Design Blast: Fall Textures

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Brides often know which colors they want for their weddings, but they seldom consider textures for their big day. As a floral designer, your ability to leverage both is a testament to your craft (and your profession). Fall is upon us, bringing with it textures in many forms, all of which take your creations in directions that will turn heads, and generate referrals.


Starflower Pincushions (Scabiosa pods), with their earthy colors and spherical composition, add a lovely pop of texture to any floral arrangement. Lotus pods, on the other hand, offer a bolder look – with their odd shape and pitted surface. Nigella, Poppy, Montbretia, and so many other pod-options can elevate your Fall designs to new heights.


In nature, flowers are always surrounded by accompaniment – usually grass and foliage, rich in texture (if not color). By combining with flowers natural elements like Bunny, Wheat, Bay Leaf and Rosemary, you are surrounding your “stars” with vital supporting roles. Your wholesaler offers almost as many varieties of grasses and foliage as they do actual flowers. Take the time to explore the many available options, so you can create the perfect recipe to suit your bride’s taste.


Hypericum and Brunnia are popular berries that top designers are using to infuse their floral creations with more texture. Blackberry and Viburnum, although often difficult to find, can also help achieve a rare and unique look.  Fall is the perfect time of year to really explore the myriad berry options sourced by your wholesaler. In many cases, the berries take the lead – with flowers serving as the accent!

Be creative! Think about feathers, beads and other unconventional additions as attention-grabbing texture options. Fall comes and goes quickly – seize the season and leave your mark with the right accents for the occasion.

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Jim Nordlie

Jim Nordlie, Nordlie’s long-time owner, president, and leader passed away on Friday, July 1, 2016. He was 93 years old and dedicated his entire working life to serving the floral industry. He began working in the downtown Detroit store in 1946, after returning home from World War II where he served as a Flying Tiger pilot based out of Hsian, China. Under his direction and leadership, Nordlie grew to seven stores in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Having a passion for roses and understanding the importance of supplying the best quality rose in the marketplace, Jim managed two successful rose growing greenhouses in Ohio. He also started his Norcafe farm in Guatemala that supplied the market with premium roses for many years.

Jim’s passion for our industry was only surpassed by his passion for the people in it, whether they be employees, customers, peers, or his family. No one came into the Detroit location without receiving an introduction, handshake, and a friendly welcome. He also had a knack for identifying key personality traits in hiring employees who would “make a difference” to the Company and customers. He gave many an opportunity when it was greatly needed, resulting in careers that truly made a difference in their lives.

Jim is survived by his wife, Nancy and his two children James Nordlie and Nancy Nordlie. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Nordlie but his words of wisdom and culture that he developed will continue under the Nordlie/Kennicott name.

A Memorial Service was held at St. James Episcopal Church, 355 W. Maple Rd. Birmingham, MI. on Saturday July 20th.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Helping Your Florist Make The Most of Prom Sales

One of the most important tasks to help your florist build on Prom Sales is to strategize with them early. Prom season used to be end of May and early June but now prom can take place as early as April in some areas. The problem: it falls right around Mother’s Day - our busiest time of the year. Here are some tips to assist your florist with the bustling Prom season.

Make Contact Early

Right after Valentine’s Day is a good time to send out some tips and sales sheets. Show off your latest ribbon choices and corsage enhancements, whether colored leaves, wire, jewels or wrist bands; help your Florist differentiate their corsage selection. Send out a preorder sheet for stem wrap, pins, glue and the other basic items utilized during Prom season. The week after a successful holiday is a great time to get your customers buying!

Offer Marketing Tips

Offer your customers some tips on marketing to their local schools: Step one – Florists should contact schools in their general area and write down the dates for prom.” They should use their personal contacts to connect directly with groups at the school such as band, sports and chorus. Perhaps they can turn corsage and boutonniere orders into a fundraising event. Three weeks before prom have a “band night” where $1 from each flower order goes to the school group leading the event.

Provide Pre-Order & Upsell List

Send a preorder sheet to your florist and list the basic fresh corsage items they will need. Add a section of unique flowers to upsell that corsage, such as, orchid spray, garden roses, and other flowers to encourage different designs. Hold a Class Do you have design staff or a customer who would like to do a class? Body flower classes are great ways to help your florists start thinking ahead or to “keep their eye on the ball”. You could have two classes: an advanced classes for those looking to improve their fine techniques, and a basic class to show beginners how to make boutonnieres.

Share, Share, Share!

Social media is perfect to attract this new generation of flower buyer. Help your retailer populate their social media accounts with new ideas. Reach out to our vendors for photos to pass along to the retail customer. If you are bogged down with holiday preparation, outsource this task to someone at your wholesale house. Let your junior managers or rising stars show you what they can do. Energize your employees and florists to make this a successful Prom season


Written by: Tom Figueroa

Originally Published by WFFSA, See Article.



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