Rise and shine, Vancouver! It's another beautiful day in the city, and for us, your local Vancouver florist, it means it's time to get up bright and early! The first thing on our to-do list is to head over to the local flower wholesaler to pick up our flowers and supplies for the week. We have a standing order of our favourite roses and everything else we use in our bouquets we purchase from United Flower Auction. We're so lucky to be a florist in Vancouver, so close to the flower auction. The convenience and ability to just drive down the road and pick up anything we need, last minute and immediately, allows us to save on shipping and capitalize on freshness.
On auction days, which happen 3 times per week, you would step into a well oiled machine for the 6am auctions. Greeted by trains bursting with flowers, the hustle and bustle of every Vancouver florist and Canadian buyer, all eager to get their hands on the best deals; those mornings were exciting. Since covid, however, we purchase our flowers from the comfort of our own home. Although completely different, this Vancouver florist doesn't mind staying in her Pj's with a hot cup of coffee and simultaneously watching youtube or crime shows on Hayu. The flower auction was probably one of the most indimidating aspects to learn, but the most exciting. Everyweek is different; you get to purchase locally grown flowers and support talented growers from all over the lower mainland, all while trying to get the best prices. Its invigorating, tense and incredible fun.
Ever wonder how a Dutch Auction works? Well, our auction in Vancouver is modeled after just that. It's a bit different than the auctions we're all familiar with, but don't worry - we've got an explanation for you. Depending on the time of year, the auction can last a couple of hours. Once everything is sold, we wait until around 9am for pick up. But until then, we'll pour more coffee, enjoy some breakfast, and get ready for the day ahead
Parking at the auction can be a breeze or a nightmare, depending on the day and time. We either grab our supplies on one side of the building or load up our cars with buckets of flowers. It's a bit of a dance. Before Covid, we used to wander the lanes of flower carts searching for our number, surrounded by people sorting and packing. But now, it's a restricted zone. Our number gets called and our cart makes what feels like a dramatic, fashionable late entrance through the warehouse doors. We chat with the workers, salespeople, and other Vancouver florists before packing up and dodging carts to head back to the shop.
It's 10am and we're back in Ladner, where our studio is located. The peaceful atmosphere greets us as we unload our things, which usually takes around 20 minutes. Once we're settled, we sit down, savor the last sips of our coffee, and map out our plan for the day. After a decade of working together, we've found our own groove. One of us takes care of tidying up the flowers, while the other handles computer tasks. And with that, we're off to get things done!
We start prepping the flower orders; we write the cards, create boxes, stick on the relevant stickers, and organize order tags. This prepping process helps to ensure a smooth flower making process. We stop accepting orders at 10am, and usually start making them around that time to avoid any confusion and keep our process efficient. Our flower deliveries are entered, printed, tagged, and ready to be picked up and delivered all over Vancouver. From romantic surprises to birthday bouquets, we love knowing our flowers bring joy to people's faces
As the morning progresses, the shop inevitably gets a bit messy, but we always make sure to sweep up before diving into administrative tasks. Sitting side by side, we usually eat lunch as we diligently type away at our computers, organizing and reorganizing our calendars, quotes, and emails in a floral battle-ship. While most people assume we simply "play with flowers," the truth is that quoting clients, answering emails, and managing inventory make up a solid 80% of our job. But there's something truly special about working with beautiful blooms, and we feel lucky to share that joy with our customers.
Here's a sneak peek into a week in our (flower-filled) lives when wedding and event season begins! First things first, we order our blooms weeks in advance and pick them up bright and early on Monday. We spend the next few days hydrating and cleaning them to perfection so they're ready to go for the big day. Thursday and Friday are dedicated to creating stunning arrangements that are tailor-made for each event. Sometimes we have to adjust our timeline depending on the size of the occasion, but we're always committed to giving each event the attention it deserves. During the summer months, we're super busy with 2-4 events every weekend...but we wouldn't have it any other way! And when it comes to big holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, we work overnight to make sure every order is just right. But don't worry, even those late nights are surprisingly relaxing...there's just something magical about making flowers at night!
As the workday comes to an end, we tidy up the shop before heading out - sometimes leaving a few things for the next day if we're feeling beat. Standing on concrete all day can be tough on our bodies, so we make sure to get everything done efficiently. By planning ahead and tackling tasks early in the week, we avoid cramming work into the final days. This also gives us breathing room in case of unexpected events, like a spoiled flower or last minute additions to an order. We can handle anything that needs fixing with a calm, prepared mindset.
Another day as a florist has come to an end. Before calling it quits, we scan our emails one last time (who are we kidding, we're always checking them!). Then, we ensure all tasks are completed before storing any pick-up orders in their designated cabinet. It's lights out, alarm set, and doors locked. Finally, if we're up for it, we take our shop dog for a relaxing walk in the park to unwind before heading home. Goodnight, Vancouver. We'll be back bright and early for another adventurous day as florists.