2018 was a year that had a lot of ups and downs. A year that when I think back on it makes me think huh and scratch my head? We had a lot of new growth, weddings were up by 60% compared the the year before and we expanded our gardening services which meant hiring a new team member. We partnered with a lot of creative people and participated in some fun projects, met a lot of fabulous entrepreneurs involved in the wedding industry, and of course we began the Pop Up Wedding YEG adventure which has already grown bigger than expected in the first 6 months.
With 2018 behind us we have evaluated our business model and are making a few changes to the services we offer in order to focus our talents and provide a better service to all our clients and couples.
The first thing you may have noticed is a slight change in our branding. Gone are the green and pink depictions of The Wheelbarrow Gardener and Wheelbarrow Florist logos and hello to a new design that incorporates both of the names into one single design. We've also updated and changed our website so that it's a little more simplistic and easier to navigate. to find the information.
* We will be expanding the service area for our gardening division to include Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park and a larger portion of the City of Edmonton. This means that we will be doing some more hiring this spring so we have a larger team to cover this new area. Both of our current staff members are continuing with schooling in the horticultural and landscape design fields so we can offer bigger and better design and gardening services.
* Our floral division will strictly be focusing on weddings and private and corporate events, along with planning, floral and decor services for Pop Up Weddings YEG.
* We will continue to expand on the Pop Up Weddings and provide unique, intimate, stress free and inexpensive wedding options to Edmonton and area couples.
* We will be offering a lot more private seasonal and design workshops. We will bring the workshop to your home or business. Great for parties, bridal or baby showers and team building events at work.
Somthings however, did not do so well. We had a hard time filling our studio workshops and the rental of our space and decor was slow and inconsistent, so we will be removing a few of these services as they were not preforming as we had liked and in the end were taking away our time and efforts that could be better spent somewhere else.
* We will no longer provide online ordering of everyday floral or plant arrangements. As sad as we are to see the everyday flower concept go, we do know that there are plenty of very talented floral shops that can serve you well with creative and fun designs and great customer service.
* We will no longer be offing the rental of decor items, we will keep some essential pieces that we can offer our wedding couples and use for events and Pop Up Weddings but we will be selling off a large majority of our inventory in the spring.
* We will no longer be offering design and planting services for summer planters for new clients, we will continue to offer this service to those that have used us in the past or if we are providing seasonal garden maintenance for you. We simply don't have the facility needed to provide the quality that we put into all of our work. We will however continue to offer the Christmas planters to anyone who orders.
* And finally our biggest change will be that I will not be renewing our lease at our St. Albert location later this year and will be moving the business back to my home in Sturgeon County. When I leased the space here in St. Albert two years ago I though that I needed a brick a motor location for my business to be taken seriously and to look like a legitimate small business, but over time I realized with what we do, it's the product and service that the people invest their money in and not where I am located, in fact other than the couples that come for a wedding consultation many of our clients have never seen my space. Of course this will mean a few changes to the way we do things, but in my vision for the future this is a good move and it will allow us to focus on what we do best and give clear value for your investment.
Thank you to friends, family and our clients who continue to come to us for our services and who provide encouragement via verbal or financial means. So cheers to 2019 a year of focused growth and having fun while we do it.