May 12th, 2017 jamesdouthwaite

9 Skills You Only Have If You’re A Florist

Being an independent florist doesn’t just mean you’re good with flowers, as competition grows from both supermarkets and online operators what now sets a serious florist apart is a whole load of niche business knowledge as well. Like knowing how to get hold of unusual specialty flower varieties, providing top notch customer service, using beautiful branded packaging and knowing where to get the very best sundries to add genuine value to designs. Which is where we come in; renowned as the wedding and prom specialists but also offering hundreds of lines suitable for everyday work they’re a one-stop-shop for sundries and accessories to make every design extra special.

 

You can do anything with a piece of wire

It’s a longstanding industry joke that floral laymen couldn’t handle a double leg-mount, but it’s also true as it takes training and practise to really get your fingers round a 22 gauge. So many floral designs involve wire-work, and the extra special ones will often require a lot of it. Like this princess-perfect creation by Jens Jakobsen on which he’s wired succulents, seed heads, orchid heads, diamante sprays and… A WHOLE TIARA!

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And a tube of glue

Also a crucial part of training and if you’re keen to compete in national floristry competitions like RHS Chelsea you’ll find a tube of cold glue may become your best friend as it allows for seriously intricate design-work. But it’s also so handy for weddings, proms and even everyday arrangements as it’s crucial for so many corsage and buttonhole designs plus it’s used for gluing accessories like pearls, sparkles and other flowers to anything and everything.

 

 

And a knife!

An obvious one but it’s what you do with it that really matters, for example only a true creative florist would think to slice an Angelica flower in half in order to affix it to a flower girl’s wand, like this bright idea from Jens Jakobsen.

 

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You know where to find the smartest products

A few years in the industry means you’ll know your preferred suppliers and you’ll be in the know when any new product comes out; be it new solution to make your flowers last longer, the latest leaf shine, a clever new rose stripper or handy buttonholes and corsage clips like these from Corsage Creations which mean you can say goodbye to awkward pins as they’re all magnetic and come in a range of styles, all with design disks specially made for gluing flowers.

 

 

You source unusual materials

Renowned for thinking outside the box, creative florists don’t minimise materials to whatever’s on the flower stand. Instead shells, pearls, seed heads, quirky foliage, brooches, metallic leaves, fruit, snipped garden flowers, sparkly pins, skeleton leaves and so much more all add value and special touches to unique designs that can’t be found anywhere else.

 

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You’ll create bespoke designs for all tastes

Catering to different tastes and not being afraid to break the rules is a key factor for florists who care about pleasing their customer base, like this punky prom design created for a new teenage customer by Pip Holley.

 

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You have an eye for shape and texture

Designer Jens Jakobsen created this bridal bouquet with a serious eye for design, with no typical ‘flowers’ and petals, he’s used craspedia and rose hip berries to echo the shape of Corsage Creations pearl and flower brooches. And by immersing a large brooch in this en-masse gyp bouquet he’s created a dazzling combination of textures, plus only a creative florist could think to bend callas to make this circular chair back.

 

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And an eye for detail

Add immediate interest to a classic design with a string of pearls or pearl sprays, as Cathy Penrose from The Flower Shop in Oxfordshire has done here. Or in this design by Hattie Ali, a few simple butterfly pins hold the bouquet handle in place and immediately add a special touch for the bride who loves to sparkle; so much more exciting than a plain-headed pin.

 

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Your creations last forever

Your designs are so special they’ll be treasured in memories and photos long after wedding days have long gone, but actually with Corsage Creations you can genuinely leave customers with a keepsake as so many of their products can be kept and reused, like their tiaras, hair clips and massive range of corsage wristlets. Plus, flower crowns are still a mega trend but how many brides can boast being able to keep theirs long after the big day? Source your headdress from Corsage Creations and she can.

 

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Thanks to designers Katie Jane-Pridmore, Pip Holley, Jens Jakobsen, Hattie Ali and Cathy Penrose for these gorgeous ideas.

May 12th, 2017 jamesdouthwaite

Bold & Bright Butterflies & Birds

Christmas might seem like decades away but it took place in February for designers all over Europe as they flocked to Christmasworld, one of the continent’s largest trade fairs and a true reflection of upcoming trends and not just for the festive season. We were there to spot not only butterflies by the bucket-load but also faux feathered birds and in bright clashing colours which made an appearance at exhibits featuring upcoming interior and décor trends.

They were most prominent at Surprise Surprise, a showstopping section of the show curated by top European florists Rudi Tuinman and Pascal Koeleman who designed a feast for the senses which, be it a little bit too kitsch and clashing for some tastes, gave a very clear signal for upcoming trends: loud, bright, colourful, optimistic, scattered with butterflies, birds and spring blossoms with pastel blooms frosted in glitter and ruffles. They explained, “Creative thinking nowadays is a must… we’re not simply selling products we’re selling emotions and a lifestyle. The more theatrical and shocking your effect is, the higher the turnover.”

So to tantalise your inner child why not take a leaf out of the designer duo’s book and bag yourself some loud and proud products like the new feather butterflies, colourful butterfly brooch pins, fluffy or sleek flutter feathers and for some seriously loud clashing colours use Bling it on stickers or Amazing glitzy wraps which can be used to cover anything and everything in enough dazzling colours to cover the eyes. Top it all off with their selection of metallic or bullion wire which comes in a whole range of bright colours to bring the theme through to every element of your design.

“Butterflies are increasingly appearing as a buoyant, happy motif”, says Elle Décor magazine in their feature listing key trends for 2017, meanwhile trend site My Design Agenda reckons “while 2016 was all about minimalism, this year will be slightly more fun!” Their take on the year’s looks predict butterflies will shape fashion and interiors bigtime because they’re “a symbol of grace and optimism.”

Our new feather butterflies are light enough to be glued or wired to any design be it wristlets for prom-goers, fun hand-tieds going out as gift orders, perched atop your spring plants or among wedding work for the fun bride not afraid of a bit of fun and colour. Or opt for the white glitter alternative for a subtler touch, and all are available in two sizes.

Browse it all online at corsagecreations.co.uk, and flick through our latest catalogue here.

October 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Special Touches To Add Value To Every Order

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Pinterest is brimming with unique and quirky ways to add personality to bridal bouquets, event flowers, corsages, buttonholes and everyday blooms. Not just reserved for Etsy sellers, crafty and unusual accessories needn’t be extra effort or costly. In fact, Corsage Creations are sharing ways for florists to add sparkle to florals of all shapes and sizes, allowing you to offer special touches with serious added value.

Take our bunches of faux baby’s breath. Felt and fabric flowers are making a comeback thanks to cute arrangements appearing all over the internet. A pack of pearled baby’s breath contains six bunches at £3.95 per pack trade price. With a 2.5 mark-up each bunch can retail for £1.65; that’s cheaper than many mid-range fresh stems and fills a large surface area with a unique, permanent alternative.

There’s a huge market for romantic red rose bouquets, each adorned with its own special sparkle, and while some might say only diamonds will do, we offer tons of perfect alternatives. So if you’ve a customer-base with a penchant for things that sparkle, then we’ve got something for you.

 

 

We’ve the widest range of diamante pins around, and their crystal bunches total just 25p per bunch with a 2.5 mark-up; that’s a very small cost for an addition that could give a big boost in perceived value for your customer. Pick up a few packs of diamante branches to make a seriously sparkling statement with your florals, or create a dazzling window display using scatter diamonds and clear vases.

If your customers are more likely to wear pearl earrings over diamante bling have a go at wiring some subtle cream bead bunches into your work. At just 20p per bunch with a 2.5 mark-up they’re a steal and can add a thoughtful detail to orders of all sizes.

 

 

Pearl pieces are in abundance at the our webshop, be it whole loops perfect for spiralling into hand-tieds, plus sprays, pins, garlands, stick-ons and more.

Try designing with mini bunches or iridescent mixed mirror crystals for an other-worldly style, and check out our bling stickers and stick-on rhinestones for final finishing touches.

 

 

We also offer a wide range of leaf designs, with popular gleaming leaves at a trade price of just 33p per piece (£3.95 per pack), and a wide range of other styles in colours from silver to green to gold, with added sparkle or demure lace designs.

You might just be used to adding a novelty pick to orders at Christmas, but with this selection, non-flower pieces don’t have to be reserved for the peaks.

Browse the full range at corsagecreations.co.uk or view the latest brochure.

Images: designs by Hattie Ali, Philip Holley, Katie-Jane Pridmore & Jens Jakobsen. Article created in collaboration with Corsage Creations.

September 26th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Floral Headdress & Hairpiece Designs

Popularity of the flower crown isn’t fading any time soon; increasingly sought after for weddings and events; parties, festivals, even christenings or birthdays, and we’ve seen a surge in florist workshops across the country, where guests learn the art of floral headwear.

Letterbox service Bloom & Wild held a sell-out flower crown pop-up in central Shoreditch, meanwhile Blue Sky Flowers, based at New Covent Garden Market, are preparing to celebrate National Flower Crown Day on 23rd September.

We love our lines in glitz and bling, there’s an array of silver and diamante pieces, like this Accent hair clip and Willow headband. Every item comes with a plastic attachment for cold-gluing flowers.

 

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Plus our accessories allow florist freedom and creativity, for example this diamante wire has been twisted into a headdress with delicate yellow flower heads. You’ll also find clear hair combs, a clear plastic and plain silver head band for fully flowered pieces, plus hair pins for finishing touches.

 

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For extra detailed head wear, check out the Imagination and Luxurious Head pieces, both have a 1940’s feel, as does the Gatsby Lace headband which comes in cream and would work well with ever-popular lace bridal gowns.

 

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But it’s not all bling and glitz. We also offer a range of festival style headbands. Available in a variety of colours and styles, these make natural-looking flower crowns a million times easier because you simply have to wire onto a pre-made head piece, giving you the freedom to create crowns as big or as dainty as you please.

 

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All Corsage Creations pieces are created with florists in mind, so you’re offered ease and flexibility with your products, with a focus on where you’ll place flowers.

 

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Designers: Jens Jakobsen, Philip Holley, Katie-Jane Pridmore

June 17th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Prom Buttonhole Ideas

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We’re in the peak of prom season so prime time to get your name out there amongst your local teenage scene, promoting your wares and making it known that corsages and buttonholes are an essential item for the end-of-year ball. This week we’re sharing inspiration for buttonholes; because the boys need a special school-leavers accessory too, and the range of boutonnieres from Corsage Creations is perfect for teen prom-goers because it allows for maximum creativity and lets you be a bit more ‘out there’ than your average grown-up groom.

The Florentine offers a large flat surface perfect for getting the cold glue out and getting creative. Below.

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Say goodbye to fiddly stem-wrapping with this Calla Lily boutonniere which acts as a miniature vase for the most delicate of flower heads, with just a touch of glue needed to hold everything in place. We love Philip Holley’s choice of colours and materials here; kanga-paws combined with blackberries! Above.

This simple and elegant idea also uses the Calla Lily boutonniere plus some Chic Leaves with a dainty, tight rose head on a bed of skeleton leaves. Below.

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The Monstera Bouttonniere is another piece perfect for gluing. If you’ve a pick ‘n’ mix prom bar set up in-store, have some delicate flower head ideas on-hand so your customers can pick the materials themselves. Above.

The Calla Lily boutonniere also works with larger stems too, and looks sleek with its namesake. Below.

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The same goes for this art-deco style Grecian boutonniere; a classic design and one teenage boys can keep forever for future events… why not suggest they come back to you for fresh flowers. Remember he could be your customer for many Mother’s
Days and more occasions to come. Below.

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Use the Grecian or Florentine as a blank slate and completely cover in flower heads or just add a few adornments. Above.

For easy-to-glue boutonnieres in a whole range of styles plus loads more prom accessories and essentials, visit corsagecreations.co.uk.

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May 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

How To Use Our Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit

In this video we show you how to make a Brooch Bouquet using our Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit:

Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit (BK1612)

A Roll of Organza (SO1112)

A Roll of Metallic Wire (MW1107)

Oasis Floral Adhesive (FA1754)

May 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

How To Use Our Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit

In this video we show you how to make a Brooch Bouquet using our Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit:

To make this you will need the following:

Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit (BK1603)

A Roll of Organza (SO1112)

A Roll of Metallic Wire (MW1107)

Oasis Floral Adhesive (FA1754)

August 26th, 2015 jamesdouthwaite

The Scoop On Our Drop In Photoshoot

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When we asked Jens Jakobsen, Philip Holley and Katie-Jane Pridmore to get together one early Wednesday morning in New Covent Garden Flower Market, handed them buckets of flower thanks to Dennis Edwards and Porters Foliage, plus a massive array of our accessories, picks, pins and sparkly things we couldn’t have been more blown over by the outcome.

Not only did our designers (plus a handful of lovely drop-ins) produce over 50 pieces of varied and exquisite work, but they also clicked as a team leading to such a fabulous floral atmosphere that no one wanted to go home! Hattie, a newly launched florist, dropped in with her husband Erkan to have a go. After creating a princess pink bouquet using the Rhinestone Romance Bouquet Collar and Butterfly Pins, Erkan said, “I’ve never seen my wife this happy, not even on holiday!”

 

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Top: Hattie and Erkan Ali, Bottom: Cathy Penrose, The Flower Shop Oxfordshire

The lovely Pip Bensley, Mala Williams, Cathy Penrose, Davinder Sahota and Anita Choudhary also popped in and created some beautiful work, proving our ‘drop-in photoshoot’ model a success and one we’d love to use again.

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Caroline Marshall-Foster and Jens Jakobsen comparing corsage tips

Pip Holley of Bournemouth-based Willow Floristry said, “What an amazing and inspiring day. The Corsage Creations products were beautifully designed and an absolute joy to work with. Caroline and Hannah of Purple Spotted Media had chosen perfect materials for us to work with and the organisation of the day was spot on. Working with designers such as Jens Jakobsen, Katie-Jane Pridmore & Pip Bensley proved to be so much fun. A perfect day of design in my opinion.”

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Karen Hatch Photography and one of our lovely models Georgie

The event, organised for us by The Florist, created floristry in a huge spectrum of styles ranging from woodland princess and eclectic boho to intricate artistry, punk, princess and everything in between. Our fabulous photographer Karen Hatch shot each design over the course of two days, both in still life and ‘on location’ in Caroline’s back garden with a few teenagers roped in!

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Pip Holley, Willow Floristry, and Caroline Marshall-Foster 

We’ve a natural, blousy flower crown by Katie-Jane, a collection of intricate, one-of-a-kind corsages and buttonholes by Philip and some serious structural masterpieces by Jens, plus a fair few pieces using – shock horror – Caroline’s favourite blue roses. Yes you may think they’re tacky (and don’t get us wrong it took some persuading for our designers) but if they sell they must be photographed and we reckon they did a brilliant job.

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Pip Holley giving the blue roses a chance!

With our product laid out to fill an entire stage in one corner of London’s famous flower market, the designers could pick from armatures, wristlets, tiaras, hair clips, boutonnieres, wraps, stickers, feathers and more, generating designs from blingy corsages perfect for a teen prom-goer to stylish floral jewellery and tons of drop dead beautiful bridal bouquets.

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Katie-Jane Pridmore and Pip Holley working together

Katie-Jane, owner of Garden Studio Events, said, “It was a pleasure to be asked to work with Corsage Creations for their photoshoot. They have a huge range of products that did not disappoint, in fact there were not enough hours in the day to be able to use everything! The whole day was fun and relaxed, which I think reflected in our work. It was nice to have other florists drop in and see what they thought of the products. All in all I think the day was a huge success. Myself, Jens and Philip are all so different, so between the three of us we managed to created lots of different style designs which showed the products off in ways they hadn’t been used before! ”

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Katie-Jane working on a headdress

The shoot was commissioned by James Douthwaite, head honcho at Corsage Creations, who wanted to see his products used a little bit differently, which is why we opted for three designers we knew would each bring something new and varied to the table but who also come from floral businesses where saleability is key.

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Karen at work

James comments, “It was a fantastic couple of days, with some great designers! It exceeded my expectations and was really well organised by Hannah and Caroline. I was really impressed with the variety of designs from the contemporary and elaborate bouquets to the commercial corsages. And designs fit for any occasions from a rustic wedding to a glitzy prom!”

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Jens’ business Jens Jakobsen Floral Construction is based in London. He said, “It was like being in an Alice in Wonderland film set! With new glittery products and flowers everywhere it was a true fairytale day — suddenly stardust was created — it was magnificent. A day you wish would never end, just like in the fairytales.”

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Jens creating a chair-back design

With so many photos to share you’ll be seeing the full range over the coming months in articles and updates, so stay tuned to theflorist.co.uk, corsagecreations.co.uk and Facebook and Twitter for all your prom and wedding inspiration. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come…

With very special thanks to…

New Covent Garden Flower Market, for their space and assistance.

Dennis Edwards Flowers, for a huge and utterly stunning selection of blooms.

Karen Hatch and her brilliant photography.

Porters Foliage, for all our fabulous greens.

C Best, for the loan of their oh-so important sundries and vases.

– Zoe, Georgie and Olivia for being such marvellous models.

 

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All our wristles & hair clips come with an attachment for gluing, or if you’d like to add to a headband why not add cardboard for the same effect!

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May 6th, 2015 jamesdouthwaite

Six Ways to Put a Spring into Prom Sales

1. Get out there and sell your­self! Proms are a rapidly expand­ing mar­ket thanks to US film and TV. Young Brits are keen to match their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts with a big­ger and bet­ter bash each year, but many stu­dents aren’t aware of how many excit­ing options are avail­able to them. So the best way to make your­self and your offer­ings known is to actu­ally go out and visit schools. Hand out fly­ers, show off exam­ples, and even hold ‘have a go’ ses­sions if schools allow it. Check out our mar­ket­ing pack for more ideas.

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2. Offer some­thing for every­one. We have a mahoosive range of cor­sage bracelets in styles to suit all. Stu­dents will be clam­our­ing to bet­ter each other with cus­tom cor­sages, so let each of their per­son­al­i­ties shine through with designs for every­one from punk rock­ers to pretty pink princesses. Grab your­self a Prom Starter Pack at just £100 trade price for bracelets, acces­sories and a dis­play rack.

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3. Don’t waste mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Renowned florist Neil Whitaker swears by prom PR tac­tics, his win­dow dis­play and social media are key. Have fun cre­at­ing a prom win­dow to pull passers-by inside, and make sure you pho­to­graph it as well as all your funky cor­sage and but­ton­hole ideas to share share share away. Most teens’ eyes are glued to a screen 247 so social media is an essen­tial route to pick­ing up prom sales.

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4. Set up a pick n mix prom bar. Florists who tried this last year said it worked won­ders for cor­sage sales because eager teens loved being able to pick and choose each aspect of their cor­sage. With a box for bracelets, rib­bon, sparkly acces­sories and more you’ll cre­ate an in-store buzz and inspire those future flower buy­ers. Get your cor­sage dis­play stand here.

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5. Cus­tomise cor­sages to the max. Fill your prom bar with a range of add-ons so each stu­dent can feel super spe­cial on the big day and you can add value to designs. We have a huge range of acces­sories from Bling it On Stick­ers and Cloud 9 Feather Accents to sub­tler gold Chic Leaves and green Cor­sage Leaves. You can even help young love blos­som with spe­cial his and hers cor­sage and but­ton­hole cou­ples sets.

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6. Take advan­tage of your tar­get mar­ket. Young minds are eas­ily inspired and many mums and dads will be will­ing to splash out to make the first prom oh-so-special for their lit­tle dar­lings. Teens are much more likely to show off and go wild than your aver­age adult flower buyer, so really push your extrav­a­gant designs and use prom sea­son as an oppor­tu­nity to let your cre­ativ­ity run wild. You’ll find tons of inspi­ra­tion on our YouTube channel.

Arti­cle cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Purple Spotted Media.

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March 6th, 2015 jamesdouthwaite

How to make an alternative Bridal Brooch Bouquet and Flower Bouquet.

This video shows how to create a gorgeous alternative to both a Bridal Brooch Bouquet or Flower Bouquet using our Superior Single Brooch Bouquet.

To make this you will need the following:

Superior Single Brooch Bouquet (SU1503)

A Roll of Organza (SO1112)

A Roll of Metallic Wire (MW1107)

8cm Rose Bunch – White (YF139W)