In these challenging times, every retailer has a story… it may be one of struggle, confusion, anxiety, compromise, resolve, triumph, defeat, or if we are being honest, a combination of these experiences. For Lilium, the past few months have brought unprecedented challenges, highs and lows. We are still navigating this ever-changing business climate, but if there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that we would not still be standing without the support of our loyal customer base.

After surviving four years of highway construction in front of Lilium, where our entrances were often completely blocked, we were well-positioned for a banner year in 2020. Our recent building expansion was complete, and we were enjoying brisk sales in January and February. On March 9, we received a phone call from a standing account saying that they needed to cancel their weekly services. Losses mounted as those calls continued over the following four days.

There was tremendous confusion from federal, state and local governments as to proper protocol. Disinfect surfaces? Wear masks? What was essential business? Ultimately, florists were deemed “critical infrastructure” by the state of Texas, and florists were allowed to operate. Not only was this important in preserving jobs for our staff, we recognized the opportunity to make a positive impact on our community during discouraging times.

supply chain break

Our supply chain literally broke overnight. Every single local wholesaler closed. Farmers from all over the world were desperately trying to find a way to get their product to market. Trucking capacity dropped, flights were cancelled. We had to completely change our purchasing model, but in the end, we were able to obtain the same high quality product that our customers expect and enjoy.

when life gives you lemons…

As you might imagine, the loss of standing accounts, cancelled events, postponed weddings, no proms or graduation celebrations hit us hard. However, occasions that would typically be reasons to gather became occasions to send flowers. When families couldn’t be together for Easter, they sent flowers. With many working from home, business executives couldn’t take their administrative staff to lunch for Administrative Professionals Day. They sent flowers.

For the same reason, we anticipated that Mother’s Day was going to be busier than normal. So many were not able to honor their moms in person, but wanted to make her day special. Because of the disrupted supply chain, we were not able to create a Mother’s Day menu as we have in the past. We were receiving beautiful product, but couldn’t select specific stems as we normally would. Without missing a beat, we were able to deliver double the number of Mother’s Day arrangements over last year.

Community support

Again, we would not have survived the past few months without the tremendous support of our customers and community. The local community really rallied behind local businesses. The City of Colleyville twice issued postcards with a $35 value to be used at local businesses. Many of our loyal customers called to ask how they could help. They increased their purchase frequency, which boosted our day-to-day sales and kept us going.

The challenges of this pandemic have forced us out of our comfort zone in many ways. We had to get creative and find new opportunities as former ones disappeared. We have risen to the challenge, and our customer base has actually grown out of this adversity. Lilium is proud to have kept our full-time staff working, and to have served our customers and community well. Our commitment remains to serve you with high quality, beautiful floral designs and top-notch customer service. Most importantly, we THANK YOU for your continuing loyal support.

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.