We get this question a lot. And don’t worry, we don’t take offense to it. Although we’re a bunch of sensitive artists, we understand that folks ask that question mostly because they don’t understand our process. Guess that makes us a bunch of misunderstood, sensitive artists!
The simple answer to the expense question is simple .. time is money, and keepsake creation takes a lot of time! We could leave it at that, but just for you, we’ll elaborate.
Let’s compare keepsake creation to the creation of your wedding bouquet. A bridal bouquet, on average, runs a bride on average (nationwide) around $350. Yes, some are more expensive than others, usually due to the cost of the flowers contained within .. pricey flowers mean a pricier bouquet. That bouquet of course, is designed to last for just one day of use and beauty. And for that amount of longevity, the standard floral industry advises that florists count their cost of the flowers within, multiply that cost by at least 2, and add the cost or value of the time it takes for the designer to create that bouquet, plus in some instances, for a designer who is more coveted or talented, that time value would be increased. For most of the bouquets we see at Keepsake for preservation .. and we see a large variety from all over the country .. the average wholesale cost for the flowers and greenery within these bouquets runs somewhere near $ 60 to $90 really .. the industry multiplier and additional time assessment move that raw cost close to that $350 mark. The reality of the amount of time that the floral designer actually takes to create that actual bouquet, start to finish, would be less than an hour. So for one hour’s work (granted one needs to take into consideration allowance for overhead and planning time), that florist is charging more than $250. And for the designer’s expertise and professional knowledge, that is probably an equitable fee.
According to that formula and framework, the value of the work that goes into your Keepsake Floral keepsake is really a great value. After all, each keepsake takes at least 15 to 20 man-hours (or woman-hours, really) to complete. Like your florist, we create your keepsake from raw materials (albeit, not inexpensive ones to begin with), and with those raw materials, and production and design labor from an entire team of artisans, your keepsake comes to life. All told, in the framing and finishing department, each keepsake probably takes 3 or 4 hours to complete, granted the time is allocated in many smaller portions of time, cutting the framing this week, joining it the next, finishing and glazing another week …
The amount of time spent in the dehydration general production steps, will run close to two hours, depending on the complexity and quantity of flowers, as well as bouquet quality. And true design studio time will encompass five or more hours for simpler designs and longer with those more complex. Post production and post design adds a couple of hours per piece. Even though our team does an excellent job of combining processes and keeping things organized and streamlined, the nature of our custom keepsake creation demands that each individual piece receive individual attention, therefore, time.
Another aspect of Keepsake Floral’s Keepsake creation service is our customer service aspect. And this is really an important and unique aspect of Keepsake creation that is hard to quantify, but worth its weight in gold. Each client will spend from 30 to 45 minutes with one of our design consultants during her one on one conversation to finalize the details of her keepsake. And our customer service team of five spends nearly all of their workdays talking to clients on the phone, emailing reminders, answering client questions, clarifying client concerns, placing special orders, calling in pick ups and posting photos on social media. Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about what that part of our team does!
All told, although Keepsake Floral is categorized as a manufacturing business, we think of what we do as a service business .. from art and design service, to client service. The posture that the Keepsake Floral team adapts toward each client and each individual keepsake (actually, right down to the care we have for each individual flower) is one of true service and intention. These two characteristics of how we approach the work we do, underline the quality and patience as we put in the hours that it takes to make the beautiful and meaningful creations that we create. Worth every minute and also every penny.