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Why do flowers cost so much?

It surprises me that people think flowers are so expensive. Maybe it's because I'm immersed in it and I'm so used to it. When I hear someone say 'gosh flowers are expensive aren't they?" I sometimes answer with - compared to what? Like seriously, compared to what? Woolworths flowers? That would be comparing apples with poached pears my darlings.

Let me clear a few things up here, let me educate you, let me shock you with how much bloody work goes into flowers that you buy from a florist shop or should I say boutique?

Firstly, Woolworths flowers are slapped together (yes literally slapped together - I've seen them being thrown into a bunch, wrapped in ugly plastic and chucked onto a trolley one on top of another - true story) using unwanted (read old & imperfect) stock purchased in bulk from local growers (yay for the local growers though - less waste).

Secondly, Farmers Market Flowers come direct from the flower farm and are sold at wholesale rates. Sometimes even cheaper than we can purchase them at market. Unfortunately this then makes florist flowers look expensive and this really undermines our business's. So the grower goes out into the field, cuts what they need for the Farmers Market, binds a few stems into a bunch, throws them in a bucket and off they go to sell them out of the back of their van.

Thirdly, Pop-Up's. This closely resembles a florist but isn't. The operator pops off to market, buys what blooms they need, makes up a few bunches, prices them and puts them out on the stall stall to sell. What's wrong with that? you ask! Usually the pricing. Often run by inexperienced floral graduates that haven't yet gotten to grips with pricing and therefore underprice and undercut the florist up the road. They pay unrealistic super cheap rent in a 'Pop-Up Collective' and care of the blooms once made into bunches is often minimal so by day 3 the water is murky and the flowers are starting to disintegrate. It takes a lot of effort to keep flowers fresh. Which leads me to....

The Floral Boutique. Yes that's right, your local florist shop - like me for instance.

What I do. I own a boutique florist shop. That means that I specialise in flowers, fresh flowers, unique flowers, delivery of flowers locally, posies, bunches, bouquets, table arrangements, wreaths etc etc. Potted plants, succulent gardens, terrariums and more.

Why do my flowers cost what they do? Here's why. I get up at 2am and travel for 1 hour 40 minutes to the market paying $10 just to get in. I personally select each and every fresh, healthy stem. This takes time. Then I lug them 1 hour 40 minutes back to the shop where I unpack the car and haul them into the shop. This all takes time and I need to be paid for that trip to market and the entry fee, my petrol and running costs for my car and for my time unpacking my car when I get back to the shop. I have to pay staff for the day to help me unwrap, prep and store the flowers.

Then the bunches are made up, this also takes time. Basically when it comes to flowers you are paying for my time and my staff to have them ready for you to come collect. Part of that is the beautiful, serene space that you come to to purchase your flowers. In order to provide that lovely space for you visit there is shop rent, insurance, electricity, phone, eftpos machine & bank charges. Not to mention staff wages, superannuation, gst, water, council rates etc etc.

I understand that you don't get it, you see the tip of the iceberg and not the massive amount of ice under the water, it's the best way to describe seeing what's on the flower bench but not all the energy, time and money that go into getting them on there. Flowers are hard work, physically hard, schlepping buckets around, bleaching vases, changing water, trimming stems, making up bunch after bunch (which we love by the way) standing on a hard concrete floor all day, for hours, like up to 10 hours some days. And every day that water has to be changed, vase scrubbed and stems trimmed. You just can't compare it to Woolworths, Farmers Market flowers or a 'Pop-Up'.

So, like, can you see where I'm coming from and all the work involved? Makes them great value for money really! Prices are going to vary depending on the area you live in, the type of floral style of your florist and the flowers they use. Size isn't really an indication of the bunch price, it's whats in it that counts and the qualification, experience and expertise of the florist.

Cut us a break peeps, next time you pop into a florist shop hand out a little praise, it means so much to a tired, overworked (did I mention underpaid - lol) florist like me!

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