Most everyone in the floral industry knows who Dan Fisher is &
if you're visiting this blog looking for prom corsage inspiration, chances are
you have worn a Fitz bracelet corsage or will wear one this year.
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to ask him a few questions...
What inspired you to offer something more than a 'granny-panty' Elastic for Prom?
I did not invent the product. There are 2 versions of the story and both ladies agree on this much. They were having dinner together and commented about what a shame it was the they could create almost anything for a wedding, until it came to a corsage and the only option was the elastic band. Here the story takes a different turn, they both say they came up with the idea.
What I do know is Mary Fitzgerald patented it and brought it to the market.
When I connected with her to begin taking care of sales and marketing there was 1 bracelet in 4 colors. 1 year later I bought the company from her. She was financially challenged and did not like the vendor part of the business. She wanted to be creative, not answer the phone and fill orders. After I bought the company she started a wedding cake company. One very interesting point, the owner at the time said the product was for weddings, however, the market responded and said NO it is for prom – that changed the direction of the company in so many ways.
|Can you spot the Granny Panty elastic?- Sprout|
What was your biggest challenge in the beginning?the biggest challenge was cash, the product line was developing so fast, it was all we could do to get inventory in to ship out. We spent a ton of money on air freight.
How did floral adhesive influence the evolution -if at all?quite a bit. I was the glue salesman, actually I was the OASIS rep. When the original product was designed it was expected that it would be a wedding item and the plastic disk was a support device to help distribute the weight of the corsage from pulling on the threads and pulling away from the arm. I looked at the original items and told her that what she thought was a support device to help with weight was really a gluing platform for the flowers. From that day, we looked at all new designs as having a gluing disk. One major change that was impacted by this is that we came out with the first rhinestone bracelet.
|First rhinestone bracelet- Rock Candy|
How do you predict what will be trending in prom fashion early enough to create and
manufacture the new designs?
I do a number of things. I listen to florists a lot. I study the designs in Europe and I watch what is being worn on the red carpet. The biggest thing I do it to study prom dress dresses and dress trends.
I also “float” styles in the market a year or two before I think they will be popular to watch the results. Another key element is to look at what is missing from the market and realize that someone will have to fill that void. For example, I knew that a shade of burgundy would have to be start trending up – it was not anywhere in the market and then it became the Pantone color of the year. Now to be clear, I did not predict that it would be the Pantone color, but I did believe that it had to begin to trend up since it was not in the market anywhere at all. I added 2 burgundy bracelets before the Pantone announcement and both of them are doing very well.
I have a strong sense of both 2016 and 2017. I am going to China in April to finish designing the 2016 line and test the concepts I believe will happen.Most importantly I listen to florists and our staff. The staff has great observations and great insights to share for us to capitalize on. I definitely don’t do it on my own, listening to others and studying the market helps me to see the collective looks that will begin to trend up.
Are there any floral designers you see as leaders?
for body jewelry – Joyce Mason Monheim is the absolute best, her detail and style is great. This is not just prom, but floral body jewelry.
I really like the look of Doug Bates. Alan Masters has a great boutonniere style.
Dov Kupfer has a great blend of eclectic and eccentric
The designers on our team are challenged to come up with new looks and they do a great job.
Suzie Kostick is challenged the most by me. She and I really work well together to reach out there for amazing and creative looks. Her imagination is very strong and has no boundaries.
Anthony Swick has joined our team and he has a very different creative style.
Patience Pickner has a very fresh look, she loves working with fresh product and she also has a very delicate and dainty look.
Mandy Majerik has a strong bold look. Her style was described to me as going straight from the fields to the corsage – very much her own style.
When it comes to creativity John Hosek is fantastic. His unique use of materials is not like anyone else.Jackie Lacey – has a strong blend of sensible and exotic mixed together, especially exotic materials.
What are your predictions for the next 3 years?
the first trend I see is what I call the Herbal look or the natural look. I see flowers and a lot more natural elements coming in to style. This will show up a number of ways in the dresses. They will feature floral prints, floral rhinestone or beaded accents or mini flowers worked in on the body and train of the dress. This will range from bold to very subtle accents.
I expect to begin to see more pants suits for the ladies to wear to prom.
More flowers in the hair – this has a very big potential especially when combined with the natural/herbal look that I think will be coming.I think Bling will begin to taper down some – this year is the biggest bling year I have ever seen.
Did you go to your prom?Yes I did. I was actually on the Prom Committee.