Covid-19, acquaintances but by no means friends
08 June 2020
A Room in Bloom and Covid-19, acquaintances but by no means friends
I’ve wanted to write a piece on what is happening in my business at the moment.
The purpose of this is to give clients, couples and friends a glance into what is going on.
(There may be some tears, be warned!)
So as everyone knows Covid-19 came to our shores in Spring of this year and changed how we live our lives.
For me personally, I moved in with my boyfriend two months early, a big step and a little strange in the middle of a global pandemic. However, I’m still here and haven't been kicked out yet! Also missing my parents hugs and our endless chats around the kitchen table like you all! On the positive side, I get to garden, I have the time, I get to read and chill in the summer season. I am taking this unique opportunity to reset rather than a full stop.
It was Mother’s Day 22nd March, one I will never forget. Mother’s day is the biggest flower day in a florist's year and this year Coivd-19 came with it. I will always remember that week - whatsapp was buzzing with rumours of lockdown, the anticipation and uncertainty was a feeling we will all remember. I had pre booked a large amount of flowers for Mother’s Day and lived in fear lockdown would happen before they could come in from Holland or before I could get them delivered. In the end it worked out and I closed the webshop for retails orders on the 23rd March with a sigh of relief.
Weddings and events take up the other side of the business. The reason I closed my retail shop last year was to focus on this specific area, little did I know, twelve months later, all weddings were going to be brought to a halt. The week Covid-19 hit, I had a wedding booked for the 18th of March in Cork. A beautiful american couple had their wedding day planned for months and had to cancel 4 days before. After that, emails and calls from couples started coming in thick and fast. As overwhelming as this process has been, to date I have been very fortunate that I am able to accomodate all couples new dates. I am very grateful for this outcome, however, I still found myself in a strange position, a friend Blair Roberts from Sweet Blossoms put it perfectly;
“Picture if someone came to you and said, "sorry, I need to take 1 of your paychecks and give it to you next year. The first few, you think, ok, I can deal with things, shift some things around, make the best of it, we're all in the same boat together and we need to just do the best we can. But what if someone came to you 26 times plus saying that same thing, and now you're looking at your entire income for the year, GONE.”
This is when the crying started. I allowed myself a day or two to process the new reality. Then, I put on my big girl pants and decided it was time to reflect and react.
On reflection, I knew I wanted to keep business going, stay in the flower biz and I was still content with my decision to close the shop last year. For me, I found the shop became all consuming with little to no balance.
With all of this in mind, the first focus needed to be on my own perspective of the situation and decide how I was going to make as many positive choices as possible during a very uncertain time. First, I decided to commit to sharing a blog each week on my website. Something I have always wanted to do but could never find the time. This has been a very positive experience and offers me the opportunity to communicate with my customers in a different way. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!
Next, I decided to focus on retail but this time online and in a way that offered me structure and balance to manage all elements of the business comfortably.
Two months later, I am sharing my blog and my online shop is up and running. Flowers are delivered on Wednesday’s and I do contactless deliveries locally (Athlone) on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. Every week, I look at what's in season, pick the prettiest blooms and choose a different selection to create our ‘Florist’s Bouquet’.
Additionally, I’ve set up a flower subscription service that offers customers the chance to treat themselves to a bunch of flowers every week, fortnight or month. It makes an even better present for the flower lover in your life.
I am working on other products and services too, so watch this space.
These days, you will find me in my studio making up beautiful, lush bouquets of seasonal blooms, that will be delivered locally to say hi to friends, to tell parents how much they are missed and loved, congratulate new parents on the arrival of their baby and much more.
I look forward to seeing some of you along the way for some chats on door steps with maybe the odd tear here and there. As they say in this biz we don’t just sell flowers we sell emotions…..I have tissues to hand at all times.
Thank you for reading,