If you’re planning a wedding or other event this summer, or would just like to send someone flowers to make them smile, Wisconsin’s florists are here to help! But you might need to plan ahead and be willing to be flexible, says Tami Gasch, President of the Wisconsin & Upper Michigan Florists Association and owner of Brilliont Blooms floral shop in Brillion, Wisconsin. The floral industry in Wisconsin has seen a lot of changes over the past year and had to make quite a few adjustments to serve their customers.
During the pandemic, many floral storefronts were closed and were forced to utilize contactless delivery or curbside pickup in order to maintain their business. Luckily things are starting to get back to normal now, however surprisingly during the pandemic many florists saw an increase in business, other than event florists. People, being home more, wanted flowers and plants to decorate their homes and lighten the mood over this interesting time. That flood of business seems to be continuing, but now these flower shops are picking up new and re-scheduled events and Gasch says, “they almost have double the work than what they’ve had before.”
One thing Gasch also says is to be flexible when working with your florist. Flowers used in local flower shops come from all over the world. Many flower farms that provide for florists have been short on labor and supply due to the pandemic. She has been seeing a decreased availability of certain flowers and increased depending on the week. That being said, sometimes Gasch or other florists are unable to get the flowers they’d like, so they work their hardest to substitute options that are just as beautiful and vibrant for their customers.
Another disruption in their supply chain florists have seen is the availability of vases. Many florists, as well as retail stores have had a hard time sourcing vases and have had to look for other options. Gasch is thankful that she has had customers or friends bringing in boxes of old vases to donate to the store so she has plenty to use.
Over the years, and especially this last year, she has seen an increase in online customers. During the recent past, unfortunately she lost quite a bit of her foot traffic, but says it is beginning to pick back up. Gasch encourages everybody to support their local flower shop and send people flowers. “Flowers make people smile and make them happy,” Gasch says, “so we recommend sending flowers all the time to people to bring smiles to them and let them know you care.”