Getting It Done

So things are coming along quite nicely now, we have pretty much all of the furniture in without many hiccups except the fact that we probably should have waiting because we gouged a couple spots in the hard wood and we had to call  our guys back to help us fix it. We waited to put the floor in after we did the coolers, counters and our other display cabinets that are stationary because than for sure they would have gotten messed up. We thought we were doing it right but with our wrought iron furniture proved to need more care than we gave it.

The good thing is though that the company that we used said that it was not as bad as we thought they just need to sand and refinish the wood and it was good as new. And they didn’t charge us that much for it which was real nice. So all of the display counters, shelves, furniture and walls are all in place, we have our offices, break room, bathrooms, and storage room all set up and the warehouse is just about done. We sort of got the basics done in the ware house then stopped so we could get the other parts of the building done, so now we are back to finishing the warehouse.

The floor and garage door are done. Our three coolers are put in, now we just need to get our shelving put in and get all our product ordered and shipped. It seems that we have done so much yet have so much more to do. Yet it is almost time to begin than we will be doing more and more every day trying to make our business last. This has been a dream of my wife’s for a really long time and I am lucky to help her make it come true.

We are going to sell a wide variety if flowers, tropical or exotic flowers such as orchids, protea, ginger, birds of paradise, anthirium, and heliconia along with the tropical green leaves. We will have wild flowers like delphinium, larkspur, solidago, wax flower, poppies, phlox, foxgloves, yarrow and much much more. And of course we will have roses, carnations, daisy’s, alstromeria and babies breath. We need to have vases, containers and baskets that will go with all of these flowers and also the standard greens. I have never realized how much goes into making a flower arrangement until we started looking through supply catalogs. So many little things that are needed for every occasion.

Tissue, cellophane and ribbon to wrap bouquets, balloons, cards, plush animals, candy, chocolates, and other point of sale items that are unique to us. And all of these things need to be for every celebration you can think of because people will get flowers for almost anything so we need to be prepared and that means stocking up on all of the goodies. My wife plans on having a window display that she will change from time to time depending on the season and/or holiday but that is her department, she is the designer so I will leave all of that up to her. I will stick to the behind the scenes managing the business, which is my specialty.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff

Starting From Bottom To Top

It’s time to start thinking about floors now in our process of renovating our shop. It is probably one of the hardest things to decide on, I take that back, every decision we are having to make is turning into one of the hardest things about renovating our shop. The easiest decision was our warehouse floor, we just put epoxy flooring throughout the entire thing, it is one of the most durable floors for this type of business and super easy to sweep and mop, plus it looks pretty awesome.

In hallway, bathrooms, storage room and office area we are choosing to use tile floors. We plan to use a dark tile with dark grout, this way it will hide more dirt and won’t look as nasty as the years go on. It is always annoying when you have rugs done and when you go to move them to clean, the grout and tile are a lighter color because they are cleaner. From the warehouse there is just a short hallway with four rooms, two on each side. The bathrooms are on one side that we plan on having a men’s and women’s room, then the other side is where the office and storage rooms are. Then once you pass those rooms you get to the main show room of our actual flower shop. For the tile, I would love to slate, but my wife is leaning toward a lighter color, still dark but lighter than slate. I will not give up trying to convince her to use slate, it is such a beautiful tile. So many different colors in one tile, that you could paint your walls any color and it would match.

Next is the showroom, here we plan on using hard wood floors, there is just nothing more elegant than hard wood floors. It creates a welcoming atmosphere and lets people enjoy their surroundings more. Plus, most types of furniture look good on hard wood floors, and we plan on using wrought iron where ever possible. The key is to not have flashy floors or furniture or anything else that is going to take away from the actual product, which happens to be green plants, blooming plants and flowers. They are colorful enough and too much can be overwhelming and busy and people will miss things. Plus, there will be other colorful vases, containers and knickknacks to add color and texture. So wood floors, wrought iron and anything else that is simple yet stunning. It is just a matter of deciding on what style of wood. Another major decision.

So goes the process of building a flower shop from bottom to top. Soon it will be just a matter of getting things in place and stocking up on supplies so we can open our doors. Which is probably the only thing that is keeping us going, this is tough as we knew it would be. But this is ourdream and we will do just about anything to make it happen.

Until next time,

Frank

Getting On Track

Since now that we have found our “perfect” location we have started to build the inside of the place. We had bought a building that had a small warehouse in the back of it where we are planning to store of our hard goods and to put a big walk in cooler in for our extra supplies of greens and flowers. There is a smaller building attached to the warehouse where we are going to have our front showroom, our offices and backroom where we make and prep everything. The office is the smallest of these three since we plan on having a showroom with lots of things on display, we are going to have one wall lined with coolers to keep our cut flowers and premade arrangements in. We are also going to have one side be where all our green and flowering plants are, then mixed in between everything will be house gifts, garden gifts, cards, balloons, candy, stuff animals, vases and other such things that you typically find in a floral shop. We also planned to have a window display that we change periodically.

Our first projects just so happens to be the garage door that is in the warehouse. This huge bay door was one of the reasons that I wanted this building so bad. I wanted this big garage door because a lot of our deliveries come in big trucks, some are semi’s but most are the big box trucks and having this big garage door will help with the deliveries because the trucks can get pretty well inside the building and it will just make everything easier. However the garage door is out of commission as the wheels of the door tracks are old and rusty and do not work anymore but thanks to Clarkston Garage Door Repair who I found online and had many great reviews (which is important), we are able to get the door up and working again. We just needed to get new tracks and all of that hardware stuff that is also needed. I won’t pretend that I know a lot of fixing garage doors because I don’t but I was really impressed that they were able to help me because I had originally thought that they only worked on houses.

So once we get this door working again then the renovations will go much faster as well because now we can only get the door up not even half way and that makes it a lot harder to get all the big stuff in and besides there is no way all of the coolers will be able to get in trough the regular doors. But we have made a lot of progress, we have cleaned the entire building out and have designed a layout of where we want everything to go. Its just a matter of it all coming together and my wife and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this adventure!

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you stick around

Jeff

Finding The Right Spot

Finding the perfect spot for our flower shop has been the hardest thing thus far. There are so many factors that you have to consider when choosing a location. One, you do not want it near another one especially if that one is established and been there awhile. Two, it needs to be in a high traffic area so that people will be driving by on a regular basis, flowers tend to be a last minute idea, Three, the rent of the building has to be a good low price, during the off season and when it is not a holiday a florist can be extremely slow. Four, it also needs to be in a town where you know that people will spend their money on flowers because flowers are a luxury not a necessity.  The list goes on…

We have thought about buying an old florist that has gone out of business because people have known that a flower shop was there at one point and may subconsciously remember flowers when driving by, but we decided not to do that because that flower shop went out if business for a reason and we don’t want that associated with our new business. So, we have decided to buy a building that has not been a florist and just renovate it into one. The jury is still out on if this is the best solution, but we are stuck now because we have purchased a building. We are hoping that we made all the right decisions because flowers are a tough business to break into.

The good news is that we know of a lot of businesses that are really good at renovations and others companies that are good for any other thing that we may need to get our flower shop up and running, from the coolers to the bathrooms, display cases to the store frontage. Anything and everything, we are lucky in that regard. We have used these companies in the past and know that they do a good quality job, and if they are unable to help we trust them to point us in the right direction to get us to a company that is able to help us out.

This is going to be a long process, we are looking to open sometime next fall, and yes it is fall now but we are just in the beginning stages of starting this business. There are many, many things left to do and we are planning on doing things once and right, we don’t want to rush anything and cause things to be set back. Hopefully this gets us on the right path to having a successful business. Please send us any advice if you have ever started your own business or if you know of any business in our area, which is southeast Detroit, that you know that will be a big help to us.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this, hopefully you stick around to hear how we are doing,

Jeff and Sarah