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Royer’s annual children’s book drive returns Oct. 28-Nov. 11

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual children’s book drive returns Oct. 28-Nov. 11 to benefit area public libraries.

For each new book, donors will receive a free bouquet, up to three per family per visit, while supplies last. Used books will not be accepted.

For more information, including library wish lists, visit royers.com/bouquetsforbooks.

In its 11-year history, Bouquets for Books has collected nearly 17,000 books.

Kids club event Nov. 11 celebrates Veterans Day

Royer’s Kids Club will celebrate Veterans Day with a free event Nov. 11.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a special Veterans Day arrangement that includes an American flag.

Participants also will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store.

Fox 43 appearance: (home)coming attractions

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Homecoming can be a nervous time for high school students.

Never mind asking someone to the dance; it can take real courage when it comes to choosing your date’s corsage or boutonniere. Rest assured, Royer’s is here to help.

That was part of the message shared today by Erica Bixby of Royer’s when she visited Fox 43 Morning News. Erica and host Amy Lutz discussed homecoming stalwarts and newer options.

“There’s a lot of fun things that are trending this year,” Erica said. “There’s floral prints. Our most popular colors are navy, blush, burgundy, those pretty fall colors.  …

“If you’re not sure what color the dress is, that’s OK. Our most popular one is very simple, it’s white sweetheart roses with babies breath. And, of course for the guy, we’ll always do the matching boutonniere.”

Among the changes Royer’s has witnessed, Erica said, is corsages with one big flower, such as a mini gerbera. It’s a trend she described as “fun and flirty.”

‘Every one is different’

Standard corsages start with a white ribbon but can be spray painted (she demonstrated with green) to match a dress color. A variety of ribbons, bracelets and rhinestones can be added, as can, of course, a rainbow of flowers to make for a one-of-a-kind look.

“It’s really like artwork,” Amy said.

“And every one is different,” Erica said, “which makes it fun.”

As an alternative to a corsage, Erica suggested a hand-tied bouquet, such as the one she held up featuring sunflowers, solidago, mini green hydrangeas, Italian ruscus, and seeded eucalyptus with a burlap bow.

Erica noted that it’s a good idea to consider a date’s mother, too, at homecoming.

“It’s always good to bring mom some flowers,” Erica said, holding a rose bouquet.

“And that’s [true] for the guy or girl,” Amy said.

“Or if somebody’s hosting for pictures, it’s always nice to bring them a little something.”

To view the segment, click here.

Of course, you’ll find homecoming help at all of our stores, or try out our corsage builder.

Highlights from our fall catalog

Every year, we introduce a fall catalog that contains approximately 20 percent new products. We asked Geoff Royer, Royer’s area manager and a member of the product development team, to describe how some of the new arrangements came about. Here’s what he told us:

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One of the tasks of the product development team was to come up with more arrangements that are specific to birthdays. This arrangement does just that with the birthday bear that’s attached to the vase.

This is the fourth in our lineup of Big Hugs vases. We also have redesigned the baby boy and baby girl versions of that style.

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We realized in the spring that we could do better on the pricing of the mini callas than we had before so we opted to develop a few arrangements with them.

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This collection of arrangements is a new style for us, each one in a nine-inch glass bowl that we’d never carried before. We used them in some new lifestyle shots we are using to enhance our brochure and websites.

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This addition features several flowers that are new to us, namely the Memphis daisy pom, charmellia alstromeria, and Nobbio cherry carnation.

We had featured Memphis at previous holidays. We loved the color and the lateral lengths on the daisy but no one grew it year-round until now.

Charmellia is a new product in the floral world. It lasts incredibly long and, as it opens, it changes from dark pink to a lighter pink.

The colors and variegation of the Nobbio cherry petals are like nothing we’d ever seen. This carnation is from a farm called Geoflora, which is associated with South American carnation breeder S.B. Talee.

Talee developed the Nobbio series in response to a Japanese market that wanted something beyond the standard red, white and pink combination with a longer stem length. We can take the sizes the Japanese markets don’t want at a good price.

Refresh: Royer’s launches new website

Temperatures go from warm to cool, green leaves turn gold, red, orange.

And just as fall is the season of change in the natural world, it can be in the digital realm, too.

At Royer’s, this fall coincides with the launch of our new website. It’s still at royers.com, of course, but it has a fresh, crisp new look and functionality that should make the shopping experience even more fulfilling. (This look also is evident in our e-blasts and printed fall catalog.)

Among the improvements, both functionally and aesthetically:

  • The website now features “responsive” design, which means that it adjusts to the size of the browser in which it is viewed. We realize that customers shop online from different-sized screens, from desktop to laptop, tablet to smart phone.
  • Additional filters help shoppers more readily find what they’re looking for. For instance, instead of just searching by price across all products, it’s now possible to narrow that search by categories. Soon you’ll be able to filter by flower and color, too.
  • Arrangements are shown bigger and scale according to screen size.
  • Text is set against transparent colors, allowing more of the background flower images to shine through.
  • If the curvy page designs have a familiar feel, it’s because they are macro-views of actual flower shapes. The size, color and placement of the shapes are not determined by templates but rather are unique to each layout. This allows the layouts to remain fresh and change with the seasons.

What do you think of our new website? We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below, or let us know the next time you visit one of our stores.

Planting the seeds for a successful school year

Spider plants are great for cleaning air.

New shirts, new shoes. Backpacks and notebooks. No doubt, one or more of those items was on your shopping list if you’re a parent preparing a child for the first day of school.

Don’t forget a little something for your child’s teacher and classroom.

A plant is a great option, not only for aesthetic reasons but certain ones help to improve indoor air quality. What’s more, the presence of plants has been shown to boost productivity and reduce stress, which can enhance a learning environment.

With the help of Cheryl Brill, Royer’s vice president of retail operations, and other resources, we compiled a list of plants that will help sow the seeds for a great new school year.

Cheryl’s list started with Chinese evergreens (aka aglaonemas), peace lilies, philodendrons and spider plants, each of which is great for cleaning the air, she said. What’s more, they’re easy to take care of and don’t require a lot of bright light.

As their name suggests, spider plants have tendrils or plantlets that grow out from the mother plant.

“That would be kind of fun for a grade-school situation,” Cheryl said.

For more on plants and air quality, click here.

Classroom conversation

Meanwhile, air plants aren’t that effective at cleaning the air, Cheryl said, but they are intriguing because they grow without soil. Also known as tillandsia, air plants are a type of bromeliad and relative of the pineapple.

Air plant leaves have scales, called trichomes, that absorb water and nutrients from the air.

“We just dunk them in a bucket of water every week or so,” Cheryl said, suggesting how easy it is to care for air plants.

The air plant’s unique characteristics alone make for a great classroom conversation. What’s more, they’re available at Royer’s in quirky “thinkers” containers.

Thinkers is what we want students to be, after all. Another plant option that can captivate a classroom is a terrarium, which only needs to be watered weekly. Cheryl described them as “neat to look at” and as providing “a little tranquil spot.”

Heaven knows, a bustling school can use a tranquil spot or two.

 

 

 

 

Royer’s ‘Power of Pink’ arrangement raises $2,640 for Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition

Royer’s has donated $2,640 to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

For each sale of its “Power of Pink” arrangement, Royer’s donates $10 to breast cancer organizations, including $7,730 to the coalition since 2015.

Based in Lebanon, the coalition (pabreastcancer.org) represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants.

The Power of Pink arrangement, redesigned annually, is available year-round.

Photo: From left, Kristen Snoke, community outreach director, PA Breast Cancer Coalition, and Jaime Kevles, marketing coordinator, Royer’s.

Royer’s Kids Club celebrates Grandparents Day with free event Sept. 9 in all stores

 

Royer’s Kids Club will celebrate Grandparents Day with a free event Sept. 9 in all stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a special gift for Gram and Grampy: a fall arrangement featuring pompon daisies. Participants also will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store.

Grandparents Day is Sept. 10.

Dawn of a new arrangement: introducing Farmhouse Sunset

Being a professional interior designer, Kristin Iwancio said entering Royer’s name-the-arrangement contest was “totally in my wheelhouse.”

Indeed, it was.

Iwancio, of Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, submitted the winning name – Farmhouse Sunset – among 639 total contest entries.

“I love sunsets, so why not go with that? I’m never up early enough for sunrises,” she quipped.

The new arrangement includes two short-stemmed orange roses, a mini green hydrangea, a hot pink spray rose and purple statice.

It measures 13 inches high and nine inches wide.

Although Farmhouse Sunset won’t be available to the public until fall, Iwancio received one early.

It was her prize for naming the arrangement.

Oh, Atlanta, we hear you calling

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We don’t procrastinate when it comes to holiday shopping. In fact, no sooner is one Christmas in the rearview mirror than we start planning for the next one.

It’s not that we’re eager for the passage of time. Rather, we’re beckoned by AmericasMart in Atlanta, which describes itself as the nation’s leading gift, home furnishings and area rug wholesale marketplace.

In Atlanta, we might purchase containers bearing a Christmas decoration, or snowflake or snowman stick-ins to complement an arrangement. We source Christmas décor at AmericasMart but also gifts that customers will give at the holidays, such as a picture frame.

A half-dozen Royer’s representatives visit AmericasMart’s three-building, 7 million-square-foot complex every January, buying gifts and arrangement accents for the next Christmas season, and again in July, when the focus will be on the next spring.

Focus on larger gifts

Jenni Eberly, Royer’s market manager, has made six trips to Atlanta, so she’s a veteran now. But as a first-time visitor, she found the experience daunting.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said, “looking at all that merchandise set out in the displays. Because then you have to take these huge displays and then pick out what you’re going to buy.”

As vast as AmericasMart is, Royer’s spends most of its time on five floral and holiday floors. In July, the group arrived in Atlanta on a Wednesday and worked through Friday. The pace is constant, and even lunch and dinner conversation turns to what each of them has seen from vendors.

Geoff Royer, whose great-grandparents started Royer’s, coordinates the Atlanta trips. He sets up meetings with specific vendors. He also arms each member of the Royer’s delegation with a folder that identifies, by holiday, items on their shopping list.

The needs range from broad to specific. In January, some of the focus was on larger gifts, such as clocks, afghans and pillows that are relatively new for Royer’s. In July, one of the goals was to find new versions of a heart stick-in and accent ribbon to give a new look to an existing arrangement.

Erica Bixby, Royer’s store manager in Lebanon, has been to Atlanta three times. With experience, she has learned to think beyond the initial appeal of new products to identify how they will work in Royer’s stores.

How will they complement other items, and will they work given the price at which they will have to sell, including once freight costs are factored in?

Something might look nice, Erica suggested, “but you can’t really sell it for $50.”

Moments of inspiration

Technology has made it easier to document the trips. Photos taken with a tablet or smart phone are invaluable for jogging memories. After all, Christmas giftware purchased in January won’t arrive until summer or fall.

Photos also capture moments of inspiration.

“I have a bunch of things that I liked for silks,” Erica said, with an eye toward Royer’s crafting similar arrangements in-house rather than buying them already made.

“Or I take pictures of displays that I’d like to duplicate in the stores,” Jenni added.

On her phone, Jenni pulled up a photo showing how one vendor used eye hooks and ropes to display pillows.

“It’s up, it’s still in the display, but it’s out of the way,” Jenni said, noting that pillows are vulnerable in a flower shop, where the need to water plants is constant.

One week after returning from the July trip, Erica and Jenni were in Royer’s central design department in Lebanon. Looking around them, at tables filled with arrangements being created or revamped for fall debuts, they estimated that 30 percent of the items were from Atlanta.

“That container, that container, that container,” Jenni said, pointing at specific arrangements. “That vase. Those deer [figures]. Those are all things that we picked up in January.”