It took nearly nine months of working at FTD for me to realize just how little I knew about the beautiful bouquets that I stared at online, talked about, advised on and thought about every day. Since I had been busy learning the ropes of my new job, as Assistant General Counsel at FTD (which is a fancy way of saying lawyer), I hadn’t taken the time to step back and consider what went into creating and making up this lovely product that brought so much joy to our customers.
Instead, I had been selfishly concerned about teaching others all the things that were relevant to me. This all changed the week after Thanksgiving last year. My office neighbor and friend, Michael Skaff, Vice President of Floral Design at FTD, reminded me of what I was missing.
I had just wrapped up a “Lunch N’ Learn” meeting with our marketing team where our legal team had offered a refresher course on the basics of trademark law – exciting stuff! If you’ve never attended a Lunch N’ Learn – it’s basically feeding people in an effort to make them come to a meeting to discuss a particular topic. I looked to Michael for approval after the session and with Michael’s natural quick-wittedness, he responded with how much he would like to have a “Lunch N’ Learn” to teach others at FTD about floral design.
And that started me thinking.
I had spent my entire time since I arrived at FTD proudly telling my friends and family that I worked at FTD, where we created flowers and gifts that delighted our customers, which is a direct reference to our company mission. In my defense, it was so much more fun to tell people I worked at a flower company than at a law firm. Yet, my own knowledge of the flowers we were selling and that I was bragging about didn’t go far beyond the general rose, lily, orchid, daisy and a few select others.
After a week or so of thinking about this, I commented to Michael how nice it would be if he did teach me some of what he knew. I wouldn’t nor couldn’t profess to ever understand it with the depth, breadth, care and detail of Michael, but I was up for trying.
The next day Michael showed up at my office door with three bud vases, each containing a different flower or filler. He said there would be a quiz about each of the flowers in the vases at the end of the week – and if I passed the quiz, the following week there would be three more. I readily agreed and started taking notes as he talked in depth about each one.
The office was abuzz that first week since rumors swirled that the office lawyer had demanded fresh flowers in her office. I had to laugh at that rumor and quickly corrected it with this explanation.
At the same time, I learned about the blog FTD had recently launched. Michael and I decided that we would write this series about the flowers he was teaching me about. An online “Lunch N Learn” except that you provide the food.
So, with that, here are the first three flowers in our on-going series.
On the far left side is a flower called a “Liasanthus”. To me, this looks like a littler rose.
Colors: Purple, white/cream, pink and blue
Locations: Grown in the United States, Mexico, Caribbean and South America
Duration: Lasts about 5 days.
Other Information: It can come in a single-flowered or double-flowered, which looks like it means one layer of petals or two.
Michael advised me that, to learn about flowers and floral design, was to know about the filler flowers as well. The Bluepleurm is just that.
Locations: Grown in the Netherlands.
Duration: Lasts about 5 days.
Other Information: Some information indicates that the plant is used in herbal medicine.
Colors: Green, Red, Peach, Pink
Locations: Grown in South America and the Netherlands.
Duration: Lasts about 1-2 weeks.
Other Information: All members of the genus may be referred to as St. John’s wort.