For many in the floral industry, the summer signals a shift to focusing on wedding flowers, and all of the textures, tones and design styles that are splashed across wedding planning magazines and social media feeds. But for many of us, the fresh flowers in our world are a reminder of loss.Maybe a friend or co-worker has lost a family member and is struggling with the realities of that loss, while also planning funeral services and selecting flowers for the memorial. Or, maybe you have personally experienced a death in your circle of family and friends, and find yourself at the memorial service surrounded by the beauty and fragrance of fresh flowers, sent by your family and friends to celebrate and commemorate the life of your lost loved one.
Whenever loss like this occurs, we all struggle to find avenues for supporting one another. It is usually through gestures and gifts that we show each other support during times of loss and grief, but many of us struggle to find the right gift that communicates our empathy and support.When we originally started our business in 1993, we were focused on the preservation of wedding flowers as keepsakes and meaningful gifts for the bride & groom, but over the past two+ decades, our customers have led us to better understand the symbolic importance of flowers in our lives. Over all these years, we have learned that anytime flowers represent relationships, people want to save them. Each year we see roughly 50% of our new orders being made from memorial flowers, oftentimes with family members all coming together to our showroom together to support each other through the selection process. (Left - rosary made from funeral flowers)
We have also learned that, while most people would assume that women would be more interested in preserving flowers from meaningful life events, men are just as likely to want something made if the flowers are from the memorial service of someone that was significant in their lives. Because of this, we have worked hard to develop a product line that included many items ideally suited to be memorial gifts for men. (Right - tee marker Below - tie tac)
Another difficult but important discover for us is that the loss of a child, including an unborn child, posed an immediate and also a lasting emotional challenge on a family. The immediate emotional toll is difficult enough, but the reality is that this loss is something that families struggle with in a real way for the remainder of time. A customer once explained to us that by making the memorial flowers into jewelry, the family members each had something tangible with them every day, and this helped them feel a connection on a daily basis in a small but significant way.
Lastly, some of our most cherished friendships and relationships are those with our furry family members; yes, with our pets. I took my 11 year old daughter and my grandfather to see the movie Dog's Life at the theater a few years ago (it was the only movie appropriate for an 11 year old and a 91 year old that I could find;) and to my surprise, I spent 2 hours weeping with the entire audience. Watching the passing of a beloved pet in a fictional scenario immediately reminds all of us of our own experience with the loss of a pet, and if you've been through it, you know why we were all welling up watching the movie. Over the years we have been asked to preserve flowers from pet memorial ceremonies, and we even work the cremains from pets into our jewelry.
Each of our Bloombeads jewelry items is packaged in a gift-ready box and bag, and can include a commemorate insert that includes a photo of the flowers before they were preserved, and can include a custom message or information about the flowers or loved one.
While moments of grief and loss can sometimes be the most challenging times of our lives, they are also moments in which we have an opportunity to need and be needed. It is through our gestures and gifts that we let those in our lives know how much they really mean to us. It is a true honor for our company to play a small role in helping people support one another with these thoughtful and carefully hand-crafted gifts.