Selling More Operatic Flowers

The Sunday matinee at CSU Fullerton was Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, where RB’s own Emily Weinberg played mezzo-soprano lead Dorabella.

The Kruses, Garstangs, and Weinbergs all agreed it was an amazing performance, and that Emily’s a star on the rise.

Forgive me for a moment of fatherly pride.

In my haste to arrive there on time, I neglected to stop for the obligatory bouquet to present to my family’s songbird. Though we typically arrived more organized, at previous performances I’d noticed students selling water, candy, and 30 single roses.

Determined to not be emptyhanded post-performance, upon arriving we stopped at the auditorium’s snack stand to purchase several flowers. As this was the first time I availed myself of the option, I didn’t realize the do-it-yourself nature of the transaction.

As I selected four blooms from the water-filled vase, I asked for a plastic bag. There were none.

Next I requested paper towels to prevent drips on my lap or hat. No luck there, either.

Fetching a paper towel from the lavatory, I made due as best I could and somehow survived the experience, none the worse for wear.

However, as we exited the event I noticed six roses being discarded and couldn’t help but wonder about my shopping experience.

These items were obviously a student fundraising vehicle, but 20% of the most expensive (and perishable) inventory remained unsold. Might these students eliminate this waste and generate more revenue by providing a minor accommodation?

While plastic grocery bags are uncool, newspaper sleeves are abundant, recyclable, and perfectly sized for long-stem roses. Paper towels are biodegradable. Using either would do the trick.

Better still, offering a moistened towel wrapped around the flower stem in the plastic sleeve would maintain flower freshness while allowing the buyer to remain dry.

I can’t help but feel that CSUF’s artistic fundraising efforts could benefit by a conversation with their robust marketing department. There’s GOT to be an internship or a partnership in there someplace, making everyone a winner.

Bottom line: regardless of what you sell, getting an outside perspective will invariably help you see tricks you’re missing, increase your sales, and make your customers happy they bought from you.

Because the last thing you want is to chase customers back to the competition.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

You can make your marketing sing at