Starting a flower shop doesn’t require a lot of equipment or tools to open, unlike many other businesses. Really, there are a few essential tools and supplies that are required to get started and don’t have to cost a lot of money. As you are looking at tools to purchase, don’t be initially swayed by consumer-grade or low-cost items. Ask any florist and they will tell you that if it’s a tool you are going to be using on a daily basis, pay for good quality.
We outline some of the common florist tools and supplies to give a rough idea of how much it will cost to get started.
Starting Supplies for a Florist
Contact your local florist supply store as a first resource. A good floral industry salesperson can direct you to the right products (and steer you away from the junk) and can help you combine price and quality factors to make the right purchasing choices. You do not need to purchase a year’s supply of any of these. For one, how would you know how many that is? Start small. Your wholesaler is there to help you re-stock. Let them carry the cost of the inventory. You’re no good to them as a customer if you’re out of business because you sank all of your working cash into inventory. Wholesalers understand and embrace their role as a warehouse for florists. All they ask is for a little notice and planning on the part of the florist. You can handle that, right?
- Floral foam
- Floral tape
- Floral containers
- Tape – green waterproof or clear
- Cardettes – one size
- Delivery Tags, Care Tags, Guarantee Tags: You may purchase these items separately, or you can create your own using a desktop publishing program. If you create your own, you can include your business name, logo, and contact information. If you purchase care tags separately, you can provide more specific care for each type of plant, floral arrangement, or gift you send out.
- Wrapping (if you are in a cold climate, this is a must have… otherwise, it’s a “should”)
- Ribbon-small selection
- Cardettes-other 2 sizes (they come in 9,12 and 18″)
- Wire-other gauges
- Tape-rest of the types
- Small starting selection of floral paint
Would be nice…
- Glue pan
- More paint
- More ribbon
Florist Equipment & Tools
Again, this is a list of purchases to be made with your local wholesale florist for the most part. There are some tools that can be purchased at a hardware store, and others that are specifically designed for floral shops. Start at the wholesaler, and if you see yourself picking up items that you know you can get elsewhere at a better price or convenience, go right ahead and do so. Your experience will tell you if it’s worth investing $20 in a good pair of steel scissors or if you will be just as happy with throw-away quality ones from a dollar store. Some florists find that they lose their tools before they can wear out, so if you’re in that category, then skip the high quality, high priced models.
- Floral cooler
- Bunch cutters
- Trash can/boxes
- Card/envelope rack
- Floor mats
Would be nice:
- Preservative dosing system
- Under water cutting system
Basic Office Supplies for a Flower Shop Business
The basics are available just about anywhere… Office supply stores, big box retailers, etc. The printed materials for billing, etc can be purchased from a local printer. I’d recommend using the John Henry Company. This company sells all sorts of printed materials and several specific floral supplies aimed at the retail flower shop. Wholesalers carry their non-personalized products, but for products that are printed with your name, you deal with John Henry directly. An alternative to printed envelopes, order sheets, invoices, etc is to purchase a rubber stamp or stickers with your information. This will allow you to use the stock forms that are available off the shelf. It’s a great way to get started if your business plan is based more on service and product than on visual impression.
- Rubber stamp or labels with your shop name, phone number, address and, URL
- pens, sharpies
- Order tablets/scratch paper
- Billing supplies-envelopes, invoices, stamps
- Point of sale equipment (credit card machine, cash register, printer)
General Office Supplies
Purchase these items wherever it feels good. Sometimes the simplest thing can make your life easier during a long day at your new business. Take some time to think about those items and bring them in now, while you can.
- Cleaning supplies
- Cleaning tools: broom, dust Pan, mop, vacuum cleaner
- Paper products
- Coffee machine, cups, snacks for long hours?
Flowers – Purchase from a local wholesaler in small quantities at first. It’s better to pay extra delivery charges at first than to throw away wasted flowers. Learn about flowers and what ones will be included in your style of everyday work. Learn which ones hold the best and the care for each type of flower.
Plants – Plants-foliage, blooming and gardens are a must-have. Plants-while they do require basic care and are somewhat perishable, do have a much longer shelf life than say, a rose. It is smart to invest a portion of your inventory dollars in plants.
- Plants provide long-lasting life in the consumer’s home.
- Plants are a low-labor item for you to ship when your floral design staff is under a time crunch. It takes less time to dress a plant than to create a flower arrangement from scratch.
- Plants have become popular items to send to funerals, homes, grand-openings, and for all occasions.
- Many wholesalers sell dish gardens. Dish gardens are arrangements of plants, planted together in one container. They will last weeks rather than days in your shop and your customer’s home. When they are past their prime, they can be separated and grown on in individual pots by the consumer with a green thumb!
- Dish gardens are ready to be delivered… no high-price labor to add!