Flower ShopI love dealing with a company that knows me. I feel a sense of confidence when addressed by name or even by preference … the usual today? To think that someone knows and cares what I like makes me happy. I will be their customer for life.

Shopping today for anything can be so tedious and impersonal. Technology is a wonderful thing, and the Internet has made our world so much bigger and opened up endless opportunities. With a few clicks, we can find almost anything … sometimes. Often for me, it takes many clicks before I’m even close to what I am looking for. Our social media outlets connect us with everyone, all of whom are our “friends,” hundreds of them. You would think all of this makes life so much easier and fuller but often just overwhelming. Phone calls lead us to a menu from which to choose the service we require. Often my needs don’t fit the options so I am left with mostly frustration. What ever happened to a person asking if they can help us? We are no longer “little fish in a big pond” we are now “minnows in the ocean.”

Large “super” stores have popped up everywhere offering everything we need in our life all in one place. This can be convenient if you like to walk and have plenty of time to search the aisles. Have you ever wandered these aisles looking for something, not found it and ended up buying “stuff” that you probably didn’t need?

I grew up in a community where there were shops along Main Street offering everything we needed from the drug store to the hardware store to all kinds of novelty and clothing options. As you entered, you were warmly greeted and your needs were immediately addressed. Often I think life was more efficient then. Sure you had to go to multiple stores to meet your needs, but each shop specialized in something that narrowed and defined the search.

Live ColorfullyTimes have changed and shops like these that I remember are hard to find, but one that is still there to serve today’s consumer is the flower shop.  Often still located on Main Street, our local florist knows who we are and what we like. They have embraced technology and now use it to make our purchasing truly easier and faster, yet at the same time more personal. If you sent flowers last year for your sister’s birthday, her address is there in the system so the flowers you choose this year can be quickly on their way to her. You love to send bright colors and Gerbera are a favorite, all duly noted. Yet if you are in the mood for something else, your florist is there to help you whether you stop by or call on the phone. Emailing your needs works, too, particularly if you have developed a relationship. They know you and will take care of your order. The best part is, they can deliver the same day.

Shop locally is a theme we hear often these days. Not only is our shopping experience improved but we also help our communities by supporting local business. It’s “win win” all the way around. Don’t wait for an occasion. Stop by your local florist, introduce yourself if this is an initial visit and buy a few stems of something colorful to take home with you. I guarantee you’ll feel great and will establish a relationship that will be rewarding each time you make a purchase for someone else or for someone special — yourself!

What do you look for in a florist or any local business?