Rosaprima’s Florist Spotlights are segments where we highlight incredible florists around the globe by providing a space where they may share their stories and insights.
Phebe Robinson-Higgins is a ray of sunshine in the floral design industry. She is a successful entrepreneur and business owner, talented designer and florist, but above all, Phebe is passionate about helping other floral professionals create and maintain businesses they love. We’re excited to put her in the spotlight and learn from her expertise.
Tell us how you became a florist. What inspired you to become a floral designer?
My journey into floral design started with a move to South West Texas, but when given more thought, I can remember – even as a little girl – my love for florals and making things pretty. A sudden move to Texas and a career change left me with time and the opportunity to grow my wedding planning business and serve my clients from a design aspect through florals. Even though the closest wholesaler was 250 miles away, I managed to find my way through the ordering process (OMG, so scary at the time!) and produced a beautiful November wedding. I remember how it felt to design my first bouquet and see the excitement on my client’s face when I handed it to her. She knew that I had been learning with other designers. Although I lacked experience, I never lacked passion and persistence. The truth is, nothing would stop me from becoming a wedding and event florist. I took every opportunity to learn from industry professionals, from flying to D.C. to flying designers to Texas. It was a steep learning curve, but I joyfully accepted the challenge. Many years later and hundreds of weddings under my belt, and even now as a floral educator, I still get nervous about the first wedding of every season. When I present a bridal bouquet, I still have butterflies in my belly, and I still look forward to the rush every year.
We know you are an award-winning Pop-Up Floral Shop Educator; why do you think florists should invest in pop-up shows for their businesses?
I love this question! I’m sure people have understood what pop-up shops are, but maybe they’ve never considered what they can do for your business. Let me tell you what it did for mine. I began doing floral pop-up shops to market my wedding and event business to clients who otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to my business. My pop-up shops gained a lot of attention. I quickly found myself increasing quality inquiries & bookings, a free advertising spot on our local news station, the radio, and even GIFTED a billboard ad! The support my sweet Texas town gave me skyrocketed my business, and soon I was booking $20k floral events with ease. All of this is why you should create a floral pop-up shop. I used this same technique to market once I moved to New England and found similar success!
You have diversified your income within the floral business through pop-up shops, virtual and in-person classes, and other floral events. Tell us your secret to maintaining a successful business with different product and service lines.
Staying organized has helped my business thrive. I have a large calendar that I work off of (you know, the old-fashioned one you write on, ha!), and I plan out my year of weddings & passion projects during the winter months. This habit gets me excited and keeps me on my toes a bit when planning out the marketing and the details. Having months instead of weeks to reach out to sponsors and fine-tune my vision helps me stay intentional and focused on new offerings
We know that in 2021 you became a mother. Are there any challenges you have faced as a Flower “Mompreneur”?
Becoming a mom has been the single most incredible adventure I’ve ever been on. Even now, as I am writing this, my son is watching mommy work in between cuddles and tickles. Being a mompreneur is all about adjusting to the daily challenges and going with the flow. I can create all the schedules I want, but in the end, my son is dictating lots of the moving pieces to this pretty big puzzle. For me, it’s about staying fully present with my son and creating space so that my clients know that they are important to me as well. I do my best not to work on weekends, and I respond to most emails after my son’s bedtime. I try to stay hyper-focused with ordering early, designing on Thursday for Saturday weddings so that I’m less stressed if my son is having a hard day (I swear he can feel my stress!), and just enjoying the fact that I have such a significant role in my client’s wedding. Keeping calm and asking for help when I need it has allowed me to think more clearly when things do get crazy. I’ve also been so blessed to have amazing freelancers that I can call upon; requesting their assistance early on has helped so much with workflow.
What are some trends we can expect this year?
I think bold, vibrant colors will be making a debut in 2022! I’ve noticed my clients wanting richer, bolder colors than in previous years, where neutral and blush colors seemed to dominate the industry. Personally, I’m excited!
Which is your favorite RP Exclusive Variety?
RP MOAB. Until now, I had never seen this beauty in person, and it took my breath away. It’s earthy, rich, big-bold-and beautiful. This variety is a total showstopper for any bride with an earthy vibe and gravitates toward neutral tones. Don’t walk… run to your nearest wholesaler and order these!