All posts by Joe Guggia AIFD

About Joe Guggia AIFD

Passionate about floral and décor with my site goal being to share flower arranging tips and information I've learned during my career. Being in the industry for over 45 years, I've been a plant grower and manager, ran my own retail shop for 32 years, appointed to the design team of CSFA (California State Floral Association) for two years, have been a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers for 20 years. I'm currently on the board for the AIFD Social Media team sharing floral art information on various social media platforms. My motto is "educate, motivate, and create" which I hope to instill and share with you for many years. Be well my friend, and go create!

Fluff It For a Fun and Profitable Ride

Vanessa Staging 3

I’m always looking for ways to increase my visibility and skills.  There are so many opportunities to advance ourselves……we just have to seize that moment when it calls!

Home staging and “fluffing” has been one area I’ve worked hard at over the years:  giving my client’s spaces new vision with the added bonus of functionality.   One day someone asked if I could do some work for them, then the journey began.  Again, did I know exactly how to do all this?  Crap, no!  Just went for it and kept proving myself over and over again.

Decor staging Rocks in Clear VaseWhat this involves is the knowledge of different styles, how this family lives, and what they expect from you.  I’m the kind of designer that finds out what they’re after, then LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE because I get totally confused if someone is staring at me while I’m working.  When they’re gone I get so much freedom with creative juices flowing around my brain.

Add on sales are a must with this venture.   I’ve sold permanent designs, accessories and fresh plant creations by having them with me for the client to see, or suggesting I create for this or that location.   You can’t imagine how this helps your cash flow.

002 (7)Trust me, this ain’t something that just happens.  You need to put it out there that you have these skills, act on them, and don’t waver in what you charge.  I get a hefty amount for my time without a problem one.  I make sure they get their money’s worth with a fun experience that makes their home a prime vision to enjoy for the next couple months.  Then I’m back again to restage their space for a new look…..or maybe they need a friendly face to justify their new purchase, placing it in the right spot.  Now that’s a trusting relationship for fun AND profit!

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6 red roses bark closeup

Off Your Butt, Change It Up!

 

Roses designed in Bark Basket

If you’re happy with old school designs, this site ain’t the place for you.  Business survival while making money is what I’m about, and changing up flower designs is how to do it to keep those newer generations coming back for more.  If you don’t believe me, shoot me an e-mail at joe@diyfloralanddecor.com and I’m happy to share more insight about this fact.

6 roses in a vase might be okay for some, but I will fight to the finish not to design that way.  So taking the organic feel of a bark basket and giving those roses a special place to shine is why I’m here sharing this article.

Since 6 roses is what most guys think they need to order if not a dozen (why not 4, 5 or 8?) creating the design with two clusters of 3 works well;  one taller, one a tad lower.  I do dig the dimension this gives to the arrangement;  keeps everything proportionate while adding graceful height for our eyes to enjoy.  If you want to make a difference with your designs, getting out there and cutting your own greens does make for a better design.   That’s where grand profit comes in.  I litterly go around my yard daily and snip to my heart’s content so I can create with honor and $’s in my pocket.  With a variety of harvested greens and filler (broom grass, privet, Japanese boxwood, sea foam statice) and tucking in some Melaleuca bark using curly willow to frame the creation, your designs can come to life telling an awesome story to your viewers.

6 red roses bark closeup6 red roses greens closup

Taking a few kangaroo paw and attaching them into the corner of the design sure ups the ante with more intense color.   These babies are growing everywhere in our town and they can’t hide from me!Fresh design foliage kangaroo paw closeup 6 roses

And I’m going to make this clear again:  have no fear of designing roses in foam, they will survive as long (or longer) than designed in a vase.  Just make sure the roses are well cut at a slant and placed deep into the foam; any design is only as good as the mechanics used to create it.

Please don’t say that “they” expect the roses to be in a vase.  Show some creative spunk and go to the edge to make a difference.  I don’t gain new customers everyday because I’m a total YES man…..what I do is let them know (with the kindest tone) that I’m capable/trusting telling them “let me do my job and create value that she will thank you for big time!”

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A DIY Wedding Arch Creation

Independence is something I cherish in our world, the ability to create with our own resources gathered from local stores like Home Depot, allowing to act on our design impulses without waiting for shipments.   Their availability of goods enhances our skills beyond what we think we can do proving how resourceful we can be with our thoughts and our awesome hands.  Happy creators make for happy clients!Wedding ARCH (6)

Continue reading A DIY Wedding Arch Creation

The Psychology of Men and Flowers

The other day I was thinking about what factors motivate men to buy flowers.  Are they just trying to be nice guys?  Do they think that flowers make the world a more beautiful place?  Or is there a hidden agenda?  My little brain came to the conclusion that masculine flower buying focuses around the three things that I think drive our productive beings:  money, power, sex.   Sometimes one, two or all three.

Continue reading The Psychology of Men and Flowers

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Yelp It, My Friends

Orchid plant, white

We love our floral art, creating beauty that adds value to the world.   Awesome isn’t it?  But with that art comes the reality of having sales to continue the journey.   Internet floral sales rise daily and we need to keep as many of those sales as possible.  One thing I’ve found to be a huge asset is YELP.   Continue reading Yelp It, My Friends

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A Little Slice of Bamboo

Fresh Design, birds, angled cut in half bambbo

With day in and day out floral work,  you might not realize the impact you have on the world.  Creating floral gifts does make a difference in someone’s life, the “shock and awe” that someone thought so much of the recipient to send them flowers.  It’s your honor to go the extra mile with your talent.  Taking the time to saw, cut, and re work items to enhance the design gives them so much more to elevate their soul. Continue reading A Little Slice of Bamboo

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Foxtail Asparagus: Our Architectural Friend

This fabulous green is one I cherish and include in my floral designs whenever possible.   Sturdy and long lasting with the ability to be swirled, trimmed, spray painted and left out of water, this member of the asparagus family grows everywhere in warm weather regions.   Foxtail Asparagus (named obviously because it does mimic a fox’s tail) is a favorite of mine to cut wherever I see it….I even break if off with my fingers if I don’t have the trimmers with me!

Fresh Designs

Continue reading Foxtail Asparagus: Our Architectural Friend

mixed with gerbera

Bim, Bam, Boom: Wire Service Gone….

Okay my friend…..I hear you about the wire service conundrum! If you’re new to the industry, you’re wondering if you should join one.  If you’re a veteran, you either have a very definite distaste for these entities, have resolved yourself to accept them, or have worked the system to increase your own brand.   So where does that leave us?mixed with gerbera

These companies began as an asset to the floral industry, companies that connected florists across the globe to send and receive orders by working on their own brand to be a landing spot for the general public.   Sounded great and truly was in the purest sense.  Continue reading Bim, Bam, Boom: Wire Service Gone….

Flower Board Closeup 4

Flower Walls Are Sweet!

Flower Board Complete

Flower Walls are beautiful backdrops for any event, especially creating for occasions which require a setting that can be moved around to different locations.  This design I helped create with my friend Beth O’Reilly for our local AIFD Southwest Region wedding seminar held in Southern California.  Beth purchased a “rolling” clothing stand on wheels from Ikea, then constructed (this girl is great with tools!) the frame that can easily be removed in pieces. Continue reading Flower Walls Are Sweet!

Fresh designs, orchids, red roses, basket

Rose Designs For The 21st Century

There ain’t no doubt about it:  Roses are still a huge favorite in our floral world.  Centuries have proved their sustainability and I still get comments like “Will the arrangement have roses in it?”.   It’s that ever lovn’ perceived visual value that gives roses their place among today’s admired flower choices.  Continue reading Rose Designs For The 21st Century