“Have you switched from traditional retail florist shop to a studio or vice versa, and if so, why? How has it worked out? Is it what you expected? What have you learned? Would you do it again.”

Changing my business to a studio has allowed me to extend my hours to accommodate my customers. Concentrating on weddings, I can consult with engaged couples uninterrupted. I have also started growing some of my own flowers. Lower overhead allows me to offer the best prices in town.
Lenore Thompsen
Water Color Floral Studio
Waynesville, N.C.

A couple of years ago, we attempted to downscale our retail store. We closed our storefront and moved it to my home. We focused on fresh and artificial designs. Weekly, our local funeral home pleaded with us to reopen. Their families needed a store that offered all the typical funeral offerings. After four months, we reopened our storefront with the focus of if we can’t put flowers in or on it, we don’t stock it. Located in a smaller area, with a population of close to 6,000, our customers have supported us even more than before and prefer a fullservice florist. The reopening has been really good for us.
Robby Walls, AMF, PCF
Petals & Stems
Alma, Ark.

We have been open for about three years and envisioned a retail shop. We quickly learned we could not compete with the grocery chain in our area. We are currently a hybrid of some retail but mostly custom studio work. This has really made the difference of staying in business. I feel good about where we are creatively and businesswise and that we are on a great path for the future.
Samara Schmidt
Hawthorne & Vine
Grosse Ile Township, Mich.

I ‘ve done studio to retail, retail to studio and then back again. The biggest advantage of a studio over a retail location is more freedom and much less overhead; however, a retail store gives you more revenue avenues and growth. It was much easier to build a clientele with the retail shop because I had more products and services to offer. If I had to do it over again, I would combine aspects of both models and market it more as a fl oral experience than a retail store. No matter which type of business you have, it is a lot of hard work, but the rewards are many.
Darlene Nelson
DLN Floral Creations
Naperville, Ill.

We switched from a traditional retail store to a studio model in a shipping container! The past few years, we had only a few clients walk into our retail shop. We were wasting thousands of dollars keeping it open, so last summer, we purchased a 40-foot-by-8- foot shipping container and converted it into a floral studio. We insulated it with spray foam, and it has three display coolers, heating and air conditioning. We absolutely love it!
Lauri Leber
The Flower Shop Bluff ton
Bluff ton, S.C.

I switched from a retail florist shop to a studio warehouse more than nine years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. Lower rent, lower cost-of-goodssold and higher internet presence yielded a better bottom line. I saw the trend away from having gift items, so I made the change.
Christi Lopez, AIFD, EMC
Bergerons Flowers & Events
Springfield, Va.

Last April, we closed our retail shop and transitioned to a studio in our home. So far, I’m happy with the change. We had to cut back one part-time staff member because of fewer walk-in customers, but I’m much more satisfied with the work we are putting out. I have no regrets about the change.
Cathy Parker
Fleurs Magiques Flowers
Dowling, Ontario, Canada’

I ‘ve done both. We started as a brick-and-mortar shop more than 40 years ago and remained that way until March 2016. I had everything except the retail storefront. People would call wanting to know where the shop was. When I would tell them we were studio but still offered the same goods and services, many decided not to order from us. After nine months of this battle and seeing a decline in sales, I made the leap back to a retail shop. It’s been the best decision I’ve made. Business has been growing, so I guess I’m intended to be a retail shop owner!
Adrianna Duran-Leon, AIFD
The Flower Company
Albuquerque, N.M. n