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We are very excited to announce that Roses for Soldiers is coming back again this July with a brand new look! In the years past, we have made July all about giving back by donating a portion of our rose sales for the month to charity organizations, and this year is no different. Operation Homefront is an organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to wounded warriors and military families in need, and we are pleased to say that our donations from this endeavor will benefit families that live right in Koehler & Dramm’s 5-state service area: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92% of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families.

To learn more, visit www.operationhomefront.org.

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Koehler & Dramm pledges to donate 2 cents for every rose stem sold in July to Operation Homefront, and we’ve set our 2017 total contribution goal at $6,000! That means we have to sell 300,000 roses… it’s a lofty goal, but we can do it with your help!

How can you help?

Simply by buying roses from Koehler & Dramm, you can be involved in Roses for Soldiers, but if you want to take your participation to the next level, we would like to encourage you to run a Roses for Soldiers program in your own shop! Whether you choose to donate to Operation Homefront alongside Koehler & Dramm, another military charity organization, or directly to a military family right in your own community, together we can make a difference in the lives of those who have given so much for us.

If you would like to give to Operation Homefront, we’ve created a media kit to help get you started with a Roses for Soldiers program. The kit includes an informational booklet and marketing materials (posters, social media collateral, fliers, and more) that will help you run a successful program in your shop. You can request a kit from your sales rep or download and print the materials using the links below. Plus, we’re offering great buys on roses and other products all month long!

Good news! We’ve done all the marketing and promotions work for you! Click on any of the links below to download the materials, or feel free to let your sales rep know that you’d like print copies, and we’ll get them sent to you!

MEDIA KIT DOWNLOADS

Informational Packet + Monthly Specials – Click to download

11×17″ Infographic Poster – Click to download

8.5×11″ Vertical Poster – Click to download

5.5×8.5″ Point-of-Sale Handouts (2 per page) – Click to download

Facebook Cover photo (below). To download, right click on the image, select “Save Image As,” and choose a destination on your computer.
RFS-FBCoverFacebook Profile or Instagram photo (below). To download, right click on the image, select “Save Image As,” and choose a destination on your computer.
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To download PDF files: Click the link, then click the “Download” button in the upper right of the screen, and choose “Save File.”
To download JPG files: Right click on the image, select “Save Image As” and choose a destination on your computer.
Koehler & Dramm hereby grants permission to any K&D customer to use the above collateral in the marketing and promotion of the Roses for Soldiers campaign from July 1-July 31, 2017.

Please join us in supporting the brave men and women of our military through the Roses for Soldiers program. Questions? Please contact your sales representative, or email the organizers here.

2017 Fall & Winter Classic featuring Françoise Weeks

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Join us for our 2017 Fall & Winter Classic Design Show and Trade Fair, featuring guest designer Françoise Weeks!

ABOUT FRANCOISE

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Born in Belgium where flowers are an integral part of everyday life, Françoise trained with florists in Antwerp. She started her business venture in 1996 in Portland, OR specializing in weddings and events. She has translated her passion for nature and the garden into a distinctive, lush, and textural style. Her signature designs are woodland arrangements and botanical couture.

She now shares her trademark style and vast knowledge of floral design and mechanics with professionals and students from around the world in her intimate studio workshop setting and at hosted locations throughout the United States and internationally. Françoise has been the subject of numerous magazine articles throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The story about her work on OPB’s ‘Art Beat’ won an Emmy award in June 2015.

See more of Francoise’s work at:

http://francoiseweeks.com
http://facebook.com/francoise.weeks
http://instagram.com/francoiseweeks


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Saturday, September 30th – 4:00 PM-8:00 PM
Come in for an evening of events featuring an open house-style trade show with vendors from all over the world, hors d’oeuvres and beverages, the Designer of the Year Competition, a summary presentation of AIFD Symposium, a special presentation by guest Deb Schwarze, networking opportunities, and more!

Sunday, October 1st – 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
Join us on Sunday for a powerhouse design day as Françoise takes the stage! She will present three sessions on designing for the holidays in her signature woodland botanical design style. A silent auction will be held for Françoise’s gorgeous pieces from Sessions I & II, and her Session III pieces will be available for bidding during a live auction at the end of the day. You do not want to miss this event!

7:30 am – Doors Open – light breakfast served
8:00 am – Session I with Françoise – Autumn Designs
9:15 am – Shopping/Convenience Break
9:45 am – Session II with Françoise – Trans-Seasonal Designs
11:00 am – Lunch is Served!
12:30 pm – Session III with Françoise – Winter Designs
1:45 pm – AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Françoise
2:15 pm – Designer of the Year Competition Finalists Announcement
2:30 pm – Raffle Drawing & Live Auction
3:00 pm – Sunday’s event concludes

Admission Saturday is FREE when you buy a ticket to attend the design show on Sunday! Early bird ticket rates expire on Wednesday, September 27.

Click here to learn more about the Designer of the Year Competition.

Monday, October 2nd – Hands-On Class
Session I: 8:00-12:00, Session II: 1:00-5:00

Françoise will be teaching two sessions of her hands-on workshop-style class, providing instruction on how to achieve her signature botanical couture design style. Students will be designing a woodland-inspired piece that is unique to them, and working on technique and the intricate mechanics that Françoise is known for. Natural materials like moss, a variety of foliage and plants, herbs and vegetables, accents like rosehips and various pods, some small blooms, and more will be used. Françoise will be teaching the same lessons in each session, so please only sign up for one. Space in the class is VERY limited – get your seat early!

GET TICKETS HERE:

Get the Look

Want to expand your design skills and try something new? Jessica Leopold, our Design Department Manager, is constantly influenced by the new product that arrives in our coolers every week, and she has an uncontrollable urge to never stop designing. We’ve decided to make the most of her energy and share her drive with you! So, we bring you a series of unique and inspiring designs created by Jessica and complete with design tips and the creative freedom to make any design your own.

We’ll update this post with each new design. Click on the photos below to “Get the Look!”
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2018 Design of the Year Competition & Student Exhibition

The Designer of the Year Professional Competition and Student Exhibition are back!

The student exhibition and the preliminary round of the professional competition will occur at the 2017 Koehler & Dramm Fall & Winter Classic on September 30th, 2017 (pieces will be on display through the conclusion of the show on Sunday, October 1st.) The final round of the professional competition, during which six finalists will face off live for the title, will be at the 2018 Home & Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 (this is the weekend following Easter.)

NEW this year! In addition to a $450 Koehler & Dramm gift certificate, the winner of the professional competition will receive a FREE 10×10′ display booth at the 2019 Home & Garden Show – a $2,588 value! This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your work, your business, and your talent to nearly 100,000 people in the Twin Cities who attend the show.

Second and third place receives a $250 and a $150 K&D gift certificate, respectively.

We’ve come up with new themes for each level that should get your creative juices flowing and your design senses tingling! Read more below, and click the links for more information.

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The bold, striking combination of botanical and vegetative designs has taken the floral industry by storm recently, so we challenge you to show us your natural side! We want to see the true art behind the botanical, vegetative designs you create that are inspired by nature. To fuel our creativity, we’ve been through our coolers and aisles from top to bottom, and our vision has come to life through our selection of fresh product, dried and natural elements, and all of the mosses, rocks, bark, twigs, and berries that ignite our passion for this style of design every day. Show us what your natural side is made of!

PROFESSIONALS CLICK HERE:
Professional Competition Rules Brochure

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Help us celebrate the whimsical, playful
style of topiary design by showing off your
balancing skills!

This year’s student exhibition has been
formatted to highlight one of our favorite
design styles, and we cannot wait to see your inventive sculptural interpretations! Create an elevated topiary design and show us why this style is a timeless favorite.

STUDENTS CLICK HERE:
Student Exhibition Rules Brochure

 

Help us Win $5,000 for the Floral Industry!

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What It’s About: We created a video about why we think Koehler & Dramm is a big deal. We entered this video in a contest, and we are up against many other incredible small businesses for one of three prizes worth $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000.

What’s in it For You: Our mission here at Koehler & Dramm is YOU and your business. We want to use the prize money (should we win) to support local flower shops in our delivery area – Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We’ll re-invest the winnings into a marketing campaign to encourage shopping locally and buying flowers…from YOU!

How You Can Help: Please vote for our video! Voting starts TODAY and runs until May 7th. You can vote once per day, and if you’re really crafty, you can vote from multiple devices, too!

VOTING IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3!

  1. Click on the video screenshot above or on the button below to go to the voting page.
  2. Click on our video to watch it.
  3. Click the heart icon to vote.

Here are a few more tips:

  • We’re video #44, so you have to scroll down a bit to find us. (We’re right below a video that has a green truck in the opening frame! You can see Lee, our Fearless Leader, in the opening frame of our video.)
  • The title of our video is “We Are Koehler & Dramm” – if you hold your mouse over the different videos, the titles will pop up.
  • Each “like” or click on the heart icon counts as one vote. Remember, you can vote once every day from now through May 7th!

Thank you for helping to support Koehler & Dramm, and more importantly, the floral industry!

VOTE NOW!

Four Reasons You Should Embrace Social Media for Business

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Ok, so show of virtual hands, who had the privilege of being here at K&D for our wedding design show with Holly Heider Chapple?

If you’re sitting in front of your computer with your hand in the air, let me high five it for you! Yay! And if you’re not… sad face! See you next time? And also, here’s why that’s relevant:

Holly talked quite a bit about being active in social media and blogging cyberspace. In fact, she gives quite a bit of credit to her social media and blogging efforts for her success and incredible popularity. However, she also stressed that it was a stretch for her and definitely took her out of her comfort zone, but she understood that staying alive in any business today means adapting to changing technology and means of communication. “Change or die,” as she said. It sounds a little harsh, but she’s right.

So, here are four big reasons why social media is important, and why it’s worth your time:

1. Those dang Millennials!

It’s no secret that social media and advances in technology have changed the way consumers interact with brands. To ask a question or get in touch with a company, you no longer have to dial up their phone number or make a visit. You can text, chat, email, or… interact with them online via their social platforms. One of the driving forces behind this shift is the buying mentality of the millennial generation who have, in a way, pioneered this movement where we’re more connected than ever via technology, but the in-person element is quite removed. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, but the fact that there is a shift is undeniable, and it’s up to companies and business owners (you!) to communicate with consumers on their terms, not on yours. (If you don’t, they will find someone else who does.) Social media is a big piece of this new era of digital communication and accessibility.

2. The power of the SHARE.

By now, you’ve probably heard the term “going viral,” yes? When a particular post or piece of content takes off and liked and shared thousands of times in a very short time frame, this is referred to as “going viral.” Examples include Chewbacca Mom, “Cash Me Ousside” Girl, Grumpy Cat, the Mannequin Challenge, Gangnam Style and the more recent “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen,” and more, which skyrocketed those featured to internet stardom overnight. While going viral isn’t something you can plan (it happens organically), the impact is massive. Now, Holly’s internet success didn’t happen overnight, and that’s also true for most other folks too. She worked diligently at it for years, but today, she is one of the most-followed floral designers on Instagram, and that didn’t happen by accident. I’d even argue that a strong social following that is built up over a longer period of time is better than the overnight success of viral stars, because there’s staying power and reliability in fans who follow because they’ve sought you out.

3. It’s like having a virtual bullhorn – for you AND your followers.

This goes hand in hand with #2. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools out there, mainly because it comes from a source that people trust. Social media has the ability to amplify the word of mouth effect exponentially, because recommendations are no longer made by one friend who was asked about which wedding florist they used in a personal conversation. Instead, the same recently engaged bride-to-be can now post on Facebook about looking for a wedding florist, and get recommendations from 30 or more of her friends. Are you on that list? Maybe, but if you don’t dedicate some time to being present on social media yourself, your odds drop significantly, because you are less accessible online than a florist who is on social media, and these days, being accessible to potential clients includes a website and social media accounts. In addition, you have a greater reach with your own marketing on social media as well. When you combine your marketing messages with the power of the share (#2) and the influence of your network of followers (#3), you get social media nirvana!

4. It’s an easy (and free!) digital portfolio.

I like to describe Instagram as “visual Twitter,” because instead of 140 characters of text, you get to share images, and what better way to showcase your work? Facebook also has the option to create albums, so, for example, if you’re a wedding designer, you’d be able to create albums on Facebook for each wedding you do. And don’t even get me started on Pinterest, especially for wedding clients! Portfolio books are beautiful, but oftentimes they are expensive and time-consuming to make, and in order for clients to see them, you have to get them in the door. Building a website with gallery capabilities is another great way to showcase your work, and no business in this day and age should be without a website, but social platforms give you the ability to share your work in real time without the time and cost constraints of updating your website or portfolio book.

Wait! A Word to the Wise

When you’re using social media for business, it’s a much more crucial undertaking than having accounts for personal use, (and as long as we’re talking about that, your business and personal accounts should ALWAYS be separate). It’s important to dedicate time to doing it right, and that means having a voice, sharing relevant and interesting content, engaging and interacting with your fans and followers, and being consistent and present. It’s worse to do it badly than not at all, so our advice is to start small. Pick one or two platforms that you feel you can dedicate adequate time to – the primary networks for our market are generally Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter and Pinterest aren’t far behind, and Pinterest is a great sales/marketing tool, especially if you do weddings! Networks like Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and others are in competition for your time and attention as well, so it’s important to decide what’s going to work best for you and determine where the majority of your customers are. (Wherever your target market is hanging out, that’s where you should be too.)

Now, get out there and start Facebooking or Instagramming or whatever the operative verb is for the networks you pick! Go get ‘em, tiger!

Oh, and while you’re at it – follow us! We’re on Facebook @KoehlerDrammWholesaleFlorist and on Instagram @KoehlerDramm.

 

Emily Gorg, Marketing Manager

2017 Wedding Design Competition

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Calling all wedding florists! It’s that time of year again when we start gearing up for wedding season… and that means it’s also time to start thinking about entering our 2017 Wedding Design Competition! A marketing package worth a cool $1,000 is up for grabs, so put your game faces on and let’s do this! Entries are due by September 15th, and the rules must be followed as written. Click the link below to download the entry guidelines!

NEW for 2017: We are now accepting up to two photos for each design category! (Important: if you are submitting professional photographs, which we do recommend, you must have a copyright release letter from the photographer expressing permission for both you and Koehler & Dramm to use the images.)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE RULES & ENTRY GUIDELINES

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Plants and Pets: They Don’t Always Mix

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April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and that got us thinking about our pets and the flower business. There are a lot of us here at Koehler who are pet owners, and we know all too well how curious they can be sometimes! For example, if your pet is anything like Mary Catherine’s dog Bentley, then you know you have to watch them closely to make sure they don’t get into things that could be harmful to them. (Bentley will do everything in his power to jump up and eat flowers, so Mary has to put the pretties she brings home out of reach for him.) However, people aren’t always aware that the pretty things they brighten up their homes with can actually hurt their pets, and they don’t realize that some of the most popular flowers and foliage can be harmful, even deadly.  Here is a list of some of the plants and flowers that are harmful to both dogs and cats:

  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Carnations
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Eucalyptus
  • English Ivy
  • Fox Glove (will give heart attacks)
  • Gladiola
  • Hostas
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Peace Lily
  • Poinsettia
  • Pothos
  • Sago Palm
  • Spanish thyme
  • Tulip and Narcissus bulbs
  • Yew

This doesn’t mean that these flowers can’t be in your home, but take care to place them out of reach for your fur babies! If your pet ingests any of these, don’t panic. Investigate what they ate, how much they consumed, and then call the vet and remove the plant or flower from the area. The best thing you can do is be aware. We are in the season of Easter lilies, tulips, and daffodils, all of which are on this list! Make sure to help spread the word by keeping your customers informed as well.

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Why Women’s Day is Worth Promoting

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International Women’s Day is right around the corner – coming up on March 8th! Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.  Across the pond (especially in Europe), Women’s Day is widely celebrated by giving women flowers, but we don’t see the holiday embraced as much here in the United States, and we’d like to change that. Here are five reasons you should be promoting Women’s Day in your shop!

1. You’re supporting a cause that many people feel drawn to.

You may be hesitant to tread too closely to what some may consider to be a political line, especially given the current state of the social and political landscape, but gender equality is one of those causes that’s pretty safe, and is widely supported. Women’s Day is about acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of women and continuing to work towards bridging the gender gap. Like other holidays, Women’s Day is a celebration!

There’s also been a widespread social movement towards women supporting women and promoting more of a sisterhood mentality. There have been numerous acceptance, anti-violence, and anti-bullying campaigns, many of which have drawn attention to issues that women face among each other, and have spread messages of love and support in an effort to extinguish the criticism and antagonistic messages women commonly face from each other.

2. The Millennial customer base loves socially conscious businesses & shopping locally.

Millennials make up nearly a quarter of the population in America, and have about $200 BILLION of annual buying power. They’re also more selective consumers, with a general mindset shift moving towards spending their money at businesses that share their views, support their causes, give back to the community, and are local. They expect companies to be socially conscious, they value authenticity, and want to engage with brands on social platforms. When a Millennial consumer finds a brand with which they align, they become fiercely loyal, which bodes well for repeat business. Generally speaking, Millennials are a very socially and politically active group, and making a connection with them will give you a customer for life!

3. It’s a great opportunity to show solidarity and align yourself with the advancement of your primary customers.

It’s no secret that the majority of recipients of flowers are women. Promoting Women’s Day is a great way to show support to your primary customer base! Creating specialty bouquets or arrangements to add to your product line specifically for Women’s Day makes it easier for those who do the purchasing to select a gift. Unlike Valentine’s Day when red roses are prevalent, Women’s Day gives you the opportunity to create some truly unique designs with a variety of blooms! While roses are still a popular choice, other top sellers include yellow mimosas, tulips, orchids, and lilies.

4. You’ll be at the forefront of bringing a global holiday more recognition in the U.S.

Women’s Day is very widely celebrated internationally (just ask our sales rep Aga about how they celebrate in Poland!), and one of the most common gifts is flowers. Traditionally, men buy flowers for their female companions, family members, and even colleagues, but women also take this opportunity to show appreciation for each other! While Women’s Day is recognized as a holiday in the U.S., and March is considered Women’s History Month, it still isn’t widely celebrated, so helping this movement gain traction is one of the primary goals for Women’s Day activists here. By promoting Women’s Day, you will be at the forefront of championing this cause in America!

5. Everyone knows at least one extraordinary woman.

Think about the women in your life. Chances are, you probably know at least one or two that you think are extraordinary. While Valentine’s Day is traditionally about romance, Women’s Day offers an opportunity to acknowledge women platonically, and without the assumption or inference of romantic love. Nearly everyone has a woman in their life who has had a positive influence and lasting impact on them, whether they are sisters, mothers, grandmothers, cousins, aunts, or friends. Women’s Day is about the empowerment and appreciation of any and all women!

Will you be promoting Women’s Day this year? Share your story with us on Facebook, and use #beboldforchange to join the movement on social media!

Meet Holly

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We are SO excited to welcome guest designer Holly Heider Chapple to Minneapolis for an EXCLUSIVE appearance at our spring wedding design show, Saison D’Amour: Designing for Weddings of the Four Seasons! Some of you may have heard of Holly as she is very well known in the industry. Take advantage of this opportunity to see her for a one-time presentation in Minnesota.

This will be a three-day event! It will feature a series of limited hands-on workshops on Saturday, March 4th, Holly will be presenting at the main program on Sunday, March 5th, and a limited hands-on class with Holly will be held on Monday, March 6th. You don’t want to miss this! Click here to get your tickets before they are gone!

Holly Heider Chapple

Holly Heider Chapple founded her wedding and event floral design business 24
years ago. The business was home based and offered Holly an opportunity to
make a living while raising her family. At the time the studio primarily focused on
weddings and events in the Washington DC area, as well as luxury destination
weddings. Over the years, the Holly Heider Chapple Flowers brand continued to
grow and gain international recognition. This was primarily a result of Holly’s
involvement in social media and the popularity of her then active blog, The Full
Bouquet. In 2011 Holly’s husband Evan joined the company and the studio saw
another serious period of growth. Evan’s involvement allowed Holly the
opportunity to focus on other aspects of the business while Evan started a
lighting and drape division. Evan also began restoring the family cutting gardens
which had been abandoned over the years due to Holly’s intense wedding
schedule.

Just before Evan joined the company in 2010, Holly founded The Chapel
Designers, which is an international collective of wedding and event floral
designers. The organization educates, supports and mentors creatives while
encouraging the authenticity of each designer. Holly and Evan host the Chapel
Designers workshops internationally, throughout the USA and at their new farm,
Hope Flower Farm. Hope farm is a registered bed and breakfast as well as a
flower school. Holly is a supporter of the American Grown Slow Flower
movement. In addition Holly has taught her signature style of design in Moscow,
Australia, China and London, the industry call is “Hollyish”.

Holly and her husband Evan will celebrate 30 years of marriage this January and
are the proud parents of seven wonderful children ranging in age from 7 to 29.

View Holly’s amazing work here or follow her on Instagram @HollyChapple