I was in the floristry business for 37 years, and I have been a witness to various changes in the industry since the early years of my career. As a young florist, I was told that I should not buy my flowers directly from the grower. It was considered that the proper flow of action was for product to move from the flower grower to the wholesaler, and from the wholesaler to the florist. It was much the same with sundries, which were only sold to florists and never to the public.
Now, things have changed. Wholesalers sell to chain stores, roadside sellers and the public. Their attitude towards the florist is that it’s too bad, this is the way of things, and we all have to make money somehow. Some wholesalers have a fishbowl on the counter for people to leave their business cards to enter a lucky draw, and a look at these can be a real eye-opener in terms of the diversity of businesses represented by the people who go into these warehouses. The situation is much the same with the sundries wholesalers, where anyone from the street is allowed in to buy that block of foam, bowl or ribbon.

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