Social media is a powerful tool capable of making the world a much smaller place. Just ask Wendy Andrade, AIFD, CFD, NDSF, FBFA, Cert Ed. Wendy, who is based in the United Kingdom, has used social sites to market her design inspirations, as well as her books focusing on wearable floral art, wire work and floral accessories, to an audience around the globe.
“The world of marketing has changed since social media has revolutionized how we communicate and I feel the potential advantages have reduced my marketing costs and have increased sales by leading people to my website,” Wendy says. “It’s had a positive effect on my business.”
Wendy uses popular social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to share her work on a regular basis. The tools came in handy when she published both of her books, “Fresh Floral Jewelry” in 2013 and “Floral Accessories” in 2017.
“Having an American publisher is also very helpful as they constantly use social media to promote their authors and they have a huge following,” Wendy says. “Facebook and Instagram are both very addictive and very necessary and I do regularly post designs and workshops coming up which all relate back to the books.”
Wendy tags her work with the hashtag #wendyandradedesigns as a way to promote her personal brand and to make her work easily found. (See page 20 for strategies about optimizing the use of hashtags.)
“Social media is excellent for exposure and is paramount for our industry,” she says. “It seems the more you post, the more interest you create. This has, in turn, led to more work worldwide for me and I look forward to that continuing.”
Wendy has been creating beautiful designs with flowers since she was 13 years old. She says what attracted her to the industry almost 50 years ago has never wavered: she still loves the creativity, the community among other designers, and the freedom to travel and share her passion.
Wendy’s love of floral design and her thirst for education is what inspired her to write her books – and to become a member of AIFD, which she says has also been a powerful tool in growing her business and sharpening her skills.
“It was not all smooth sailing – it took me three attempts at the test before I passed. Ever determined to achieve, I kept at it and expanded my studies with work experience and classes in the United States to learn how to do what was required on the test,” she says. “I was inducted into AIFD in 2009 and was so proud to finally be a part of this prestigious flower family. I have made forever friends and I attend the yearly symposiums and love being asked to host workshops.”
In summing things up, Wendy feels that the extensive visibility social media provides for her design talents, together with the status that comes with being an AIFD member, are strong forces in driving her success. “It has definitely helped me in my business, especially with the books. It has also helped me to secure jobs worldwide,” she states.