Pioneer Blog

Tom Is Thinking Wedding Season

Amanda Thomas - Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Wedding season is upon us! We hope you enjoy these tips from Tom Bowling, AIFD, PFCI.

Tour Our Spring/Summer 2018 Showroom!

Amanda Thomas - Thursday, April 05, 2018

Spring is in full swing at Pioneer Imports & Wholesale! Come see our Spring & Summer 2018 Showroom for yourself or take a virtual tour below. Our showroom is located at 500 W. Bagley Rd., Berea, Ohio 44017 and our hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We'd love to see you!



Please note: Vendor’s license in a related trade is required.

Video: Bridal Show Success: Adding Accents

Amanda Thomas - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Video Summary written for Pioneer Imports & Wholesale by: Lisa B.


In this video, Sue Huelsman AIFD reminds viewers to keep a diverse stock of accent pieces to complete your bridal show table. These pieces will later serve as useful add-ons for potential customers, but at bridal shows they work to instantly elevate the sophistication of any table and help to draw more attention toward everything you have to offer. 

Sue suggests investing in small eye-catching accent pieces like votives and other candle pieces, useful items like napkins and napkin rings, and more. 

Having the right accessories on hand is especially important when it comes to bouquets. Sue recommends bringing multiple bouquet styles and a couple of different stands. You can show your bouquets in basic cylinders or decorative vases. Sue also demonstrates how to use the purpose-made stands from Pioneer that look great on any table.


Take some time to browse the Pioneer Imports & Wholesale website to find a wide variety of accessories like vases, bouquet stands, stylish votives, and of course, plenty of wholesale silk flowers and foliage to complete your bridal show table.


Shop products from the video:

#PWR2090CHK – Cabbage Rose Bush, Chalk
#FFR004CR – Rose Pomander with Rhinestones
#22-3407-810 – Lace Table Runner
#960528SLV – Striped Glass Votive
#850338SLV – Bubbles Glass Votive


Watch the video here!


Video: Bridal Show Success: Show the Wow

Amanda Thomas - Monday, February 05, 2018

Video Summary written for Pioneer Imports & Wholesale by: Lisa B.


Make a big impression throughout the bridal show season with this quick table set up walkthrough from Sue Huelsman AIFD. In this video, Sue explains how using strong standout pieces is a simple and effective way to draw more attention to your display.


Sue suggests adding a few fun and interesting key pieces to your standard display rotation. Start with something that immediately catches the eye, something that can serve as a memorable centerpiece of sorts. 


While this item might be a little more expensive, you’ll only need to buy one piece. When you show it to your brides, you’ll be able to get a better idea of whether it’s something you’ll want to spend your money on in the future. Bridal shows are a great test case to determine whether it would be worthwhile to invest in larger quantities as you move forward throughout the year. 


As an example, Sue points out a beautiful crystal cake stand. Elegant cake stands are a fantastic choice because you can use them in a variety of ways – not just as a cake stand but also as an integral part of all your floral displays. 


Sue also gives advice on creating a cohesive display around your key pieces. Sue suggests that decorative containers have variation in terms of height and depth, allowing each one to capture the attention it deserves. As always, consider setting your floral palette with neutral tones so it can serve as a base for any colors that a bride might want to add in later.  


Are you looking for a standout accessory to capture attention at your next bridal show booth? Explore the Pioneer Imports & Wholesale website to find the cake stands and vases shown in this video – along with a wide range of other accessories that can take your bridal show display booth to the next level.  


Shop products from the video:

Video: Bridal Show Success: Bouquets

Amanda Thomas - Friday, February 02, 2018

Video Summary written for Pioneer Imports & Wholesale by: Lisa B.


Building bouquet examples is a fantastic way to interact with potential customers during a bridal show. In this video, Sue Huelsman AIFD demonstrates how to build a bouquet on the spot while keeping conversation centered around your offerings.


Sue begins by suggesting helpful pieces to bring so you can show customers how you can create a bouquet for their specific preferences. Pioneer offers a wide selection of wholesale silk flowers like hydrangeas, roses, calla lilies, and a range of brand new pieces you’ll want to see and bring with you.


As you’re interacting with your customers, Sue suggests showing off these pieces, even explaining which types of flowers you’re using since your customers may not be familiar with the styles. Do this as you begin to build the bouquet – add in the complements like roses or lilies, especially focusing on the specific color accents the customer may want. This gives you a way to show how you’re going to make the bouquets personal just for them. 


Sue suggests topics of conversation to use as you work, like the size of the bouquet and the shapes of the bouquet or centerpieces. This allows you to advertise your various offerings all while you’re creating something unique just for that customer. 


As Sue wraps up the video, she notes that your customers are going to be amazed that you have the bouquet finished in just the small amount of time you were talking to them. After just a couple of minutes you have something you can tie off and present as a striking example of a gorgeous custom bouquet tailored to the preferences they shared. 


Don’t forget to browse through the Pioneer Imports and Wholesale website for ideas and inspiration – Pioneer offers a wide range of silk flowers, foliage, and accessories to make your next bridal show a tremendous success.  


Shop products from the video:

#PWH2077CHK – Hydrangea Stem, Chalk

#30399CR – Ashley Rose Bouquet, Cream

#PWC0108WH – Calla Lily Stem, White


Watch the video here!



Video: Centerpieces - The Center of Attention

Sarah Botchick - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Video Summary written for Pioneer Imports & Wholesale by: Lisa B


Because potential customers are likely going to be interested in seeing different centerpiece styles across various price points, it’s important to underscore the true versatility of your offerings. In this video, Sue Huelsman AIFD walks through the process of putting together a table that demonstrates a wide variety of centerpiece options all in one cohesive display.


Sue begins by discussing the flexibility of a classic candelabra. A candelabra can easily display arrangements on top or arrangements on the arms. Of course, it can also be used for its traditional purpose of holding candles as well.


Next, Sue explores the matter of table composition. Placing fresh or silk flower arrangements in a medium sized urn can add eye-catching height to the display, bringing it off the table. Low centerpieces help strike a sense of balance – as customers look in to view the arrangement, it shows what they’re going to see as they’re sitting at a table.


Smaller containers are great candidates for mixing and matching to create an engaging and varied tablescape. You can use these smaller vessels to hold handtied silks, showing your bouquet skills and beautiful arrangements at the same time.


Pioneer Imports and Wholesale offers a wide range of vases, containers, and accessories like those shown in this video. Pioneer is also a premier source of wholesale silk flowers and foliage in a variety of on-trend colorways – perfect for centerpieces. Explore the Pioneer website to see how you can take your bridal show centerpiece displays to the next level. 

Shop products from video: 

#PWC0106WH – Calla Lily Stem

#PWH2097CHK – Extra Large Hydrangea Stem in Chalk

#35938 – Aluminum Pedestal Vase 


Watch the complete video:


Bridal Show Success: Setting up a show stopping booth!

Sarah Botchick - Thursday, January 04, 2018

Video Summary written for Pioneer by Lisa B.


In this video, Sue Huelsman AIFD demonstrates how to set up an effective bridal show table that encourages interaction and admiration. 

Sue begins by noting the importance of keeping the table clean and organized. Tailor your selections carefully to avoid overcrowding, allowing outstanding and unique elements to capture attention while still retaining a full and coordinated look that draws the eye.
Create an overarching theme by beginning with a neutral palette – the cream, blush, or peach. Then add in eye-catching pops of color as the brides request them. 

Moving on to metals, Sue notes that mixed metals like gold and silver remain versatile choices. But on-trend options like rose gold and copper are growing in popularity, so it might make sense to show those variations as well.

Sue also gives advice about customer interaction. As customers come up and you begin to talk to them, there’s no reason to stay behind the table. Come around the table, foster communication, and actually show each customer what you have to offer. 

Pioneer Imports and Wholesale offers a wide range of supplies that can take your upcoming bridal show displays to the next level. From gorgeous mainstays like vases, pedestals, trays, and stands, to detailed silk flowers and foliage in a variety of colors, it’s easy to make a strong impression with selections from the Pioneer catalog.  


Watch the Video!

Shop featured products: 
#PWR2090CHK – Cabbage Rose Bush in Chalk
#PWC0106WH – Calla Lily Stem
#PWC0108WH – Calla Lily Stem
#FPCY4803 – Kristi Louise Cake Stand
#35938 – Aluminum Pedestal Vase
#850022SLV – Classic Flute Urn
#94300-40 – Chic Vase Set in Gold
#AV39596 – Aluminum Pedestal Tray
#AV39599 – Aluminum Pedestal Tray
#PWW2330WH – Hanging Wisteria Spray
#PWH2097CHK – Extra Large Hydrangea Stem in Chalk 


7 Tips for Bridal Show Success

Courtney May - Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The season for bridal shows has arrived!  
Now is your time to make an impression on a large group of people in a compact time and space.  


1 – Signage, Signage, Signage 
Make sure anything and every thing in your space has your 
“BRAND” on it.


2 – Keep things neutral with pops of “the trends”
But no more than 3 looks in an average size booth.  Don’t put so much out there that brides get confused because they can’t see.  Remember most people don’t have the ability to look at something 
and see something else.


3 – Keep it relaxed 
 This will help attendees feel free to ask questions of you, but not like they are being “watched”.  Have multiple sets of look books for them 
(in case you are busy with another client).


4 – Focus on your best features 
If you are amazing at bouquets – then showcase that.  Maybe it’s your unique corsages and boutonnieres, or maybe even your rental items.  Pick your best and do it exceptionally.


5 – All items in your booth should have a PRICE RANGE 
Do not limit yourself to a specific price but show them the 
possibilities.  This also helps open a dialog with both the bride and 
her “money person”.


6 – Have something to give.  
If you are able to financially, have products like bottles of water etc.  If you want to try a more economical method, print out your list of this year’s trends, or a checklist for them to use (any kind of form that they will keep and use).  Make sure it has your BRAND on it 
everywhere it can. 
 
7 – Relax and enjoy 
The day is usually long but it can be a great way to touch your brides directly.  Stay out in front of your table/booth.  Keep those chairs in the back but only use them to actually take a break.  If you have to leave your booth (which we all have had to do) make sure you have a sign saying you will be right back and have contact forms handy in case the brides can’t wait.  Keep the form simple and attach to a giveaway to prompt them to actually use it.  


 Hoping this year shows bring lots of prospective
 clients to all!

This post is courtesy of Sue Huelsman AIFD 

Watch the Video Playlist!

Video: Wedding Merchandising Tip

Courtney May - Wednesday, May 04, 2016

In this video, Vonda LaFever AIFD, CFD, PFCI gives some great tips on merchandising for weddings in your flower shop! 



Products used in this video: 
-Assorted silk bouquets - show samples of your work! 

With rustic weddings still being very popular, the reclaimed wood look tables and decor pieces are perfect for a wedding display in your shop.  They can also be used as rental pieces for weddings - a great way to make some extra profit!  

Take the largest decor piece and screw it on to the table so that it is standing upright.  This set-up is truly eye-catching and will make it clear to your customers that weddings are an important part of your business.

You will want to have some silk bouquets made up to fill your display.  Try to choose colors and flowers that you have noticed are trendy in your area and will really catch the attention of the bride.  Then you can take wire and wrap it around some of the bouquets and secure it to the standing wood decor piece.  Take some of your other bouquets and lay them on the wood tables below.  Your customers will love being to able to pick up and play with these bouquets, getting a good sampling of your work.  

Vonda suggests displaying a couple different color palettes, maybe one that is soft and light and one that is darker and richer.  This will help show your diversity and appeal to brides with different wedding styles and seasons.  It would also be a good idea to include one neutral bouquet, in a cream or white, to appeal to the traditional bride who wants to carry a white bouquet.  

In addition to using these wood decor pieces for display, Vonda suggests a great rental idea.  Some of the smaller decor pieces in the set would work beautifully as a table runner on the head table, cake table, or any other at a wedding.  Don't forget to suggests creative ideas like this to your brides and create opportunities to make additional profit on these beautiful pieces you already have in your store.  

The "Friday Reveal" Saves the Day! By Jenny Wehr

Sarah Botchick - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The "Friday Reveal" Saves the Day! By Jenny Wehr


Weddings are tricky and not always a slam dunk.  I have been trying  to "please" every bride, every time, for many years. 99% of the time I succeed.  However there is an occasional miss communication of style and "vision". This weekend was one of those times. Let me share my experience in hopes that you can learn from my experience!


I have found it a comfort of my heart to text a photo of the bride's bouquet to her the day prior to her wedding, what some might call the “Friday Reveal.” I hope that she will tell me she loves it. But if not, I have time to fix whatever she is unhappy with so that she can have the bouquet of her dreams.


This particular wedding was a fresh wild flower wedding. The family wanted to save some money, so they choose a variety of wild flowers to insert into their own vases assembling the vases themselves. I designed and created the bridesmaids’ bouquets, the mothers’ corsages and the grandmothers’ corsages using Fitz Design corsage bracelets. 

The brides' bouquet was a variety of brooches, bracelets, strands of beads, pearls, trinkets, earrings, pendants and buttons.  The bride’s grandmother shared her veil and headpiece with me to take apart and use all that I could in the bride’s bouquet. In the below photo you can see the pearl braid around the handle that was the headpiece's base.



I crafted the first bride’s bouquet Friday afternoon. It was labor intensive as each piece is wired. I put the flowers together with the trinkets in a wild flower form to compliment the bridesmaid bouquets and centerpieces.  I taped and gathered the bouquet and was pleased with how the artificial flowers added to the design. It made the bride’s bouquet go perfectly with the bridesmaid bouquets and the centerpieces. After a long hard day, at 9 pm I happily sent her the photo. 



While driving home from the shop, I received her response text, asking me to make it more like a ball and less wild flower looking.  


I was shocked – how could I have misunderstood her feelings? But thankfully the Friday Reveal saved the day and allowed me the opportunity to adjust the bouquet and make my bride happy!


Unfortunately I had no Bouquet Armature available (editor’s note – always have a bouquet armature on hand for emergency situations!) So, as us florists do so often, I improvised using the largest bouquet holder I could find. Then I cut a 6" Styrofoam ball and hollowed it out to fit snugly over the bouquet holder. I adhered it with floral adhesive. Next I covered the base of the ball with several strands of pearls and bead. Milton Adler silver accent leaves filled in the exposed foam ball. I hair-pinned things in place using Oasis brand FLORAL ADHESIVE.  


The completed bouquet was made with 8 artificial lavender roses, 3 dusty mauve roses, 38 silver leaves,  4 strands of random pearls and beads,  8 jeweled butterfly accents,  16 brooches, 4 earrings, and a Monogram H Bouquet Jewel by Fitz Design.




Since the family provided the products,  I simply charged for my time. I charge 25.00 an hour for hand work such as this in addition to my base price of 75.00 for all bridal bouquets.  Because of my misunderstanding I did not charge any additional fees for "redoing".  I find that customer satisfaction is so much more important than a few hours of my time.


I hope my story of how the Friday Reveal saved the day will someday save the day for you!


Jenny Wehr is our Wedding Specialist blogger and she owns The Willows by Wehr in Columbiana, OH.