There are some tasks in life that call for a particular precision, tasks such as baking a cake, require meticulous attention to following a recipe.
There are flower shops and flower delivery services all throughout the world who apply this same principle, floral recipes are worked out months in advance and these arrangements are offered for sale in-store and online, all year round.
Beija Flor is not one of those flower shops.
If you’ve ever ordered from the Beija Flor webshop you’ll have noticed that for each of our seasonal flower vases and gift wraps we show images of a number of different designs in various colours and with different flower varieties.
These product images are all taken by us at our Coconut Grove studio and are actual gifts that were hand-delivered to real people in Darwin and Palmerston. You’ll notice the concrete background to all our images… this is our loading bay. Floral gifts are snapped quickly with the shop iPhone as we load up the chiller van for the morning’s delivery run. Our product images are barely edited and certainly not photoshopped into their vases (as many online flower arrangements seem to be).
Our hope is that by showing you what we do, day-to-day, you’ll cherish the element of surprise that comes with a Beija Flor seasonal gift. Nothing makes me happier than hearing squeals of excitement from the workbench as our floral team unpack the days fresh shipment of flowers. For although we know what flower varieties are in the box, it’s the subtle variations in hues, patterns, fragrance and texture that make being surrounded by flowers such a joyful experience.
It’s this element of surprise and excitement that we at Beija Flor want to share with you…
On a practical level here’s a couple of other reasons why this is the way we work…
Firstly flowers are a product of nature, at Beija Flor we love to embrace all those special flower varieties that appear in abundance one week and are gone a couple of weeks later. Produce which at the height of its season, comes in huge bundles full of big showy blooms, might be bundled less generously and have just a few tight buds when it first trickles into the flower markets.
Secondly… we want to give you the freshest flowers we can get our hands on. We’d rather pick your order from a super fresh selection which has just arrived fresh from the grower, than have a huge chiller full of every flower in every colour-way on hand just in case someone orders the ‘baby girl vase arrangement in soft pink and white’ or whichever of a million arrangements on the menu.
Thirdly.. our remote location, in Darwin there is no wholesale flower market and very few local flower farms. This means that our flowers are air-freighted fresh from interstate growers. Although we have fresh flowers arriving almost every day, we don’t always get every single variety every day, as different types are grown in different locations and farms. This means that on a Wednesday you might notice an abundance of vibrant orchids in-store, whereas on Friday it might be the Victorian grown garden roses that are bountiful. Earlier in the week we usually have plenty of natives and longer-lasting floral types like oriental lilies.
Number four… We’d get bored, we don’t like to follow rules. We buy flowers that we like and we make them into gifts that we would like to receive. After all, any flowers that don’t sell quick enough will become our house flowers at the end of the day.
But why can’t you add live inventory to the website? Seriously… have you ever tried maintaining an online store, keeping track of inventory, syncing to Facebook, Google, etc. even for un-perishable goods it’s a challenge. It’s not impossible but would be more work than I’ve got patience for. Anyway, most people order the night before and I’m sure that you’d prefer fresh-in flowers than something we’ve made, photographed, uploaded, put back in the chiller and waited for some-body to order (or not).
‘My aunts allergic to lilies’ or ‘I want to send white flowers for sympathy’ or ‘My friend likes dahlias’, I hear you and it’s important to honour the taste of the person receiving the flowers. I love nothing more than when one of our past grooms reaches out to request a replica bridal bouquet to gift on a wedding anniversary. And we can absolutely do this, you’ll just need to give us a heads up.
Lilies… these are love them or hate them flowers, some people adore the fragrance and buy nothing else, others (me included) find them overpowering and sneezy, or you worry about your cat eating them or the pollens messing up your soft furnishings. We usually have oriental lilies in-store and at Parap Fine Foods by the bunch, but, as a general rule don’t include them in our seasonal products unless specifically requested by you.
Specific colour or flower combinations… we can usually accommodate these, if you’re unsure or are trying to match a specific shade, give us a call, we can let you know what’s possible with today’s selection. And if you’re super organised and have time to give us a bit more notice, get in touch days (or weeks) ahead and the sky’s the limit!
As we grow our small business, we continue to refine our range, more orders going out means more fresh produce to play with. This means that in the future you’ll be able to choose from more categories such as ‘earthy-toned natives’ or ‘colour-popping tropicals’ and more. We’re continually working on getting this ready for the website behind the scenes but for now, you’ll need to give us a call with your custom order.
Remember…while certainty is a fine thing in a cake recipe, the essence of Beija Flor is all about possibility…choose a Beija Flor gift to surprise, inspire, delight and just occasionally, mystify.