Monday, July 23, 2012

Our New Favorite Thing... It's a Dress Form, Dummies

We’ve been changing our window displays at our Burlington, NJ location, Steins at Sunset Florist, pretty regularly recently. Before we’d only redesign them for the major holidays, but one of our recent purchases has inspired a lot of window flipping lately. It’s a simple dress form.

The ladies at Steins at Sunset Florist love fashion… and what girl doesn’t enjoy playing dress up? So we style our coworker Jessi Rose from time to time to showcase our latest floral creations, usually playing the role of bride, in old prom dresses, colorful makeup and the like. She was even our live model at The Philadelphia Great Bridal Expo back in January 2012. She was the perfect stoic statue atop a pedestal, displaying our beautiful bridal creations; more than a few expo guests touched her arm to see if she was real, followed by a quick and embarrassed “I’m sorry.”

Unfortunately, being a human girl, Jessi Rose can’t stand in our store windows 24/7, so our dress form is one of our new favorite things! We get to play dress up and make fun themed displays at the same time.
Before we dove into an all-out themed vignette, we dressed our dummy in flowers and sewing notions. One of our employees took the dress form home before it even made it to the flower shop and decked it in fabric swatches, vintage buttons and pins, a tape measure, spools of thread and fresh yellow tulips. There was really no reason behind it… we just love playing dress up! This began our dress form love affair.

Prom season was our first display. A puffy pink princess dress with bold floral accents and long streamers of ribbon. We added the turquoise accents to the Jessica McClintock dress ourselves, sewing corset-style lacing at the back for extra drama.

For the display we pulled in elements of a teenage girl’s bedroom getting ready for her prom date, so we included a mirror with her prom tickets and flower order receipt tucked into the frame, her clutch bouquet on a side table and a pair of high heels kicked over to the side.

Next was graduation season. One of our employees is a graduate of Drexel University, so we had a pretty decent cap, gown and stole. We added an overly dramatic set of tassels (‘cause we love honors) and finished our display with text books, globes, and flowers (of course). You can see more about this display in our post Congratulations Class of 2012.

Then there was Independence Day (we blogged about it in Hooray forthe USA). We added a red, white and blue sash and a big bow to the back of a simple white sun dress (so Sailor Moon *smirk*). A couple of red necklaces, a patriotic corsage and a pocket full of flags and our dummy was ready to party! Our live model Jessi Rose even dressed herself to match the mannequin for the holiday, it was adorable.

Our current display has a tropical theme for the Summer. With a sparkly seashell top, a colorful lei, and hippy hula skirt our dress form is ready for a luau. We finished our vignette with pretty Polynesian accents, colorful tropical flowers and happy tin fish. More than a few customers have commented on our exotic Summer theme, they really seem to like it and we’re happy to bring a bit of the tropics to Burlington, NJ.

We haven’t planned our next window display yet… but we can hardly wait to play dress up again!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hooray for the USA!

Summer is here. Kids are out of school, work atire is a bit more casual, and weekends are filled with trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, and family fun. June is coming to a close and we are getting ready to kick off July with patriotic spirit!
John Adams was the first to describe how Independence Day would be celebrated in a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations" throughout the United States. Sounds a lot like our modern celebrations... except we tend to have a lot more food and too much to drink ;) And around Steins we of course include flowers!
To get into the spirit we've transformed our shop window display (it seems like graduation was there for only a minute) into a patriotic panorama of tried-and-true red, white and blue!
We draped a flag from the ceiling... which was quite the adventure! Not only did we have to look up proper flag hanging etiquette (the field of stars is to face to the left when viewed from the street when hung in a window) but working a ladder into our tight space was also interesting... Most importantly, no one was hurt.
We dressed our mannequin in a pretty white Summer dress and added a nationalistic red, white and blue sash finished at the back with a big bow and flowing streamers. A couple of long red necklaces, a big patriotic corsage, and a pocket full of flags complete our 4th of July ensamble.

Our fashionable country chair was upcycled from an old wooden chair that was on it's way to the dump. We painted it and then distressed it to give it a shabby chic look and recoved the seat with an old tattered flag. And what's more American than a simple brown Teddy bear?
We finished the window with flowers and plants, more Americana, some stars and stripes, and... is that Bo Obama? We had a nice time putting together the display and we are looking forward to celebrating the holiday. Now lets see some fireworks!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lovely is the Rose

Rainbow Roses

June is National Rose Month, so to celebrate we wanted to share 30 (one for each day) of our favorite original rose photos taken by us, Stein Your Florist Co.

Orange Roses

Gold Strike Roses
Pink Spray Roses
Sterling Roses
High and Yellow Roses

Pink and White Garden Roses
Freedom Rose
We are fortunate to be surrounded by roses, the world’s most popular flower, every day. We import literally thousands of roses each week and tens of thousands during the peak floral holidays of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Peach Roses
Not only are they popular, there are over 15,000 varieties of roses cultivated across the world, including ones named for Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rosie O'Donnell!

Priceless Roses

Roses are valued for their romantic symbolism, but their blooms are also edible and some have flavors like green apples and strawberries.

Black Magic Roses

Cool Water Roses

 Jennifer, Stein’s self-appointed floral Goddess, has sampled more than a few rose petals… “some taste dandelion greens, while others taste like you accidentally sprayed perfume in your mouth. All make [her] throat itchy, even those grown organically.”

Charlotte Roses

During the Victorian era ladies would serve rose petal sandwiches at their tea parties and sometimes even use the petals or flower buds to flavor their teas. Yum!

Sweet Akito Roses

In France, rose syrup is extracted from the petals of roses and it is used to make tasty treats such as rose scones and marshmallows. Our favorite use of rose syrup is in cocktails, figures ;)

Twinkle Bride Roses

Rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, are a wonderful source of vitamin C. They are sometimes used to make jam, jelly or marmalade. Rose hip seed oil is used in various skin and makeup products. And a particular variety of rose hips has some medicinal uses too, especially in traditional Chinese medicine for stomach problems. Rose hips are even under investigation for controlling cancer growth.

White Roses
Rose perfumes, made from the attar of roses (the oil extracted from the petals), smell amazing and are one of our favorite scents. Who doesn’t want to smell like roses?

Blue Rose Bouquet
Around the flower shop, aside from the occasional petal tasting, we use our roses for artistic and ornamental purposes. In our 125 years in the floral industry, roses have always been our biggest seller. From a single stem for a first date to dozens upon dozens filling vases in the honeymoon suite, roses are simply perfect. Ancient symbols of love and beauty, roses lend themselves to an array of floral design techniques.

Yellow Spray Roses
A final florist tip:  if you receive roses with thorns, leave them; removing the thorns wounds the stem. The more wounds there are, the more likely the flower's life will be shortened.

Blush Pink Rose
"Barking" the stem ruins the vessels that transport water up the stem to refresh the flower and creates an opening through which bacteria can enter. If you must remove a thorn, it's best to remove just a small piece of the pointy tip (and trust us, they can be very pointy). So be careful of those thorns and enjoy the beauty of the rose.

Leonidas "Rootbeer" Roses

Wild One Roses

The world is a rose; smell it and pass it to your friends. ~Persian Proverb

Advenire Roses

Orange Spray Roses
Green Tea Roses

Classy Cezan

To see more beautiful rose pictures, follow our Pinterest board, Lovely is the Rose.

Blue Bird Roses

Amnesia Roses

Red Intuition Roses

Confetti Roses

Friday, June 15, 2012

Congratulations Class of 2012!

It’s mid June 2012, the weather is getting warm, the sun shines late into the evening, gardens are flourishing, and students are graduating. It’s time for another class of thinkers, doers, dreamers and achievers to take that next step… From elementary school, junior high, high school and college; students are moving forward into bigger and better things!

The last couple of days at the flower shops have been a flurry of activity and we’re not through yet. Local elementary schools order corsages and boutonnieres for their graduates by the hundreds and proud parents come in in droves for dramatic presentation bouquets for their smart students. Our designers have made thousands of fluffy bows in school colors for a last showing of school spirit!

At our Burlington, NJ location, Steins at Sunset Florist, we have transformed our front window display into a tribute to the graduating class. Employees loaned a few key props, like a cap, gown and stole, a diploma, a degree, and a TON of text books, and we put together the rest. Our concept is, that after all the years of studying and hard work it’s time to see the wonderful world you are now ready to be a contributing member of. Maps and globes harken back to all those geography lessons, now put to good use with a packed bag, ready for sight-seeing.

Our imaginary graduate’s imaginary school colors are burgundy, blue, and gold (a mix taken from a few of our local schools). We’ve trimmed the cap in bright blooms for an extra bit of fun and designed a presentation bouquet to give to our student after the ceremony. Sunny yellow flowers in the background accent the stole and add a joyful feel with their brilliance.

Globes, maps, binoculars, cameras and a trunk spilling forth with scarves have our student ready to begin life’s next journey. The stack of weighty text books is most definitely to be left behind, a glass head donning the graduate’s cap sits atop them, the mind now filled with their knowledge.

Years of lessons and lectures, friendships and memories culminate on commencement day. Remember that commencement is a beginning, a start, not an end. Tom Brokaw said, “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”

Congratulations class of 2012!! You are destined for great things!