Jessica of Zimmerman Events

Kelly Perry - 00:01 - You are listening to the Team Flower podcast where we talk about flowers with the people who've dedicated their lives to sharing them with the world. We believe that your work with flowers matters and we're cheering each of you on. Hi, my name's Kelly, and today we're talking with Jessica Zimmermanan of Zimmerman Events. Jessica is passionate about creating events that reflect a unique connection between the beauty of natural elements in the personal ingredients each client brings to the mix. She's known for her organic and unrestrained style, capturing raw elegance in all her designs. She likes to view her events through the lens of the camera because that is what allows her clients to chronicle these short live moments forever. In this episode, we're taking a broad sweep across everything related to event day. 

Kelly Perry - 00:46 - Jessica, sharing some real life stories about close calls and practices and adaptability, and we're talking about our favorite things in our event day toolkits from how to charge to set up planning ahead, setting expectations, or chatting about all of that. In this episode of the Team Flower podcast, this podcast is brought to you by team flower and online support community dedicated to educating, connecting and empowering flower lovers worldwide. We provide online courses in person events and free weekly resources like this podcast designed to support you in your journey with flowers, whether you're a professional thinking about getting started, flower farmer, love flowers. There's a place for you here. You are welcome. Come join the party at 

Jessica Zimmerman - 01:33 - So Jessica Zimmermanan and I live in a small town in Arkansas. And basically I just always wanted to own my own business. I just knew that one day I would want to have kids and, and would want to kind of have that control over um picking them up from school or go into their dance recital or their soccer game and the only way I could think of how to do that was to own my own business. And I don't love being told what to do. So I think that was probably part of it. And flowers kind of found me to be honest. I got a degree in communication, um, at the University of Arkansas and then I started working in managing and buying for a kitchen store, which was a local store and had planned on purchasing it and that didn't work out. And then a lady who owned a rental company came to me and offered for me to work for her for a year and then by her rental company. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 02:33 - So I did that and then I had my daughter and I realized that the rental business was not at all falling in line with what I wanted in my life and um, because it just took so much time, it just was so much time and so much work and we were doing a little bit of flowers on the side for some of our customers. And um, I just kind of decided that that's not what I wanted to do. And I got rid of the rentals nest started doing by appointment only just for big, big wedding days are event days. Got rid of my, you know, retail storefront. Now I just have a, you know, a, a, a at 3000 square foot space that's like kind of tucked behind the front of my building. I now read the Fred the retail space out to, to someone else and I kept the back and now I just kind of meet people back here and, and do that. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 03:28 - And then I started really learning after losing a lot of money, um, how to do this thing, you know, and I invested in a lot of education and now that I do, I still do weddings I have for that I'm doing in 2018 that are, you know, all six figure weddings. They're really great. And so we were able to meet our sales goal with those alone. So I'm kind of, it's kind of finally kind of everything that I dreamed is kind of finally happening, meaning that, you know, less weekends are being spent working and more time with my family because I now have three kids. I have twin boys that are two and a four year old daughter. And so, and then I teach, um, all of those business. I have a course called the business behind the blooms, um, and I released it last year, did really well, and it's not about the design aspect at all. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 04:24 - I feel like a lot of people know or can learn fairly, you know, the design, but it's the business that I think people struggle with and so that's, that's the part I actually kind of excel at. And so that's now what I'm teaching people because I don't want them to go through what I went through. I don't, I think a lot of people, if they were in that position might, you know, might just be like, man, I'm going to give up on this or I'm gonna, you know, whatever. And it doesn't have to be that way. So. 

Kelly Perry - 04:55 - Oh, that is so cool. I'm so happy for you. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 04:55 - Thank you.

Kelly Perry - 05:00 - Yeah, it takes, it takes a while to, um, it takes a while to get a system down that works for you. You know what I mean? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 05:00 - Absolutely, yes.

Kelly Perry - 05:08 - It just takes time. It's. Yes, yes, absolutely. So anyhow, 

Jessica Zimmerman - 05:14 - You have to go through a lot of failures and mishaps and learn from those in order to get what is, what actually works and I think that I did that for a long, long time, just mistake after mistake after mistake and so, and I'm just one of those people who I'm not scared to share those mistakes because I just think that that's how we learn. And so yeah, 

Kelly Perry - 05:36 - absolutely. Well, let's talk a little bit about what event day setup looks like for you. Um, and I, I feel like especially whenever you're kind of brand new to flowers, it's difficult to know like, oh, how much time should I, a lot for that. And then even to like moving from a smaller to moderately size weddings and you're doing very large wedding. So for our audience listening, just kind of keeping that in mind too, um, how, how that day looks like and maybe even how it's changed for you as your business has grown and changed. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 06:15 - Sure. At the very beginning we did a lot of smaller weddings and we weren't prepared. I thought I was prepared, but we weren't. I mean, we would, I would say, oh, we can do that in an hour and it would end up taking us two and a half or we could, you know, it just always. Things always took longer than I expected them to. I always felt rushed. I was always leaving the venue feeling like I hadn't made any money and I was where I think a lot of people are, which is you, your name is on it and so you want it to be amazing and you want everyone to love it so you're spending more or your maybe not charging as much for delivery and setup as you should be. And I just lost a lot of money during, during those years, just doing it all wrong. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 07:06 - And finally, like I said, after I had my daughter and I kind of realized this isn't a hobby anymore, this isn't a game you, you, you've got actually do this thing and do it well. And I figured out the way to do delivery and set up was to really start the day of Monday, the day at the first day of the week of the wedding. And you really kind of almost have to start calculating it that way with how you're going to charge and everything. And it was taking a long time for me to figure that process out. And finally I just made a form. I spent two hours and I just made a form. So now it's very easy for us to calculate our setup and delivery and I think what we try to really do is from the very beginning when we meet with the client and we give them that proposal the first time, we also are giving them, you know, a general setup and delivery proposal and that really does have to be calculated a custom every time very specifically because even different, they're all different. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 08:10 - And I think even if you're doing this like two weddings back to back at the same venue, there's still going to be different. One might have an arch installation and one might not, you know, one might have a wedding party of 12 people and one might have a wedding party of three people. And you really eat. I used to calculate setup and delivery by percentage and I've just realized I could not do that anymore. So I think by really kind of starting at the very beginning and before you're into it, and I think this is what's really important is a lot of people kind of wait until it's a couple weeks out and then they start thinking about it, where we really start thinking at it at the very, very beginning before, like it's part of our process. We'll say this is how long it's gonna take us for us to do this. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 09:00 - It doesn't matter how beautiful this design is and how much you love it. Uh, it doesn't mean anything if we can't execute it. And the other day my husband, he flips houses for a living and I said, hey, isn't the house supposed to be done this Friday? And he goes, you know, we're actually, we're pushing it back two weeks because seven percent. Then I was like, that must be nice. What a luxury. I was like, we don't have that luxury. We have to get it done. You know, on their getting married on that day. At that time, and so I think from the very beginning really stressing how important that is and saying to them, listen, because I get asked this a lot, how can you charge so much for setup and delivery? And I'm not, I just charged what I think is really fair and I think that it's just a conversation that you have to really have with your clients and be really honest and say, listen, this is a luxury. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 09:58 - This is like going to a resort and getting Butler service. You can pay for it or you don't have to, but if you want to, you know, zip your daughter's wedding, dress up and sip champagne with her and be present in that moment and not have to worry about all these details and this is what this costs. And I think that they really understand that and they appreciate the honesty and the candor. Um, you know, so our clients go with it. But like I said, we do start at the very beginning and we show them. We really kind of atomized out setup and delivery because it isn't expensive charge and I want them to see where that's going. So we really say, you know, we've got eight people that are going to be working for five days straight. That's this many meals. We've got three u halls that are gonna be going to this location, a back and forth on three different days and that's how much is how many miles each of those is going and when you really break down, listen, when it comes to the design of the wedding and the flowers and all of that. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 11:00 - I'm really vague but when it comes to set up and delivery and incredibly detailed because I want them to know exactly why it costs what it costs and like I said, it created that spreadsheet which makes it so much easier for us to calculate it. We can now calculate it in two minutes, what we need to charge for a specific setup and delivery, but I think it's really just about starting at the very beginning and then realizing if things change, how is that going to change the set of and delivery and getting people your outsourced help in line from the very beginning. So you're not stressing about that two weeks before the wedding. It really is just about planning ahead. 

Kelly Perry - 11:41 - Yeah. Yeah. That's really good. So whenever you're thinking through how much time you want a lot for different projects, is it just something based on past experience or do you feel like Ann Arbor, a minimum of this and a maximum of that or how are you sort of, you know, inputting that information into your calculations? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 12:02 - Sure. So I always, if I think it's going to take two hours, I will allot three yes in the day. I've always. And, and because, I mean, even to this day, we did a wedding on at last week at Alys Beach, which was so fun, but I was even, even on that day, I said, oh, this is only going to take me an hour to do that. And of course it took me two hours and I was running late. It always, always takes longer than we think it will. And so I think really just being honest about that, I would rather have three hours leftover and have everything done than to be running out of the venue in the couple is reading in, which has happened to me before. You know, I think, I think part of it is it's our job as wedding planners or floral designers to execute this thing and for our clients not to feel any of that stress. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 13:02 - I take that very seriously. And one time I was doing a wedding and it was here in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Clinton Library and I had not done a wedding there before and I just figured like every wedding that you do anywhere else, you just walk in. And every single thing that we brought, we had three u halls full had to go through security. 

Kelly Perry - 13:24 - Oh my gosh. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 13:25 - I had to go through two different elevators to get to the actual space that the wedding was being held. And so we didn't actually get to start working until two and a half hours later than we had originally thought. And the same thing with taking everything you know, out and getting it cleaned up. It was just a way longer process than I ever expected. So I think that was the wedding that we had scheduled to be gone by 4:00 and we, it was the reception started at eight and we were walking out as the couple was walking in and I have never been so stressed ever.

Kelly Perry - 13:25 - Yeah. I'm so sorry. I can feel it in my gut. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 14:12 - Yes. That was it years ago. We learned from that. And now, no matter what, I can give you one other example if you want one, but no matter what, if it's a new venue or a venue, we've gone to 100 times, it's our responsibility to call them or to go there and say anything different. Um, you know, and what's the process of loading or unloading. We had a venue that we've done several times and it's an outdoor venue. It's beautiful and we've done a, an arch with Birchwood and Arbor there plenty of times where we just, you know, nail it directly into the ground. And we got there and they had built a stage like wooden deck stage and we were just like, what in the world, what do we do? You know, we, we don't. The way that this arches is not designed to, it's designed to go into the ground. And so again, just really having to be honest and say, well, how can we fix this? And we ended up, the owners were amazing and they let us drill holes through their deck. But that is, that is something where I almost, that was the first time that I ever thought, we may not pull this off, you know, so yeah. 

Kelly Perry - 15:24 - Yeah. Well, and I love that. I mean, it is, it's something that, um, encouragement to call and just touch base beforehand I feel like is such valuable information and especially on the kind of scale for every minute that like tick talks on your clock that's multiplied by the small army of people that you have helping you. So it's just really, um, I love that. And something to I took, I forget, um, I don't know if it was some kind of just like crazy quiz online or something, but it was like, in what ways are you optimistic? And one of the ways that I think that we share in common that we now also share in common the reverse of this is the optimism with time. And yeah, because there's a lot of different ways you can be optimistic. And that was, uh, that was one of my ways and I just, for the law for the longest time really ever since I can remember, it was always just like, oh, that'll be like so quick, Blah Blah, you know, and you do, you get yourself into situations that can be really uncomfortable. 

Kelly Perry - 16:24 - And so anytime there's any sort of estimate going on, I really encouraged something very similar in terms, especially with the number of people that you feel like you will need. Um, like in my big picture budget breakouts and stuff like that. Like I'm always like, okay, let me just double however long I think this should take for someone else to do. Let me now just double it. So, um, I feel like that's a really important part of getting those set up in delivery numbers where they need to be in terms of, of target because yeah, you've got new people coming on or you know, you just got to plan for sort of that big picture average of everybody's skills sort of melding and what that looks like. And um, yeah, I think that's really important part 

Kelly Perry - 17:14 - Financial support for the production of this podcast is brought to you by team flowers, business foundations, and online class. It's designed for anyone looking to start or streamline a wedding florals business and this comprehensive course we'll discuss getting started, drafting contracts, estimates in proposed healthy client florists, processes. We'll also cover business plans and income projections, sourcing supplies, building a portfolio, and so much more. If you're just starting out, this course will equip you to start your dream business on solid footing instead of doing hours of guesswork and making all of the common mistakes, or maybe you're already pursuing your dream, but you're feeling a little flustered on this business side. This class is for you to guide you through getting your products and policies in place so you can focus on your customers and doing what you do best, creating beautiful designs for them

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Kelly Perry - 18:22 - Well, I'm so adaptability. We talked about this just a little bit with your arbor setup and needing to do kind of a last minute switch in there. Have there been other times or stories where you feel like, oh man, that was a moment I really needed to be adaptable. Like guide us through, like if we happen to find ourselves in a situation like that, um, what would be like, okay, this is the mindset you need to have. This is the mindset that's really important to like get yourself through it and here's some practical things you could do to overcome it. Like, you know, talk to this person or do that, you know, whatever. Like what do you feel like is a good tool if you find yourself in a situation that's kind of panicky? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 19:00 - Absolutely. I think it starts at the beginning and and really having an honest conversation with your client and I try from the very beginning to let them know, and I reiterate this at every meeting that we have that my goal is for this to be the most beautiful wedding for them and exactly what they want, but they also need to trust me. We can draw this out on paper all day long, but when we're in the space with the flowers and with the linens and everything, they need to trust me that I may have to make some changes or or something for it to actually look better. So if, if we said this happened two weeks ago, we had a wedding three weeks ago and it was a very large scale wedding and we had planned this entire cocktail hour to be outside and I just realized it's too cold. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 19:52 - It's just too cold. We didn't expect in April in Arkansas that it would be this cold, but it was and I always to try to explain to my clients, this is about the experience of your guests. How do we want your guests to feel and if your guests are going to feel cold and you know, they may be probably didn't bring jackets or whatever, they're going to either leave early or they're going to remember how cold they were or whatever. And so they have to trust me that I'm going to make the right call and I made the call to move it inside. And if you're having to constantly go to your client and get something approved, I don't want to be talking to them on their wedding day and telling them, hey, this isn't working, we're going to change this. I need them to just trust me with it, you know? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 20:39 - And so I think by really kind of setting that standard with them at the beginning, it does help me to know that I have that freedom and it helps me to know that I'm not having to go and like get these things approved, that they trust that I'm doing the best thing for, for their wedding, for their guests to have a positive experience and, and all of those things. So there was that and that was at the same wedding. We had done an incredible hanging installation. I was so proud of it. We were, it was over the dance floor and then we were going to have a second installation over the head table. And when I looked at the main installation I thought, I don't want to do the second one because it's going to take away from this. It's gonna. It's not gonna mean anything. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 21:25 - It's not going to be special. It's the moments already got that already happened with this main installation. And so we took the money and those flowers that were intended for that and we did these two huge earns outside because when I was in new revenue and they didn't have a lot of landscaping yet and everything and I thought it just needs something outside. Once again, I've felt that my clients trusted me to make that decision. So I think A, it starts with that really feeling that trust between you and your client. And then B, I think you really have to have an outlook. And I think if you, if you own a business, you just, you've got to work on this if you don't have it yet, but just this, this attitude of how can we fix it and not a, this is terrible. I think really this happened to me, the flowers that I ordered the peonies or ruined or the something is, you know what I mean? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 22:23 - And just get down about it. You really have to really go, okay, it's cold out here. It's cold and no one wants to stand out here in the cold for an hour. What are we going to do? How are we going to fix it? You really just have to go into to a problem solving mode and you just have to look at it that way. And I genuinely believe someone once told me this, and, and ever since I heard it, I thought that is so true, and I really do genuinely believe this. Now it all works the way it's supposed to work. It all ends up being the way it was meant to be. And if you can trust that and really go, you know what it's called for a reason. We're supposed to move this inside for a reason. Let me just go with that instead of instead of harping on the thought that, oh, for 10 months we had this vision of this being outside and now we're not able to have that and now I'm going to be in a bad mood about it. But really just moving forward. 

Kelly Perry - 23:16 - Yeah. That I think this whole concept of not getting too attached to our work, to our plans, to our anything is a really important life skill to have that serves so well in business. And I feel like even sometimes whenever you're. I mean there's always that. It's always a temptation to want to hang on to something that we love or that we've worked really hard. And I think going into it with the perspective of holding all things loose, um, is really, really important. Because I mean there may be, there may be a time where you and I are both of us flowers. It's time for us to let them go. I think about this sometimes, like what would it be like if it was time for me just to let them go and maybe I maybe I need to be somewhere else in life or doing some other thing or you know what I mean, and I'm sure it plans to be like see you later. Flowers. I love flowers and have given my life to them. But even that, even that, it just, it's good I think to go through life with just a, an an arms open kind of mentality because we could find ourselves really hung up on the idea of this plan and it might not be as good as it could have been otherwise. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 24:35 - Absolutely, and I think too, I really try to attract, if you go to my website, it's, and there's an education side and there's a wedding side for brides and when you go to the wedding side for brides, I really try to make it very clear to the kind of bride that I'm trying to attract, which is someone who's going to care more about their marriage in their wedding, but they still want a beautiful wedding and it's usually someone who is. Their life is full right now. They are maybe in their final year of med school or pharmacy school or they're working. I don't know. There's other things going on in their life to where yes, they want to have an incredible wedding, but they don't necessarily have the time to be so nit picky and so they. They are going to trust me and I've found that really kind of putting that out there and attracting that type of client has been instrumental in the success of my business because we. That's the kind of person that I work really well with and I think that's part of it is you really have to find those people who you chill with, who you mesh with and work well with. 

Kelly Perry - 25:50 - Mm. Yeah. I love that and I think that, you know, we're talking about preparation for wedding day and what that looks like and I feel like this piece that has has come out and been so central in your story is that expectations on the front end, helping clients understand your role and what that looks like. Is that something that you're outlining in your contract or in a consultation? Just, I mean they're these things like this might happen and I might need to do that. Like just being able to confidently say to a client that this is how I serve you, I feel like is really, really powerful and important. Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on in terms of that expectation setting piece for you? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 26:34 - I always say you can be the most amazing floral does that in the entire world that you do not get to touch a flower until you can make the sale. The sale is the most important part of this business. That and budgeting and spending correctly. That is how we make a profitable, sustainable business. That's how we build that, which is, which is the goal for me, some people, the goal is for it to be a side hobby and that's awesome too. For me, this is a business. This is how I support my family of five. This is how we get to travel. This is, this is it I, I have to be profitable and it's all about the sales process and in my course, the business behind the blooms. I believe the price of the course in the sales chapter alone is I believe the sales chapter alone is worth the price of the course because I give you the exact language that I use and the it is all about being really upfront because this is what people have to remember. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 27:40 - Most of the time when people are coming to you and they want help with their wedding, they've never done this before. They don't know. People will send me a lot other floral designers will say, but how do you do it that way? Or how can you feel comfortable saying that? And I said, listen, these people are looking for someone to guide them or done this before. You have to. They have to walk in and you have to be the professional. You have to be the expert and so you. It's not, it's not bossy or mean or anything. It's just, hey, this is how this works. This is how the process works. This is how this is gonna work and this is how I work and this is what I charge and we need to have an honest conversation about your budget and we need to have a have realistic expectations of where that budget's going to be spent and you're sitting here telling me that you've got 12 bridesmaids. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 28:35 - Let's chat about that because that's a lot of money in, in wedding party, floral and just being really honest and I have found I book 99% of the people I meet with because they really respect that honesty. I tell them from the very beginning, you may not always like what I have to say, but I'm always going to be honest with you. I'm going to tell you if I don't think an idea is gonna work with the overall design. At the end of the day it's your money and you get to make the call, but I'm going to always be honest and tell you where I think you need to spend your money or you know, that you don't need 42 hour markers or whatever, you know, and yeah. So it's just. Or even, you know, when back, just by the way, this has not been long, but I've had these six figure clients. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 29:28 - I just want to make that really clear. I mean, two years ago, if you'd told me my life would look like this, I would have died. I mean, I never would have believed it, but I mean just even two years ago I was doing smaller weddings and you know, they just have, they want an arch and that's it for their ceremony, but they still don't have the $2,500 to spend on that arch, you know what I mean, or I think that many would be better spent at the reception and so I'm just very honest with them about, about that. And I've found that the reason why I book the people that I book is they all say to me at the end, it was everything you said you followed through with and we trusted you every step of the way. I'm sure that there are people out there who are better at flowers than me. I'm sure that that is the case. Absolutely. Um, but I think that I do a good job of really allowing my clients the luxury of not worrying during the, during the planning process. That's so good. And I think that's, that's how you do it. That's how you book those. That's how you get the sale, which is what ultimately allows you to touch the flower and allows you to have money in your bank. Right? 

Kelly Perry - 30:39 - Yeah. So good. Um, when we scoot over to like actually the event day, what are some things, um, what are some things in your event day toolkit that you feel like are really must haves? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 30:54 - So the things that of course we all have snips and blah, blah blah. But for me, a few things that I've learned over over time is a tarp is super important to have. I remember the first time that I saw someone use a tarp and I was like, that is genius. Um, because if you're doing an installation or something and you put that tarp down and you can just roll it up and all the messes and check it out later. A cordless vacuum, like a handheld cordless vacuum, like a dustbuster or something. We always bring that a broom and dustpan garbage bags. The reason for that is adult want to have to find like go dig in 14 closets or ask the venue person where those things are. I just want to, again, this goes back to my need to control. I am, I just want to have it so I can get it clean and move on. Um, I find that green pipe cleaners are a lifesaver. I actually had one time, one of the first times I did an arch, I was using caged foam and about 30 minutes before the wedding started that it broke the cage broke. And so all the foam and the flowers fell out. 

Kelly Perry - 32:07 - Let me tell you those, like the plastic cages. Yes, yes. Those may be feel a little bit nervous. So I looked like an old fashioned chicken wire, you know, I'm like, yeah, I'm a little old fashioned in that regard. But yeah, let me tell you, after 

Jessica Zimmerman - 32:25 - I learned all about chicken wire and all about yes, the better way to do things. Um, but that was an experience where I was like, how am I going to fix this? And we had green pipe cleaners and they just, we put that thing back together and I find that they will hold anything, those green pipe cleaners. So I think those zip ties, we always bring a small ladder, those kinds of things. 

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Kelly Perry - 33:44 - Um, the, I have a little horror story. Oh No, it's not, it's not. I mean, it kind of is. But, so there was, there was um, a client that had a clear kind of like acrylic, I'm a place card thing that they were doing, you know, what I'm talking about. And that was one of those instances where the day that it happened, there was, and you know, those things cost a fortune to have created just just the acrylic thing. And um, so there was something unexpected where whenever it was actually put in the position, I'm not an event planner, like I don't do the planning piece of it, but they were like, oh, we have this problem because now you can't really read the names through the acrylic because the um, you know, the background that's behind it or whatever. And so it was this situation where it was like, what can we put behind that, that we have with us right now? 

Kelly Perry - 34:41 - Um, and I'm just like, I wish I had moss right now because we could have totally just like moss the whole back of it. And it would have been fine, but we didn't have anything like that. So we're taking like little leaves and trying to get them attached to the back of this thing. I mean it was a nightmare, but then in addition to that, there was supposed to be a little piece that came up on the front, um, and there was no way to why or anything or it just had to kind of like float out of the top and thinking back, I'm like, maybe I could have done something with, um, maybe a command strip I could have hit and maybe some like fishing line or something like that. But at the time what I had available to me was this little oasis pod thing that has adhesive on the back of it. 

Kelly Perry - 35:23 - Well, when you know that thing, it got stuck up there and the whole oasis part just came out of the backend. So the only thing that was left on the front of this acrylic thing was a big green adhesive blocked plastic thing. And there was really, oh my goodness. Boy, did we ever fiddle with that? If it turned out, I mean, it was fine. Like it, it happens. But that was one of those moments I was like, yeah, I'm not ever going to use the. Oh, I'm never going to. I don't know. I don't even know who made the products, but I'm not going to put the foam with the adhesive and the thing that's not like, that's never happening again. Have a lot of those #neveragain moments. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 36:05 - Absolutely. Absolutely. I really encourage other floral designers to say like that's how we learn. It has to have those instances. You can't walk, go away from those and be like, oh, I failed. You have to go, okay. I walk away from every meeting, every wedding, everything say what? Well, what did not go well and how can I make sure what didn't go well? Never happens again. And, and that might be as simple as going and purchasing two more things of ribbon scissors. Sure. And putting them in my kit to make sure the ribbon is always cut clean and you know what I mean? So we don't have like jagged edges or something. It's just simple. You just have to go, how can I make sure that doesn't happen again? And then fix it and move forward. 

Kelly Perry - 36:53 - Yeah. That's so good to more event day kit. Things that I just. That just came to mind. I'm a lint roller is one of my favorite things to have a long because you know how you put the stuff on the table and there's just these little pieces that might come out of a flower or something. So anyway, lint rollers, super easy. And of course if you don't have a lint roller with you can do, you know, some floral tape and go around and pick up all the little pieces or something. But something like that. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 37:17 - One thing I keep in in there is I have a role of garment bags that I bought at the dry cleaner one time just to roll of garment bags because if ever there is there clear. So if ever there's something leaking or if I need to put something at the bottom of a, of a, of a pot or an urn, I can't tell you how many times those things have come in handy for things. Because again, if I forgot a tarp, I can lay that down and do individual arrangements on it. I don't know. We, we've used them for all kinds of things. 

Kelly Perry - 37:46 - Hmm. That's a really interesting piece. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And the other thing that came to mind was a hair straightener for ribbon that might get a little bit. I feel like that's really helpful. Just one of those little travel sized little guys that worked so well without soap ribbon that everybody likes. So 

Jessica Zimmerman - 38:07 - It's the easiest. It's so much better than an iron. So much better. So much easier. Yeah, absolutely. 

Kelly Perry - 38:13 - Well, um, what advice might you have for florists to are maybe a little bit afraid of event day and kind of the unknown that can come along with that sometimes especially, I mean like, I don't know, why don't we just think back to like our first season and what that felt like and kind of what was going through your heads and all that kind of stuff. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 38:36 - I remember it was not that long ago, I remember and I think it's all about the prep work. It getting absolutely as much as you can done before getting it done before, as because once again, like we talked about earlier, the optimism of time is, is always is always there, but we're always wrong. So getting as much done, we try to get, you know, even ribbon for bouquets, precut we know we're not going to tie them on until that day, but we go ahead and precut them and each one is, you know, all of the bridesmaids bouquets, ribbon is in one box, in the same crate with all of the bridal bouquets and same with the boutonniere ribbon. Same with arrangements. We try to get into about 90% there if we're not traveling a huge way and then we will set aside maybe the ridonculous or the sweet pea or whatever we're adding at the end in their own vases with those things. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 39:38 - So we're not going, where's the ridonculous for this? We're not, it's all really organized and again, just trying to get as much done ahead of time as we can. Um, I think a timeline is crucial. Yeah. There are times that I, I don't know about you, but with me, I actually had members of my team who have to say, okay, that's done. You have to move on. I can spend three hours on an, on a bridal bouquet and never think it's done. Never think it's right or want to start over or think it can be better. And I also had somebody tell me one time and I thought this was really great advice. You're working with flowers. They're already an amazingly beautiful product. You don't have to kill yourself over it. You know what I mean? Like don't in. I find myself even to this day, sometimes I'll do it. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 40:25 - Okay. And then redo it because I think it could be better. And so I think if you schedule a timeline for things and give yourself, hey, it's, it's Thursday before the wedding and from 9 to 11 I'm going to green up all of these arrangements. And then from 11 to 1 I'm going to wire everything for the flower crowns and then from 1 to 1:30 we're going to eat lunch or whatever it is. But there's just a very specific timeline so you know, ahead of time, and again, we start this at the very beginning of the process, but so that you know exactly when you need to be done, it helps push you to get those things done. We delegate a lot. And so, um, even at the beginning I could never do things myself. I mean it was me and my husband, my parents, you get here, you can get right at the very beginning. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 41:18 - You're like, who's willing to help me? I can pay you nothing. Come help me. And so, but even then I find that giving people very specific tasks versus high, here's everything we have to get done now go. That creates a chaos and it creates competition and it creates too many cooks in the kitchen. But really delegating and giving different people individually specific tasks allows them to have something that they can take ownership of and that they can be proud of. And I think that that's really crucial. And I think also we have things delivered now today, we, we factor this into the set up and delivery fee that I was telling you about earlier, but we have food delivered or coffee delivered or whatever during that week because that's just one less thing that we have to think about. 

Jessica Zimmerman - 42:13 - Um, the other thing that I think is super helpful that we do now that we've started doing for a couple years is that when I am figuring out how many people I need or how long something is going to take, I look at a setup as far as outsource help as tiers, an A tier, a B tier to a C tier. An A tier being somebody like you or me who designs these things for a living. A B tier is someone who you could show a picture too. And they, they, they know how to do it. They know what a, they know foam is or chicken wire or snips. They're very familiar with it. And then a C tier is someone who is going to help you be a runner or go get water or clean up after, so that, you know, or whatever. And so A, B and C, I look at is one team. And then I say, how many teams do I need to execute this? 

Jessica Zimmerman - 43:07 - So in the wedding that we did a few weeks ago, which was large, I knew I needed at least four of those teams. And um, so that kinda helps me and said that when I am delegating everything, sometimes I just have to go to the A people and say, here's what you're doing now, go tell your team. And I find too that, I don't know, by doing it that way, it's just really helpful and I have to look at it now, which I, this used to drive me crazy at the beginning because I would lie awake at night and think, what if something happens to me, this thing can't get done because my husband didn't know how to do flowers and my parents don't. Um, and now I really look at it in a sense of if I were to get in a car accident that morning and be in the hospital, can this wedding still be produced? And so I make sure I bring people in who know what they're doing, who they could look at that and know what to do and get it executed so that, that just helps.

Jessica Zimmerman - 44:03 - I just schedule everything is if I'm not even there and yes, I help that inevitably you're going to be pulled aside for something. The bride's gonna need something, bride's mom's going to want something and it's going to be during the time that you've allotted to do you know, an installation or something or a big arrangement. So it's better to have that delegated and then you can always, you can always do it, but if you're pulled away it's still getting done. 

Kelly Perry - 44:29 - Yeah, absolutely. I will. Thank you so much for being here today and for. Yeah, just sharing these tips. Super Valuable. And, um, you know, I feel like sometimes it can feel like, oh, we're out here just all alone, but it's so fun to be able to have conversations and to be able to be a part of, um, of floral community, have a big group of people where we can um, come together and share 

Jessica Zimmerman - 44:57 - Absolutely. The world is pretty cool. They're pretty, everyone's, everyone's really great that, that I've met along the way. So it's really neat. Thank you so much for having me. This has been a joy. 

Kelly Perry - 45:05 - Absolutely. We'll see you again soon.

Jessica Zimmerman - 45:06 - Thanks.

Kelly Perry - 45:10 - As we sign off today. I want to remind you that your work with flowers matters. It's about more than the blooms. You're loving the world. You make magic happen. You're creating memories. You're following a dream, delivering light and grace here at team flower. We're cheering you on one bloom at a time. Thank you for listening to the podcast and until next time, remember that we're so thankful for each bucket that you wash and each bag of garbage that you take out of your studio that makes all of this possible. If you're looking for more Florida education, that's free conversation or inspiration. Just visit to see the library of helpful videos and articles for florists, growers, and flower business owners. You'll find helpful tips on everything from creating flower walls to hiring freelancers much, much more.

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Maggie Smith of Pine State Flowers