The Day To Day Responsibilities Of A Florist In Singapore

Although most of us are not foreign to the term Florists, we often underestimate their role. Florists do not simply collect, cut and arrange flowers – floral design is actually a form of art and there is a growing number of universities who even offer it as a Bachelor’s’ degree! Florists are part of an ever-changing creative industry and with the persistent demand for flowers for events such as weddings and birthdays, their lives tend to be busy all the time. But what do they actually do? Let’s see!

1) Arrange flowers according to clients’ preferences

As we mentioned before, floral design is no easy business and matching their creative ideas to their client’s preferences and the occasion is a difficult task. Doing this multiple times in a day can be draining; just like how writers get a writer’s block, florists get some thought blocks too!

Moreover, to arrange flowers for different occasions requires the skill to be able to switch the mood of the floral designs swiftly. Arranging flowers for a wedding or a birthday would definitely not be the same compared to doing a design for a funeral to send condolences.

Arranging flowers also requires prior knowledge and experience on not just design, but also on colours, textures and utilisation of different materials like ribbons and stalks.

2) Be open to different forms of floral design and arrangement

Floral design and arrangement does not simply refer those of bouquets, but also include displays done in outdoor event venues and houses. Most of these arrangements require designing to be done on the venue spot and not in the florist’s comfort of their own shop. For such occasions, florists have to visit the venue multiple times to look at the facilities available for displaying flowers and other accessories like vines and ribbons. They also need to take necessary measurements of the venue and possibly even do a dry run with false flowers to ensure it is to their client’s liking!

3) Maintaining and growing flowers indoors under the appropriate conditions

More than using their knowledge to come up with innovative floral designs, florists are also required to know how to ensure their flowers stay bright and fresh even after they have been transferred to their clients. A significant amount of knowledge in botany is required to know how to water flowers, cut them and store them with the appropriate foilage and support materials.

This is especially important in Singapore, where florists mostly get their supply imported from other countries. These flowers are usually sent in under special conditions and specific techniques are required to ensure they remain fresh.

4) Performing retail and logistic duties

Florists, whether or not if they own their own shop, have to inevitably learn how to perform plenty of retail and logistic duties. This includes attending to customers, taking orders through the telephone, receiving payment and keeping good accounting records. Many florists in Singapore nowadays have to go through established courses on floral design before they get hired, however it is still in their job scope to perform these duties.

5) Communicating with suppliers and wholesalers

Although florists are able to predict busy periods like Valentine’s Day or Graduation periods for local universities, they are also required to estimate the required stocks on a daily basis. This does not just apply for flowers, but also for all the other supporting materials they use like foil, ribbons, plastic coverings and stalks.

Estimating the required supply for flowers is quite risky more so in Singapore as flowers are perishable goods. To add to that, the weather here, as we all know it, is highly unpredictable. With the high humidity levels in the air and unreliable chances of rain or shine, having excess stock of flowers stored indoors is not such a good idea. On top of learning how to gauge the demand, florists also have to actively liaise with their suppliers and be on the lookout for cheaper and good quality alternatives.

Moreover, florists in Singapore import plenty of flowers all year round, and this requires some baseline knowledge about the blooming seasons of various flowers from different parts of the world as well.

6) Be responsible for a punctual delivery and reasonable pricing of orders

Imagine anxiously waiting for your delayed flower delivery on your wedding day! Flowers are usually the highlight of special occasions and it often can break the spirit of the event if they are delivered late. Florists hold a key responsibility to ensure that the timely delivery of the flowers simply do their job by brightening up the event.

Florists also bear the responsibility to ensure that their orders are reasonably priced as especially during peak periods like Valentine’s Day, flower prices can skyrocket in Singapore!

7) Educating clients on how to maintain flowers

Sometimes, clients might want flowers to be arranged and displayed to last for a few days for occasions rather than just a few hours. Weddings of different ethnicities in Singapore that last a few days, other festivals and processions in our cosmopolitan nation requires the flowers to last long. One big duty of florists to ensure that this happens is educating their clients on how to keep the flowers fresh by trimming and watering them appropriately. Florists are also required to advise their clients on the type of flowers to display, depending on how long they want them to last. This, again, requires knowledge on botany which florists have to be trained for.

That’s quite some things florists need to know to function in their job properly, isn’t it? An actively creative mind, organised workspace, strong knowledge in botany, hardworking attitude and punctuality – all of this and more is required to be a florist. Now we are certain that you wouldn’t underestimate the roles and responsibilities of our local florists!

We’re Giving More Profits Away – To Animal Lovers League, a No Kill Shelter for Abandoned, Sick, Injured Dogs and Cats

For those who already know, we currently have an ongoing Christmas project to help the kids of Cotlands – a non profit organisation in South Africa that focuses on the education and social crisis in Africa by organising early learning playgroups and toy libraries in under-resourced communities. More about it can be read by clicking this link: Our Profits are Going to Africa to Make Some Children Smile this Christmas. Here’s How You Can Be A Part of It.

A New Project to Help the Abandoned and Rescued Dogs of Singapore

We have created a new Christmas project and in this one, we will be aiming to help stray dogs – beautiful creatures that we have a very soft spot for.

From 25 November 2015 to 25 December 2015, we will be giving 1/3 of all sales proceeds from two of our products, R02 – Spirited Away and C14 – Doggy to Animal Lovers League.

Why Are We Helping Them?

“With a rental of at least S$20,000 per month to cover, and more than S$35,000 owed to their vet, they mostly rely on donations from the public.”

Animal Lovers League (ALL) is home to at least 700 rescued cats and dogs. These animals that were taken in have either been abused, abandoned, sick, or injured. They are also a no kill shelter. This means that all the animals under their care can enjoy the peace that they will always meals to look forward to, volunteers to mingle with and care for them, and treatment should the need arise. They will never ever have to worry about the possibility of being euthanized. ALL’s efforts to save so many animals have put them in a very difficult financial position. With a rental of at least S$20,000 per month to cover, and more than S$35,000 owed to their vet, they mostly rely on donations from the public. They also depend on dog lovers to adopt their current cats and dogs, so that they may have more space in their kennels to rescue more animals.

With so many dogs and cats to care for, it is a blessing that they do have sufficient volunteers to help out. The co-founders of the shelter, Cathy and Mohan, have never failed to compromise on their own well-being just so their animals can have a better tomorrow.

Because of their lack of space, volunteers of ALL make it a necessity to travel to areas in Singapore whereby there are many stray dogs. These dogs are fed daily, and they are often taken in to be sterilised, and then released onto the streets again. Dogs are incredibly intelligent. When they know where to expect food everyday, they keep to themselves and wait for the food to come. They do not cause trouble by hounding people with food, unlike the monkeys you see in MacRitchie. The sterilisation also helps to curb their population growth. With so little organisations in Singapore caring for our street dogs, it is important that they be sterilised.

Their only fixed income is through a boarding service they provide. It costs only 5 dollars a day and it has not been effective in making ends meet.

Most of the dogs they rescue have complicated health problems. There is no surprise to why they owe the vet more than S$35,000.

My Experience With Them

For those of you who have read our previous blog posts, you would know that we are not affiliated with ALL in any way, but we love to help. It started when my beloved Jack Russell of 16 years passed away on 2 December 2014. My family, including my helper, are big dog lovers. We decided that as dog lovers, we do not need a beautiful looking pure breed dog such as a Golden Retriever or Labrador. Any dog can give us happiness, especially if there is that certain fondness of first sight. We sourced for shelters and found ourselves at ALL. We were so inspired and touched by the selflessness of Cathy, and it was there that we found Elliot, a lovely mongrel that we have grown to fall in love with.

Elliot just outside the shelter.

Elliot just outside the shelter.

Elliot when he first came to our home.

Elliot when he first came to our home.

 

He has since grown into a big boy now!

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A few months ago, my helper spotted a sick looking stray loitering in our estate. It was drinking from the dirty puddles of water on the roads and it looked like it needed urgent help. I managed to locate it and lure it back to my home. From there, we arranged with Cathy for it to be housed by ALL. My family paid for its bills and we named it after the street we lived at. It looked to be abandoned, due to its collar mark at its neck. It was also very domesticated, unlike a normal stray who would be very cautious of humans. His condition has since improved a lot and he’s now looking for a new home. He’s expected to be about 10 years of age. Due to his age, not many would want to adopt him. We would love to take him in if we had the resources but we will not take in any dog that we cannot care for.

 

We had to restrain Springside until the van arrived.

I visit him at least once a week to feed and walk him, but he still looks very depressed.

There Are More Dogs that Need Help

This stray that we rescued had a catheter inserted into his private parts because he could not urinate. He was suffering badly. However, there are so many other dogs that need greater medical assistance.

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Meet Ubin, a lovely stray that was rescued from a wild boar trap in Pulau Ubin. Ubin lost a leg due to being trapped, but he is so happy now. We cannot save all the dogs in the world, but we can do our best.

Please Note…

Floral Garage Singapore did not mark up any prices for our project with Cotlands South Africa and ALL. The decision to donate these profits is a personal decision made by us. If you have no one to purchase a bouquet as a gift during this festive season, and if you would like to be a part of ALL efforts, we strongly urge you to make a donation directly to them by clicking this link.

 

This Christmas, we want to be their Santa. Please share this post to spread the word 🙂 Thank you!

Our Profits are Going to Africa to Make Some Children Smile this Christmas. Here’s How You Can Be A Part of It.

Christmas is now less than a month away and Floral Garage Singapore has begun a really exciting project aimed to help a certain group of under privileged children in Africa. At the same time, we hope this would be an opportunity for you to remember the significant individuals of your life that you have always forgotten. By putting a smile on their faces, you will also put a smile on many more.

We have prepared two different set of texts, a short speed read for those on the go who do not have much free time, and a detailed read, for those who would like to find out more about what we are doing!

SPEEDREAD (for DETAILED READ, see below):

Treat your Loved Ones to a Beautiful and Affordable Gift this Christmas – and at the same time, know that you are responsible for bringing a smile to an underprivileged child in Africa. (We urge you to read the DETAILED READ as well)

This Christmas, we are collaborating with Cotlands – a non-profit early childhood development organisation. Our most popular product is the Freestyle Bouquet that is available at just 29.90 SGD. For the period of 25 November 2015 to 25 December 2015, we will be using all profits earned from every sale of the Freestyle bouquet to purchase Christmas gifts for the children under the care of Cotlands. A wish list has been generated by Cotlands and us. We will wire them the money needed to purchase the items in need and they will purchase it for us. Images from the results of the campaign will be published as well. Should the total profits from the sales of our Freestyle Bouquet be unable to cover the total cost of the gifts, we will top up the amount with our personal funds.

COTLANDS

DETAILED READ:

Christmas – as we know it

Children in Singapore are often reminded that Christmas is nearing when the malls they enter play familiar Christmas carols and display an extensive amount of decorations. It is common for them anticipate in great excitement, the gifts they will receive. As we become older, most of us might feel the magic of Christmas would slowly fade away. But for the young children, it will always be something to look forward to.

Although Christmas is supposed to be a religious celebration associated with Christianity, many non-Christians have developed a liking from partaking in the joy of giving and receiving. Unfortunately, not all children experience the joy of Christmas the same way an average Singaporean child would.

When we buy presents for our loved ones during this festive season, let us pause to think if there is anyone we are missing out. It could be your helper who goes the extra mile in service just so she can make your life better, or it could be the unappreciated janitor from your office who is always overlooked by everyone. This Christmas, let us remember the people that truly matter to society and our lives.

Meet the Children of Cotlands

 

Cotlands is a non-profit early childhood development organisation in Africa. They focus on the education and social crisis in Africa by organising early learning playgroups and toy libraries in under-resourced communities.

Cotlands was initially founded in 1936 as a haven for abandoned babies. It began one night when a baby was left abandoned at the doorstep of Matron Dorothy Reece’s home in Mayfair, Johannesburg. She decided to take the infant in to care for it and this single act of kindness sparked the beginning of something huge.

Cotland’s Vision: To see children in South Africa thrive in their formative years.

Cotland’s Mission: Cotlands provides children with effective, high impact health, psychosocial and early learning play based development opportunities to help them thrive.

Cotlands now operate in 5 provinces – Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga. Since their establishment, they have reached out and been a beacon of hope to thousands of vulnerable children. They currently provide a range of services to more than 8000 beneficiaries nationally in South Africa.

Cotlands

Why Did We Choose Cotlands?

Cotlands is one of the most transparent non-profit organisations in South Africa. They have just won their 4th award for transparent reporting. Click here to read more about it.

South Africa infographic

What Is Floral Garage Singapore Going To Do? How Is It To Be Done?

Our Most Popular Product

We are happy to announce that the Freestyle Bouquet is the most popular product that we have. For some months, we have managed to nearly hit 70 orders of Freestyle Bouquets alone. For a small online establishment like us, we feel that it is a decently sized volume.

For those who do not know what the Freestyle Bouquet is, here is a brief summary of what it is. For 29.90 SGD, customers can enjoy a beautiful randomly created bouquet, based on your relationship of the recipient, and the occasion. Customers cannot customise it by selecting what they would like (though we always try our best to accommodate), but they can state what we should avoid. For example, if a male is giving it to a platonic female friend, the usual request is to avoid red roses as it would seem too romantic.

Profits from Our Most Popular Product to the Children of Cotlands

Now that you know what it is, do you think it will be a great gift for your loved ones? Well if the answer is yes, and if you are going to be getting it, we are happy to let you know that by purchasing this bouquet, you will be indirectly responsible for bringing a smile to some of the faces of the underprivileged children of South Africa. Simply because from the period of 25 November 2015 to 25 December 2015, we will be using all profits from the sale of our Freestyle Bouquets to purchase gifts for the children under the care of Cotlands. We hope that this small gesture will bring them a meaningful and happy Christmas.

Together with the Cotlands, we have generated a wish list that consists of items that would benefit the children directly. Shipping to South Africa from Singapore will be expensive and we do not wish to waste any funds on shipping. Therefore, we will be wiring funds over to trusted members of Cotlands, and they will then help us to purchase the gifts locally. Images will be taken after the campaign and we will gladly publish it online.

What if there is a Surplus of Funds?

Should there be excess money after purchasing all the gifts that we have planned to buy, we will donate it to Cotlands in cash.

What if there is a Shortage?

Should there be a shortage, we will top up the amount needed to purchase all the gifts with our personal funds.

Cotlands

 

Our Hope

We hope that this tiny act of kindness can act of kindness can achieve two objectives:

1.) To create greater awareness of what the children in South Africa go through daily. Most of us fortunate Singaporeans know they do not have it easy. We hope to offer a greater insight on what really happens, and to also show that there is hope through beautiful organisations such as Cotlands. We hope that through this, we can somehow establish a donor base in Singapore. This would inevitably cultivate us to be more compassionate individuals. It will help us count our blessings and appreciate life like we should.

2.) To help Singaporeans remember the forgotten and unsung heroes of our local community. During every festive season, we usually get gifts for the ones we love. But more often than not, we forget those that we should truly remember. Sometimes, we even remember those that are ‘not worth it’ as we normally become blinded by physical beauty or social status. This unsung hero could be the office janitor that makes each working day of yours a happy one by greeting you with a smile and a clean environment, or it could be the coffee shop cleaner that goes the extra mile just to always be overlooked.

Cotlands

Here is an example of one of our many Freestyle Bouquets:

Our Freestyle Bouquet

Here is an example of just one of the many Freestyle Bouquets we did. It will always have a minimum of 3 main flowers, and Roses are the most commonly used. Click here to get this now for someone who you feel has been under appreciated! A small deed can go a long way 🙂

 If You Do Not Wish to Purchase from Us

It is perfectly alright if you already have gift ideas this Christmas. You can always feel free to donate directly through Cotlands by clicking here.

There are many ways to make a donation, you can always choose the method you are most comfortable with 🙂

 

That’s all from us! Happy Holidays! Take Care and Have a Meaningful Christmas 🙂

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Where to Buy Artificial Christmas Trees in Singapore?

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Masons Home Decor has has proved to be an huge hit among consumers island wide due to its wide yet concise variety of Christmas Trees, Ornaments, and Decorations.

 

Quality of Christmas Trees in Singapore

With Masons Home Decor, you can be assured of quality, reliability, and huge savings.

It is an apparent fact that although Christmas is a Christian festive celebration, more non-Christians are acknowledging this significant occasion each year. While it might not be due to religious reasons, it is an amazing opportunity to form gatherings with all groups of friends and family, and a way to end the year on a fantastic note.

That being said, investing actual money on a symbolic item such as a Christmas Tree has to be foolproof.

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We did some quick research on sites selling Christmas Trees, and a very popular place that people would end up at would be budget seller sites such as Qoo10. Most people are attracted to such platforms because of the attractive prices, but it is not all the time worth it. Sometimes, it may even lead to regret. The image on the left above shows the catalogue image from one of the top sellers on Qoo10, while the image on the right shows an actual image in the reviews column. A world of difference? We totally agree.

 

So, What Does Masons Have?

 

ABACO – A Hyper Realistic Pine Christmas Tree

 

ABACO - Premium Pine

ABACO – Premium Pine

Can you tell the difference? This tree was manufactured to replicate the beautiful pine evergreens. Frankly speaking, even we had difficulty in figuring out whether or not it was a live tree! Available in 1.5 metres, 1.8 metres, and 2.1 metres, these trees have ordinary branches within (that are not so visible) to allow you to hang your ornaments easily.

 

 

ARENARIA – The Hybrid of Fir and Ariostea

Arenaria - The Hybrid

Arenaria – The Hybrid

The Arenaria is truly a unique invention. Made with both Fir branches and the ones you see on Ariostea, it is not only dense and realistic, but it provides your home or area with a totally new look. This tree has the ability to turn your home into a Christmas wonderland!

 

What Else Does Masons Have?

Cheers, and HAVE A GREAT TIME DECORATING!

 

Thank you www.mason.com.sg, Masons Home Decor, for this informative post.

 

 

 

What To Look For When Buying An Artificial Christmas Tree

As the years go buy, more and more people opt to buying artificial Christmas trees instead of live ones. The reason being, live trees tend to just last for the occasion and in a few months they would wither and die off. It gets troublesome to replace the trees year on year, and having an artificial Christmas tree saves you from all that worry. But what would then be the point if you settle for an artificial Christmas tree of poor quality, which would shed and look unappealing anyway?

Picking the right artificial Christmas tree is a skill that comes with experience and knowledge – and today we are here to instill that in you for you to make the right choice this Christmas!

Budget or Premium Christmas trees?

When finding a good artificial Christmas tree, the first question that would pop into our heads is how much are we willing to spend on it. Ideally, we would like this tree to last at least the next decade or two worth of Christmas and New Years at our home before we decide to get something else for a change. When we look at it that way, it becomes more of a good investment than something that you should stinge on.

If you would like the artificial Christmas tree to last you that many years, bearing ornaments, holding lights, and staying in the storage room for most of the year under different weather conditions, then you need to be reasonable on your budget for the tree. Spending less on an artificial Christmas tree is not a sin, and many people make that mistake. But you have to be prepared for the poor quality and how it would definitely not look Christmas-worthy at the end of the fourth or fifth year.

Be wise and make sure you consider Premium artificial Christmas trees in your choice. We don’t mean that they cost a bomb – in fact, they simply cost a little more than poor quality artificial Christmas trees. But at the same time, they are going to last you a lot longer and appear a lot more realistic than budget trees.

Look at the foliage

Foliage, or leafage, is what mainly defines the appearance of the tree. It refers to the density, colour and looks of the needles of a Christmas tree. This is indeed the main element of a Christmas tree and apart from looks, the durability and strength of the foliage also determines what kind of and how many ornaments or lights you can hang on it.

The basic role of an artificial Christmas tree is to act as a replica of a live tree, albeit some artificial Christmas trees are meant to stand out and look out of the box. The only way this can be achieved is through replicating the looks of a thick, fresh and dense foliage. That is exactly why it is important for you to look at this aspect closely.

Examine the artificial tree and check the appearance of the foliage first. Look at the shade of the green it is at, whether it has a plastic-like shine, and then move on to checking how it feels like. At this time, you should also be checking if the needles are strong enough to hold your favourite ornaments. Don’t be shy and feel free to check with the store if you can try to hang on the ornaments available there for you to test it out. It might actually then be a great time to make some ornaments purchase or get some expert opinion on the various arrangements and combinations from the store managers!

Read up about the technology behind artificial Christmas trees

Coming up with true replicas of real trees is definitely not an easy task – that is why plenty of patents have been put up for various types of technology behind such trees. One of such very famous and fail-proof technology is the FirTECT technology.

As the name suggests, Fir is a type of live Christmas tree and this technology adapts on the innate characteristics, traits and appearance of the Fir species of trees to replicate it. This FirTECTtechnology is a complex one which is used to make sure that every single branch of the tree is definitely accompanied with a dense foliage on it. Checking on each individual branch to have a dense, thick and rich foliage ensures that the whole tree is complete with the exact same look.

This technology also makes it a point to ensure that there are a generous number of branches fit into the trunk of each tree. The trees made with this technology are assured to have a special depth that no other artificial Christmas tree has.

FirTECT™ technology truly ensures that your artificial Christmas trees don’t just look like the real deal, but also feel and are durable like the real Evergreens. The FirTECT™ technology is only used to come up with Premium artificial Christmas trees so you won’t be able to reap the benefits of this technology with any budget artificial Christmas tree.

What are some brands of Premium artificial Christmas trees you should look out for in Singapore?

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As we mentioned, we strongly encourage purchasing a Premium artificial Christmas tree and one with the FirTECT™ technology would be most value for money, and suitable for Christmas for your lovely home. With this criteria, we would recommend considering and having a look at Masons Home Decor.

Using these simple four-pointers, you can land yourself with a good quality Premium artificial Christmas tree for your family this Christmas and the many ahead. Check out the hot favourite, Amazzonia Cashmere Pine Christmas Tree of Masons today!