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    July 11, 2024 9 min read 0 Comments

    Bouquets of flowers wrapped in brown paper and placed in mason jars. The jarred bouquets are inside of a wire basket sitting on a curb.

    Increasing Sales with a Flower Pop-Up

    Recently, there has been an increase in the customers' desire to purchase products directly from the creative, the rancher, or the grower. People crave real products and seek a real human-to-human connection, which is excellent news! 

    A flower pop-up is one of our most casual and successful ways of moving products, especially extra stems, at the last minute. 

    Let’s take a look at how to put together a prosperous flower pop-up!

    What is a Flower Pop-Up?

    A pop-up is an informal way to move flowers when you have excess or when you have a special offering. In the past, we have hosted a pop-up in the field on our property or through local businesses.

    There is no standard way of doing a pop-up, which means you can curate it to your business, customers, time, and connections.

    On our farm, we typically custom grow for our wedding clients and Flower CSA members. Some weeks, we have just enough to fulfill our orders, but on the weeks we don’t have an event, or if we are just in the right part of the season, we have oodles of stems to sell. 

    Over the years, we have created a customer-fan base who watches out for and anticipates us throwing a pop-up market. Pop-ups are not only great for moving products last minute but for capturing holiday sales too.

    Some successful flower pop-up offerings we’ve had:

    • Mixed bouquets
    • Arrangements, which are popular for Mother’s Day!
    • Straight bunches, especially for novelty flowers such as dahlias, tulips, and sweet peas
    • Wreaths, evergreens, and dried flowers.
    • Sugar pinecone swags 
    • Forced bulb kits

    Pop-ups are a deep-rooted part of our farm’s origin story. The first time we ever sold a bouquet of flowers was at our first pop-up on the front lawn of our family’s accounting office. It was late August, and all of a sudden, I was inundated with marigolds, zinnias, amaranth, cosmos, and celosia. 

    After nearly a season of trying to get the flowers to grow, I became a deer in the headlights when they finally did. I realized had no plan on how actually to sell them. On a hot August day, we decided it was time to figure out how to move those flowers.

    I quickly made an announcement, through an email campaign and social media post, informing potential customers that we were going to have a flower pop-up and that we were accepting preorders, which we actually got a few!

    This one single hasty pop-up pushed me out of my comfort zone more than I would like to admit. It’s amazing how much this little event could have such a massive effect on shaping my business today. 

    Having a flower pop-up can have that effect on your flower farming business too. We learned many lessons on how to execute a flower pop-up; let’s go over how to prepare for a successful flower pop-up.

    Jessica from Sierra flower farm arranging flowers at a flower popup stand.

    How do I Prepare for a Flower Pop-Up?

    First and foremost, there are some decisions to be made that are best made ahead of time, such as:

    • Where are you going to have your pop-up?
    • How are you going to market your pop-up?
    • What is going to be your product offering?

    Let’s go over these areas deeper.

    Choosing a Location for Your Flower Pop-Up

    • Is your pop-up going to be at the end of your driveway or in your field? 
    • Do you have a place off the farm that you can utilize? 
    • Are you hoping to get out into your community more and would like to have a pop-up through a local business? 

    As mentioned, over the years, we have had pop-ups in our field, at a couple of different local business locations, and on the lawn of our family’s accounting office. We have also had holiday pop-ups where we delivered the items to customers’ homes.

    Each location comes with its own nuances and different ways of handling a pop-up.

    Hosting a Flower Pop-Up on Your Farm

    A pop-up on the farm is nice because you don’t have to pack up and move flowers. Neighbors who have been suspiciously eyeing you from afar finally have a reason to come see what the heck you are doing out in that field all the time! 

    The downside is if you are a private or introverted person, you are opening up your private space to outsiders. Visitors are usually respectful, but there are some that just wander off into your field. Unfortunately, safety concerns arise; therefore, cover yourself with proper liability insurance or ensure access to these areas is restricted. 

    Lastly, be okay with needing to be actively engaged with your customers rather than getting work down in the field.

    If having a pop-up on the farm isn’t ideal for any number of reasons, then maybe it’s time to think about reaching out to some local businesses! 

    Hosting a Flower Pop-Up at a Local Business

    Selling your flowers at a pop-up through a local business is a great way to fortify relationships with your favorite coffee shop or other local businesses within your community. 

    Before selecting a business to have a pop-up, sit down as a customer and watch their interactions with their customers. When you begin having pop-ups at a local business, you are, in turn, aligning your brand with theirs. 

    Make sure it’s a good fit and representation for your business. 

    Depending on your relationship with the business owner, you may or may not have to pay a commission or a fee to be able to sell or “rent” their space for your pop-up. Sometimes, businesses will allow you to set up without paying any kind of fee, especially if you are handling your own transactions and products. 

    Flowers bring something different and special to spaces, and providing the opportunity of that experience to their customers may be enough. Whether you pay a fee or not, a great gesture is to give some flowers to the shop or owner in exchange for their generosity. 

    Now that we have the location, it’s time to figure out how to generate sales!

    How to Market for Your Flower Pop-Up

    Being present with beautiful blooms may be enough if you are having a pop-up in a busy store or on a busy street. For growers off the beaten path or perhaps a business with less foot traffic, creating awareness around your pop-up will be needed. 

    To grab the attention of potential customers quickly, we utilize social media and email campaigns to market the flower pop-up. Let’s explore these two tools more closely.

    Marketing Your Flower Pop-Up with Social Media

    Social media works best if you have a few days to begin posting about your pop-up before the actual pop-up to get the algorithm to kick in. If you are selling at a local business, mentioning and tagging them helps generate interest for your flowers and the business. Most businesses will, in turn, share your post or story, which benefits you and the local business in allowing a more significant audience reach.

    When pushing a pop-up and using social media, making a “flyer” for stories with clear writing and a pretty image for potential customers to take a “screenshot” makes it convenient for them to save the information. Also, utilizing the calendar feature in Instagram, where they can easily hit “remind me” to get an alert of your event coming up, is another excellent way to stay on their radar.

    Ultimately, though, we don’t find social media to be the all-star marketing tool for pop-ups but rather email campaigns. In fact, it is one of the best reasons to collect and maintain an email list for your current and potential customers. 

    Marketing Your Flower Pop-Up with Email Campaigns

    Email campaigns are powerful. Ideally, your email list that you’ve spent time building up at the farmer’s market or on your website is a list of active customers. Email campaign blasts are a quick way to get information into customers' inboxes. Design the email to be straightforward with clear and concise wording. 

    In your email campaign you will want to include the following information:

    • Date and Time 
    • Location
    • Photos of relevant products
    • Link to pre-order purchase page, if applicable 

    Once you get the customers to your website or physical pop-up location, it’s time to finalize the sale.

    Payment Options for Your Flower Pop-Up Sale 

    As mentioned, a hosting business may handle the transactions on your behalf, depending on the agreement you come upon together. We have done this with other business friends, though overall I try not to make them hassle with processing orders and payments on my behalf but sometimes it’s really lovely when they do! 

    We are handling our orders and payments for most of our pop-ups. 

    We handle processing orders and payments in similar fashion as we would with farmer’s market:

    • Cash box with $100 in change
    • Credit Card Reader, which these days is our phone

    The key to snatching the sale is to make the payment process as quick and simple as possible for the customer. 

    Another way we make it simple for customers to purchase our products is by accepting pre-orders on our website’s storefront.

    Taking Pre-Orders on Your Website

    By taking pre-order sales on our website, we allow the customers to pay in full for their product and then provide flexibility for them when it comes time to pick it up. This is a win-win for customers who don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to purchase our product, and it becomes a guaranteed sale for us. Pre-orders also help us determine how much product we should have for the flower pop-up.

    Though prepaying customers still need to pick up their flowers either during the pop-up’s time window or during the hosting business’s operating hours, they know their flowers are set aside for them. Taking pre-orders on our website has become the majority of our sales for our pop-ups.

    One key element to making the pop-up a low-stress way to sell products is keeping the offerings simple.

    Popup display of floral bouquets in white mason jars on wood shelves.

    Keep Your Flower Pop-Up Offerings Simple

    As you sell your products, your potential customers will vote with their dollars, telling you what products and price points will sell well. Even with our Holiday Pop-ups, we have cut out offering forced bulbs and dried flower swags, leaving us with our most profitable offerings: our wreaths and sugar pinecone swags.

    During peak season, when I am inundated with sweet peas, I am also overwhelmed with farm tasks and weddings. I don’t typically have time to offer mixed bouquets, but I still have to harvest and bundle those sweet peas. It is not much more effort to run the sweet peas down to our local coffee shop to sell or have a pop-up one Saturday morning in the field. 

    We have found straight bunches of flowers, such as sweet peas, tulips, and especially dahlias, sell well. The less labor involved with your pop-up offerings, the more profitable they become. Limiting your offerings and varying price points will allow you to focus more on volume.

    If you need help on pricing check out our article on Pricing and Selling a Flower CSA. Pop-up sales are a great place to market your flower CSA as well.

    Customers always seem to find a large volume of products visually pleasing, and because of this we say…

    Bouquets of flowers wrapped in brown paper and placed in mason jars. The jarred bouquets are inside of a wire basket sitting on a curb.

    Stack Your Flowers High and Watch Them Fly

    The “Stack them high and watch them fly” mentality truly sells. If your display looks barren, your flowers look like the “leftovers.” Humans are odd creatures, and the last few items are a hard sell. Make your display look full yet accessible for customers to pick which item they would like. 

    Our set up for pop-ups is fairly casual, where we display our flowers with various vintage milk crates that sit atop a table covered in clean painter’s drop cloths. We also make sure to have our logo and prices in plain view.

    Some final tips for your flower pop-up stand:
    • Always have your business cards available
    • Every product should leave your stand with your logo, whether with a sticker, stamp, or card
    • Stand up and be engaged with your customers
    • Have an email sign-up list available

    Lastly, don’t forget to have fun conversing with your customers!

    Pop-ups are one of my favorite ways of getting blooms into our local customers’ hands! Our die-hard customers come out and support us at every sale, no matter when and where. It is incredible! Flower pop-ups are a great way to get your face and flowers in front of your community; their smiles are truly spirit-lifting. 

    Capitalizing on products that may otherwise go to the compost or generating cash flow in our off-season through the ease of a pop-up has helped our business grow. Pop-ups are an incredibly viable option for any flower farming business model, and I’m sure you will have a blast with them too!

    Written by: Jessica Chase, Sierra Flower Farm, Photography by: Graham Chase, Sierra Flower Farm