Journal

April 29, 2021

Mother's Day Done Right

Mother's Day Done Right

I think winter has finally made up it's mind and is leaving room for Spring to do it's thing now. The grass is beginning to green up and the trees have their first buds bursting through. With the welcome of Spring comes the celebration of moms - and all who have mothered us along the way!

Before you get your order in for Mother's Day, we wanted to give you a few tips on how to order without disappointment.

 

Manage Expectations

This is the busiest flower holiday of the year, so florists across the country are preparing and bracing themselves for the wonderful chaos that is Mother's Day. One of the best things you can do for yourself, and your favourite florist, is to manage your expectations. Just understanding the sheer volume of orders that are going out of the neighbourhood shop on this weekend is helpful. Especially in the midst of another COVID restricted time.

 

Order Ahead 

The earlier you place your order the better - especially if you are hoping for delivery as we will max out of delivery spots on Mother's Day weekend. When you place your order please provide us with the recipient's name, address and their phone number. We need to have contact information of the recipient to ensure proper delivery on the big day!

 

Be Open

While we pride ourselves on creating magic for our customers, on big holidays it is difficult to fulfill very specific orders. This is doubly true this year as florists are experiencing a world-wide flower shortage. Some of our old faithful stock items are hard to come by. If you leave us with a colour palette you'd prefer, like bright or subtle or shades of pink, and a style, such as traditional or garden style, and let our designers do their thing, I am sure you will be pleased with the result.

 

Last Minute Beauties

If you find yourself in a last minute crunch, consider picking up one of our beautiful plants or pre-made bouquets. We carry an assortment of tropical and blooming plants that are perfect for that last minute gift purchase. 

 

How it Works at Academy

With safety being our number one priority, we have decided to offer a curbside market from Thursday, May 6th through Sunday May 9th, and close our storefront to in-person shopping during this time. Due to the size of our storefront, we believe that this is our best course of action to keep our team and customers safe during our busiest holiday of the year.  

We will have fresh, ready-made bouquets and plants at varying price points, available just outside our front doors. We will also have the option to add a vase, should you need one. We will be accepting card payments only, using the tap feature. We will not have cash available to make change.  

The market will operate from 9am-5pm Thursday-Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sunday.  Our shop will be closed on Monday, May 10th, as we give our hard-working and dedicated team a well-deserved break.

Thank you for your continued support - our community and customers are the best!

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March 16, 2021

The Blooming Best

The Blooming Best

Can you feel it? Can you feel the shift in the season? Can you smell spring in the air?

It's finally happening, after a long winter of lockdowns, disrupted traditions and a polar vortex, Spring is here. It has felt like a long awaited promise that crept up on us until, all of a sudden, the snow receded and everything begun to emerge from hibernation.

For generations, around the world, Spring has marked a reawakening of the earth. In ancient times, the Sarans & Celts would mark this change in seasons with ceremonies and celebrations. The druids would bury eggs in their fields to invite abundance to the lands. Bitter roots tea would be consumed to invigorate the body and cleanse the blood after a long, harsh winter. North American Indigenous peoples would begin to migrate back to the lands where hunting and harvesting were plentiful. 

Here, in Manitoba, one of the first signs of Spring, for us, is the arrival of Pussy Willows in our shop. These fuzzy little buds are quite popular and are a beautiful addition to our spring bouquets. Close on the heels of Pussy Willows, we start to see the arrival of some of our other Spring favourites - Tulips & Daffodils! These simple beauties are a popular pick for Passover and Easter tables across the province. And just in time for Mother's Day we'll see the arrival of Freesia, Anemone and the ever popular Peonies.

Whatever your bloom of choice is, Spring offers up an abundance of beauty to choose from! Be sure to follow our Instagram account so you are the first to know when our Spring favourites arrive!

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March 04, 2021

International Women's Day - Empower & Inspire

International Women's Day - Empower & Inspire

Monday, March 8 is International Women's Day. This day is set aside as a global day of celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In some countries protests and parades fill the streets to mark this day while other countries hold no official observances. Either way we all know women who deserve to be celebrated.

International Women's Day began in Europe as the women's suffragette movement swept across the continent during the early 1900s. Still tied heavily to women's rights, this day also celebrates the contributions women have made to societies across the globe and through the ages.

In Canada, our suffragette movement began with Nellie McClung, Henrietta Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parbly and, my personal favourite, Emily Murphy. These five women took the fight for women's right to vote all the way to the supreme court and won! Individually these women were intelligent, compassionate, gifted and determined. Together they were an unstoppable force!

Nellie McClung was a Manitoba girl and first made her mark in her home province as a writer, teacher and social activist before moving to Alberta and beginning her career as a member of the Alberta Legislature. She was a fierce advocate and loyal friend. She was a deep thinker and a champion of her peers who were raising their voices in support of social and political justice for all.

Now, more than a hundred years after her brilliant mock parliament performance, her voice still echoes through-out Canada and her legacy lives on through The Nellie McClung Foundation. The foundation continues to elevate women and celebrate their unique contributions to justice and equality. Through events, scholarships and educational opportunities Nellie's ideals of women's rights and a more just society continues.

This is why, for International Women's Day this year we are donating $10 from each of our International Women's Day bouquet to The Nellie McClung Foundation so they can continue to empower and inspire women across Canada and around the world.

This International Women's Day who are you celebrating? Share with us the women who inspire you, challenge and empower you.

Journal entry written by Academy Florist team member Nichole Forbes

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October 22, 2020

40 Years and Still Going Strong

40 Years and Still Going Strong

As a little girl, Irene Seaman spent hours walking through the fields of her family's greenhouses, learning the names and features of each flower. This is where she fell in love - with flowers and with working a family business.

When her parents had settled in Canada they did what came natural to them, they established greenhouses and began to build a community of friends and customers. It was there, under the guidance of her father, that Irene turned her artistic interest in flower design into a passion for continuing and growing the family business. 

"My dad taught me so much about customer service. He would remind me often that without customers you have no business. He was always so focused on making sure our customers walked away happy. That's how he measured success; a happy customer."

In 1980, after operating a retail flower shop across town, it was decided that a flower shop on Academy road would be the perfect place to begin the journey as Academy Florist. (We have since moved and our present location is on Corydon Ave)

"When we were looking to make a change in our business we decided to open our shop in this area because we loved the community. This area of the city has always been so friendly and full of great people!"

Over the past 40 years, Irene has experienced the expected ebb and flow that comes with operating a local business. There have been years of easy growth and success and years when it was more difficult. No matter what was happening in the world around her, Irene was steadfast in her chosen path.

"My father also taught me a lot about developing a strong work ethic. Giving up was never an option. When things get tough that's when you have to look deep inside and pull that resolution to move forward out of you. You just have to remember what it's all about and keep going."

  For Irene, Academy Florist was never just about the flowers. It's always been about connection and family.

  "I'm not just selling flowers. I am providing comfort and love and joy and connection. People say so much with flowers, things they have trouble saying with words. Flowers help people to heal and to gain strength. Flowers remind people that they are not alone. Flowers remind us to stop and feel."

Although Irene has spent her whole life in the flower business don't think for a minute that she is ready to slow down! She thoroughly enjoys the challenge of sourcing new products and staying ahead of current trends. She loves staying connected to her customers and helping them to make the most out of the occasions in their lives. 

"I'm also so proud of the team at Academy Florist. I am just one person. I could have never done all of this on my own. I have been blessed to always have really good people on my team. Together, we get to serve Winnipeg and Manitoba. We get to keep helping people. We get to keep doing what we love and loving the people we serve!"

Journal entry written by Academy Florist team member Nichole Forbes

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October 05, 2020

Mum's the Word

Mum's the Word

One sure signal that fall has arrived is the utter explosion of mums in stock! Our cooler is bursting with chrysanthemums of all different shapes, colours and sizes - and it is glorious!

I must admit that I once thought mums were boring but after a little reading and a lot of flower-gazing I now think mums are a treasure trove of colour and style. With more than 40 different species and more than a thousand different varieties of blooms, chrysanthemums are as unique and as interesting as snowflakes!

Here's a few fast facts about these fall beauties... 

Chrysanthemums have their roots in China, where they are still celebrated and revered. They are one of the 'Four Gentlemen of China' - orchids, plum blossom and bamboo are the other three. Each one represents a season with Chrysanthemums representing fall which makes sense as they begin to bloom in the late summer or early fall and are the official flower for the month of November.

Chrysanthemums can also be found in Chinese medicine and cuisine due to the belief of their healing powers for the mind and body. One legend states that drinking from the stem of a Chrysanthemum can bring long and healthy life which may have propelled the popularity of Chrysanthemum tea and wine. 

During the 17th and 18th centuries Chrysanthemums left their Asian homes and made their way around the globe. They became quick favourites in gardens around the western world because of their many varieties and colour combinations as well as for their use as a natural bug repellent in gardens, too.

For us here at Academy Florists, Chrysanthemums offer us endless options when creating beautiful and long-lasting bouquets and arrangements. From Spider mums' thin, dense petals to the firm, spikey blooms of the Quilled mums to the short, tight globes of the poms to the wide, feathery petals of the anemone - they are a never-ending source of inspiration for our skilled designers.

Our fall collection features some of my favourite mums. And what's more, we have partnered with a fabulous local coffee roaster to offer something really special this season. If you order one of our coffee themed bouquets or arrangements you will receive a 4oz pack of Red Lake Coffee beans. So click on over to our fall collection and order a Pumpkin Spice, Hot Apple Cider, Blonde Vanilla, Flat White, Caramel Macchiato, Gourmet or House Blend to receive your own wonderful fall treat!

 

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