Here we go again!
As l sit down to write this we are into our 3rd day of lockdown 5.0 in Victoria Australia.
Yes, that's right number 5, we were told at the start of this lockdown it would be 5 days but as the days go it is more likely that won't be the case.
This blog is about how our small family owned business has survived the Covid pandemic in Australia & all the lockdowns.
I won't lie at the start of all this l last year l was very worried when as an entire country we were put into lockdown with only essential workers & business able to continue to work & trade. There were a lots of sleepless nights & days of worry until it was confirmed that yes we could open for business.
As we weren't sure if others would find us essential we offered free delivery & we were soon overwhelmed with the support we received...it was amazing.We did this for over 2 months..But as we have to pay couriers & delivery drivers we couldn't continue this & you all understood why...Thank you!
We also created many lower cost options such as our jars of joy & our just because bouquet.
We added vegetables as an option to our good health hamper.
We started supporting a local business by stocking their fantastic product...Bendigo Brittle & we also created some hampers featuring Bendigo Brittle & Bendigo Beer.
Other new items were added to our collection thanks to you as you phoned us or sent a message through Messenger or Instagram & asked if we could customise a hamper
I also became a regular at the bottle shop as l was there every second day buying multiple bottles of wine to go out with flowers or in a hamper.
Our 1st big hiccup was Mother's Day 2020 as we went into a second lockdown (which ended up lasting 4 months) just before one of our peak trading times.We were a bit luckier than Metro florists as we could still open our doors & let a restricted amount of customers into the store at a time to make their selections.
But the question were still there at the start.
Can we open? Can we deliver? Will it be busy? And then finally.. Will we be able to get enough flowers?
This last one was our most troublesome as we had orders coming in flat out & we didn't get all the flowers that we had ordered .. so we had to make the hard decision & stop taking orders to ensure we had enough flowers to cover the orders we already had. It was great that all those that we couldn't help were so understanding. At this time we were also dealing with sky rocketing flower prices.
I can honestly say that even though Mother's day & the days leading up to it are an absolute blur to me & l couldn't even tell you how many hours l worked. l wouldn't have had it any other way as you entrusted us to deliver your messages of love during one of the most difficult Mother's Day any of us have had to endure.
This year it was Valentine's day in lockdown but this time all we could offer was click & collect or delivery. We couldn't let you into the shop to browse at your leisure but that didn't stop you from supportingus... you jumped online early as being Victorian you just knew another lockdown was coming. We also filled our windows with bears , balloon chocolates & flowers & you were more than happy to come in & window shop.
However the hardest part of all these lockdowns has been informing people that we can't deliver anything to Bendigo Health facilities. Not a teddy bear or balloons to a child in the children's ward. Not a Mother's day gifts of any sort to Mum in a nursing home. Not a finally message of love & care to a patient in hospice.
We have including this one had another 2 lockdowns like that & you have happily shopped online or given us a call to arrange a delivery .Here's hoping that we get out of this one soon & our fingers crossed 🤞we don't have anymore lockdowns.
One thing that l have noticed through all this is that no matter how big or small the gesture the main thing was that you just wanted to let your family, friends & loved ones know that you were there for them & thinking of them.
But the main thing that has come out of all this is that just like us you believe that your local florist is an essential service....so please remember this in the years to come & support your local florist as most are a small sometimes family run business that have been quietly supporting other local businesses & their community for many years.