Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Being a florist in Brazil

If you have planned a wedding or a corporate party or a teenager coming of age party here in Brazil you are familiar with the cerimonialista – the party organizer. They reign supreme. But as far as I can tell they dumb down the event and cut corners which leaves you, the party host, to feel a bit exposed about the shortcomings of your event and they stuff extra cash into their pockets at your expense.

OK – so I have an opinion here. I’m sure there are great cerimonialistas working for the rich and famous that spare no expense to create a fabulous party. But the rank and file? It’s a racket. Buyer beware.
Party organizers pride themselves in being “one-stop-shops” that will attend to all your needs for one low price. Everything is included. But having witnessed many, many such parties I have to report that the name of the game is to cut corners to pocket cash. It is disgusting, frankly.

Seriously, nearly every bride I have spoken to who had her flowers “included” in the buffet/event price was horribly disappointed. They report getting a bouquet that was the wrong color, or composed of flowers they specifically said they did not want. Table centerpieces were ridiculous in their simplicity or near-dead nature (perhaps recycled). People are totally surprised with what they get since no specifics were arranged in advance. They were told not to worry because it was all included.

Sorry folks, but you get what you pay for.

I admit I am being a bit defensive given the way Luiz gets treated by cerimonialistas who want to hire him for peanuts to be a work horse using provided trash flowers to create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear (there's one for you Fabio). He no longer agrees to work with these people. Luiz is the real deal – an artist - and must be hired independently to bring out the best in a bride’s dream for beautiful flowers. Unfortunately there does not seem to be an awareness here for what is possible and what it costs to see it through.

It has been difficult to find business partners who are not just looking to exploit Luiz’s international education, training and talents for their own gain. Sometimes it has been downright ugly.

In the end Luiz has found his opportunities and market niches, but it has not been easy. Business practices do not always translate.  To see more of Luiz's work visit his website

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Luiz's bouquets are amazing! :D :D If we have our wedding in Brazil, I know who to call!! :D

No but seriously, so many people (in the whole world, not just Brazil) think that price is the only way to determine whether you should buy something. Mas barato sai caro! Isn't that the way to say "you get what you pay for" in Portuguese? I'm sure you've had similar experiences with people trying to barter prices for translations and English classes. I have. ;oP

Luiz does really great work, though. :D