Flowers are beautiful all on their own, but it takes talent and dedication to hand-craft an eye-catching, long-lasting floral arrangement and deliver it to a recipient’s home or place of work.
In its newsletter, the Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts Kids Club regularly showcases the tools and tricks of the trade that our florists draw upon to do the very best work for our customers.
We’ve compiled some of them below. We hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look into the dynamic nature of a flower shop.
Superman wears a red cape on his back. Connells Maple Lee designers have something similar, except they wear it on the front.
It’s an apron, and its pockets hold all the tools they need to be floral super heroes: a knife to cut flowers; scissors to cut thicker stems or ribbon; calculator to add flower prices; pen/pencil to take notes from a customer; highlighter to mark special delivery times and other can’t-miss information; permanent marker to identify the contents of boxes before they are packed away; even a mini-screwdriver in case something needs tightening.
Aprons are embroidered with the Connells Maple Lee logo and have a place for a name tag so customers can identify the designer and how long he or she has been with the company.
The tape at the top of these vases looks like a game of tic-tac-toe, doesn’t it? It’s a tape grid, and it helps us space flower stems evenly. It also provides support to the stems so they stand tall and look their best.
We use three types of tape depending on the color of the container we are using: clear tape for glass, white tape for white containers, and green tape for baskets and other dark non-glass containers.
The reason for the different colors is that we want our customers to focus on their beautiful flowers and not the tape.
Those green blocks in the photo are called floral foam. The foam holds cut flower stems in place to make arrangements look pretty. It also holds water so the flowers last as long as possible.
If you use scissors for craft projects at school or home, you might have a future working in a flower shop! We use several different types of scissors in our stores. Some are just for cutting flowers, some are made to cut thicker stems such as evergreens or lemon leaf, and others are just for cutting ribbon. We never use ribbon scissors on flowers because the blades would get dull and wouldn’t cut the fabric straight.
No matter what you do with scissors, it’s always important to use them safely.
If you play soccer or baseball or another sport for a team, then you probably wear a uniform. Maybe it includes a shirt with your team’s name on front and your number on the back.
Connells Maple Lee employees are part of a team, too. They might not be kicking or throwing balls, but they are constantly in motion. They practice how to make beautiful arrangements so they are ready for their big games, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
They wear uniforms, too. They wear the Connells Maple Lee logo on their shirts because it helps to make each employee feel and work like part of a unified team. It also makes it easy for customers to know who they can ask for help.
When we sell flowers, we put them in pretty plastic wrap. It’s kind of like when you wear a coat or sweater: the wrap helps keep the flowers warm and protects them from the wind when they go outside. The wrap also makes the flowers look extra special, like a gift.
Our delivery vans and the men and women who drive them are crucial to the success of our business.
Once one of our designers creates a gorgeous flower arrangement, it’s up to our drivers to deliver them safely and on time. Of course, the flowers have to look as good as they did when they left the store, which can be a big challenge when it’s really hot or cold or stormy.
Our drivers might be the only Connells Maple Lee employee whom customers see if they ordered over the phone or online. So we have to hire people who are safe drivers but also happy and friendly and keep their uniforms and vans clean because they represent our company.
Drivers have a lot of responsibility, but they also have the good fortune to deliver presents of flowers to people.