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Designer Spotlight – Jennifer – What’s the Deal with 50% Off Friday?

Posted on by BelleFiori

Written by: Jennifer Nolan – Designer and Expert hand-tied Bouquet Artist

It’s Friday at the flower shop and the mood is upbeat. There is a rack of colorful hand­tied bouquets by the front counter, the bell above the front door jingles to announce yet another customer and our staff runs to and fro with armloads of fresh cut flowers. Is it a holiday? No, it’s 50% off Friday, a holiday of sorts that happens every week at Belle Fiori!

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This is the day where you can pick up any of our fresh cut loose flowers and expertly designed hand tied bouquets for half off the regular price! It is also a chance for us to catch up with some of our favorite customers who come in every Friday, like the gentleman who wants extra lilies in his bouquet, or the young man who is happy to get a romantic hand­tied posy and can still afford a bottle of wine to go with it.

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Friday flowers began over a decade ago when the original owner, Ken, noticed that flower sales were down in the summer due to people buying them on Saturday at the local farmers market. To entice people to purchase their flowers from Belle Fiori on Fridays, he created the 50% deal. Current owner, Emily Neubauer, has kept the tradition in place and it is now one of the most popular features at the shop.

Enjoy coming up with your own creations? Simply pick out your own loose stems to take home or ask to have them arranged with greens into a beautiful hand­tied bouquet, ready to put into your own vase. This is a great service and only costs an additional $3. Our team can also assist you in picking out the prettiest blooms and are happy to advise you on the best flowers for your occasion.

Here are a few guidelines and FAQ to help make your Friday Flower experience even better:

Do you have 50% off every Friday?

We do, with the exception of the 2 weeks before Valentine’s Day and 2 weeks before Mother’s Day.

Are you trying to get rid of old flowers? Not at all. We get flowers in every day of the week and check our stock regularly to make sure everything is looking good!

After you put together my hand tied bouquet, can’t you just put it in a vase for me?

The 50% only applies to in store purchases of loose stems and hand­tied bouquets. We are more than happy to help you select a beautiful vase to purchase and take home. All you need to do is add the flower food provided to some water, cut your stems to fit and voila! A gorgeous vase full of fresh flowers at a fraction of the cost!

We can also provide a foam “water pack” for an additional dollar if your bouquet will be out of water more than an hour or two.

How do I take care of my flowers once I get them home? 

Change your water and give your stems a fresh cut every few days. Depending on the type of flower and the temperature of your home, flowers can drink up their water pretty quickly.

Anything else I should know?  

Getting to the shop early gives you the best selection. We are open 8 am to 6 pm on Fridays and are ready to assist you. If you can’t make it until after work, just give us a call and pre­order. We can have a beautiful bouquet waiting for you when you arrive!

We really do enjoy helping you to select the very best blooms for special events, your loved ones, or just for yourself. Come on by this Friday and see why it is the happiest day of the week at Belle Fiori.

Holiday Planning – Administrative Professionals Week

Posted on by BelleFiori

Did you know Administrative Professionals Week is coming up? This year’s official Administrative Professionals Day is April 22nd and Belle Fiori wants to remind those in the Milwaukee area looking for gifts that our shop has plenty of options.

Beginning during WWII, the National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development, and to help attract people to administrative careers in the field. As time went on, the National Secretaries Association grew to become the International Association of Administrative Professionals, evolving to keep pace with the growing economy and administrative roles. Officially named Administrative Professionals week in 2000, this day is becoming more widely recognized by businesses across the United States.

Administrative Professionals Day is just one of many reasons to gift a fun floral arrangement or item from Belle Fiori. Some of our increasingly popular gifted options include succulents and air plants. They’re the perfect way to brighten up any space, and super easy to maintain.

Check out some tips on maintaining air plants below, and make sure to stop into our Milwaukee area shop to pick up your selection later on this month!

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How to Care for your Air Plant

Air Plants, also known as Tillandsia, are quite a unique option  for your home, and can be some of the easiest to grow compared to other houseplants. Air plants use tiny vessels located throughout their leaves, also known as trichomes, to capture nutrients and mositure from the air and into their environment. Air plants use their roots to anchor themselves to an object which allows them to grow anywhere! The flexibility of air plants to be grown in a variety of different locations has lead to their increased popularity for decoration of the home or office.

Light: Airplants will grow properly in bright, indirect light. Most airplants do not like direct sunlight all day so this should be avoided during the summer months.

Watering: To water your airplant, simply remove them from their decorative container and soak in a room temperature water bath once a week for 30 – 45 minutes. It is best to soak your airplant in the morning. Completely immerse the air plant in the water and let sit. Once the 30-45 minute bath is up, remove the airplant, place on a towel, and let it sit to dry fully- this should take about 2-3 hours. Once your airplant is dry, you may place it back in its decorative container.

Other care: Browning tips is most likely a sign of under watering. You may remove the tips with a small clippers or by pinching them off, and then increase the amount of  time you soak your air plant.  Any shriveling leaves around the base of your airplant can easily be pinched off as well- this is a natural part of the life cycle and will not harm the airplant.

Blooming: Your airplant may develop a beautiful bloom in its lifetime. If a bloom appears, continue the watering schedule as usual, but take care not to soak the bloom. When the bloom wilts, you may clip it off.

Enjoy!

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Belle Fiori Special Feature – Mint & Lovely Floral Workshop

Posted on by BelleFiori

Belle Fiori is excited to announce a fun floral workshop!

Pop of Spring: A Floral Workshop

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For years, many of our customers have inquired as to whether or not we offer classes, and with a clown-sized frowny face we have unfortunately had to say “no”, because we haven’t had the space nor the staff in order to accommodate the idea. That is why we are beyond thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Mint & Lovely Event Studio and Hot Pop Gallery for our first ever Spring Floral design class!!!

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 is going to be an amazing day to connect with community vendors and locals who are interested in floral design! Emily Neubauer, owner of Belle Fiori and leader in the Milwaukee floral industry will be teaching you the tricks of the trade, while Haley and Emilee of Mint & Lovely, curate a fantastic array of foods, goodies and surprise gifts! Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know your local Milwaukee florists and help welcome Spring!

Get all of the details, round up your friends, and sign up here:

http://www.mintandlovely.com/popofspring/

 

Holiday Planning: Easter

Posted on by BelleFiori

Can you believe this weekend is Easter?! This week’s warmer temperatures are finally feeling like spring, which makes us even more excited! Plus, holidays are just another reason for us to design custom floral arrangements and bouquets, so the celebration is always welcome!

Take a look at some of Belle Fiori’s Easter inspired centerpieces. We love creating florals our Southeastern Wisconsin clients can enjoy with friends and family. We’re also thrilled at how often we receive feedback about the ‘impressive’ designs.

If you’re looking for an arrangement this Easter, give our Milwaukee area shop a call at 414-272-2234!

Also, check out some fun facts about Easter flowers below!

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Easter Flowers

Lily

popular symbol of the Easter festival, the white lily is held as the traditional Easter Flower and represents love and hope. The single flower stem originating from a bulb represents the resurrection of Christ three days after his apparent death by crucifixion. Legend has it that white lilies were grown at the place where drops of blood fell from Jesus Christ’s body. Some Catholic nations regard white lilies as the symbol of the purity and divinity of Jesus Christ and dedicate them to his mother, Virgin Mary. This is the reason why churches are decorated with white lilies during Easter.

Gifting white lilies to someone during this time indicates that you are very happy to be acquainted with the recipient. Giving yellow lilies to a person represents your request or advice to him/her to “live for the moment”.

Daisy

The lovely daisies, much like white lilies, have a special significance for Easter celebrations. The sweet-smelling daisies symbolize purity and placidness – two qualities highlighted by the spirit of the occasion.

Azalea

A beautiful spring flower, the azalea is famous for its elegant color and appearance and forms a symbol of different emotions like temperance and passion. Gifting it to someone on Easter indicates you want the recipient to take good care of himself/herself for your sake.

Daffodil

The daffodil is regarded as one of the most popular Easter flowers and has a romantic connection. Gifting a bunch of daffodils mean you hold that person as the only true love in your life and regard him/her highly. It can also indicate your unrequited love for that person. In another way it can simply indicate your respect for the person and that you feel very happy to be with him/her.

Chrysanthemum

Generally, all flowers of this variety are said to be the symbols of cheerfulness except the yellow one which represents slighted love. The chrysanthemum as an Easter gift indicates that the recipient is precious for you and you wish him/her greater happiness in life. A white chrysanthemum represents truthfulness.

Tulips

The beautiful tulip flower is considered to be a messenger of passion and love. A favorite Easter flower for lovers, it is used to convey the feelings of the heart to a special someone. While the red tulip proclaims “I Love You”, tulips of any color mean “Our Love Is Perfect”. A varicolored assortment of tulips, generally given to a female lover, means “Your eyes are beautiful”. Giving a yellow tulip to someone means you are “hopelessly in love” with that person.

Hyacinth

Famous for its sweet fragrance, the hyacinth in general stands for “comeliness”. However, different colors of the flower have different implications. A purple hyacinth means “please forgive me” while a white one symbolizes the recipient is lovely or that you will pray for that person; a yellow hyacinth indicates jealousy whereas a pink or red hyacinth says “Let’s play!”

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Belle Fiori Special Feature: Art In Bloom

Posted on by BelleFiori

Happy spring from all of us at Belle Fiori!

One of the most attended Art Museum Events of Milwaukee is almost upon us and this year things will be a bit different due to the construction of the main galleries. “Beauty in Bloom: A Tribute to Fashion and Flowers” will replace the annual floral event “Art in Bloom” and will coincide with the current exhibition titled, Inspiring Beauty: 50 years of Ebony Fashion. This will be a new way for us to stretch our creative limits with a floral arrangement based around 1990’s coordinating cocktail ensemble!

Acclaimed New York designer, Katherine Feiner, will also debut her 2015 spring fashion line, alongside gowns and accessories that local artists and florist will create entirely out of blooms!! We can’t wait to get started on an all fresh floral dress and look forward to seeing what all of the other local talent comes up with too!

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For info about Beauty in Bloom: http://mam.org/bloom/

For Info about the Museum Exhibit: http://mam.org/inspiring-beauty/

Don’t forget to Check us out this year:

Beauty in Bloom Hours – March 26-29th

Beauty in Bloom Admission

And, in case you missed it here are some Belle Fiori’s past year floral submissions to tide you over…

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Belle Fiori Employee Feature: Meet Cecilia

Posted on by BelleFiori

I’m so proud of our exceptional staff at Belle Fiori. Coming to the shop everyday is a joy and a privilege when working side by side such wonderful people. Which is why we were excited to have added to our Milwaukee team this year by bringing on Belle Fiori’s first ever intern! Cecilia has been with us since January and will be sticking around until April when she graduates.

Meet Cecilia!

Name: Cecilia Zea

Nickname: Ceci

Tell us a little bit about your self: I’m from Texas y’all!

Where do you go to school? Tarleton State University

What’s you major? Plant and Soil Science, with an emphasis in Horticulture

What sparked your interest in floral design? My floral design class in High School

When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be? A singer

What is your favorite thing about visiting Milwaukee? Seeing all the snow, this is the first time I’ve seen real snow.

What is your favorite flower? Orchids

If you could have 1 super power, what would it be? Super Strength

What would I find in your refrigerator at home? Ecuadorian food, arroz con lentejas, encebollada and ceviche

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Belle Fiori ‘Style Me Pretty’ Feature!

Posted on by BelleFiori

We’re so excited to be a part of another awesome wedding blog feature! Style Me Pretty, one of our favorite go-to sites for all things bridal, did an excellent feature on Chris and Christina’s elegant Milwaukee wedding. As always, our florists at Belle Fiori are humbled to have worked alongside many of Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest! Many thanks to the happy couple for allowing us to create their bouquets and arrangements!

Click here to view the full Little Black Book blog!

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From m three studioA classically beautiful day in absolutely every way – Christina and Chris had the sort of wedding day you see in movies. Perfect weather, a gorgeous dress, a fun and attentive wedding party, loving families on both sides full of joy, adorable littles running around, lush florals, a dramatic ballroom, and love, love, love everywhere. The perfection of it all can leave you dizzy like a good glass of champagne.

What I love most though are the small touches that they incorporated to make it all so personal – you have to really pay attention to see them. Well, the first one is hard to miss – they made sure their beloved pup got to join in on the fun for their bridal party pictures. Chris’ love for baseball was incorporated into the men’s dressing area (that’s vintage Milwaukee Braves memorabilia on the walls) and the guestbook and favors; baseballs for guests to sign and crackerjacks to take home. Chris’ last name is Beesley and his Mom has a long standing tradition of incorporating bees into her home decor and life moments. Christina intends to continue the tradition and made sure one appeared in their invitations, menu cards, on the guest welcome bags, and also gave each bridesmaid a gold bee charm bracelet. Christina’s mercury glass collection gave each dinner table an eclectic and personal touch. Their stationer got things rolling with a custom illustration of Milwaukee for their invitations.

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Photography: m three studio | Florist: Belle Fiori | Cake: The Cake Lady | Ceremony: St. Paul’s Church | Reception: Milwaukee Athletic Club | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy | Hair & Makeup: Neroli Salon & Spa | Band: North Coast Orchestra | Bride’s Gown: Allure | Men’s Suits: Vera Wang | Stationer: Tillie Designs

Spotlight on Erika Herman-In Case You Missed It!

Posted on by BelleFiori

Last week, Belle Fiori’s own Erika Herman was featured in a Vendor Spotlight for Mint an Lovely Studios. Of course, we’re always proud to call her one of our own, but it’s extra exciting when others appreciate the creativity of our Milwaukee area staff. Congrats to Erika for being recognized, and as always, feel free to stop by our shop if you’re in need of one of her beautiful floral arrangements!

Click here to see the whole Mint and Lovely blog feature!

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How did you start in floral design?

I started my floral career about six years ago at Belle Fiori. I had graduated MIAD with an Interior Architecture degree and was looking for something creative to tide me over until I found a job in my field. The owner, Emily, brought me in as a floral processer/sales associate, but the shop was growing rapidly and I started learning design shortly after. I think my background really helped me to catch on quickly and I totally fell in love with floral arranging! I am now the lead designer for the shop and on the verge of obsession with all things floral. I truly found my calling here! I am so grateful to Emily, for taking a chance on me!

What are some of your favorite blooms to use in arrangements?
Oh man, I have so many! I get really excited about seasonal blooms, especially from our local Wisconsin farmer, Windswept Acres. When they show up the whole shop goes crazy and you can probably hear us squealing with excitement from miles away. They harvest a wide variety of cool oddities like Pitcher Plants, Garlic Scapes, Foxglove, Allium, etc. and I try to incorporate them as much as possible. Aside from that, I find myself trying to put Ornamental Kale in just about everything! In early fall I love using colorful Zinnias and Dahlias. In late winter and spring I love mixing tulips and tropical flowers like Ginger, Birds of Paradise and Cymbidium Orchids. More than anything, I love flowers/botanicals with great texture. I am also very passionate about carnations, which are such an underdog in the floral world. They come in some truly spectacular colors naturally and can be just as romantic as a ruffled Victorian dress!

What are some unique ways couples can incorporate florals into their wedding days besides just bouquets and boutonnieres?
There are so many aspects of the wedding day that could have floral elements, but the small personalized details are what really makes a wedding feel complete. A few of the bride’s favorite flowers in her hair or a floral crown is simple and gorgeous! Flowers for the chairs/pews during ceremony are a lovely way to lead the couple down the aisle and can be repurposed at the reception on cocktail, gift and card tables. A single bloom or stem of greenery/herbs on each plate is a small finishing touch that can make the guests feel extra special! Something really unique that we offer is a large customizable ribbon backdrop rental that can have a variety of floral swags, asymmetrical corner arrangements, or even hand threaded garlands to match the couple’s style and color palette. Use it for the ceremony or even as a photo-booth background! One of my favorite floral embellishments was a “boutonniere” for the collar of a couple’s pup who doubled as their ring bearer! It was so adorable!

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Belle Fiori Florals-Quality Flowers from a Quality Source

Posted on by BelleFiori

Many people ask what the difference is between buying fresh flowers from our store or at their local grocery store. At Belle Fiori we pride ourselves in knowing we only use the very best florist-quality flowers that are professionally designed and hand-delivered to the Milwaukee area. Flowers come to our store world-wide from places such as South America and Holland. 

One of the leading growers we receive flowers from at Belle Fiori is Esmeralda Farms located in various different regions of South America. Esmeralda Farms is committed to delivering the freshest and highest quality fresh cut flowers in the floral industry. They are a market leader in innovation, quality and consistency due to their state-of-the-art production methods and dedicated staff. The diverse growing regions in Central and South America where their farms are located enable them to take advantage of the different climatic conditions and soil compositions. Everyday, Esmeralda is working towards total biological control by using minimal quantities of pesticides in their farms. When chemicals are used excessively, an unattractive residue builds up on the leaf surface, reducing vase life, and can also be harmful to humans and pets. Esmeralda, however, uses 75% less pesticides than an average flower farm and only uses chemicals that are certified and approved for use by the EPA, FLP and Florverde. Esmeralda Farms recieved the International Silver Rose Award as Eco-certified grower of the year for their use of responsible and sustainable horticulture. 

Esmeralda Farms also takes different environmental initiatives through different programs such as Florverde and FlorEcuador. Florverde is an internationally recognized program created by the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters that betters the social and environmental conditions of the Colombian Flower Industry by continuously striving to achieve the highest standards at the farms and for its workers on multiple levels. FlorEcuador is the socio-environmental program of Expoflores, Ecuador’s National Association of Flower Producers and Exporters, which promotes social responsibility, improving work conditions of flower growers, seeks sustainable production with optimal resource and energy management, and increases the use of biological and alternative pesticides. 

We hope the next time you buy flowers, you choose Belle Fiori to ensure you are getting only the best premium fresh-cut flowers!
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Join Us at Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride-March 1st

Posted on by BelleFiori

Attention all you brides and grooms to be! Belle Fiori is gearing up for another of Milwaukee’s highly anticipated bridal shows. On March 1st, our florists, along with several of Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest wedding professionals will be on hand for Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride Wedding Show. Couples will have the opportunity to see the latest in bridal fashion, photography, catering, and much more!

Check out the details below, and by clicking here!

Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride

Sunday, March 1, 2015
11AM to 3PM
The Pfister Hotel
424 East Wisconsin Avenue
7th floor

“Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride Wedding Show has been making wedding dreams come true for eight years!  We would like to thank our wonderful group of wedding artisans and our show partners. They are what makes this show the premiere wedding experience in the state of Wisconsin. Southeastern Wisconsin’s most exclusive wedding artisans will inspire the planning of your special day. Join us for an afternoon of champagne, fabulous food, and the latest trends in wedding design.”

Ticket Price: $25 in advance, $35 at the door, plus tax

This year, you’ll also be able to participate in a bridal brunch with David Caruso of Dynamic Events!

Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride: Save the Date – March 1, 2015 from CAPTIVATE // ONE FINE DAY on Vimeo.

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Join Nationally Award-Winning Wedding Planner and Designer, David Caruso, for a special Wedding Brunch at 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM in The Rouge.  You don’t want to miss David’s dynamic presentation about wedding trends and how to make your wedding uniquely your own.  Seats are limited to this exclusive event so purchase upgraded tickets right away!

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