THE most common question I get - "Why are flowers so expensive?" It's one of the most painful things to have to explain, but it's so important and so I'll do my best. It comes down to just a few main points.
Supply Chain and Labor of Love
From the farmers and growers who are at the will of the elements, to the laborers who harvest each stem and bloom. To the sellers and shippers. To the florists and their assistants. To the folks who design a unique concept for a client. The folks who hand sort and examine each and every stem. The folks who do the actual build and execution. The team that does setup for an event. Those dollars don't even accurately represent the sheer amount of manual labor involved. And unlike other agricultural products, flowers aren't government subsidized, nor is the water used to grow them. If we truly accounted for all the man hours and paid a true minimum wage for all these hours, no one would be able to afford flowers. The cost would be exorbitant. So instead, every single person in this supply chain deeply discounts their labor and charges a price we think the market can handle without too deeply jeopardizing ourselves. Thus, for everyone along this supply chain - flowers are a labor of love. And the only way we keep afloat is by charging the prices we consider a living wage, and taking on more orders and events in hopes that economies of scale will help offset some of the costs.
Service & Products
Flowers, especially event florals, are both a service and a product. Each and every event is specifically designed to meet a client's particular vision. That's a service that requires a ton of time and research and back-and-forth between the client and florist. And as you know, time is money. And then there's the actual product itself - the creation of an actual floral product, whether it's a bouquet, centerpiece, ceremony arch, etc. These products are really unique and very personalized. Those are real hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind products. With real material costs. In general, you can expect that for a given quote or invoice, half of that amount directly accounts for the material cost, and the remaining goes to overhead like utilities, rentals, etc. Only a very small fraction ever comes back to the actual florist. And like I mentioned above, it definitely does not accurately reflect the labor involved.
Then Why Do It?
This is a deeply personal question and the answer varies from person to person. But for me - I really enjoy doing this and it is so rewarding to see the fruits of your labor come to life. This is also a great creative outlet for me, and being able to give joy to so many people through flowers - this is what I live for.
I hope this post helped clarify the question of flower costs. If you still have questions or thoughts, feel free to drop me a line. More than happy to engage in discussion.