Journal

April 20, 2022

Administrative Professionals Day – Gift Guide for Every Business Size

Administrative Professionals Day – Gift Guide for Every Business Size

When it comes to remembering special occasions and arranging gifts, business owners rely on their administrative staff. They’re the ones who highlight the date, send multiple reminders, and pick out appropriate gifts.

This task may seem small and even a bit fun, but when it’s the owner’s responsibility – they often feel overwhelmed. Quite frankly, a lot of them forget altogether and scramble last minute.

We know it’s not a reflection of their gratitude, but an example of how important their staff is.

To make life easier for business owners and a bit more special for admin’s, we’ve whipped up a gift guide that includes appreciation tips!

Before we get into the glitz and glamour of the day, let’s go over some admin day facts.

  • Harry F. Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam pushed for a Secretaries Day as he wanted to highlight the importance of their work and encourage more women to join the workforce. His efforts were successful in 1952.
  • The typewriter played a large role in female-led secretaries. It was the general assumption that women would have an easier time typing as their fingers are typically smaller. 
  • Administrative Professional is an umbrella term for multiple positions including administrative assistant, secretary, office manager, office clerks, receptionist, human resources administrator, etc.
  • Having administrative staff is highly important to a business. They are typically the backbone, face, and voice of the company.

Picking a gift can be tricky, especially if you have multiple roles that fit into the administrative professional’s category. Our guide is split into small, medium, and large gifts, plus we’ve only included options from local businesses!

Modest Gifts Under $35

Looking for multiple gifts or a small token of appreciation? This section is for you! 

Orchid Appreciation by Academy Florist

Cymbidium orchids symbolize pure, valued, and respected friendship. The act of giving the flower is seen as an honour as well as receiving it. This arrangement is scent-free, perfect for an office setting or home with allergies.

Plants by Academy Florist  

If flowers aren’t the vibe, what about a cute lil plant? We have small tropical plants, succulents, and small peace lilies at an affordable cost. Pots are included, delivery is extra.

Just Shea-Whipped Shea Butter

Dry hands aren’t cute on anybody. Little Tree Hugger’s shea butter is the cure, and their adorable jars are fair-trade and organic.

Room Spray

Room Spray may seem like an odd gift, but it's super handy to use at work, at home or on the go! It's super affordable so you can buy one for every staff member or add it to a gift set. 

Stoneware Mug Set

Out of the Blue has a stoneware mug set in three different earthy colours, each set includes a small matching dish for tea bags, etc. They also carry adorable individual mugs.

3 Succulent Plants in White Ceramic Pots

Thoughtful Gifts Around $50

Only have a couple of gifts to give? Want to show your admin staff a bit more love? The thoughtful section is for you!

Vibrant Colour Arrangement by Academy Florist 

The Vibrant Colour flower arrangement is suitable for a desk or to take home. It includes a vase and is guaranteed to cheer anyone up. Flower colours may vary due to availability. Choose the standard or deluxe size. 

Stamped Gold Bookmarks 

A gorgeous brass bookmark with a colored silk tassel. Choose from one of their stamped-on, sweet quotes. 

To Go Tumbler 

Little Sister’s to-go tumbler comes in 3 stylish colours, hold 12oz, and is temperature-controlled. We all know an assistant who can't bear life without their morning coffee. 

Sweet Pea Mexican Falsa Blanket

We all have a coworker who is never warm. If that's your admin, this beautiful and soft blanket will be greatly appreciated. It's the perfect size to stash at work during chilly months. 

We Heart Winnipeg Gift Card 

Want to support local, but need a generic gift? You can never go wrong with a gift card! We Heart Winnipeg has a collection of trendy clothes and accessories.

A Flower Arrangement with Vibrant Flowers by Academy Florist
Extra Special Gifts under $100

If you have one extra special administrator or you’re just in the giving mood, here are some extra special local gifts!

Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

Make your gift extra special by ordering a custom flower arrangement! Add in your assistant's favourite colours/flowers or leave it completely up to our designers. This flower arrangement is sure to be admired and appreciated and it's great to take home. 

The Monger Cheese Board

In this lovely box, you will receive 3 different types of cheese and you’ll be surprised with two of the following: honey, cured meat, or bean to bar chocolates. Perfect for a foodie. 

Conservas + Wine

Elements Wine offers a Wine bundle that includes smoke muscles, green olives, etc., and a bottle of Spanish White Grenache! They have other bundles too! 

Thermea Experience

I mean, is there much to say? It should be government-mandated that anyone in customer service gets a day at Thermea. The gift of relaxation is always a good gift. 

Stationery Set from 26 Market

You can choose a planner, journal, and/or pen set, perfect for any administrative professional. 26 Market focuses on “functionality, craftsmanship, and adding a little something extra to the rituals and routines of everyday living”.

Flower Arrangement with Pinks and Mauves Flowers
Treats for Everybody

When in doubt, desserts are always the solution! They’re a fan favourite around our shop and they’re guaranteed to bring a smile to your office. The cost really depends on your craving and how much you need. Here are a few of our go-to bakeries! 

Cookies from Pennyloaf Bakery

Authentic Macaroons from Frenchway

Doughnuts from Oh Doughnuts

Slices from Lilac Bakery

Cupcakes from Jenna Rae Cakes

Desserts and Flowers on a White Plate
Appreciation Tips – That Cost Nothing

Gratitude doesn’t have to be expressed with gifts; kindness and recognition go a long way! If you’re not in the buying mood or you want to show your adoration more often, try one of these tips!

  • Thank your staff for their hard work and notice their achievements.
  • Inquire about their employment goals and see if you can help the progression.
  • Let them take an extra-long lunch break if there’s a stressful day.
  • Listen to their needs/desires for their position (even if you can’t accommodate each one).
  • Complement them on their work or a personal aspect (hair, outfit, mood, etc.).
  • Give them a late start or early finish if they meet one of their goals.

An Opportunity to Thank Administrative Teams

Every employee deserves recognition for their role in a business. From small tokens to extravagant gestures, your staff will feel adored and seen.

It boosts morale, contributes to efficiency, uplifts your public image, and will provide joy to your day too.

We’d love to hear about your Administrative Professional Day celebration or how you’re treating your staff! Comment below 😊.

Academy Florist's Team Holding Bouquets

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April 07, 2022

Easter Weekend Ideas: Decor, Party Favors & Activities!

Easter Weekend Ideas: Decor, Party Favors & Activities!

Easter weekend is around the corner!

Almost everyone has Good Friday off work and kids aren't in school. So, even if you don't celebrate religious beliefs around Easter, it's a great time to get family/friends together and have a little fun! 

Plus, we're taking the hassle off of you; here are some fresh and unique ideas for your Easter weekend. 

PS. Check out our Pinterest board "Easter Weekend Inspo" for all of our inspiration and tips! 

Easter Decor Inspiration

A celebration isn't the same without decorations! Having decor enhances the mood, plus, it ties the activities together. Going all out is super fun, but even a sprinkle makes all of the difference. 

First and Foremost: The Dining Room 

Getting the whole family around the dinner table can go either way... You have the best moments or the most invasive conversations. 

Having stunning and unique table features can help you swerve unwanted discussions or create chatter when it goes quiet. 

Take a look at our Spring Centerpiece; an explosion of colour and flowers. Create some noise by guessing the type of flowers or ask the young ones to choose their fav colour. 

Our Spring Trio is a perfect complement if you're having appetizers in another room. Really, you can scatter them anywhere that needs a dash of colour. 

Also, shout out to our very own @daintyhandsstudio for making and supplying the most perfect candleholders! She also has tapered candles available (not pictured). Order your own through her Instagram! 

Adding a matching napkin or cloth can pull the table together while keeping the design simple and affordable. 

Want to make it extra cute? Fold your napkins into bunny ears with this easy how-to. Tie it with a bit of twine and even include a small twig or flower. 

Party Stuff is Winnipeg-local and can be a one-stop-shop for accessories. They have everything from simple spring colours to extravagant bunny-themed everything. 

^ click the photo to watch us make this table setting! 

Decor Ideas for all Rooms 

Most of our other suggestions work in any type of room. 

This one is a bit DIY, but you can make it as classy or cheesy as you want! Find a large clear jar or jug, fill it with decorated eggs and add some cherry blossom branches or dried flowers. Here's one of our favs! 

Wreaths are another decor idea that can be modern or tacky (the fun kind!). Do it yourself or hire Academy Florist to create one!

Use a simple gold hoop with eucalyptus as your starting point. Add flowers, branches, eucalyptus, ribbon, and some Easter knick-knacks. Fill it until you're satisfied.

If you pass this job onto us, keep in mind we only carry fresh and dried flowers, so you'll have to add your knick-knacks afterward. 

Pastel candles are adorable and can be reused outside of Easter. To make them extra Easter-y, put a cluster together and include decorated eggs on candle holders. No extra candle holders? Use a small decorative plate, throw in some chocolates and flowers. 

Tri of Spring Arrangements with Colourful Flowers

Easter Party Favors 

Party favors aren't necessary, but they are fun! Mini chocolate eggs can become a bit redundant and aren't as much fun for adults. Here are a few fresh takes on goodie bags. 

Carrot Surprise Party Favor

We couldn't find these locally, but they seem easy to make if you're crafty... "Carrot Surprise Party Favors" are carrot-shaped cones filled with goodies! They're a fun lil surprise people can take home.

You can fill them with anything small, but some ideas are wrapped chocolate eggs, mini temporary tattoos, flower petals, mints, stickers, tea bags, etc. 

Recipe and Dessert 

A snack-size dessert with the recipe on Easter-themed stationery is a win-win for everyone. 

You get to show off your baking skills, they get something tasty, and it's an ever-lasting gift. The next time you see them, you can break the ice by asking if they put a personal spin on it. 

Small Plant or Mini Bouquet 

Our 4" Violet Plants are an affordable family gift! They're absolutely vibrant during this time of year, plus a green thumb isn't needed to keep them healthy. 

A mini bouquet is also a sweet send-off gift that anyone at any age can enjoy. You can attach it to another gift or accompany it with a simple thank-you note.

3 African Violets in White Ceramic Pots by Academy Florist

Easter Weekend Activities 

Breakout board games, your old N64, colouring supplies, and baking gear! A gathering is nothing without a little bit of fun. 

Keeping people entertained is hard, but what's more disappointing then a room full of people on their phones/tablets? Especially when half of those people are under 12. 

A lot of our decor tips can be crafty lil projects! Get the kids to decorate eggs and pick out flowers, and have the adults assemble the table piece or wreath. 

Bunny Bowling

Upcycle glass or plastic drink bottles for your bunny pins. Paint the bottles or cover them with brightly coloured paper. Paint/draw a bunny face. Use any structured material to create bunny ears and tape them to the bottles. 

Grab any ball and ta-dah, you have bunny bowling! 

Clue Hunt - The New Easter Egg Hunt 

A fun twist on the classic easter egg hunt! Instead of hunting for multiple small chocolate eggs, hide one large treasure chest full of chocolates and tasty treats. 

Hide empty Easter egg containers with clues on where the treasure chest will be. Have the older kids make the clues, hide the eggs, and treasure. The younger kids can be on the lookout. 

Easter Egg Truth or Dare 

You can make this game PG 13 or just for adults! This one requires easter egg containers as well, but instead of clues, you write 'truths or dares'. 

Your destiny is dealt with by the selection of an egg. No trades allowed! 

It can be as silly as you have to smell someone's socks or retell your most embarrassing story. Alternatively, you can use it to your advantage and write in some chores for the dares!

Either way, it's a game everyone in the family/friend circle can enjoy. 

Enjoy Your Easter Celebration 

Holidays, in general, can mean something a little different to everyone, in any case, they should be shared with loved ones. Gather your family and friends for a time of food, fun, and gifts (if that's your thing)! 

If you're not hosting the celebration, be sure to bring a hostess gift! They put so much work into cleaning, decorating, preparing, and more cleaning - it's always a considerate token to have. 

We recommend an Easter Lily or bouquet of Tulips, but we could be biased ;). 

Let us know your go-to's for Easter! Comment on our latest Instagram post or tag us in your story :). 

A woman in a white dress holding a wicker basket full of spring and colourful flowers.

PS. Check out our Pinterest board "Easter Weekend Inspo" for all of our inspiration and tips! 

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April 01, 2022

Pet-Friendly Bouquets & Plants | Non-Toxic Flowers & Ordering Tips

Pet-Friendly Bouquets & Plants | Non-Toxic Flowers & Ordering Tips

For most, receiving flowers is a sweet surprise; for pet-parents, it can be an expensive mishap. If you’re ordering a bouquet for someone or yourself, keep in mind, that flowers can be toxic to animals.

Different flowers can be toxic to different pets; we're going to stick to generic flowers that are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Although, in any case, your pets should not consume flowers/plants. 

3 Tips for Ordering Cat-Friendly Bouquets

Before we get into safe and non-safe flowers, let’s go over ordering tips.

1. Always Mention Pets

Always, always, always mention that your bouquet/arrangement is for a pet owner.

Even if you listed your preferred flowers or double-checked the bouquet recipe, designers need to know if it’s being delivered to a home with pets.

Simply because we make substitutions based on our inventory. We do our best to meet your preferences, but if we don’t have it in stock, we will choose the most similar flower.  

2. Order in Advance

Orders with flower restrictions should be placed in advance, especially if it’s a large bouquet/arrangement.

Choosing non-toxic flowers while following style guidelines takes more time-rushed orders aren’t fun for anyone.

This also ensures that the appropriate stock will be available.

3. Be Flexible

We get it, you put a lot of thought into your preferred design, but we all make sacrifices.

Placing your order in advance helps significantly, but shipment delays and unusable stock are, unfortunately, common in our industry.

Your flexibility is always appreciated.

Pet-Friendly Bouquet including Orchids and Roses

10 Pet-Friendly Flowers

Here are 10 flowers that are non-toxic to dogs/cats and safe to use for your next bouquet.

  1. Gerbera Daisies
  2. Sunflowers
  3. Snap Dragons
  4. Limonium
  5. Stock
  6. Wax Flower
  7. Lisianthus
  8. Orchids
  9. Roses
  10. Alstroemeria

Again, we recommend keeping your floral arrangement away from your pet(s) no matter. The flowers might not be toxic, but there is still a chance of a bad reaction.

13 Toxic Flowers (For Cats and Dogs)

  1. Lilies
  2. Carnations
  3. Chrysanthemums
  4. Daffodils
  5. Dahlias
  6. Freesias
  7. Gladiolas
  8. Hyacinths
  9. Hydrangeas
  10. Iris
  11. Lily of the Valley
  12. Ranunculus
  13. Tulips

If you share your home with a cat or dog, absolutely stay clear of these flowers.

Just ask our manager/designer Kyla, who was gifted some lilies and paid the whopping price of $5,000 for a vet bill. Thankfully her lil fur-babies made a full recovery. 

Lilies are typically non-toxic to dogs, but we don't recommend taking the chance. 

Grumpy Cat with Purple Flowers

Poisoning Signs and What to Do

Accidents happen, if your pet digested toxic flowers, they may be showing these signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive panting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry Mouth
  • Lack of appetite/very thirsty
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fatigue

Symptoms can take up to a few hours to appear and there are different symptoms for different flowers. Cats and dogs may react differently/show different signs.

On the occasion that your animal eats toxic flowers, a vet needs to be called immediately. You need to provide the type of flower(s) that were digested, approximately how much, when, and what symptoms they’re showing.

A vet will provide the next set of instructions based on the information provided.

Supposing that your fur baby might have digested toxic flowers; keep an eye on them and monitor their behaviour closely.

10 Pet-Friendly Plants 

Just in case you're more of a plant-parent, here are 10 worry-free plants for your pets. 

  1. African Violets 
  2. Baby Tears
  3. Boston Fern
  4. Bromeliads 
  5. Money Tree
  6. Orchid
  7. Prayer Plant or Calathea
  8. Spider Plant
  9. SOME Succulents
  10. Venus Flytrap

Again, take this with a grain of salt. Even though these plants are the safer option, there have been cases of bad reactions. 

Pet-Friendly Bouquets and Floral Arrangements

Academy Florist is full of animal lovers and parents, we wanted to make this process as simple as possible for you.

We’re launching a “Pet-Friendly Designers Choice Bouquet” that will come in three different sizes: standard, deluxe, and premium.

Choose the size you want, feel free to add a vase, and list any non-toxic flowers you want to include in the special instructions box (last page of check out).

We’d love to see your custom pet-friendly bouquets and your furry friends, tag us in your story/post!! @academyflorist.

For questions/concerns, drop us a comment!

Pet-Friendly Bouquet including Sun Flowers and Gerbera Daisies

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March 20, 2022

Introducing Daisy Days by Academy Florist!

Introducing Daisy Days by Academy Florist!

The days of wearing puffy jackets, three pairs of socks and shaking our head at -38 windchills are almost over. Spring is around the corner, and we're ready to celebrate! 

If you’re a true Academy Florist fan, you might remember our iconic Tulip Days in the 80's. Tulips were not as readily available to the local florist as they are now, so we imported them from Holland. Because tulips were not typically sold in grocery stores in those days, we dedicated a whole day to them. People lined up outside our doors eagerly waiting to purchase, often choosing several bunches at a time. It was a perfect welcome to the warm weather.  

After a long and bitter winter, we wanted to give Winnipeggers the same warm welcome to spring this year, but with Daisies instead.

We chose daisies because they symbolize purity, joy, transformations, and new beginnings, a parallel of Spring and really, they’re just the happiest of flowers.

Our Tulip Days brought  tulips to as many locals as possible, but this year with Daisy Days, we are going to have a tad more fun! Shop the collection here!

A girl holding White, Pink and Yellow Daisy Bouquets
We’re going to celebrate spring all week long from March 21st – 26th, 2022. Stop by our floral shop for…

  • Sales & Deals on Daisy Bouquets
  • 6 Days of Amazing Giveaways
  • 1 Grand Prize of a Mad About Style Dress (no purchase necessary!)
  • Instagram-Worthy Photo Wall

If you know someone who needs a bit of sunshine, now is the perfect time to stop by our floral shop! 

Can’t think of a card message for your daisy bouquet? Try one of these quotes!
  • “The Daisy follows soft the Sun—And when his golden walk is done.” -Emily Dickinson
  • “And you never wear in your shining hair, A richer flower than daisies.” -Phoebe Cary.
  • “Daisies are like sunshine to the ground.” -Drew Barrymore
  • “Stars are the daisies the begem the blue fields of the sky.” – David Macbeth Moir
  • “A daisy blooming in a desert is worth more than a rose blossoming in a rainforest.”– Matshona Dhliwayo

An Academy Florist employing holding a Daisy Bouquet

Watch out for our Instagram stories, we might quiz you on your flower knowledge! We'll give you a head start by answering the most common questions about daisies. 

Are daisies safe for cats/dogs?

Yes and no! Gerbera Daisies are non-toxic to cats and dogs, but Daisy Chrysanthemums are toxic. This week we are featuring the Chrysanthemum variety although we usually always also have Gerberas in stock.

Are daisies edible?

You bet they are! Jazz up your salad by adding “lawn daisy’s” aka Bellis Perennis Daisies. Our daisies might look good enough to eat, but please don't eat these.

How many types of daisies are there?

There are 7 common daisies, but a multitude of options within the daisy family. The most common are English Daisy (Bellis perennis), Shasta daisies, Painted daisies, Michaelmas daisies, Marguerite daisies, Ox-eye daisies, and Gerbera daisies.

When are daisies in season?

They emerge in late spring and bloom until fall.

Daisies represent which birth month?

April!

    We would love to know your favourite type of daisy. Drop us a comment on our latest daisy instagram post 😊.

    An Academy Florist Employee holding Daisies as Bunny Ears

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    June 30, 2021

    When it Comes to Fill... You've Got Choices!

    When it Comes to Fill...  You've Got Choices!

    When people start thinking about sending flowers their mind often goes first to the feature flower, the roses or ranunculus or peonies. Then they consider the greenery but there is something important in between the feature flowers and the greens. A little something, or a lot of little somethings, that make a huge difference in the overall appearance of a bouquet or arrangement, the filler flowers.

    I know, it's not a very compelling name, filler or fill flowers, but honestly they can make or break the feel of a bouquet. Often times people automatically think of Babys Breath, especially if they are ordering roses, but there is a whole world of fill that can take an ordinary rose bouquet into an extraordinary bouquet that looks creative and intentional.

    Here are some of our favourite fill!

    Limonium Flower Filler by Academy Florist

    Limonium

    Limonium is a shop favourite. These woody stemmed blooms are also known as 'the everlasting' flower and are as delicate as they are beautiful. They generally are available in shades of purple and pink but can occasionally be found in white and yellow as well. Limonium adds a beautiful 'prairie' quality to our garden bouquets. if you are looking for a wild-flower look this is the fill for you!

    Statice Filler for Flower Bouquets

    Statice

    Statice is a close cousin of Limonium but its a bit sturdier of a flower. technically they are in the same 'flower family' but go by different names for clarity's sake. The green stalks of Statice are thicker than that of Limonium and the blooms themselves are larger and have a paper-like quality to them. They can be found in deep purple shades or white and are often referred to as the flower of remembrance. We love to pair Statice with Bird of Paradise or add it to Boho bouquets and as an added bonus, Statice dries beautifully and can last for ages.

    Wax Flower Filler for Flower Bouquets

    Wax Flower 

    Wax Flower is one of our absolute favourites! It's versitile and an excellent, modern alternative to Babys Breath. Its is whimsical and delicate and brings the pop of colour you never knew you needed in your bouquets. Related to Myrtle plants, Wax Flower give off a fairy woodland vibe when paired with Peonies, Lisianthus and Ranunculus - all of our very favourites! It comes in white, purple and a deep pink and it goes with EVERYTHING!

    Solidago Filler for Flower Bouquets

    Solidago

    Solidago is a golden beauty that calls us back to our prairie roots. It can be found growing in the fields and meadows of our own beautiful province . Solidago definitely gives off happy vibes and that is why we love to add it to bouquets of our sunshiniest flowers like Daisies, Gerbs and Sunflowers. The bold yellow of this woodland fill turns our traditional bouquets into a wild-flower celebration.

    When it Comes to Fill...  You've Got Choices!

    All of these fill flowers add colour and a little something special to bouquets when added. They also make a really quaint alternative to the shabby chic Babys Breath centerpieces when grouped together in reclaimed jars and old milk bottles. Any way you put these petite beauties to use they will add charm and interest to your décor.

    So, the next time you are ordering flowers, remember ... when it comes to fill, you've got choices.

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