I haven’t taken up the moniker of Flora for just any reason. In addition to being a magnanimous goddess, I am an accomplished floral artist, having designed with respected studios across the country. Truly, I am Goddess Flora, and here are a Goddess’ directions on treating your favorite provider to the beauty of blooms.

Who doesn't  want flowers?

Well, many people might not, for a wide range of reasons. Some people may be opposed to flowers due to allergies, pets, association with difficult memories, or privacy concerns. With that in mind, it is best practice to check if your provider wants to be spoiled with flowers. A simple way to do that is to read through their profile or website for an option, or if they have a specific preference, and name their favorite flowers. If you cannot determine if they may want flowers, I would consider it appropriate to send an email or text to check in. There is also the option of waiting, and bringing them to your next date. 

Here are two different ways to check if your provider wants flowers, depending on their preferred level of privacy:

“Hello [insert provider name], I was thinking fondly about our time spent together, and I would like to have flowers delivered to you as a demonstration of my gratitude. I have called ahead to [local flower shop], and they are able to deliver to [address]. Would it be okay for me to have those sent to you, and do you have any preferences for specific flowers or anything to avoid? Thank you.”

If you do not know your provider’s specific address here is another option:

“Hello [insert provider name], I was thinking fondly about our time spent together, and I would like to have flowers delivered to you as a demonstration of my gratitude. I have called ahead to [local flower shop], and they are able to deliver in your area. I understand you want to keep your specific address private. I have checked that the shop is willing to take my payment and information and will allow you to call and provide your preferred delivery address. Would it be okay for me to have that order placed for you, and do you have any preferences for specific flowers or anything to avoid? Thank you.”

Go local

Once you have determined they are open to receiving flowers, the next challenge to address is where to source them. The rule of thumb here is to shop locally and shop small. It’s best not to use any of the nationally advertised websites to send flowers. They skim a portion of the money before dispatching the order to a random shop, who likely doesn't know any of the details about your order. Moreover, I find the restrictive design requirements often err on the tacky side. I prefer something with more elegance and care given to the entire design process, from the flowers to the container.

Google or word of mouth can be your friend here. Another option is to use Instagram tags to find independent shops within your city. For example, I could search #ChicagoFlorist, and I can easily find several nice options.

What flowers?

So, you’ve picked the shop you want to prepare flowers for your provider, checking the website or calling the shop can give you an overview of their price range and various arrangements they generally offer. Communicate with the store any preferences your provider may have shared with you. I strongly recommend picking a designer’s choice option. This gives the artist freedom to show off their skill, and it usually means the best and freshest product will be chosen for your arrangement.

Additionally, I have a preference for a vase or container-based arrangement myself, rather than a hand-tied bouquet. Though, you should defer to what you understand your provider’s stylistic preference to be. Some people may seem more aligned with a softer, more rustic style hand-tied bouquet, others a moody centerpiece. Generally, hand-tied or vase arrangements are the two broad categories of most floral shop offerings. 

As a florist, I am frequently asked what meanings each individual flower may have. The answer is: whatever meaning you want each flower to have. Sometimes people bring up the Victorian language of flowers, floriography, as a guide for meanings. In theory, a dedicated person could construct a bouquet that had some encoding. Every blossom has picked up various associations across history, and in our current era, the general aesthetic impact speaks more than any hidden floral communique.

To describe some of those general impacts, let me offer some descriptions of the two styles I mentioned earlier, moody and bohemian. When I go to create a moody arrangement, I look for rich, dark colors. I’m trying to capture a stormy sea or a night spent in the bedroom of a vampiric lover. My florals will be things like purple acacia, burgundy peonies, Black Magic roses, chocolate cosmos, and antique carnations. If mechanics allow, I may add something unusual, like purple grapes creeping over the rim of an antique compote. If I were approaching bohemian, I immediately consider how my greenery can flow. I am trying to evoke a sense of freedom or the moment of hair finally being let down and the perfect early afternoon breeze kicks up. I reach for some form of silvery eucalyptus, any type of pampas grass or papyrus, creamy garden roses or a Cappuccino variety, chamomile, and Café au Lait dahlias. 

Also, stay away from lilies if cats are in the home. Personally, I avoid white lilies generally since they have so often been employed as funeral flowers, and sometimes florists fail to remove the anthers, which hold yellow-brown staining pollen. 

For providers

If you are yourself a fan of flowers, I would recommend determining a local flower shop you like, and from there, you have several options on how to share your preferences with your clients. You could link to the store’s gift card page on your website or within your preferred wishlist if it is compatible. If you frequently receive flowers from the same store, you may like to call the store and request that your delivery information be kept on file but never to be given out. Most smaller stores can accommodate repeat customers and understand some people have privacy concerns, especially if the store has any experience catering to celebrity clientele. Finally, there is the option for clients to bring you flowers on your next date. Simply specify the store and design choice on your website, or in your messages, for your clients’ reference.

In sum, stay local and communicate kindly. A small store is usually happy to work with people who are flexible in their delivery or pickup options and their design choices. At the end of the day, so long as someone who wants flowers receives them, there really is not much else to worry about. 

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The Good Client Guide destigmatizes sex work while providing guidance on how to be a better client and ally. Better experiences for workers mean better experiences for clients! To make this happen, we’re welcoming submissions from both providers and their customers.

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