Having spent a majority of my life in a retail flower shop, I have experienced firsthand the emotional connection with beautiful product and wonderful people.

Flowers are like magnets and draw people to them. How many of us can pass up a collection of beautiful flowers without a second glance?

At the shop, every morning, we would begin by getting ready for the day’s activities. Each person that came through the door, emailed or called on the phone was driven by an emotion, and we needed to be ready to help. A new baby was born, someone was ill, a thank you was in order or maybe an apology, a prom corsage to be selected or a wedding to be planned, any of which could be the business at hand. They were happy, sad, concerned, excited, confused, and they knew who could help — their florist.

Before I was involved in the floral business, I was a floral customer. My brother needed a prom corsage, I took care of ordering it with the help of the local florist. My parents’ wedding anniversary needed attention; I just naturally went to the florist as they always knew the best thing to choose. When my grandmother died, the florist was at the top of the list.

We didn’t know a lot about flowers, but my family liked flowers and always made them an important part of family events big or small, happy or sad. We didn’t need to know a lot because the florist always gave us options and helped us make the right choices. I have to admit, they we took this service for granted. We would just call or pop into the shop with full confidence that they would take care of everything.  

Nowadays, floral customers can go to a website and find what they need by scrolling through pages of options. We can ask friends for ideas, go on Pinterest or maybe even refer to magazines.

A call to the local florist makes these choices so much more personal and efficient. Building a relationship with a local florist is of great value when you need something special that will represent you, and choosing the right bouquet is much easier and more effective if the person helping you knows you. Flower types and design styles are limitless. That is one of the reasons why florists can make floral gifts personal and meaningful.

When I started to work in a flower shop, I began to realize just how important these services that the florist provided actually were. Often, the relationship with a customer began simply when they came into the shop, sometimes just to look around and see what we had available. They would often ask questions and a dialog would begin that would continue for years as they got to know us and we them.

Over time, a florist may provide a customer’s prom corsage, then their wedding flowers, flowers for their first baby, a bouquet for the first communion, and the cycle would start again with their teen’s prom corsage. Many florists have that history with their customers and from experience, I know how valuable that relationship can be.

Local florists are also usually very involved in their communities. They support local events, schools, sports teams and often give young people their first jobs.

Your florist will share your joy, give you a tissue when you need one and even a hug. Your florist makes whatever comes your way special by helping you express your thoughts and feelings in a very personal way.

Support your local florist this Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.