rare and reserved just for a certain gifted few. Although it is often stereotyped as being the work of artists, painters, sculptors, writers, etc … , we need remember that some of the worlds most illustrious “creatives” never picked up a paint brush or sculpted clay. They wore lab coats and created their art through numbers and formulas.

University of Notre Dame anthropologist Agustín Fuentes, author of The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional describes the process in the following way; “The essence of creativity is to look at the world around us, see how it is and imagine other possibilities that are not immediately present or based on our immediate personal experience. Creativity is seeing the possibilities and then trying to make those imaginings into material reality.”

People evolve by discovering unanticipated facts and theories. Discovering new faces and the excitement of new worlds inspires and drives the human mind to want more. It teaches us how to see multiple pathways to solving challenges.

As with many creative industries, the world of flowers constantly evolves, repeatedly reminding us not to do the same old things in the same old way, but to push them to the limit and see what happens. Experimentation, risk, originality. This is how new design styles and techniques are born. This is how new flower varieties are created. This is how we interpret what a consumer desires and design for them something they could not have made themselves.

TECHNOLOGY

We can hardly talk about creative trends in today’s world without discussing how technology effects our creativity. How do we stay creative with our minds and hands when so much of the world around us celebrates speed, ease and automation?

People are increasingly expecting new technology to automate the boring elements of life, and the process is supposed to allow us to spend more time on interesting things. We literally have an entire world of creative information and inspiration at our fingertips. Art, literature, music, nature … all right there; waiting to inspire us. The abundance is overwhelming, yet sometimes too much of a good thing is just that. Too much. The easy and constant access we have to visual stimulus is both wonderful and complicated for the creative mind.

For today’s creatives, our devices can spur imagination, but it is also a concern that all of the visual input our screen time gives us also may slow our ability to create our own individual visual imagery. Screens can get in the way of creative activities like daydreaming. When we are bored we now turn to our screens, leaving behind the down-time our minds would otherwise use for imagination and creativity. When we daydream, we tend to think nothing is happening, however research shows that during those moments our brains actually light up with creative connections. So, screen time helps to open up possibilities for our imaginations, but we need to remember to not become completely dependent on technology to be our sole source of inspiration.

Floral designers are pushed to be creative through their natural materials, constructions, mechanics, buying, customer service, marketing and everything else that goes along with business of floristry. We need to remember to take the time to play. Take time to enjoy the tactile quality of what we do. Grouping colors, gathering textures, adding unique elements together is all part of our creative process.

COLLABORATION

It’s no longer just creatives that are shaping our visual world. According to Adobe Stock’s visual trends forecast for 2019: 95 million photos are uploaded to Instagram and people watch 100 million hours of content on Facebook every single day.

Humans are collaborative creatures by their sheer nature. The fact that we, as floral designers, can share our creativity through social media has opened a new world of possibilities for growth and continued learning. Beyond the beauty of inspiring botanical installation work, we are able to communicate, ask questions, learn mechanics and construction principals. The ultimate goal

is to absorb inspiration from people that create with the same medium as we do, and let that motivation help us to continue our own creative journey.

All creatives, even the most celebrated ones, draw on the work of others, influenced consciously  or unconsciously by that which has come before them. We reconfigure existing ideas and forms and then manipulate those into something new of our own expression.

Share and engage fellow designers. Sharing creativity can be hard. Our creativity is very personal. We tend to covet it and hold it close. Creatives do naturally fear judgement and their point of view not being understood and accepted. It feels vulnerable to share what makes your creative side tick. One of the best gifts that techno-media brings us is the ease of collaboration. We can share with others that think like us and work within the same medium. We can inspire each other and learn and continue to grow creatively.

Originally published in the October 2017 Issue of Florists Review

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