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Christmas: Make the most of what you can offer to clients and customers

Christmas can be a fun seasonal peak for florists and floral designers. It’s hard work, it can be cold and wet, it can start in September for some of us and it can be a last-minute rush with orders, but ultimately, for most customers it is a happy time.

Planning, as with everything is key. Dependent on your business, it can start as soon as January of the same year! By this, I mean attending shows, trade fairs and supplier open days. This is the month when suppliers showcase their products to tempt us to buy for the following Christmas. These are the places where you can become inspired and start to think of themes you would like to create for your Christmas and Winter Floral and Plant collections.

Your window displays, website and social media plans can then follow the same themes, highlighting that you are a serious business with a thought-out strategic look for Christmas showcasing your brand. Having a plan that you can follow through brings trust, professionalism and ultimately loyalty from clients and customers.

September is a good month to receive your stock, make your collections, photograph them and have them ready to upload to your website and post on social media and in newsletters when you are ready. Some may think this is far too early, but remember that in the world of corporate business, Christmas gifting orders can start in October and certainly will be in full flow in November, so why not start with previewing your collections in October? Previews are teasers ……….

“Exclusive – our brand-new Christmas collection preview”

“Look at what we are exclusively offering this Yuletide season”

“Order now, delivery available from week beginning XX”

This is exactly what large consumer businesses do so why shouldn’t you? Who would have thought that beauty advent calendars would be big marketing campaigns in October? ‘order now whilst stocks last’

But it works, so why not do something similar?

Select one product from your collection that looks incredible, it must have:

  • a strong appeal to your clients and customers

  • strong commercial imagery

  • a name that can be remembered

  • a clear retail price point

  • ‘Limited availability’ messaging to entice your client and customers to feel that they should ‘order one now’

  • a quick, easy and convenient order process.

AND ……start to promote this in October.

Sell your home styling expertise

Home styling for Christmas is huge in some areas and there is every reason to believe that it could become even bigger in many more areas, including your town, village and city. Home styling is not for everyone, and it is a luxury service, but if you have an appetite to either start to offer this service or you already do this but want to expand, then think about how. My tips:

  • Plan early.

  • Talk about this to your team so they have a heads up and become excited, get them involved with the different themes you could offer.

  • Make a marketing plan so you can get your message out there.

  • Consultations are available by appointment only and offer to visit the home - this starts to then become a service that is private, bespoke and makes your client feel good.

  • If your client has no idea of what they would like, always be ready to suggest options and themes – talk excitedly about colours and decorations.

I always create a mood board showcasing the theme, type of tree, decorations, garlanding, table arrangements, outside door arch etc. This will give your client a feel for your creative style and design.

  • Price realistically…. Don’t forget time on site to install and how many members of your team will be required.

  • Payment: these are my general terms:

25% deposit at booking, 50% 4 weeks before installation date 25% 1 week before installation date.

  • Offer fresh and faux flowers, foliage and plants.

  • Offer a ‘Take down service’ for the beginning of January – provide boxes and tissue for packing baubles and other decorations and hand wrap them, labelling each box. You are then providing the ultimate service and generally you will be commissioned for the following year.

(p.s. I don’t offer to store the decorations!) Remember……Planning is key…

Merry Christmas!

Karen Barnes



With over 35 years’ experience, Karen Barnes is one of the UK’s leading consultants to the floral industry and an expert in product development, future trends & colours, and floral photography design & planning.

She’s an interior floral designer, high profile wedding and event floral planner, and prominent international competition judge.

From teaching on a one-to-one basis to coaching small, intimate classes and larger teams, Karen can encourage, motivate and mentor your next step in the florist industry. Sharing her vast experience, Karen can help you expand your knowledge and creativity.





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