Kitty Concerns…with Lilies!

Did you know that several varieties of lilies can cause renal (kidney) failure or even death in cats if eaten? A study from Utah State University revealed a toxic connection between cats and the following lilies: the Easter lily, tiger lily, Rubrum lily, Japanese show lily and daylilies.

When you get an order for any of these lilies, inquire if the recipient has a cat.  If they do, explain the risks and offer an alternative.  Also, be proactive with this information on your website and in your marketing.  To make your life even easier, the Society of American Florists (SAF) has provided the following verbiage:

“The National Animal Poison Control Center says certain types of lilies can cause renal failure in cats that have ingested any part of the lily. (Your shop name) recommends keeping lilies out of the reach of cats. It is important to note that lilies do not pose a problem for other pets or humans.”

Hydrangea Help


We are all crazy about hydrangeas.  However, keeping hydrangeas looking gorgeous can sometimes drive us crazy.  Fear not!  The following guidelines are taken from a Care & Handling article in SAF’s Floral Management Magazine, from August 2014.  It is written by Gay Smith, the technical consulting manager for Chrysal USA.

Big picture: hydrangeas are big drinkers.  Unfortunately, when the stems of hydrangeas are cut, they bleed out organic juices, enzymes and carbohydrates that block the uptake of water, leading to flowers that flop.  Fortunately, professional hydration solutions combat the stem clogging by keeping bacteria in check and lowering the pH of water, boosting the flow of water by dissolving air bubbles trapped in the vessels of xylem.  So here’s the 5-step drill for healthy hydrangeas:

1) Prepare hydration solutions with cold water using proper measurement.

2) Cut hydrangea stems with clean, sharp shears or knife.

3) Immediately transfer stems into solution.

4) Allow 12 to 48 hours for flowers to fully hydrate.

5) Once blooms are turgid, transfer blooms into a professional holding solution to introduce glucose, which keeps petal tissues firm and provides energy for flower heads to continue opening for up to 11 days.

Mistaken information is circulating that “alum,” a kitchen additive, will keep hydrangeas properly hydrated.  It is true that alum can help with initial hydration…but those stems will not remain hydrated for the long haul unless they are in a professional solution that keep the bacteria under control.  Save yourself the extra time and cost of using the alum and go straight for the good stuff: professional flower solutions that will take care of your flowers and make YOU the true professional!



Your Toolbox for Color: DESIGN MASTER

Ahhh, there is a wonderful toolbox of color at your fingertips and it’s provided by the great folks at DESIGN MASTER!  While color-in-a-can is an amazing thing, knowing how to use that spray can to it’s fullest capacity is even better!  Check out this video for valuable tips on spraying flowers.  If you care to learn more, visit DESIGN MASTER’S website:


Glitter Box SUCCESS!


Kelly Harnisch, AIFD, shares her secrets for success in the August 2013 Glitter Box & Bottle Topper Workshop!

Kelly Harnisch fired up the R&M workshop attendees when they created holiday Glitter Boxes and Bottle Toppers this past month!  They left R&M brimming with fresh ideas, sharpened skills and loads of inspiration.

Guests were given all the supplies they needed and Kelly shared her “recipes,” tips and tricks.  Many commented that the projects were trickier than they expected, but Kim from Bloomin’ Olive said “Kelly did a great job explaining things.”  The attendees also loved that both the boxes and bottle toppers are great items that allow you to use up inventory and scraps you already have on hand.

Although it’s hard to see in the photos, the Glitter Boxes GLOW.  The lights inside the boxes are a BIG part of the allure- they really get the item noticed, create a festive mood and amp-up the “WOW” factor.

Kelly also shared valuable marketing ideas to boost sales and encourage repeat business.   Perfect for small spaces, the boxes are ideal for restaurants, retirement homes, condos and dorms.  They are wonderful for hostess gifts and impulse purchases; customers can’t resist them and they have mass appeal.  Kelly uses the boxes for donations and has found that sales always follow!  She told attendees to look beyond the traditional holidays and make boxes themed for Halloween, autumn, anniversaries, birthdays and more.  Kelly biggest challenge is keeping up with demand, so she encouraged everyone to start early, be organized and create at least 6 at a time to maximize your efficiency.  Prep all of your components (measure and cut ribbons, mesh, tinsel roping, light strands, etc.) and use the assembly line process.

So what about those bottle toppers?  Well, they dress up any bottle and take it to a whole new level!  Once your customers see these babies, you better be ready to make more.  Using tinsel roping as your mechanic (to create the loop that goes around the neck of a bottle) you can work in any ribbons, silk flowers, picks and table scrapes to create this unique money-maker.

Mary of Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly said, “It’s never too early to get started creating beautiful gifts for the holiday season!”   If you’d like to learn how to make these and other designs, come on in to see samples and be inspired.  We have all the components you need and we are delighted to help.  Our showroom is currently dressed for the holidays and loaded with new products and ideas as well!


IMG_4168packersribitIt’s August and in addition to being the peak of summer, it’s also the start of PACKER FOOTBALL!  (The first preseason game is TONIGHT against the Cardinals!)

Show your support with Green Bay Packer logo metal buckets, chili bowls and ribbon.  These items are perfect for in-store displays, game day centerpieces, tailgate parties, personalized gift giving and Packer fan tributes.  With fresh flowers or on their own, these items are sure to score!