Sympathy Flowers: Part I

Every year there are a couple of slow periods.  Whenever these times hit, it's time to drag out the projects I've been putting on hold, pull up the list of people I want to contact, dust off the back burner.  This year, I decided that it was time to focus on a slightly different area of the floral world: sympathy work.

This is definitely a subject we don't talk about very often.  But as an event florist, it's something I  have to think about.  So I decided to write about it.

I recently sat down with John Beard of Beard's Chapel to discuss ways of working together and to find out what he needs from the florist he works with.  Very quickly, I realized we share the same outlook towards our chosen fields: it's our job to make things easier for our clients.  

I was asked today, 'What do you like best about wedding work.'  My answer...'Reducing the stress, seeing the look in a client's eyes when I've made a difficult day easier for them; creating something beautiful to bring something special to their day.'  After I said it, I realized that same is true for sympathy work...making a difficult day easier by creating something beautiful for them--that's what I like best about ANY floral work.   

Flowers are a way of saying 'I remember your loved one' to the family of an associate and  'I'm thinking of you' to a family friend.  But most importantly, flowers are a way of honoring the memory and celebrating the life of a loved one as a person by bringing personality to each floral piece created and by helping the family through a really tough time.  And if I can do that for someone today, then I count today as a successful day.