One of the new craft show/farmer’s market trends in the wood flower world is the flower bar. In this blog, we’ll walk through some benefits, considerations, and overall strategies to help add this as a potential service for all your floral customers.
*Photo credit to Makayla White of Rustic Floral Designs by Makayla*
What is a Flower Bar?
At a typical craft show, customers would be purchasing complete, fully-designed pieces from your table. Flower bars, on the other hand, deconstruct the entire process. Here, customers will pick individual components to put in their bouquet. After they’ve made their selection, it’s up to you to put a (possibly literal and definitely figurative) bow on it.
An easy way to think about this: selling a complete piece is like ordering a meal at a restaurant. A flower bar is more akin to a Chipotle, where you can see all of the possible ingredients laid out in front of you, you tell the person behind the counter your desired individual components, and they complete and wrap the piece.
Yes, that analogy came straight from what my husband and I had for dinner while writing this blog!
Let’s talk through some of the benefits:
By allowing for customers to select their own” ingredients” you’ll be giving them a greater degree of personalization to their finished piece. The flower selection (style, color, size), greenery, and more are entirely up to their preferences in that moment. This allows them to create bouquets with colors of their favorite flowers, local sports teams, and more. And a good general rule is that personalization will almost always outbox one-size-fits-all customer experiences.
Less Inventory Waste
To create a finished piece, there’s a good amount of guesswork involved. Even the most beautiful of pieces with the most neutral or seasonal of colors may just have a bad day at the market. That means every piece is a gamble. And lost gambles could mean lost inventory or inventory that you have to hold on to for a long time before a sale.
That risk is greatly reduced with a flower bar. By selecting components, rather than finished pieces, you’re increasing the likelihood of total customer satisfaction. An increased hit rate, by default, will help mitigate waste.
Another plus around a flower bar: it should give you some pretty clean and usable data around your customers which will help you to streamline not only your craft show/farmers market prep, but also help streamline your flower ordering process.
Here’s a quick way to get some handy information: before your next flower bar, bring the same amount of each variety of flower to your craft show. Let’s say 50 apiece. If, after the event, you have 49 Sophias left but only 10 American Beauties left, then you know that your customers prefer the latter to the former. You can and should also do this with colors. Red and pinks will likely do well around Valentine’s Day while oranges and burgundy may do better at fall markets. WIth enough flower bars under your belt, you’ll be able to get a read on the temperature of your local market!
Word of Mouth
The inventiveness of your customers and their personal preferences will pay in spades when it comes to user generated content. Between their own social pictures (or just strolling around the event space with their finished piece), we all know just how magnetic wood flowers can be. The personalized touch of a flower bar will create a powerful enough customer experience that you’ll be increasing the likelihood of customers telling other customers about your work.
Since you’re not creating full bouquets, you’ll need to do batch production instead. While this isn’t as creatively fulfilling as floral design, it can be much quicker. Turn on your favorite podcast or playlist, determine the amount of flowers and fillers you’re going to bring, and start painting/stemming them one group at a time.
While we adore all the benefits listed above, that’s not to say that there aren’t careful considerations you’ll need to take with flower bars. We recommend doing some due diligence around the following topics:
Pricing can be a little more complicated, but with the right system in place, it can be easy enough to manage. Here’s what we recommend:
Create a clear price sheet with easy steps for both you and the customer. An example of this is:
- Single stem flower = $5
- 3 flowers = $12
- 6 flowers = $23
- Premium flower add-on = $8
- 1 filler stem = $5
- 2 fillers = $8
- 3 fillers = $12
And so on. So, someone who designs a bouquet with 3 flowers and 2 fillers is simply $12 + $8.
This will require some on-the-fly math but bringing a calculator to a craft show (or using your phone calculator app) is easy to do!
Storage and Transportation
Since this practice involves an entirely different way of marketing and selling your product, so too will you need to consider proper storage solutions and/or systems. This may require a bit of an investment of both time and money (for instance, buying more containers for stemmed flowers and greenery/fillers, rather than full bouquets), but we still think the benefits of a flower bar could easily outweigh any investment cost. Bonus - your containers from craft shows can easily be used at home for regular storage too!
More Day-Of Activity
Since customers will be designing their pieces on the spot, you’ll have a busier day! Taking orders, doing a little schmoozing and upselling, and wrapping and finishing each piece will lead to a lot of action. This will lead to a better overall experience for customers (who doesn’t love to watch an artisan who is actively creating?!), but it’s worth noting!
***So there you have it! Special thanks again to Makayla White of Rustic Floral Designs by Makayla for her pictures of her flower bar sign!