07 Dec Behind the Scenes: Holiday Prep
For many people, it’s officially that ‘can you believe it’s already the holidays?’ season. This year especially – with many of us still feeling as if we’re somewhere between March and the summer months – the holidays have seemed to appear almost out of nowhere.
For those in the floral and retail florist industry, especially our Damselfly Flowers team, the holidays start as early as January. Yes, you read that correctly. January. Poinsettias, a festive floral centerpiece favorite, are purchased eleven months in advance whereas ‘fresh’ holiday products (evergreens, garlands, wreaths, etc.) and ‘dry’ products for Thanksgiving (such as dried and preserved flowers) are finalized in August.
Since planning is practically our middle name, our retail floral shops are essentially in the holiday spirit year-round. Almost all retail shops order fresh flowers far in advance – forecasting the latest and greatest when it comes to flower arranging gifts. For us, forecasting for the holidays is contingent on many factors. Aside from projected flower shop sales and styles, we need to consider unusual weather patterns, droughts, global climate changes, a variety of ecological factors, and bacteria or fungi that may have surfaced on the farms.
It is imperative that these factors are taken into consideration to ensure not only a perfectly timed arrival for our farm fresh flowers, but the freshest and highest quality flower shop products for our clients. Just as we say when we’re planning our social, wedding and corporate events, everything comes down to a formula. We take the time to work backward to ensure we’re moving forward – dichotomizing every step and possible outcome as we go.
Once all of the planning and forecasting is in place, the next step is delivery, prep work, and the assembly of flower arrangements. Reminiscent of a Santa’s workshop during peak toymaking weeks, our offices/showroom turned holiday headquarters is composed of assembly lines that start as early as August. Picture, if you will, a 16- to 20-foot table covered in mountains of holiday garlands, wreaths, pine cones, faux berries, and more with each member responsible for adding specific elements as a floral centerpiece moves its way down the line.
Once we start with flower arranging, our team members are safely staggered throughout the workshop with their checklists, buckets of flowers, and stems nearly covering their feet. Regardless of the month, you’re certain to find a floral designer signing holiday tunes. Surrounded by evergreens, cedar, and wreaths for nearly two months prior to the holidays, we’re accustomed to smelling like Christmas as we celebrate Halloween – and long before we even consider making one Thanksgiving arrangement.
Since the greens and florals require very strict temperatures, you’ll find team members wearing three coats and many pairs of fuzzy socks to ensure there isn’t a stark temperature change when the cooler doors are opened. While it’s significant work forecasting, planning, assembling, designing, wrapping, pricing, counting, and dividing fresh flowers among stores, our team members at Damselfly Designs thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. The smell of constantly brewed coffee competes with comforting evergreen aromas as team members bring in holiday treats and desserts for all to share. In some cases, spontaneous dancing erupts. Let’s just say, the holidays are truly embodied and celebrated with every single stem.