From dried- or permanent-botanical arrangements to requests for permanent wedding designs, the desire of many consumers to have “something that lasts” means that permanent botanicals remain an integral offering for some florists.
I’ve been teaching florists how to price their design work since 2015, and two questions I often get are, “How much should I charge for ‘silk’ flowers?” and “My client asked me if ‘silk’ flowers for her wedding will cost less than fresh. How should I price this wedding bouquet?”
The short answer for customers is that permanent botanicals are typically not a less-expensive option— although they are a longer-lasting option. In truth, permanent botanicals that are of reasonably good quality are not inexpensive, which means they likely will cost more per stem than fresh product. Naturally, the retail price will be higher, as a result.
Let’s break it down: If you buy fresh Hydrangea for $2 per stem wholesale and apply a 3x or 3.5x markup, those Hydrangea will have a retail price of $6 or $7 per stem. High-quality permanent Hydrangea, however, may cost $12 per stem, wholesale. If you apply a typical hard-goods markup of 2x or 2.5x, the retail price will be $24 to $30 per stem. This means that the customer could get four fresh Hydrangea for the same cost as one permanent Hydrangea.
Can you find less-expensive options? Yes, of course; however, professional florists should be discerning and buy only permanent botanicals of good quality. Higher-quality permanent blooms that are artfully arranged have a higher perceived value when customers consider investing in the design work.
Here is my pricing advice: Mark-up permanent and dried botanicals by at least 2x or 2.5x the cost of the product (as well as the container, foam, and all other hard goods and mechanics materials needed for each design), and then add a design fee that covers not only your design time but also your creativity and artistic talent! Whether the product you’re working with is dried, permanent or fresh, you deserve to be— and need to be—paid for your time, skill and expertise.
The reason for customers to choose a permanent floral design is because of the longevity—not for cost savings.