Journal

September 17, 2020

Need Flowers - Or Anything? Buy Local

Need Flowers - Or Anything? Buy Local

Now, more than ever, buying local matters. Small business owners and local shops have had to do some quick pivots during the last six months and not all have survived. Here at the shop we are forever grateful for our faithful friends and new customers who have found us on social media over the last few months.

The internet has ushered in an era of convenience and accessibility for shoppers, which is great. But in the midst of looking for the best deal and flocking to discount retailers we, as consumers, can forget about the lovely and unique local shops in our own back yard. Here are some tips to consider when looking to make a purchase.

Five Tips to Keeping it Local

     1. Do Your Research - Before you spend a dime, do a little research. Do a search on social media to find unique shops in your area. Often times, local businesses 'follow' each other and promote each other on Instagram so spend a little time following the 'follow-chain' to discover  a new, hidden gem in your town. Your local neighborhood Facebook group is a great place to find recommendations on shops and services in your area, too. 

     2. Be Flexible - When shopping local, remember that small businesses don't have the buying power of big box stores so while you may have something in particular in mind remain open to suggestions. Local shops often stock unique or handmade items from local artisans or independent designers. Having an open mind while shopping local can yield wonderful results!

    3. Add a Little Extra - In this time of economic uncertainty for small businesses, every customer is a difference maker and spending a little bit more can have a huge impact on the business come month end. If you are picking up a gift, add an art card. Ordering take out, add desert. Picking up flowers for a friend, take home a little plant for yourself, too. Each extra ten or fifteen dollars spent boosts the bottomline for your local retailers and that's just good news for everyone!

     4. Be Kind - These last months have been filled with uncertainty and stress for all of us. No one in our generation has ever experienced such widespread change and continued shifting of protocols and guidelines before. This has left us all a little (or a lot) more stressed than usual. That's why a little kindness goes a long way. It's been a huge learning curve for shop owners to take their businesses online while at the same time adapting their in-person shop experiences to maintain all recommended protocols. I promise you, we are all doing the best we can. We want to serve our customers to the same standard we did pre-COVID, it just may take us a little more time or more steps to fulfill your requests. Be kind. Be patient. We're in this together.


    5. Spread the News! Have you had a great experience at a local shop? Tell your friends and your neighbors. Leave a good review. Tag the shop on social media. Recommend the business on Facebook. And above all, call the manager to let them know how stellar their staff is. Honestly, people are quick to ask to speak to the manager when they are displeased but it rarely occurs to folks to call back to give a shout out for a job well done. It means the world to your front line retail workers to hear that their efforts are appreciated.

This too shall pass. Eventually this pandemic will end and we will settle in to the regular rhythms of life again. In the meantime, shop local, be kind, wear a mask, wash your hands and know that we sure do appreciate you.

 

 

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September 01, 2020

Let's Get You Some Answers!

Let's Get You Some Answers!

After nearly 40 years in business, we have this flower gig down pretty good.

We have a rhythm to the shop and we are used to the cycle of busyness that comes with holidays, weddings and events. We have a routine of preparing the shop for each season while still meeting the needs of our day-to-day customers that has worked for us for decades but in this COVID era we have been thrown a few curve balls and we have had to adapt on the fly, as many of you have also.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we are being asked these days.

Is your shop open to customers?                                                           

Our shop is open Monday to Saturday, 9am until 5pm, each week. Customers are welcome to enter the shop but just one customer can be in the shop at a time. We also request that each customer who enters the shop wear a mask during their visit. There is hand sanitizer just inside the door for customer use. 

 

Are you making deliveries?

Our drivers are hard at work making contactless deliveries Monday through Saturday each week. We are able to deliver to hospitals and most care homes too at this time. As part of our COVID policy, we do contact the recipient prior to delivery to ensure that someone will be available on the date of delivery. We should also note that while we cannot guarantee a specific time of delivery, our drivers do their best to accommodate morning or afternoon requests. 

 

Can I get a same-day order?

We accept same-day delivery orders until noon and same day pick-up orders with one-hour advance notice. We also have a selection of ready made bouquets, arrangements and plants available in shop for our customers to choose from if you want to pop by.

 

Can I call ahead to order something to pick up?

Yes, for sure! We offer curbside pick-up for orders placed online or over the phone. All you need to do is give us a call when you arrive at the shop and we'll put your order in the pick-up box at the front of the store. This saves you from having to wait in line or needing to mask-up to enter the shop.

 

Can I drop by the shop for a funeral or wedding consultation? 

We have suspended in-person consultations for events and funerals until further notice. We encourage customers to call or email the shop with their event details so we can make arrangements for the appropriate person to meet with you either over the phone or through video messaging. We have both a wedding/event consultant and a funeral specialist to assist you in your planning.

 

Can you get in all of the same flowers you could before COVID?

Our buyer is crafty and she has been able to source most of  our regular stock throughout the pandemic, thus far. There has been some fluctuation week to week of what is available, so that is why you may have been told that we cannot promise to have certain items  in stock weeks in advance. There is also the natural cycle of flowers being in and out of season that we are subject to. While we cannot guarantee specific items sometimes, I will say that I have seen Irene work her magic and bring in the impossible over these last few months!

 

Can I send flowers out-of-province through your shop?

Pre-COVID we were able to wire orders around the world. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, unfortunately many florists have had to close shop - some temporarily but others permanently. While we can attempt to assist you in ordering flowers to be sent out-of-province, often times we are unsuccessful in finding an FTD florist who is capable of fulfilling orders because our network has shrunk. In truth, you have better chances of being successful if you contact a florist who is local to the recipient personally. This will also give you the ability to speak directly with the florist who will be designing your order so you can have all of your questions answered.

Do you have any questions for us?

If so, ask us through email (info@academyflorist.com) or on our Instagram page

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August 12, 2020

Pet Friendly Petals & Plants

Pet Friendly Petals & Plants

One of the most frequent questions we get at the shop is, "What flowers or plants are safe for my pets?" While we recommend keeping your blooms out of your wee fluffball's reach, we know that isn't always possible. So here is a list of flowers and plants that are not poisonous to pets.

Buds & Blooms

Our in-shop pet expert recommends bouquets containing Orchids, Roses, Gerbera or Sunflowers. You can fill out the bouquets with flowers like Alstromeria, Freesia, Liatras, Snap Dragons and Statice. Carnations, Asters and Baby's Breath are okay, too.

Some traditional favourites like lilies, daffodils and tulips are toxic to cats so its best to steer away from those. Unfortunately, Chrysanthemums, Irises and Gladiolas are also a no-go for our feline friends. Dogs also can run into problems with Delphiniums, Hydrangeas and Lily of the Valley. And bad news for peony lovers, these blooms are a definite no for our furry friends.

 

Green & Blooming Plants

Just because you have furry pets doesn't mean you can't enjoy a few plant buddies, too. There are lots of plant varieties that you can choose from. Swedish Ivy, Areca Palms and Boston Ferns are popular choices for pet parents. Money Trees are also safe for pets with the added benefit of being very resilient and relatively low maintenance. Air, Prayer & Spider Plants are all excellent choices as well.

Most varieties of succulents are fine with one notable exception. Aloe plants may bring healing to humans but they are toxic for pets. Also on the toxic list for green plants are Bamboo, Eucalyptus, Shamrock and Snake Plants. While you may enjoy your Marijuana plants, they are not a good idea for your pets as they are also toxic if ingested.

As for blooming plants, African Violets, Roses and Hibiscus are all safe for your pets. Gloxinia, Christmas Cactus and Bromeliad are considered safe, too.

 

Disclaimer: While some plants and flowers are considered non-toxic, even these can cause an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea for your pet. So, take care and keep an eye on your fur-babies.  

 

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July 29, 2020

International Friendship Day

International Friendship Day

What is better than finding that one person who gets you? Or that group of people who can make you laugh until you cry? Bestie. Squad. Crew. Buddy. Pal. Whatever you call them, they are your people. Your safe place to land. Your cheerleaders. Your sounding board. Your ride or die. Your friends.

Thursday, July 30, is International Friendship Day.

Here at Academy, we are more than co-workers, we are friends. Our friendships have been forged in the fires of long holiday hours, late night wedding prep sessions and creative problem solving through a pandemic. We make a pretty good team here and we all really do care for each other and finds ways to celebrate each other as often as we can.

We make a big deal over birthdays, with Irene ordering meals or delicious treats for us all. Darlene, randomly yells out, 'Chocolate Time' and brings out her secret stash of chocolate treats. Or there are the times when Nichole brings in her waffle maker and runs a lunch time waffle bar. Not all of our celebrations revolve around food (well, most of them do though). Sometimes we celebrate our friendship with sharing embarrassing stories or watching Kayla & Kirsty have a dance party in the middle of the shop.

However, you and your crew bond and build your friendships, there is no better way to acknowledge your pals than with flowers!

 

Friendship Florals

Traditionally, Alstromeria and Yellow Roses have been given as symbols of friendship. In many cultures they symbolize good fortune, prosperity and happiness. Chrysanthemums, Daisies and Sunflowers are also popular choices to celebrate friendship.

We offer an array of bright, yellow blooms that compliment all sorts of colour palettes and styles that will ensure that your friends feel the love!  And by choosing our Designer's Choice arrangements or bouquets you can request your favourite colour combinations while still leaving room for our skilled designers to do what they do best ... create beauty!

And while you're at it, you might want to consider adding a box of chocolates, a wonderfully scented candle or a stuffed bear to your gift of friendship!

 

Share the Love

This Thursday, why don't you share the love! We are offering a one-day, in-store special that makes it easy for you to show your love for your pals while keeping a little bit of beauty for yourself. On Thursday, July 30 come in to the store to purchase a fresh, cut bouquet of $50 or more and receive a bonus Friendship Bouquet (valued at $25) for free.These bouquets are available in-store, for pick-up only ... and for Thursday from 9am-5pm only.

Stop in and celebrate International Friendship Day!

 

Wait ... there's more!

Watch our social media on Thursday for your chance to win a bouquet for you and your bestie!

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July 15, 2020

Let's Celebrate ...

Let's Celebrate ...

CANADIAN FLOWERS WEEK!

We are so excited to join with our friends at Flower Collective YWG to highlight and celebrate local flower growers during this week dedicated to Canadian flower farms. This week was inspired by similar initiatives that began popping up around the globe a few years back. In the US, Australia and the UK flower shops began to partner with local growers to create a more ethically sourced product that fuels local economies.

These grower/designer partnerships took a nod from farm-to-table movements happening in the food industry. Consumers began to pay attention to where their food was coming from and how it was produced which led to a demand for less processing, less chemicals and more transparency in the industry. Soon, flower lovers began to ask the same questions.

When flowers are sourced locally, less pesticides are used because of government restrictions and you'll tend to get fresher blooms because the flowers spend less time in transit. You also get the benefit of knowing that you are boosting our Canadian economy and helping Canadian farm families continue to do what they love best - grow beautiful flowers!

As you know, the weather in Canada can be pretty extreme from region to region throughout the year. Flower shops who buy local, instead of solely relying on international growers, have the benefit of building relationships with many different farms across the country.

Here at Academy, we depend on our BC farm friends for our winter greens, our spring tulips and our summer peonies. We source our pussy willows, snapdragons, dahlias and achillea right here in Manitoba during the local growing season. And Ontario is a faithful supplier of ranunculus, gerberas and snapdragons year round.

Celebrate Market Style

To mark Canadian Flower Week, we will be highlighting some of our partners on our social media and showcasing some of our favourite home-grown blooms. We will also be participating in a Flower Walking Tour on Sunday, July 19. From 11am-4pm come for a stroll down Lilac Street in Corydon Village to see the beautiful artistry of Manitoba flower designers. Designers will be doing installations at businesses down Lilac, showcasing flowers from local growers. So grab a cup of coffee and take a stroll to celebrate the beauty that comes from our own backyards!

 

 Join us for a week full of flower fun, July 16-22, on Instagram and Facebook!

 

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