All Posts By Jennifer Sparks

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Flowers Inspire Connection Nationwide

by Jennifer Sparks on October 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Let’s face it, there has been a lot of bad news lately, from natural disasters and devastation to tragic events that make people question their faith in humanity. The country needed a bright spot, and today – even though the weather forecast brought rain and clouds to many parts – the sun was shining in peoples’ hearts, thanks to a movement called Petal It Forward.

The concept? Floral industry members — from Maine to Florida, and California to Oregon to Alaska, and everywhere in between — took to the streets of their communities to randomly surprise people with flowers. Lucky flower recipients in more than 465 cities in all 50 states received two bouquets – one to keep, and one to share, with a loved one, colleague or even a complete stranger. This idea came from survey findings that show that while 80 percent of people say receiving flowers makes them happy, 88 percent say giving flowers makes them happy. So we wanted them to feel appreciated and loved, and to also experience what it feels like to create that delight for someone else. Happy smiles, joyful tears, and grateful hugs ensued and peoples’ days were turned around, feeling that true human connection that comes from a random gesture of kindness.

As an industry, we know the power of the product that we work with day in and day out, but that true power is actually scientifically proven. A study by Rutgers University shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and boosts moods. Another study from Harvard shows that the presence of flowers eases worry and anxiety, and makes people feel more compassionate towards others. This video embodies that beautifully.

Lots of #petalitforward stories have been shared on social media that illustrate the research, and this one from a flower recipient articulates the sentiment better than we could ever describe:

Despite all the stuff happening in the world lately, there is hope. Today, a friend and I were sitting outside Riverwalk Café and were approached by a woman who was giving away sunflowers as a gift for a movement titled #petalitforward. I’m grateful to be in a place where hope abounds and life flourishes. I’m grateful to have the capacity to show up in ways that are special and to give time. It’s a gift, and I’m even more grateful for the Giver. This is as good as it gets.

You can see more stories of peoples’ experiences here.

What can we learn from an effort like Petal It Forward? That it only takes a very small act of kindness to turn someone’s day around. Give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. It’s no surprise flowers are a popular gift for mom! There is nothing like a gift of flowers to show mom she is special and appreciated. The beauty and ephemeral nature of flowers are a unique investment in memories. According to research, 77 percent of women can remember the last time they received flowers. Plus, receiving flowers — and just being around flowers — have so many wonderful emotional health benefits. A study by Rutgers University shows flowers create instant delight and increase enjoyment and life satisfaction. Who wouldn’t want that for mom?

How do you pick the best flowers for mom? That’s easy. Call your local professional florist who can customize the flowers to match your mom’s personality and style. Here are some ideas:

Colorful Mom: She brings fun and energy wherever she goes.

Mother's Day Flowers - Photo Courtesy David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Oregon

Mother's Day Flowers - Kandinsky — Dr. Delphinium Designs in Dallas www.drdelphinium.com

Mother's Day Flowers - Hawaiian Tropical — Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.

Trendy Mom: She deserves flowers that are as cool as she is.

Mother's Day Flowers - O'Keefe — Dr. Delphinium Designs in Dallas www.drdelphinium.com
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Celebrate Her

by Jennifer Sparks on February 28, 2017 at 11:52 am

International Women’s Day, annually March 8, is held in celebration of women’s achievements today and throughout history. What do we do to celebrate Women’s Day and how do we best show the women in our lives that we respect, honor, or appreciate them?

Try this: Pick a woman you admire — a mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, teacher, co-worker, mentor, or even a stranger — and let her know what she means to you. It can be as simple as a handwritten note or a random act of kindness. (And remember to be kind to yourself, as well.)

Watch here to see how a simple, unexpected gesture of compassion can turn a person’s day around:

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Happy Women’s Day! How will you celebrate?

 

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Flowers and Smiles Brighten Seniors’ Days

by Jennifer Sparks on February 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

20170214_0122As seniors age, they experience different living situations and greater life changes, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Research shows that one solution to the challenges seniors face can be as simple as a gesture of kindness. In fact, a study by Rutgers University demonstrates that the receipt of flowers decreases depression and encourages companionship as we age. The research also shows that seniors perform higher on everyday memory tasks and experience enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-11-35-39-pmAs a society, it is important that we show the elderly they are loved and cared for. This past Valentine’s Day, the Society of American Florists did just that, as we gave roses and shared smiles and conversations with nearly 200 seniors in two assisted living communities in Alexandria, Virginia. Our “Cupid Crew” was among the 1,000 volunteers in dozens of events nationwide delivering 10,000 roses to senior citizens through the national wish-granting organization, Wish of a Lifetime.

In the Rutgers study, 81 percent of seniors reported a reduction in depression following the receipt of flowers. Forty percent of seniors reported broadening their social contacts beyond their normal social circle of family and close friends. And, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.

img_7195These findings played out right before us as we handed these roses to seniors — their eyes lit up and many seemed genuinely appreciative of our gesture of compassion. This simple gesture of handing them a rose helped to open up communication and spur more lively conversation. It made a difference in their day.

It doesn’t take a lot to change a moment in time, as a little kindness goes a long way. Try it. Visit an elderly neighbor or your local senior center. Want to ensure smiles? Bring flowers.20170214_0101

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Cupid Works Weekdays

by Jennifer Sparks on February 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

Photo courtesy: Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, OregonShrieks of delight.

Endless smiles.

Remarks of “Who’s the lucky one?!”

That is the reaction that will play out in offices nationwide this Tuesday as Cupid works overtime to help sweethearts express their love through flowers.

After two years of Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend, what does a weekday holiday look like? Despite it being the day of love, on which we would prefer to spend with the people we like and love the most, the majority of us will need to go to work this Valentine’s Day.  But don’t underestimate the power of flowers for a midday surprise to make the day a special one— especially a delivery of a bright, vibrant and fragrant arrangement of blooms to make your significant other’s heart go pitter patter! 

We’ve all experienced it. Flowers come through the office door and all eyes are on the stunning package. There are “ooohs” and “aaahs,” and everyone gathers around, secretly hoping the enclosed card holds their name. The lucky recipient feels great, and the sender looks like a hero. Beautiful blooms, custom design, professional packaging and personal delivery all add to the “wow” effect of a gift of flowers. Flowers send a hug when you can’t be with your sweetheart and the smiles last for days. In fact, Rutgers University research shows that flowers create instant delight and increase enjoyment and life satisfaction. Who wouldn’t want that for those they love?

Want to create that WOW effect on Valentine’s Day? Call your local florist and ask them for creative ideas to send floral love. (And don’t wait — order early for the best options!) Need help with the card message? Click here for just the right words. Send flowers. You’ll be glad you did!