Peak Occasion: A day in the life of a NF Employee

WONDERING WHAT A DAY LOOKS LIKE IN THE LIFE OF A NETFLORIST EMPLOYEE DURING A special, PEAK OCCASION?

Eventful… One word that pretty much sums up what it’s like to be a NetFlorist employee over a peak occasion like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day! Over these special, peak occasions, things can get a little crazy and we pretty much transform to Jack’s of all trades and masters of EVERY LITTLE THING!

Adjusting to circumstances we aren’t use to, making friends and memories along the way. Also battling weather elements, long days and sleepless nights (yup, we can totes survive on less than 4 hours of sleep over a peak occasion), millions of ribbons in hundreds of colours, flowers, vases and pots in any shape, size and colour and much, much more whilst still keeping our humour and sanity (somewhat) here’s a peek at what it takes to make every peak occasion a success!

Firstly, we have to mention our drivers that go above and beyond to make sure your flowers and gifts get delivered to your loved ones on time. Vans and vehicles are packed and ready to go at 5am in the morning and are checked out by staff from other departments so they can make their deliveries as soon as possible. Stress not though, they don’t start knocking on doors from 5am. Instead they plot their route and then travel to their first destination where they wait until a reasonable hour to knock on the door and present someone special with something that’ll make the rest of their day.

In order to deliver over 22,000 orders, we enlist the help of temporary staff. Some temporary drivers take leave from their permanent jobs each and every year to join the fleet of drivers over the peak occasion. They’re joined by part-time students and even home executives. Hundreds of temp drivers and NetFlorist vehicles are seen in masses on the roads and in our very little parking lot to deliver each and every gift.

Secondly, the NetFlorist bunch, no matter which department they work in, become hamper packers, call centre agents, dispatch officers, drivers and florists. Trust me when I say that folding a box and tying a ribbon is much harder than you would ever think it could be. Many trials and errors go into tying the perfect ribbon to make sure that our gifts look perfect when it arrives at your loved ones’ front doors. Even our managing director gets his hands dirty and helps out wherever he can! Yes, we personally saw him tie ribbons, fold boxes and check-out drivers at 5am on Friday morning! When a peak occasion comes around, it doesn’t matter who you are and what you do, you go out of your way to ensure that things run as smooth as possible.

Thirdly, we face many challenges over peak occasions, but nothing we can’t handle. These challenges include the blokes at Eskom cutting the power which trips the designers’ and developer’s computers (it doesn’t auto-save) and call centre going offline and not being able to help customers. Everything pretty much goes haywire when the power is out. We had two solar powered lamps in our high-value safe to have a little light when packing certain products for the gifts. The haywire part being that we had to ensure that we take the milk chocolate truffles and not the coconut ones and vice versa. In the semi-light all the wrapping colours look alike making you think you picked the blue ones and then realising you really took the green ones!

Another challenge adding to the madness; a fuse blew on our flower cold room, lowering the temperature significantly causing some of our flowers to freeze. We had to write off R30,000 worth of stock! Very sad for the floral folk, but yet they still managed to keep their smiles and stay positive!

So much happiness in one photo!

So much happiness in one photo!

Despite all of this, it doesn’t stop us from going above and beyond our call of duty to make sure all of our orders get to their recipients safe and sound. On just one day alone we’ve had two of our drivers survive attempted armed hijackings (one in Jo’burg and one in Durbs). Not to worry, they are both safe and sound, keeping their cool and getting away. One driver was also taken hostage earlier! A recipient wasn’t happy with the balloon she received, got into the passenger’s side of the driver’s car and made him wait with her until another driver brought a balloon to her liking. He also made it home safe and sound :-).

Clarity also results from a lack of sleep; you realise that you are working alongside Gru (Despicable Me Supervillain turned instant dad)! Apparently a lack of sleep has a way of revealing the fact that you work with an animated character in a children’s movie! As seen in the photo below:

Flowers and NetFlorist humor

From flowers to gifts and the things that saved us.

Other exciting things also happen during this time. To ensure staff safety we prevented them from travelling late at night or too early in the morning by allowing them to sleep over in a building we hired next to us. We provided them with mattresses and they brought along their pillows and blankies that we gifted them with last year. It was definitely a building full of loud snoring, so no alarm clocks were needed the next morning if you did happen to get in a wink of sleep.

When a peak occasion falls over a weekend, it can be particularly difficult for some of our staff and managers due to religious reasons. But, despite these difficulties, they still make their way to work, every day – some even having to walk 20km just to get to work! Even if they are not allowed to chat work over the weekend, they are still here, offering moral support, ensuring everything is in order and that we’re not all losing our minds!

During this time, it’s not always all blood, sweat and tears. Everyone from every department gets together and we have a blast creating new friendships with colleagues from other departments and learning new skills. Nothing brings a company closer together than laughing while learning a skill from another department and finally understanding and appreciating their work. Between buckets of KFC, pizzas, wood wool, ribbons, tulips, lilies and roses, vases and baskets, friendships are formed. Sore feet, aching backs and tired minds are forgotten and we all become one big happy bunch!

New friendships were formed due to packing hampers!

New friendships were formed due to packing hampers!

The smiles through the tiredness

The smiles through the tiredness

PS. We also celebrated an employee’s very special birthday over this busy peak occasion.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

SOME INTERESTING STATS:

  • We experienced a 1000% growth this Mother’s Day (yes, three zeros).
  • On our busiest day, we took one order every 6 seconds.
  • We had somewhere near 800 people working for us over this period in all the hubs.
  • 22 380 deliveries done countrywide.
  • We had over 200 000 people visit our site (web and mobi).
  • 220 temp drivers used countrywide, aside from our normal drivers.
  • Over 800 employees were working over this period in all the hubs.
  • 3065 meals were served to staff.
  • 1400 delivery sheets were made.
  • 10 330 calls were made to the call centre, meaning each call centre agent had to roughly take 345 calls.
  • Call centre received 5 378 emails and processed a whopping 804 orders, whilst handling other duties, as well.

Wedding bouquets and traditions

Why do we have wedding bouquets?

We have celebrated weddings with long and beautiful wedding dresses, wedding bouquets, veils that cover the blushing bride’s face and the bridal party supporting the bride and groom at the altar while vowing to love one another for eternity. But, where these things come from? Where did the whole wedding bouquet and wedding flowers come from? Here at NetFlorist we just love our flowers, so it is important for us to have the ins and outs of all things flowers. So, for today we are going to share the history of wedding bouquets and the tossing thereof with you. Also, what to keep in mind when choosing your flower types and colours.

 

Wedding bouquets:

In ancient times a bouquet of strong smelling herbs and spices were carried by the bride to drive away evil spirits, bad luck and ill health. During Roman times, the tradition expanded to include flowers in the bouquet, as a symbol of fertility. The bride and groom wore floral garlands to signify their new life and the hope of fertility. The bride adds her floral garland to her wedding bouquet whereas the groom adds the same flowers as the bridal bouquet to his buttonhole – stemming from the medieval times of the Knight wearing the traditional colours of the lady, declaring his love for her.

In the olden days where superstitions etc. were popular belief, the bride was considered to have tons of good luck. Thus started the tradition of tossing the bridal bouquet.

Order Wedding Bouquets at NetFlorist

Perfect Wedding Bouquets for the blushing bride and her bridesmaids!

Tossing of bridal bouquet:

Being the bride and having tons of luck also meant that you where the target of people wanting a piece of whatever luck you had. This ended up badly as sometimes the gown and flowers where torn piece by piece from the bride by the crowd. As a distraction technique, brides later on started a tradition, that stems from England, to toss her bouquet into the crowd and make a run for it. Today, in a more civilised era, the bride tosses the bouquet at the reception to the single women that form a crowd, with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to get married.

When choosing flowers for your wedding, the type of flower today may not be as important as finding the flower who’s colour matches your colour scheme perfectly.

 

Beautiful arrangements of wedding flowers

Beautiful floral table arrangements that will make a statement!

Choosing the perfect bouquet of flowers:

In the old days when thinking of flowers for your wedding, like the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids and the centrepieces, one tended to choose flowers whose meanings had some significance to you. While flowers with a love connection, like roses and carnations, were (and still is) popular, there are many other flowers that have powerful meanings like daffodils (new beginnings), iris (faith), and calla lily (holiness) to consider.

Colour also plays a significant role in a flower’s meaning too. The favourite wedding flower, the rose, has different meanings depending on the colour. Red roses symbolise passion, the bridal white rose means happy love and the yellow one signifies joy and a promise of new beginnings. The same goes for the chrysanthemum: the red symbolises love; the white kind symbolises loyal love and truth.

Weddings are something special as it marks the start of a new beginning with your significant other. Choosing the flowers for your bouquet is something that needs to be thought about, although it shouldn’t be the very axis your world turns around. Now that you know why there are bouquets, why they are tossed and what are the significance behind them, go forth and choose beautiful flowers from the NetFlorist range that will be perfect for your wedding, from rustic to classic – we have them!

Birthdays – The history

Why do we celebrate our birthdays?

Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative – Anonymous. Celebrating birthdays is celebrating life and that is simply a treasure, and celebrating it with family and friends is even more so. Life should be celebrated every day and not just on your birthday. Since we can’t fill up on cake and all the nasties every day, we unfortunately have to limit it to a few selected days, our birthday and friends birthdays. The question however arises, where do birthday celebrations come from?

According to the Huffington Post, what they gathered from hypotheses, we get to celebrate our birthdays the way we do (parties, candles, cakes, birthday songs and gifts) from various times in history. Let’s take a look at where everything started.

The party:

The Huffington Post cited scholars that hypothesise that the Egyptians started parties on the coronation of the Pharaoh, when it was said to believe that the Pharaohs transformed into gods when crowned. The celebration of their “godly” birthdate would then surpass their actual birthdate and the celebration is what we know today as the party. And with every party, there should be cake!

The candles:

A few years later, the idea of a birthday celebration had taken off into the world. The idea of lit candles on cakes, came from the Greeks, according to the Huffington Post. To recreate the radiance of the moon and the perceived beauty of the lunar goddess – Artemis. As a form of tribute to the goddess, the Greeks lit the candles on the cake for a glowing effect. Along with blowing out the candles on the cakes, comes making a wish.

The cake, the candles and the wish:

The Huffington Post suggests that the closest connection to the contemporary birthday party was the German Kinderfeste in the late 18th century. Kinderfeste was held to honour a child at their first birthday. They lit a candle on the cake for each year the child had been alive, adding another one to symbolise the hope of living at least one more year. Blowing out the candles and making a wish was part of the celebrations. Celebrating life with friends and loved ones is often than not the reason for a birthday party.

The best way to celebrate a friend or loved one at their birthday party is by getting them a beautifully decorated and fresh birthday cake from The Bakery at NetFlorist. There is a wide range of delectable cakes ready for you to order and devour for the sake of celebration. Don’t forget the candles!

Cakes for all birthdays

The Bakery @ NetFlorist has you covered!

The birthday song:

According to the Huffington Post we can thank Robert Coleman for adding a few lyrics to an already widespread song written by Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, “Good Morning to All” in 1893. The Huffington Post confirms that in 1924 Coleman added a few lyrics to the nationwide song, and it quickly spread like wildfire and became the famous version we all sing to this day: “Happy birthday to you”.

After Happy Birthday to you, the candles blown out, the wish made and a piece of cake for everyone, we focus our attention on the birthday girl or boy to open their gifts.

The gifts:

Gifting has been around since the beginning of time. It is inherently human to gift loved ones with something to show they care. An example hereof is the Native Americans who have been known to celebrate gift-giving with potlatch for thousands of years – marking life events like births, adoptions, weddings and other inter-tribal events.

Birthdays for him

Amazing birthday gifts for him!

The idea of gifting, being inherent to any human, will thus be automatically on your list when going to a birthday party. Getting the perfect gift doesn’t need to have you in twists and knots. NetFlorist has the perfect gift on their website just for you.

Special for her birthdays!

Thoughtful gifts for her!

In conclusion, we have learned the history of birthdays, from the party that started with the Egyptian Pharaohs to the gifts being inherent to each and every one. You know where to find mouth-watering birthday cake and of course the gifts for the birthday girl or boy – nowhere else than at NetFlorist! Go on, celebrate life and even old age, it’s better than the alternative – not celebrating life.

Have a super fabulous full-o-good-stuff kind of day!

Love Lilian

 

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/history-of-birthdays_n_4227366.html Date accessed: 19/04/2016.

 

Caring for Cluster Roses

PicMonkey Collage

 

In case you haven’t already heard, NetFlorist has recently introduced some gorgeous and unique Kenyan cluster roses to their offerings. These cluster roses, as the name suggests, are known for their unique formation of clusters of petite roses on each truss, giving them their unique appearance. They also have the most beautiful natural hybrid colouring which is due to them being grown at the foot of Mount Kenya.

In this post, let’s have a look at some tips on how you can take care of your cluster roses so that they stay in tip-top shape for as long as possible:

Cut those stems:

Firstly, it is important to cut the stems of your cluster roses short. The reason for this, is that the pores of these plants need to open and the longer the stem, the harder it is for this to happen. By cutting the stems short, you are allowing water to reach the buds quicker so that your roses bloom and stay alive.

Flower food:

Just like us humans, roses need their nutrients to stay alive, which is why we include flower food with all our flower gifts. Remember to use the flower food provided and let those short stems suck it up!

Keep in a cool place:

Just like with most flowers, you need to keep your cluster roses in a cool area, away from direct sunlight. Remember, cluster roses are fairly sensitive as they contain delicate buds which may be sensitive to weather conditions.

Final tips:

All in all, cluster roses need a lot of care, as each truss contains multiple petite roses so a lot more energy is needed to keep them alive. Longevity varies, but the more you take care of these roses, the longer they will last. Don’t forget to log onto NetFlorist to see our range of Kenyan cluster roses and other amazing flower arrangements. No matter what the occasion, we have the perfect flower gift for you!

stem

 

 

Spoil Mom With Mother’s Day Gifts and Flowers from NetFlorist

Amazing Mother's Day Gift Ideas and Flowers

Amazing Mother’s Day Gift Ideas and Flowers

Oh, the love of a mother is unmatched. What is it about a mother and child bond that is so unique to all other interpersonal connections? We think it’s got something to do with all the nappies they change. Anyone who’s wiped your bum and still loves you has got to be something special.

A clever woman by the name of Cheryl Lacey Donovan once said “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” At NetFlorist, we couldn’t agree more, and that is why it is our duty to make sure all moms are showered with mother’s day flowers and the gift of flowers for mothers every Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to thank mum for all the (welcomed and unwelcomed) advice, saving you from many humiliating teen trends (yes, you thought you looked good but she knew better) as well as the almost magical way she whips up something to eat out of left overs and a wave of her wooden spoon. That’s why we think it is important to buy gifts for mother’s day and where else would you turn, other than your favourite online florist in SA, NetFlorist?! We are the best, only and last line of defence when it comes to buying and sending flowers this Mother s day!

Does your mom go crazy for chocolates? If so, we have the perfect chocolate gifts for mom which come combined with all sorts of liquor, teddy bears, and of course, flowers. We also have a range of Mother’s Day flowers especially for mom. You name the flower, and we’ve got it!

For the best mothers day ideas, visit NetFlorist now and take a look at our outstanding range of mothers day gifts and flowers. Do this, and you are guaranteed to be mom’s favourite this Mother day!