We live in the age of online shopping. Most everything we might need is available with a few keystrokes. The lure of Amazon Prime, with a multitude of merchandise options and free delivery beckons. No traffic, no parking hassles, no crowds. Why, then, would we choose to shop locally? Why pick up the phone and call, or even better, why visit a retailer in person? There are several great reasons:

Support the Local Economy

Keeping your shopping dollars in your community is one of the best reasons to shop locally. The taxes you pay go back to your city, allowing local government to invest back into our neighborhoods. We should note that there is a difference between shopping local and shopping locally.  You might pat yourself on the back for skipping the e-tailer, yet you complete your shopping list at a major chain, or big-box, store. While these stores do employ local citizens and collect local sales tax, much of the revenue goes outside the community.

According to Forbes magazine,

For every dollar spent at a locally-owned establishment, nearly 45% of that revenue stayed in the local community, with another 9% going elsewhere within the state. In contrast, for every dollar spent at a chain store, only 14% of the revenue stayed in the local community, mostly in the form of payroll. The balance of that money flows to out-of-state suppliers, or back to the parent corporation.Forbes.com

By the numbers, three times as much money stays in your community when you shop at locally-owned businesses vs chain stores. When you shop locally, in essence, you are taking care of your own.

Build Relationships Locally

Those of us who remember watching Cheers on NBC a few years back, fondly recall the theme song about wanting to go “where everybody knows your name… and they’re always glad you came.” We feel good when we walk into a business and they recognize us, or remember what we like or don’t like. You can’t replace the human component.

When I walk into a favorite local restaurant for my takeout lunch, they see me coming and start making my salad. They know I want my dressing mixed in, and to leave off the ham. That they know my preferences makes me feel valued, and makes me want to return. At Lilium, we keep notes on customers’ preferences. It might be one customer who loves peonies, while another is allergic to lilies, and another whose favorite color is purple. Customers have confidence when they call that we know what they like, and will meet their expectations. If there is any issue, they know where to find us, by phone, email or in person, to resolve it.

Local is the new black

High Quality Products and Services

Despite the convenience of ordering online, or through a 1-800 number, you really have no idea of the process your merchandise will go through on its way to your doorstep. In the case of fresh flowers, the moment the stems are cut, the flowers begin to decline. The faster a cut stem is placed in water and into a cool environment, the longer it will last. Flowers ordered online and shipped often arrive in poor condition, having traveled in non-refrigerated vehicles, been jostled in a delivery truck, or left on the porch. Yes, you might save a few dollars, but the product you receive (if you receive it at all) is disappointing.

Shopping for flowers, or other perishables, in your community insures the product will arrive quickly, and will be fresh. In addition, you are more likely to get a one-of-a-kind product that will please both the sender and the recipient.

Where we shop, where we eat and have fun–all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place.Sustainable Connections

When you do business locally, you will generally work with people who are trained and have an understanding of the products they are selling. They will take time to get to know the customer, and make sure the customers’ needs are met. Local businesses often depend on word of mouth to grow their customer base, and will protect their reputation in the community by selling a quality product and giving good customer service.

Make a Difference, One Purchase at a Time

We may often feel helpless about making a difference in the world. There are so many global issues that are beyond our control. Where do we begin? Start from the ground up. Consider what you can do to strengthen your own community. Local retailers are invested in their communities. They are more likely to support local causes, such as schools and non-profits. Where you spend your money says a lot about what you value. Make sure you add value to your community by buying at locally-owned businesses.

 

 

A Lilium arrangement of fresh flowers makes a thoughtful gift, but sometimes our customers want to add a little something extra. Our focus is always on flowers, but we have carefully selected a handful of products to complement our fresh arrangements. So, you might choose to deliver a special gift along with your arrangement, on its own, or as part of a custom-made gift basket.

Extra Fragrance

Lafco Candles and Room Diffusers

Lilium is an official retailer of Lafco candles, made from clean-burning vegan waxes and natural essential oils, with pure cotton wicks. Their scents are created to enhance a space without being overpowering. Lafco layers the fragrance into the wax so that it can be continuously enjoyed until the last burn, usually 90-100 hours. Each candle comes in a hand-blown art glass vessel that will be a beautiful decorative piece, long after the wax has burned. The candles are packaged in a white gift box accented with black ribbon, and therefore, presentation-ready.

New Scents

In addition to customer favorites Feu de Bois/Ski House, Champagne/Penthouse, Marine/Bathroom, Seville Spice/Towne House, and Chamomile Lavender/Master Bedroom, along with holiday fragrances Tree and Golden Chestnut, we recently added several new scents:

  • Black Pomegranate/Wine Room
  • Olive Blossom/Villa
  • Lemon Verbena/Porch

Extra Lafco Black Pomegratate/Wine Room extra scentsextra scents

Lilium also carries Lafco room diffusers. Each comes with a refillable hand-blown art glass container, reeds, and a bottle of essential oil fragrance. Available fragrances include Chamomile Lavender, Champagne and Feu de Bois.

Extra scents
Lafco’s Ski House room diffuser combines the scent of burning wood with a hint of mountain spruce.

Jardin de Rochelle Aroma Porcelain Diffusers

Combine the elegance of delicate porcelain flowers with their signature scents with Jardin de Rochelle diffusers. Lilium offers chrysanthemum, peony and narcissus designs and fragrances. The porcelain flower extends down into the oil and wicks the fragrance throughout the room. The 4-ounce bottle of fragrance will last several months. Each diffuser comes packaged in a beautiful gift box.

 

Erbario Toscano Luxury Home Fragrances

Erbario Toscano is the latest addition to the Lilium lineup of luxury home fragrances. The Italian-based company strives to evoke the essence of the Tuscan region with fragrances including Black Pepper, Tuscan Berries, Lavender, Sicily Citrus and Tuscan Spring. The room diffusers are sold with a 3.38 ounce bottle of fragrance and a set of dipping sticks. Simply dip the sticks into the fragrance and allow the scent to fill the room. Flip the sticks periodically to refresh the fragrance.

Extra Luxury – Spongelle Body Products

Lilium offers Spongelle body wash-infused buffers (with or without a gift box) in French Lavender and Coconut Verbena scents. The buffers cleanse, moisturize and also rejuvenate the skin with their blend of Yuzu, Edelweiss and Vetiver Root extracts. Each buffer lasts a minimum of 14 uses.

Spongelle buffer - extra luxury
Body wash infused buffer in French Lavender

We also offer Spongelle body lotion in the same two scents. While the body buffer cleanses and refreshes, the lotion restores moisture and softness. Key ingredients include shea butter, argan oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil and vitamin E. In addition,  all Spongelle products are dermatologist tested and vegan friendly.

Spongelle lotion - extra luxury
Spongelle body lotion in Coconut Verbena

Extra Sweet – Godiva Chocolates

Godiva chocolates are recognized all over the world as the premier chocolate brand. The Draps family began making their chocolates in Brussels, Belgium more than 90 years ago. Inspired by the legend of Lady Godiva, the family named the company in her honor. To this day, the company bases their philosophy on qualities exhibited by Lady Godiva: boldness, generosity, and a pioneering spirit.

Godiva has been the official chocolatier of the Royal Court of Belgium since 1968, but you don’t have to be royal to enjoy the finest of chocolates. Lilium offers boxes of Godiva chocolates in assorted sizes, making the perfect gift to complement your floral arrangement.

Godiva chocolates - extra sweet
Assorted Belgian chocolates presented in the iconic gold Godiva gift box

Extra Plush

If you are sending flowers to welcome a new baby, celebrate a child’s birthday, or commemorate a special holiday, consider adding a super soft and sweet plush animal. Lilium is an official retailer of Jellycat soft toys. Jellycat is known for their fun original designs and the “squidginess” of luxurious materials. Most importantly, all Jellycat products meet the US Safety Standard (ASTM), and are safe for all ages.

Gray bunny - extra plush
Jellycat Bashful Bunny
tutu bunny - extra plush
Lulu Tutu Lilac Bunny

 

Extra Special

We are committed to making your gift extra special. Most of our gift add-ons will be delivered in a signature green Lilium gift bag, dressed with tissue and ribbon. We take special requests, too, so just let us know how we can make your gift perfect.

Dahlias are summer showstoppers. With blooms up to 10 inches across and a wide variety of hues, they command attention in summer gardens or added to fresh arrangements. From white and pale blush to deepest crimson and purple, dahlias offer a rainbow of options for floral designers.

Family Traits

Dahlias’ multi-layered petals provide a texture that is unique to each variety. Some feature dense cylindrical petals that resemble a honeycomb. Several varieties have long, spiked petals, while others display soft, feather-like petals. Dahlias are members of the aster family, and you may notice a family resemblance to their relatives, the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia. Of the 42 varieties, the largest is the dinner plate dahlia, which is aptly named. Their blooms reach up to 10 inches across.

  

Seasonal Beauties

At Lilium, dahlias start arriving in July and generally stick around through October. They are ideal for use in arrangements for all occasions, and in wedding bouquets and centerpieces. Because they are available in such a wide range of colors and varieties, dahlias can be incorporated into almost any theme or color pallette.

Candle light, dahlias
Blush Dahlias Photo By Jason Kindig
Photo credit: Swan Photography
Photo credit: Taylor Pritchett

Dahlias Have Many Uses

The versatile dahlia is native to Mexico, where it is the national flower. It is cultivated for its beauty, and for more practical purposes as well. The dried blooms can be used for dyeing textiles. All varieties (other than white) contain mordants, which work as a dye or stain when applied to fabric.

Not only are the blooms beautiful, they are edible. In fact, the dahlia is a staple ingredient in Oaxacan cuisine. Dacopa, an intense mocha-tasting extract from the flower’s roasted tubers, is used to flavor beverages throughout Central America.

Yes, dahlias may be tasty, but we think they are just too pretty to eat. We will stick to admiring them in fresh Lilium arrangements all summer long.

 

Lilium owner, Lisa Pritchett, and lead designer, Taylor Pritchett, participated in the Fleurology Symposium in Houston this month. The symposium is a by-invitation-only event for floral designers who are part of the luxury design industry. Headlining this year’s event were two industry masters: world-renowned event designers Preston Bailey and David Beahm.

L to R: Preston Bailey, Taylor Pritchett, Lisa Pritchett and David Beahm

The three-day experience was designed to immerse the participants in the luxury event experience while increasing their knowledge base and skills. The symposium included hands-on design education, luxury event detailing and healthy business management.

Hands-on Workshops

Fleurology is not an event where attendees sit and take notes while experts show them how it’s done. Lisa and Taylor, along with 28 other designers, were actively involved in learning and putting their skills into practice. Among the workshops offered was The Sketchbook Series, led by Annie Matthew. As our wedding and event coordinator, Taylor can take this skill and incorporate it in her consultations with brides and event planners. If we don’t have a certain flower readily available to show the client, Taylor can do a quick sketch of the flower to allow the client to visualize the concept.

Fleurology sketchbook

The Tent/Large Installation workshop, presented by David Beahm Experiences,  included techniques for suspending florals from the ceiling. Another workshop, presented by Rachael Ann Lunghi of Siren Floral Co., focused on creating compote arrangements. Laura Hooper Leader and Alyssa Law of Laura Hooper Calligraphy introduced designers to the art of calligraphy. The results of the designers’ efforts came together to create a beautiful event display.

Fleurology event under a tent
Event under the tent: suspended florals, compote arrangements, and chairs personalized with calligraphy. David Beahm Experiences

  

There are many creative ways to use calligraphy to elevate the designs for wedding and event decor. It can be used for signage, place cards, programs, seating, and even the cake. The ability to use calligraphy on many surfaces allows designers endless options to personalize the event for their clients.

Taylor designed this garden-style compote arrangement, which was later used in the tent display.

Keynotes

Action-packed days were spent learning and practicing new skills. Even mealtimes were not idle. A working picnic lunch included an informational seminar on social media, personal branding and photography tips. An elegant dinner setting was the backdrop for a keynote presentation by The Knot’s Lauren Kay. She discussed the luxury market and shared her insights on the state of the industry. The final morning of the symposium, all eyes were on Preston Bailey, as he discussed the limitless possibilities of the world of flowers.

Fleurology keynote dinner
Lilium was honored to work with Michelle Frost, AIFD designer, on florals for the keynote dinner.
Fleurology Preston Bailey
World-renown wedding and event planner, Preston Bailey, shares his expertise with symposium attendees.

Lilium has always been committed to providing our clients with the freshest premium product available, but we want to pair that with offering the freshest ideas as well. We believe that time invested in the Fleurology symposium will benefit all of our customers, especially our brides and event clients.

Special thanks to Fleurology organizers, event planners Karson Butler (Emily Butler and Amber Karson), photographer Koby Brown, The Knot, and Hotel Zaza for a memorable and valuable experience.

Vintage Roots

What was old is new again. As with many styles and trends, they tend to fade away only to reemerge years later in a fresh new way. Pin-on corsages gave way to wrist corsages, which are now losing favor to the up-and-coming tussie mussie.

The tussie mussie  has been around the block a few times. Originating in the Victorian era, tussie mussies were once made of herbs and flowers presented in a lace doily. The flowers were chosen to convey a subtle message, such as pink for warm affection or red for passionate love.

A Modern Take

The modern version of the tussie mussie is a charming compact bouquet tied with ribbon. The flowers are selected less for their traditional meanings and more to coordinate with a dress or theme. The tussie mussie has several advantages over the wrist corsage:

  • It is larger, and can be made using a wider variety of flowers.

  • It makes a beautiful impact in pictures, but then can be placed on the table (and not in the way when the dancing begins).
Photo credit: Shaun Menary Photography
  • Tussie mussies can be put in a vase (provided) after the event and enjoyed for several days.
Photo credit: Convey Studios

Even though the tussie mussie is larger than the wrist corsage, the price is about the same. With a wrist corsage, a good percentage of the cost is attributed to labor. It takes about 20-25 minutes to make a single corsage, as each stem is individually wrapped, then tied together. Tussie mussies can be made in half the time, with more of the budget going into the flowers and greenery. So, in essence, the tussie mussie provides more bang for the buck.

Lilium has seen more and more teens opting for a tussie mussie during the past two prom seasons. The long-lasting bouquet is the most popular pick for several local proms, with the trend rapidly spreading to other campuses. Due to our capacity, this year we are offering exclusively tussie mussies, as well as boutonnieres, to our prom clients. Because prom season coincides with a busy wedding season, as well as Mother’s Day, we recommend placing orders early to take advantage of this popular trend.

 

 

Lilium heartily approves of this year’s Pantone color of the year: Greenery. Of course, to us, it is Lilium green. It is the shade used in our logo, and throughout our shop, so we may be a bit partial. We are glad that others are embracing one of our favorite shades in 2017.

Each year, the Pantone Color Institute selects one color that symbolizes what is taking place in our global culture. It serves as an expression of mood and attitude.

Lee_Eisemann Pantone Color of the Year 2017 GREENERY

The name “greenery” describes a yellow-green hue inspired by vibrant colors found in nature. It is a nod to the go-green movement aimed at celebrating and protecting our environment. It evokes a spirit of renewal and restoration. The Pantone Color Institute sees Greenery as a versatile color that can be used with many different palletes. Their website displays it in combination with neutrals, brights, pastels and even metallics. Look for the color to show up in fashion, beauty products and home decor.

There are several naturally green flowers that beautifully display the trend. They include dianthus, bells of Ireland, and hellebores, as well as green cymbidium orchids and Fuji spider mums shown in bouquets below.

Photos by Perez Photography

Wedding Greenery

Use of greenery, as the term applies to natural foliage, is also on trend. At Lilium, we use greens in combination with florals in many of our designs. However, this year, greenery gets the starring role. Many of this season’s brides are opting for minimal florals and more foliage. The result is organic and natural, but still beautiful. Greenery garlands frame the altar and form fresh table runners. Clusters of greens take the place of traditional centerpieces and cake flowers.

Photo credit: Light Box Photography

Bridal bouquets get a fresh and natural twist with a mixture of textures and green hues. Whereas greenery was once considered “filler,” it’s role is now as important as the flowers. The florals compliment the greenery rather than the other way around.

Photo credit: Swan Photography

Lilium stays on top of current trends in color and style to offer our customers the very best in floral design. We are excited to embrace this year’s Pantone pick, and look forward to sharing it with our clients.

Florals are in full bloom for spring and summer weddings. This season, not only will the bridal party be carrying flowers, they may be wearing them as well. One of the biggest fashion trends this season is floral prints, and brides are finding creative ways to incorporate the theme into their spring and summer nuptials. Feminine and romantic, flower patterns are perfect for outdoor weddings, but can really be used in any venue.

From sweet and subtle hints to bold patterns and hues, floral prints dominated the bridal runways this season. Some brides may choose to wear traditional white, while putting their attendants in patterned gowns. Other brides are abandoning tradition in favor of the flowery trend for their own gowns.

Even if you prefer to stick with solid white or ivory for the wedding dress, consider having a pretty floral shoe peeking out from beneath the hem.

Florals for the Men, Too

Floral prints aren’t just for the ladies. Grooms and groomsmen are sporting floral neckties and bow ties as well. Prints are easily paired with solid-colored suits and tuxedos, and do not have to match the ladies’ prints exactly. Choose smaller prints for a more formal look, or big, bold patterns for a more casual theme.

Mixing Fabric and Fresh Florals

If you are concerned about overpowering your guests with your floral theme, Lilium’s wedding coordinator and lead designer, Taylor Pritchett, suggests brides maintain a balance. “If the fabric print is subtle, fresh flower choices can add a pop of color. On the other hand, if the fabric has bold floral print, opt for a neutral pallete for bouquets and boutonnieres.”

If you envision a floral motif for your spring or summer wedding , let Lilium design the perfect fresh bouquets, boutonnieres and arrangements to complement your flower-themed attire.

Taylor Pritchett, Lilium’s lead floral designer, was named the ‘People’s Choice’ winner at the 2017 Texas Designer of the Year Competition held on January 21. The contest was conducted by the Texas State Florists’ Association (TSFA), and held at the Dallas Market Center’s International Trade Plaza.

TIMED CHALLENGES

This year’s theme was ‘Imagination/Innovation’. Designers were asked to participate in three timed challenges with this theme in mind. The first challenge was an interpretive design capturing the essence of a quote by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, “Imagination is at the heart of all innovation.” Prior to the competition, designers created a prop or container that would provide the base of their design. The flowers and supplies, as well as other creative elements, were provided by the TSFA, and were not revealed until the day of competition. Designers were given 45 minutes to complete their designs with the materials provided.

For the second challenge, designers had 30 minutes to create a holiday arrangement using an inspiration board provided by the Dallas Market Center. Again, the flowers and supplies, as well as the containers, were provided by the TSFA.

In the third and final challenge, designers were presented an envelope outlining a surprise situation.  Designers were asked to provide samples for a bride planning a winter wedding. Designs were to include a bridal bouquet, a one-dozen rose arrangement for the groom to present in his proposal, a boutonniere, and wedding flowers for the mother of the bride. Competitors had one hour and 15 minutes to complete all four designs using flowers and materials provided.

JUDGING CRITERIA

TSFA judges scored designs in all three challenges based on:

  • Category Interpretation
  • Creativity
  • Scale and Proportion
  • Unity, Harmony and Texture
  • Physical and Visual Balance
  • Focal Emphasis
  • Line, Movement and Rhythm
  • Depth
  • Color Balance and Harmony
  • Professional Application Regarding Mechanics

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place. In addition, a People’s Choice award was given based on votes cast by event attendees. Taylor, who was competing for the first time, tested her skills against 15 other floral designers from across the state of Texas. Taylor is certainly Lilium’s choice for best floral designer, and we are proud that others recognize that, too!  Congratulations, Taylor!

Tis the season for holiday parties. Office gatherings, neighborhood parties, luncheons, and church socials compete with school programs, shopping and baking to crowd our calendars this month. In the busyness that often marks the season, don’t forget to show appreciation to that special person who works to plan and pull together a successful holiday celebration: the host or hostess. You will be at the top of the guest list if you show up with a thoughtful gift in hand.

Look beyond the traditional bottle of wine, and consider these options:

Fresh Seasonal Arrangement

Fresh flowers add a festive touch for the party, and the host/hostess can enjoy them for days after the last guest leaves and the leftovers are stored. If you know the party’s theme, request complimentary colors. Is your host/hostess traditional, or have more modern taste? Christmastime is filled with traditions, but florals don’t have to be traditional. Stay within the red, white and green color pallet, or venture into jewel tones. Pick traditional favorites like roses and hydrangea, or step outside the Christmas box with unique tropicals. Adding fresh sprigs of seasonal greenery to the arrangement not only creates a holiday look, it provides subtle fragrances that are sure to put party guests in the holiday spirit. Colorful berries and pine cones are also in season, and add pops of color and texture to an arrangement. Other favorites include potted poinsettias and potted amaryllis, both dressed in festive containers.

Jar Candles and Diffusers In Scents of the Season

Fresh flowers are not the only way to spread holiday scents in a home or office. Lilium is proud to carry the Lafco line of essential oil-based candles and diffusers. The four top seasonal fragrances are Ski House, Tree, Opal Amaryllis and Golden Chestnut. The candles have an average burn time of 90 hours, and their hand-blown art glass containers can be reused long after the candle is burned. The diffuser, which comes in an art glass container with reeds and a bottle of oil for refilling,  is available in the Ski House fragrance.

Gift Baskets

Go the extra mile to show your appreciation to your holiday host/hostess with a gift basket. You might combine luscious Godiva chocolates, a fragrant candle, and fresh flowers, all dressed up for the season in a beautiful basket display. We can add fresh Christmas greens, berries, pine cones or other textures to create a visually stunning arrangement perfect for the gift-giving season.

Customized gift baskets might include Godiva chocolates, a Lafco candle, fresh seasonal flowers and greenery.

Let Lilium help you create a thoughtful gift for your holiday host/hostess this season. Call us at 817-481-1565 or visit our website, www.liliumflorals.com.