Artisanal Blooms

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1-800-FLOWERS.com makes Mother’s Day even more special with handcrafted local designs

Ann Marie Pierce, owner of Imperial Florist for nearly 30 years

Flowers have become known as the hallmark message to convey all of life’s moments. From birthdays and weddings to well wishes and funerals, beautiful bouquets and thoughtful blooms are so much more than a pretty part of a tablescape, thanks to 1-800-FLOWERS.com and its Local Artisan Collection. As a brand, 1-800-Flowers.com owns nine floral shops in addition to nearly 150 franchise shops across the country and 1-800-FLOWERS.com in Baldwin is one of those co-branded shops. A veteran of the floral industry, Ann Marie Pierce has owned and operated Imperial Florist for nearly 30 years. Her thriving wedding flower business is the result of many enthusiastic customer referrals, and 10 years ago, she partnered with 1-800-Flowers.com to elevate her brand. And as she revealed, being a florist is so much more than sticking flowers in a vase.

“Partnering with 1-800-FLOWERS.com as a co-franchise was one of the best moves I ever made because it expanded everything for me, and I love having my designs be part of the Local Artisan Collection,” said Pierce. “We get to work with other designers and get a good feel for what they do and come back with new pieces and inspiration for our own shop. It was nice for me to get that kind of exposure as a designer.”

A local artisan handcrafts the floral arrangements in this collection.

The Local Artisan Collection features a curated assortment of truly original arrangements designed and inspired by talented local florists from across the country. According to Alfred Palomares, the vice president of merchandising for 1-800-FLOWERS.com, each unique handcrafted floral arrangement selected for this collection is available exclusively at 1-800-Flowers.com for purchase nationwide and depending on the designs, arrangements may be added to the company’s everyday occasions collection.

“Exceptional designs from the Local Artisan Collection are chosen at the Local Artisan Design Workshop, which was introduced to provide our florists from across the U.S. with an opportunity to collaborate with our product development and merchandising teams to develop unique product concepts for 1-800-FLOWERS.com,” said Palomares. “Speaking of, available just in time for Mother’s Day 2019, our collection includes 16 unique bouquets created by 11 florists.”

For the new collection, arrangements are reviewed by the Product development, merchandising and marketing teams at the Local Artisan Design Workshop, and together, they determine the best arrangements based on current and anticipated trends. And while you may be ordering it online, you are getting a beautiful arrangement from your local florist.

“Chosen designs must be truly original and reflect industry trends, as well as changing consumer preferences, based on the florist’s knowledge and experience,” said Palomares, noting that florists must meet specific criteria to be invited to participate. “Flowers can touch the lives of every person who receives them and, regardless of the situation, boost their mood. It’s our opportunity to help people express, connect and celebrate important moments in their lives.”

Pierce created the Splendid & Sweet arrangement (All-around arrangement with pink roses, Matsumoto asters and Peruvian lilies (alstroemeria); lime green carnations and greens) and Sunburst Bouquet (Arrangement of sunflowers, green mini hydrangeas, orange Asiatic lilies, orange spray roses, green hypericum, green button poms, bear grass and variegated pittosporum) during the Local Artisan Design Workshop, which were then selected to become a part of the collection 1-800-Flowers.com customers loved the design of the Splendid & Sweet arrangement so much that it has sustained as a customer favorite for years and was a result of her designing the bouquet at the Local Artisan Design Workshop.

“I love working with other designers and that’s where 1-800-FLOWERS.com comes in for me. For the Local Artisan Design Workshop, they supplied a beautiful array of flowers. I was very inspired by color when creating the designs,” said Pierce, noting that the Sunburst Bouquet is available year round as sunflowers seem to be a constant favorite. “For Splendid and Sweet, it’s a small sweet piece, and it actually doubles as a candle holder. Some of the products now are being shown so they could double for something else after the flowers are gone and that’s a huge trend today too.”Pierce draws inspiration from color palettes, magazines and by walking around her town or the city, peeking into window displays. She describes her style as simple, natural and outside the box.

“I think flowers should be used in their natural state and being able to touch people like that in their happiest or their saddest times, just being present in their lives is a very special thing,” said Pierce, who has seen more than a generation of people come through her shop, from baptisms and sweet sixteens to graduations and weddings. “I was so excited to find out that my designs were going to be a part of the Local Artisan Collection and it’s a nice feeling to be recognized for your work.”

The beauty of the Local Artisan Design Workshop is to not only meet other designers from around the country, but to broaden your own style and bring new ideas back home. For Pierce, who tends to design a little more compact, she was able to bring inspiration back to her shop just in time for Mother’s Day.

“A lot of people will tell us about their moms when making an arrangement and learning about the person is a big part of the business,” said Pierce, who loves working with her customers. ”Emotion comes in so much in this business and customers want to know that their person is being taken care of when they get a floral arrangement. It’s important to take the time with people because it’s a very personal business.”

Visit the on www.1800flowers.com where arrangements are available for sale nationwide. Imperial Florist is located at 776 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, NY 11510. For more information, call 516-223-3364 or visit www.imperialflorist.org. Follow Imperial Florist on social media @imperialfloristbaldwin.

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