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Make the Most of International Women's Day

What is International Women’s Day?

A few facts:

  • International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global event celebrating and recognising the achievements of women.

  • It isn’t a new occasion, in fact it actually started in the United States in 1909 and was known as National Women’s Day. This day was celebrated on 28th February.

  • A couple of years later, the name changed to International Women’s Day and by 1917, the official day was established as 8th March.

  • In 1975 International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations and in 2001 was launched with an aim to re-energise the day. This website is still active and through social media and the internet, International Women’s Day continues to fulfil its mission.

Designating an annual day to highlight and champion the rights of women and girls around the world had begun!

International Women’s Day always falls on 8th March every year and in some countries, it is recognised as a public holiday and is customary for men to give female colleagues and loved one’s flowers and small gifts.

In some countries (such as Bulgaria and Romania) it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother's Day, where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers, to show their appreciation for the women in their lives.

In Italy the day is celebrated by men giving yellow mimosa to women.

Why mimosa? Well, mimosa was chosen as the symbol of International Women’s Day by an Italian woman politician in 1946. Her counterpart in France had chosen violets and lily of the valley but these were found to be scarce and expensive in poor, rural areas of Italy, so mimosa became the flower of choice for the day.

Mimosa is now sent to women on the 8th March all over the world.

So, how is this occasion so important to florists all around the world?

In so many countries, it has become a huge, what we call, ‘peak’ for the sending and giving of flowers, often a bigger flower sending occasion than Mother’s Day. In particular: Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Europe, USA, Argentina, Uganda, Laos, amongst others.

The UK has always been a part in celebrating and campaigning for International Women’s Day, but it is only in the last decade that some UK florists have seen a significant growth in sales and floral gifting for this occasion.

I have experienced, particularly in London, that this is an absolute peak, with sales and deliveries often overshadowing Mother’s Day. Supply and demand are typical peak issues and therefore we do see prices increasing and availability of certain types of flowers can be scarce.

My advice is to seize this opportunity to recognise International Women’s Day as a peak, (perhaps to start with, a mini peak,) but an occasion where you can increase sales and expand your business. There is huge potential here!


  • Look at the demographic of who could/will be interested.

  • Are you in a multi-cultural area?

  • Talk to your team and get excitement building for fresh, new ideas.

  • Create a small collection product range (including mimosa). Purple, green and white are the colours of the IWD website.

  • Use free imagery of Mimosa and post on social media (We recommend site's like Pixabay and Unsplash for royalty-free imagery)

  • Take photographs of your new collection and post on social media.

  • Ensure you have the occasion on your website’s homepage.

  • Create excitement at local primary schools by holding a competition to see who can draw/paint their mum’s favourite flower and the winner’s mum will receive a free bouquet (for example) from your business.

  • Is there any competition in your town for gifting for International Women’s Day?

  • Create a news story for your local press to publish (free advertising!).

The positives are:

  • It is always on the same date – every year!

  • You can grow your business.

  • Capture new clients/customers.

  • Market the occasion after 15th February.

  • You can become known for recognising International Mother’s Day.

  • Your collection of products can be used for Mother’s Day.

  • You can use sundries you have in stock.

  • You can make profit!

There is so much to be gained for UK florists by tapping into a peak that has already been created, and as yet the big players in the floral gifting segment have not taken market share with this one, YET….. so, do this for florists!

Good Luck!


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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