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Vancity Vendor –
Buy The Bunch

December 23rd, 2011 by Jeannine

Vancity Vendor - Buy the Bunch

When Sam Solis immigrated to Canada in 1993, he expected to find work in the forestry industry, instead he found himself working in a flower shop. He didn’t know anything about the art of floral arrangement when he took that job, but he observed, practiced, and after some time, he realized he had a natural talent for it. He later opened his own flower shop on Main Street for 9 years but presently, Sam conducts business from his home (with an amazing backyard!) in East Vancouver.

Buy the Bunch is a full service florist for any occasion, the only thing Sam doesn’t do is wire service. Sam adds a European flair to his floral designs. You might notice that his arrangements don’t have much greenery. That’s the way he likes it, the more flowers the better! To help with the budget, Sam doesn’t use greenery as fillers, instead he prefers to scale the bouquet down a bit but still use the same flowers. For example, instead of using half a dozen roses in a bouquet, he will reduce it to 3 or 4 and add more of the cheaper flowers. This way, bouquet design won’t be sacrificed.

He conducts consultations at his beautifully landscaped garden. Doesn’t it look like a park? To get to know your style, he asks the following questions:

  • What are your colours?
  • Do you have a theme?
  • Where are you getting married?

The answers to these questions will help him come up with the design for you, but you are always welcome to bring inspiration photos to show him. Haven’t got any photos? He’s got books he can show you, as well as his growing portfolio. He recommends you to book 6 months before the big day to as late as 3 months before. On the day of your wedding, expect a special delivery from Sam, he personally drops off wedding bouquets to his brides.

A Few Words With Sam…

What do you have to offer for brides with lower budgets?
“I guess the uniqueness of the way we put our flowers together. We make our arrangements look very expensive but if you compare the designs and the cost of the flowers to other florists’ work you’ll find that ours is relatively cheaper because my overhead is lesser.”

What kind of flowers would you suggest for brides with a lower budget?
“There’s so many selections in British Columbia, that if you use flowers that are so ordinary, that you see everywhere, then you don’t have the edge over other florists. So as much as possible, when I put my flowers together I use flowers that are almost considered rare, exotic, not necessarily tropicals, but when we put it together it’s not your typical bouquet. I like to make it look a little more intriguing or interesting.”

What sets you apart from others in the field?
“The way we put our flowers together is as I said different and unique in such a way that I don’t use a lot of greens. In fact, I don’t use greens at all. When they order flowers it’s pure  flowers that they’ll get. No matter how small the budget is, I try not to make it look big by adding greenery. That’s one unique feature of our flower arrangements. I am a true believer that if you want to show your flowers, you have to show it as pure as that, not embellish it with fillers and greens.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
“I enjoy the reaction that I get from my customers when they see their flowers and you see, although they don’t talk, you see how they are just so satisfied with what they are getting. Especially brides, because in their mind there is a picture of what their bouquet is going to look like but then when they see it in actuality, and when they see how you surpassed their expectation, that is priceless to me. That is what I love the most.”

What is the most unique arrangement that you’ve created?
“We ordered this big quantity of orchids from Thailand. I cannot say it’s a tropical type of a wedding because we mixed the orchids with lots and lots of garden roses from Ecuador. So when we mixed the mauve roses with the purple orchids, it’s rich. It’s unbelievable!”

What are your favourite flowers to work with?
“Roses! A lot of people will say oh it’s too common. To me it’s not. To me it’s romantic and when you are talking about weddings, it should be romantic. We’re talking about love here between two people. I think there’s no other flower I can think of that expresses love other than the rose. So roses with other flowers together, I think it’s a perfect combination. Do you have a favourite colour of rose? Pink, I like pink! Any shade of pink, it can be dark, it can be light, it can be in-between.”

If you were to design a bridal bouquet for $50, what flowers would you include?
“I can still use orchids, I can still use roses. How big will that be? It depends on the variety. For example, the roses that I love using, David Austin Roses, generally they’re almost like a miniature cabbage. So even if you use just 5 of those, it will be about the size of a regular bridal bouquet so it depends on the blooms that you use. In terms of times of the year like in May, if you want to use peonies that’s great because peonies are about this big, use 5 of those and the size is comparable to a $150 bouquet if you are using flowers of the smaller size. And as long as the flowers they are looking for is not out of season!”

If you had one piece of advice for the bride and groom, what would it be?
“Don’t dream of something you cannot afford. Listen to the florist because I think if you go to a good florist, they’ll give them sincere advice on what is best for their big day. Don’t get disappointed when the first quote is high. Shop around, compare prices, go back to the florist you feel comfortable talking to and see if you can do some adjustments. That’s how it should work.”

To contact Sam, visit his website.
Do you have what it takes to be a Vancity Vendor? Apply here.

Feature photo courtesy Vancity Bride, bride with bouquet photo courtesy Jarusha Brown Photography
The rest of the photos were provided by Sam Solis.

Vendor prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are accurate to the date published.

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  • December 27th, 2011 at 12:42 am
    Leagh@bunchesdirect says:

    The idea to use less greeneries is very interesting!! Thank you for sharing your bright thoughts and advises!


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