It’s true: some floral sympathy business has been siphoned off. While there’s no getting around that, there is still plenty of profit there to claim. Prince & Prince’s Floral Market Research study revealed that 55% of the people they surveyed had purchased floral sympathy tributes within the past 12 months. That’s a lot of business.
The survey also showed that long-standing customs are grounded in bedrock, unshakable by shortened services, cremations, and “in lieu of” directives. The older we get the more likely we are to order flowers for funerals, adopting the customs of our parents and grandparents.
A case in point happened to a friend who attended a funeral service in a small town in Mississippi. When she arrived at the family’s home following a flower-festooned funeral service, she noticed that several of the “church ladies” seemed to be in distress. They were missing one floral design. The living room and dining room contained three long tables with food that had been supplied by the mourners. The ladies explained that each table (was) to have two fresh flower designs and they were short. My friend drove to the nearest florist and purchased a beautiful arrangement to set things right.
She pointed out that the floral decorations were as important to those women as the customary tomato aspic, gelatin salads, marble cakes, and meat and cheese trays. The tables were simply not complete without two arrangements of flowers on each of them.
The traditions in your town might vary, but they still exist. Attend enough funeral services and you will begin to see the regional customs. They have been practiced for generations and bring comfort and unity to communities. Many of them revolve around flowers.
For centuries, flowers have spoken of love, loss, caring, devotion, and pride. They have been and continue to be an integral part of the traditional business of saying goodbye.
Your sympathy business is important to your shop and community. Your customers still need your help to carry on the traditions they hold so dear.