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floral decoration

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floral decoration, art of arranging living or dried plant material for adornment of the body or home or as a part of public ceremonies, festivals, and religious rituals.

Since the earliest days of civilization, humans have used floral decorations, composed of living or dried cut-plant materials or artificial facsimiles, to embellish their environment and persons. Flowers have played an important part in folk festivals, religious ceremonies, public celebrations of all kinds, and, of course, courtships. Sophisticated cultures have generally expressed a love for decorating with flowers by carefully arranging them in especially chosen containers, while other societies have used them more informally: strewn, made into garlands and wreaths, or casually placed in waterholding vessels without thought of arrangement.

Elements and principles of design

The term flower arrangement presupposes the word design. When flowers are placed in containers without thought of design, they remain a bunch of flowers, beautiful in themselves but not making up an arrangement. Line, form, colour, and texture are the basic design elements that are selected, then composed into a harmonious unit based on the principles of design—balance, contrast, rhythm, scale, proportion, harmony, and dominance. Line is provided by branches or slender, steeple-like flowers such as snapdragon, delphinium, and stock. Form and colour are as varied as the plant world itself. Moreover, forms not natural to the plant world can be created for contemporary abstract compositions by bending and manipulating branches, vines, or reeds to enclose space and create new shapes. Texture describes surface quality and can be coarse, as in many-petaled surfaces such as chrysanthemums, or smooth, as in anthuriums, calla lilies, and gladioli. There are many variations between these extremes. Leaves and woody stems also have varied textural qualities.

A flower arrangement includes not only the flowers themselves but the container that holds them and the base on which the container may rest. If an accessory, such as a figurine, is included, that too becomes a part of the total design. The whole composition should relate in textural quality to its frame of reference, which might be a wood or glass table top or a linen cloth, and should be in close harmony with the style of the room for which it was planned, be it Louis XV or Danish modern.

As the components of a design are selected and combined, a silhouette, or arrangement outline, is created. This outline is generally considered most interesting when the spaces in the composition vary in size and shape. Third dimension, or sculptural quality, is accomplished by allowing some of the plant materials in a grouping to extend forward and others to recede. Flower heads turned sideways, or toward the back, for example, break up contour uniformity and draw the eye into and around the composition. When a formal, static quality is sought, the contour is restricted or evenly shaped, often into such graduated forms as a pyramid or mound.

Balance is psychologically important, for an arrangement that appears to be leaning, top-heavy, or lopsided creates tension in the viewer. (Occasionally, however, as in some modern arrangements, this is the very effect desired.) Colour as well as the actual size of the plant material influences design stability. Dark colour values look heavier than light values; a deep red rose, for example, appears heavier in an arrangement than a pale pink carnation, even though they are the same size. An arrangement in which dark colours are massed at the top and light colours at the bottom can therefore appear top-heavy. Similar flowers placed in identical positions on either side of an imaginary vertical axis create symmetrical balance. If there is an unequal distribution of varying flowers and leaves on either side of the axis but their apparent visual weight is counterbalanced, asymmetrical balance is achieved. This compositional device is more subtle and often more pleasing aesthetically than symmetrical balance, for its effect is less apparently contrived and more varied. Contrasts of light and dark, rough and smooth, large and small, also give variety to the composition. An arrangement generally has a dominant area or centre of visual interest to which the eye returns after examining all aspects of the arrangement. An area of strong colour intensity or very light values, or a rather solid grouping of plant material along the imaginary axis and just above the container’s rim, are devices commonly used as compositional centres. The rhythm of a dynamic, flowing line can be achieved by the graduated repetition of a particular shape, or by the combination of related colour values. Scale indicates relationships: the sizes of plant materials must be suitably related to the size of the container and to each other. Proportion has to do with the organization of amounts and areas; the traditional Japanese rule that an arrangement should be at least one and a half times the height of the container is a generally accepted use of this principle. Proportion also relates to the placement of the arrangement in a setting. A composition is either overpowering or dwarfed if placed on too small or too large a surface or in too small or too large a spatial setting. Harmony is a sense of unity and belonging, one thing with another, that comes with the proper selection of all the components of an arrangement—colour, shape, size, and texture of both plant materials and container.

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Materials

Many different kinds of plant materials are used in floral decorations, among them flowers, foliage, grasses, grains, branches, berries, seeds, nuts, cones, fruits, and vegetables. The materials may be living, dried, or artificial. Initially, man was restricted to using native wildings, or uncultivated plants, but as civilization developed over a period of thousands of years, man became less dependent on the seasons and on the resources of the particular region in which he lived. As means of transportation improved and trading grew, plants were introduced from foreign countries and many have since been hybridized to improve or vary shape, size, and colour. In the 20th century the floral decorator has an enormously varied medium in which to create because plant materials can be flown from one part of the world to another. Since the 19th century, when extensive greenhouse cultivation first made it possible to purchase fresh flowers at any time of the year, there have been commercial growers of plant materials who supply the world’s floral wholesale markets. The Netherlands, for example, is famous for the 10-mile stretch of greenhouses at Aalsmeer near Amsterdam. In the United States, California and Florida, particularly, have vast areas under cultivation for commercial flowers.

Dried plant materials are generally used for what is traditionally called a winter bouquet. The cultivated flowers that are often dried are those with a naturally dry, stiff surface quality—such as strawflowers (Helichrysum bracteatum), globe amaranth (Gomphrena), and statice. North temperate zone wildings picked and preserved for dried arrangements include pearly everlasting, heather, and the sea lavender of salt marshes, as well as goldenrod, orange bittersweet berries, cattails, dock, teasel, and sumac. Many kinds of grasses—pampas, sea oats, millet, and sorghum, for example—are also dried, as are seed-bearing capsules such as the flat paper disks of honesty (Lunaria), orange Chinese lanterns (Physalis), and the wood roses from the Hawaiian morning glory (Ipomoea tuberosa). Other dried materials sometimes used in floral decorations are cones and nuts, long used for making wreaths and festoons for such winter festivals as Christmas; straw, used for Christmas decorations in Sweden and Lithuania; and grains, especially wheat and oats, often arranged in bunches for harvest decorations in Europe and America. Because of their fleshy substance, most fruits and vegetables do not dry well; the main exceptions are gourds, pomegranates, and artichokes.

There are various ways of drying plant materials. Certain garden flowers (among them celosia, blue salvia, globe thistle, alliums, and hydrangeas) can be gathered at their peak of bloom and dried by hanging them upside down in a dark, dry place for several weeks. Flowers may also be individually dried using one of several techniques. A 17th-century Italian writer on horticulture, P. Giovanni Battista Ferrari, described a process of gently burying the flower heads in clean, sun-dried sand and allowing them to remain in a sun-heated place for several months. The same method was used in the 19th century. Later, borax was used, and in the 20th century silica gel, because of its ability to absorb moisture. This solution is gently brushed between and over every petal. Since this method of drying does not preserve the stems, the flower heads must be wired before they are arranged.

Leaves and ferns are dried by pressing. The most delicate pressed flowers and foliage have been composed, mounted, and framed as pictures—a practice especially popular with 19th-century Romantics, who preserved floral souvenirs as sentimental personal memorabilia.

Throughout history and in almost every conceivable medium man has created artificial plant materials. The Chinese fashioned peony blossoms and fruits from semiprecious stones and carved jade leaves, which they assembled into small trees. Gold lotus blossoms were highly treasured in eastern Asia. For European royalty in the late 19th century, the Russian-born jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920) designed exquisite single-stemmed flowers of gold, enamel, gems, and semiprecious stones set in small rock-crystal pots. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Sèvres porcelain factory in France produced porcelain flowers with stems and leaves of ormolu (a metallic alloy resembling gold). At the same time, the Royal Worcester, Crown Staffordshire, and Royal Doulton factories in England became world-famous for their highly realistic porcelain floral arrangements, which are still made. The Victorians developed a home craft of making and arranging flowers and fruits. Wax, cloth, yarn, feathers, shells, and seeds were used to make the flowers and fruits, which were then either framed or placed under glass domes. Perhaps the most curious of these 19th-century decorations were the wreaths and floral displays made by twisting, knotting, and weaving the hair of one’s family and friends around wire supports. Beaded flowers for cemetery and funerary bouquets have been popular in France since the 19th century; and paper flowers for festivals and home decoration have become a major folk art medium in Mexico and Japan. Because of their relatively low cost, durability, and easy maintenance (an occasional washing or dusting), plastic flowers and plants are in such great demand that their production has become an important 20th-century industry. Though still primarily used in public places, plastic plant materials are increasingly found in private homes, especially in the United States.

Techniques

Cut plant materials, especially flowers, need special care and treatment before they are placed in vases. Ideally, flowers are picked some hours before they are arranged and never in the heat of the day. Generally, the bottoms of the stems are cut on a slant, placed in deep tepid water, and kept in a cool place, preferably overnight. Different materials have different conditioning needs. Woody stems are split several inches with pruning shears, then soaked in hot water. Stem ends may be crushed with a mallet instead, but clean cuts make it easier to impale branches on a needle holder. Milky stems, such as those of poppies, poinsettias, and large dahlias, are sealed by placing the tips in boiling water or over a flame for a few seconds. Foliage and flowers are protected from steam and flame by inserting the stems through a hole punched in newspaper, which is then drawn up over them

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What Is a Cleansing Milk?

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Got (Cleansing) Milk?

What makes a cleansing milk different from other cleansers? Physically, cleansing your face with a cleansing milk feels like dipping your skin into a cloud – they’re softer, creamier, and thinner than your average gel cleanser.

Water vs. oil content
In the world of cleansers, cleansing milk doesn’t get as much attention as their scrubby counterparts. A typical skin cleanser requires water as an activator; the water creates the cleanser’s final texture, be it a lather or scrub. Many prefer to apply cleansing milk directly to skin without water, since the lathering action comes from the fats in the formula itself.

What makes a cleansing milk unique is the combination of oil and water. As we mentioned, there’s really no need to add water to use, meaning there’s no surfactant cleansing agent at work. Water is really only needed to rinse the cleanser away after you’ve massaged it over your skin.

The same cleansing milk components feeding the skin supportive nutrients are also working to cleanse away dirt and debris. Multi-tasking ingredients like coconut oil in our Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk provides vitamin E support, moisturizing and softening properties, as well as antibacterial cleansing and a deep, gentle clean.

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Creamy, dreamy texture
Texture is the name of the game with cleansing milks. The smooth creaminess sweeps into our pores, gently lifting away surface debris while preserving the natural moisture and softness of our skin. Some harsher cleansers can be stripping, leaving skin dry and tight. Cleansing milks are pillow-soft with emollient qualities, which is what makes these types of cleansers excellent for dry and sensitive skin types.

Two-for-one cleansing action
We stan a simple evening routine, and finding a cleanser that tackles dirt as well as makeup is like hitting the lottery. Cleansing milk makes our makeup removing and cleansing process a two-for-one experience, and allows us to keep our skin care routine as uncomplicated as possible.

Gentle enough for your morning cleanse
Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty; it’s time for your morning facial! Your skin might be a bit puffy from staying up all night with Prince Charming – uneven skin tone, dark circles, and dryness are real instances in which we #WokeUpLikeThis.

We don’t want to attack our skin with astringents or super textured cleansers while it’s already trying to repair, especially if your skin type is combination or dry. Instead, smoothing on a calming cleansing milk first thing in the morning sweeps away any residue from your hair, pillow, or sweat. It jump-starts the moisturization and hydration process, and allows skin a moment of recovery in an otherwise hectic morning.

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Who Shouldn’t Use a Cleansing Milk?

Cleansing milks are great, but there are certain times or specific skin types that might benefit from more targeted care. For example, someone suffering from moderate to severe acne would see the most calming results from cleansers that target breakouts. Preferable ingredients might include tea tree oil, charcoal, or lavender, while oil-forward and emollient components in a cleansing milk aren’t likely to have power over active breakouts.

This also means that somewhat to very oily skin types are better suited with cleansers specifically designed to balance sebum, rather than a cleansing milk.

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100% PURE™ Cleansing Milks

Calendula Flower Cleansing Milk

We’ll never get over just how creamy and luxurious cleansing milks feel on the skin. Here’s what makes our all new Calendula Flower Cleansing Milk a total crowd-pleaser!

This floral fantasy cleansing milk does wonders for the skin. A single pump delivers milky hydration that smooths over the skin like early morning mist, addressing any imbalances on the surface first. Calming natural ingredients and botanicals are what make this gentle gem a favorite skin treatment for dry or sensitive skin types.

Water Content

The type of water included in this cleansing milk is what makes it transformative for the skin:

  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice: One of our favorite skin care formula bases, aloe feels like slipping into satin pajamas for our skin. This skin savior soothes active inflammation like acne and rosacea, while helping to clear the complexion and hydrate skin.
  • Glycerin: A humectant power player when it comes to hydration, glycerin helps boost and maintain skin’s moisture levels by drawing in the hydration it needs from the environment.
  • Calendula Flower Water: The star of the show, this lovely floral is lesser known but effective for diminishing inflammation. Natural brightening properties deliver on a more youthful glow.
  • Rose Water: A favorite floral of ours, red and rosy skin take a backseat with this hydrating, super soothing ingredient.

Oil Content

As we now know, cleansing milk is a harmony of water and oil-based ingredients. This marriage makes for a unique blend of hydrating, moisturizing, and purifying abilities for the skin. Our Calendula Cleansing Milk features the following fruity and floral oils to deliver calm, cleansed skin:

  • Calendula Oil: To add to the list of what we love about calendula, this flower also helps preserve our skin’s collagen and maintain tight, plump skin for a youthful appearance.
  • Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil: This shrub extract is perfect for addressing inflammatory skin conditions but also helps with new skin cell generation for fewer lines and smoother skin.
  • Chamomile & Geranium Oils: A sweet blend that makes for a calming skin remedy to reduce irritation and breakouts

Just as important as what it includes, is what this natural cleansing milk leaves out. Free of surfactants and synthetic fragrances, this vegan cleansing milk makes dry skin woes, deep dirt, and surface skin debris just melt away.

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Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk

Boasting just six ingredients, sensitive skin types and dry skin alike will appreciate the simplicity of our Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk. Sink into creamy, dreamy softness as coconut milk brightens and smooths skin by working to restore elasticity.

Coconut oil delivers fatty acids right where we want them, is at work helping to pull out anything undesirable on or in our skin. Fragrant, anti-inflammatory vanilla supports skin soothing while working with coconut milk to boost suppleness. With natural humectant properties from vanilla, glycerin, and coconut, this cleanser will stay on standby to keep skin hydrated well after you rinse it off.

This formula might make you thirsty for a fresh-cut coconut on the beach – meanwhile, let your skin experience the soothing bliss of a gentle, luxurious cleansing milk made from real coconut!

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What Is Skin Polishing?

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Skin polishing is a technique used to brighten or exfoliate dull skin by removing the dead skin on the surface. This improves your skin’s texture, making it smoother, and also reverses skin damages like tan or uneven skin tone.

It is also referred to as microdermabrasion . The procedure can be done on various parts of the body like the neck, hands, back, etc. Microdermabrasion treatments are effectively used to treat melasma photoaging, striae or stretch marks , hyperpigmentation, age spots crow’s feet and improves the tone and texture of the skin.

How Is The Treatment Done?

Skin polishing is a treatment where the skin is polished and nourished with nutrients, while the dead skin is removed. It is a gentle procedure and similar to a facial.

The technique typically includes a device that the skincare professional will use to gently remove the top layer of the skin in the area being treated. This is followed by the application of a serum or moisturiser based on your skin type to close the open pores and maximise the benefits of the procedure on the skin.

Skin polishing can be done at home or by a skincare professional or dermatologist. However, we advise you not to try it without the professional advice of an expert. For best results, microdermabrasion should ideally be done for upto 8 sessions with a gap of 3-4 weeks between each session.

Types Of Skin Polishing

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are the two most popular forms of skin polishing treatments. The most common ones are the Crystal and the Diamond Microdermabrasion techniques used by most dermatologists and skincare professionals.

A new method being used is hydradermabrasion, where crystal-free exfoliation products are used simultaneously with creams that get absorbed into the skin. This method aims at increasing collagen [6] production and blood flow while removing dead skin.

Depending on the problem being addressed, the number of treatments can vary from person to person. They usually range between 4-12 sessions; however, there should be a gap of 2-3 weeks between each session.

1. Clinical Methods

Clinical methods of skin polishing

A. Crystal Microdermabrasion

It is a non-invasive procedure that uses the principle of friction to sand away the top layer of the skin. The hand held device uses aluminium oxide srystals that are sprayed onto the skin at high speed. Simultaneously, an attached vacuum sucks away the dirt and dead skin.

Pros:

  • Very little downtime required (24 hours).
  • Results visible almost immediately after the procedure.
  • Permanently removes scars and marks in a few sittings.
  • Good for acne reduction as the crystals have antibacterial qualities.
  • The crystals can access wrinkles, and the lines near your nose and mouth because of their irregular shape.
  • Aluminum Oxide that is used in the crystals is inert, hence non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and will not cause any allergies or adverse reactions.
  • Crystal dermabrasion can be more effective for older skins with sun damage that need treatment.

Cons:

  • It may be too strong a treatment for younger or sensitive skins.
  • The skin can be sensitive to the sun for a few weeks.
  • Slight redness of the skin can occur, however, that fades away in a few hours.
  • The spray can be hard to control in the hands of someone less experienced.
  • Skin may feel sensitive to the touch.

Aftercare:

  • Use a strong sunscreen with high SPF, if you have to step out.
  • Use hypoallergenic products that nourish and moisturise your skin.
  • Avoid colour cosmetics on the skin if the treatment has been done on the face.
  • Avoid using anti-acne creams and lotions on the face.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid touching your skin and body heating exercises like a sauna or a hot shower.

B. Diamond Microdermabrasion

Here, a handpiece with a diamond-tip is used to exfoliate the skin very gently. It simultaneously uses a suction method to suck in the dead skin and dirt it exfoliates. This method is used for sensitive areas with thin skin — the under-eye region and the surrounding areas.

Pros:

  • Preferred by skincare professionals as it gives them more control for better results.
  • No chance of any particle getting inhaled or irritating the eyes.
  • Diamonds being the hardest substance found, they can be most effective for dermabrasion.
  • Gives the professional more control for better treatment over delicate areas near the eyes and mouth.
  • Effective on sensitive skin and does deeper exfoliation.
  • Ideal for younger, firmer skins, especially if you need glowing skin for your wedding or a big occasion.

Cons:

  • Fixed and rigid shape makes it difficult to reach every part of the face.
  • Build-up of dead skin particles on the wand’s tip may increase risk of bacterial infections.
  • Can be less effective on skin with wrinkles and lines as the wand doesn’t have crystals that can fit into the crevices and irregularities on the skin’s surface.

Aftercare:

  • Avoid applying any topical creams — medicated or cosmetic.
  • Use sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • Avoid applying make-up for a few days.
  • Stay away from hot showers or saunas; steam rooms or exercise — anything that increases your body temperature — for at least 24-48 hours.
  • Drink a lot of water and don’t touch your skin.

2. Home Methods

Microdermabrasion can be done at home as there are several branded kits available. These treatments can be done once a week upto a period of eight weeks. However, it is best to talk to your dermatologist before trying it yourself at home.

An effective home solution that can work as a substitute for a salon microdermabrasion treatment is mixing baking soda and your cleansing face wash to form a paste. Scrub your face gently with this mixture — it will remove dead skin and help the skin to absorb any moisturiser that you use after a shower. You can do this once or twice a month.

Benefits Of Skin Polishing

Skin polishing can make the skin brighter, softer and minimise the appearance of acne, fine lines and spots. It also improves blood circulation and is effective in treating enlarged pores and blackheads. For skin problems such as stretch marks and scars, hyperkeratosis [8], etc., skin polishing can be a permanent solution.

How Is Skin Polishing & Brightening Different From Facials?

A skin polishing treatment can make the skin’s tone even and take care of a wide range of skin problems in a non-invasive way. Its results are more effective than facials, in terms of giving the skin a glow and removing dead skin. Facials only work on the top most surface of the skin to improve its appearance, while polishing exfoliates dead skin to resurface healthier skin.

What Are The Side Effects Of This Treatment?

Usually, there are no side effects if you follow all the precautions prescribed by your dermatologist. Immediately after a session, there might be slight redness on the skin, which goes off in a few hours.

How Long Does The Procedure Take?

Depending on the area it is being worked on, each skin polishing session lasts for 45 minutes to an hour.

Who Is Eligible For This Treatment?

All skin types can avail of this treatment as it is safe. However, people with severe skin conditions are not eligible for this treatment.

Wrapping Up

So, if you wish to have younger and brighter looking skin, or want to minimise the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet or wrinkles, skin polishing is a treatment you can opt for. It is safe, non-invasive and the results are visible in a few sessions. However, getting it done by a professional dermatologist is recommended.

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Tips for Successful Ice Cream Truck Business

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Tips for Successful Ice Cream Truck Business

Starting an ice cream truck business can be an excellent choice for an entrepreneur launching a career.

The financial barriers to entry aren’t overwhelming, and, to some extent, the business allows a fair amount of flexibility regarding hours. Also, an ice cream truck business is highly scalable. To expand, all you need to do is to purchase a second truck.

If this gets you interested in learning how to start an ice cream truck business, take a look at some of the unique considerations and steps involved in this unique and delicious business.

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1. Assess the resources you need to start your business

The major asset you need to start your ice cream truck business is, not surprisingly, the truck itself. Look into purchasing a used ice cream truck that has freezers installed. If you aren’t able to find one that meets your needs, you’ll have to purchase a truck or step van and make the necessary alterations. Taking all of this into account, plan to spend $10,000 to $20,000 for your truck.

Operating expenses include gasoline and maintenance costs, among many others. Once you know the length of the route, you plan to drive you can calculate your costs.

Of course, you need to purchase the ice cream itself on a regular basis, in addition to any toppings, cones, cups or any other supplies you might need. The good news is that you’ll receive payment immediately for your products, so you’ll have an income that you can turn right around to keep your inventory well stocked. Most ice cream truck businesses can bank on spending around $1,500 to purchase startup inventory.

Other costs when starting an ice cream truck business include the permits and licenses necessary to operate. These expenses will vary depending on where your ice cream truck is located and the local laws that the government has put in place. Also, consult with your insurance company to receive an insurance quote for your ice cream truck.

If you’re planning to start an ice cream truck business by yourself, at least initially, you won’t need to budget for labor costs. But if you expect to hire staff to drive your truck and serve ice cream, make sure to factor those costs into your startup budget as well.

2. Decide what type of ice cream to sell

While most traditional ice cream trucks sell ice cream novelties, some do well selling soft-serve ice cream or hard ice cream. Novelties are by far the easiest choice since the main requirement is sufficient freezer space. It also reduces some of the food handling concerns that come with running an ice cream truck business since the ice cream is pre-packaged. Your inventory will also be easier to manage and keep track of. When starting an ice cream truck business, this is one aspect you’ll want to take your time deciding on. Consider your options carefully because it will have a profound impact on everything from your branding to the demographic you attract and most importantly your bottom line.

Though inventory management for pre-packaged ice cream might be easier, a truck that sells soft serve or hard ice cream has the potential to be more profitable. The variations are virtually limitless with this kind of product. You can vary prices by the scoop, combination of ice cream flavors, toppings and more, all of which makes your offerings more appealing to potential customers. Also, if you’re selling soft serve or hard ice cream, you still have the option to add novelties to your inventory such as prepackaged goods.

Nevertheless, if you make a commitment to serve soft serve or hard ice cream, you must plan on a more significant investment in equipment and staffing. Even your truck may be more expensive. As a result, making the novelties versus soft-serve/hard ice cream decision is one of the most crucial you will make as you plan your ice cream truck startup.

3. Choose and purchase your equipment

POS System

Among equipment you’ll want to consider when starting an ice cream truck business is an iPad-based point of sale (POS). Since most ice cream trucks get by with a calculator and a cash box, you might be wondering if the added cost of a POS system is necessary. It all comes down to your long-term business objectives. If the goal of your ice cream truck business is to grow into a thriving, profitable venture, investing in technology that speeds up transactions, simplifies inventory management and provides your business with actionable insights is key.

Starting off your business with a modern cloud-based POS will ensure that you put your best foot forward, improving productivity and automating some of the grunt work that comes with running a business. You can maximize sales by accepting a variety of payment types (cash, credit, or Apple Pay), monitor sales trends in real-time even when you’re away from your business, collect customer email addresses to encourage repeat visits and create a profitable ice cream truck menu by quickly identifying top-selling items.

Freezers and ice cream machines

You will, of course, need freezers, which should be bolted to the frame and floor of your truck. It’s a good idea to hire a professional refrigeration mechanic to make sure your freezers have the proper power supply and maintain the proper temperatures. When starting an ice cream shop, this is one corner you don’t want to cut. Problems with your refrigeration system can destroy your entire inventory in a matter of hours, costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

You can choose from either commercial chest freezers, which are typically between five and eight feet long, or from smaller, non-commercial freezers. To determine which type of freezer you should invest in, calculate the floor space you have available in the truck and estimate how much space you’ll need to store a full day’s worth of ice cream. Don’t forget to factor in enough space to move around within the truck.

If you’ve decided to serve soft-serve ice cream, you’ll need the appropriate equipment to create and dispense the ice cream. Also, you’ll need a generator to keep all of this equipment running. Another option is an inverter, which converts the 12-volt power of your truck’s battery to the 110-volt power needed to power the freezers and ice cream machines.

Additional equipment

Other equipment you might need when starting your mobile ice cream business includes a music box and an amplification system that lets people know you’re coming. Consider getting a canopy to shelter customers from the sun as they place their order. You can also invest in decorative signs to let people know what they can buy from you, and specialized equipment needed for additional treats you might want to offer, such as shaved ice or slushies.

Make sure you also have the bowls, scoops and spoons you need—and don’t forget to stock up on plenty of napkins! Remember, you’ll also need adequate shelving to hold all these items.

It’s also important not to forget safety equipment. Flashing lights to place on the top and rear of your ice cream truck let pedestrians and traffic know you’re parked, and to help warn them that there are children around your truck or van. A backup alarm that sounds a warning whenever you put your truck into reverse is also a good idea, especially if you plan to set up in parking lots.

4. Plan your route

The obvious choices for an ice cream truck route are stopping points at nearby schools, parks and music and sporting venues. However, before you make plans to set up shop in the parking lot of the nearest park, check your town’s regulations to see if this is allowed.

Some municipalities, under pressure from parents or homeowners, don’t allow ice cream trucks to operate near schools or parks. Others may restrict where and when you can turn on the music that attracts your customers.

You also need to make sure you’re not trying to poach on a route already established by another ice cream truck, since doing so may insight hostility from that truck’s loyal customers, while also cutting into your sales. Do the research you need to make sure you can find a profitable and legal route in your area.

As the seasons change, so may your route. If you’re selling in a region that experiences harsh winters, you may have to store your truck until spring. You may want to adjust your route during summertime as well when driving near schools is not as profitable. Consider launching your food truck at the beginning of summer to find the largest possible audience for your products.

Consider making your ice cream truck available as well for local festivals, whether music festivals, food truck events or state fairs. At these events, you may be able to afford to offer your ice cream at a discount and instead make your profit from selling souvenirs and non-perishables. As you gain a following, have t-shirts made that provide a new kind of mobile advertising for your truck.

5. Select your vendors and plan for inventory storage

Since ice cream and ice cream novelties are readily available, you can shop around to find the items you want at the best prices. Look for commercial vendors to give you the best possible profit margin. Though not the most cost efficient, if you need to refill your inventory at the last minute, you can purchase treats and supplies at the local supermarket or warehouse club such as Costco or Sam’s Club. This is a good last-minute option during a sales surge on a hot summer’s day.

Remember that your need for a freezer won’t end when you finish your daily route. Unless you plan to sell out and restock each day, you’ll need a freezer available at the commissary where you store your truck each night so you don’t lose all your inventory.

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