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.

Rose Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

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. 

Red Rose Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

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!

Flower Bouquet including Roses and Eucalyptus by Academy Florist

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 bottom-line for your local retailers and that's just good news for everyone!

Flower Arrangement including Eucalyptus by Academy Florist

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.

Colourful Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

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.

Flower Arrangement including Roses by Academy Florist

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Orange Cat Walking Around Plants

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. 

Small Puppy with Flowers

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.

White Dog with Flower Collar

 

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.  

Continue Reading

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.

Staff Members at Academy Florist

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!

Bouquet including Tulips by Academy Florist

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!

Colourful Bouquet by Academy Florist

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!

Sunflower Arrangement by Academy Florist


Wait... there's more!

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

Continue Reading

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 economi

A Bundle of Pink Roses by Academy Florist

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

Pink Rose Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

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 countryFlower Arrangement including Pine Cones, Dried Flowers & Greenery by Academy Florist

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.

A Bundle Pink Peonies by Academy Florist

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!

Garden Style Bouquets by Academy Florist

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

 

Continue Reading

July 08, 2020

For Good Health's Sake

For Good Health's Sake

It'll come as no great surprise to you that we think flowers are the perfect addition to any room but did you know that there's scientific evidence to prove that flowers can bring a boost to your mind and emotions?

Colourful Flower Arrangement by Academy Florist

The last six months have been a doozy! Even though, the world is finding a new rhythm, a new way forward, many of us are still dealing with the stress and fatigue of surviving months of uncertainty and disruption. Whether you were able to self isolate in the safety of your home and try out new recipes and crafts or if you worked in an essential service or if you balanced work life, home life and bored kids from the chaos of your kitchen table, I am sure you could use a breather and a bit of sunshine in your life, just now.

The good news is that, while I cannot make the world return to normal, I can offer you a wee bit of sunshine to boost your mood!

Pink Rose Arrangement by Academy Florist

There was a study done at Rutgers in 2019 that reinforces what we all inherently know- flowers make us feel better! This study examined the effects that different types of gifts have on people and -hands down - people experienced a greater mood-boost that lasted longer when they received flowers over gifts of food or candles. Another study, along the same lines, also concluded that flowers can immediately decrease feeling of stress, agitation and depression while increasing a person's sense of satisfaction with their life.

The science behind these studies revealed that natural elements in our living and working spaces provide mini-escapes for our minds and help us to recall memories of relaxation and adventure in the outdoors. These moments of mental escape can release chemicals and hormones in our brains that combat stress and fatigue. Flowers have the added emotional benefit of bringing vibrant colours and beautiful scents into our spaces, too.They can help to create a wee oasis in the middle of your regular, full life.

A Girl Holding A Large Flower Bouquet by Academy Florist

Here in the shop, we can attest to the goodness flowers bring. One of the greatest perks of the job is being surrounded by the beautiful scents, colours and shapes of the various flowers we bring into the shop each week!  While we love all of the beauties that find their way here we all have a few varieties that speak to us. Here are a few of our staff's personal favourites:

Irene loves Lily of the Valley, Kayla favours stock and Nichole digs ranunculus. Kirsten can't get enough of cosmos (she even has a tattoo of these beauties!). Colleen is a sucker for Queen Anne's Lace and Delphiniums make Erlyn smile. Vanessa is a fan of peonies while Brittany prefers poppies!

Garden Style Rose Arrangement by Academy Florist

 

What are your favourites? Let us know in the comments! 

Continue Reading