O’Neill, whose mom was also a florist, said she has worked every job in a shop from taking calls and running the front counter to making deliveries. She said she later learned how to design arrangements herself by watching and learning from coworkers.
“[Being a florist] is what I was meant to do and just kind of evolved into everything,” O’Neill said.
With a greenhouse window along the east wall, The Flower Box has been open since 1972, but O’Neill and her husband, Joe, took over ownership in 2011. In addition to flowers, patrons can find gift items, home decor, candies and stuffed animals as well as silk flowers that can also be arranged by The Flower Box team.
While O’Neill said the job is not always glamorous—lots of long days on her feet—her favorite part is seeing all the colors of the flowers come together in different ways.
“Every day is an experiment,” she said.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner—The Flower Box’s busiest day of the year, followed by Mother’s Day— O’Neill said she recommends people put in their orders sooner rather than later.
In accordance with COVID-19 precautions, The Flower Box is limiting in-person customers but has all of its offerings on its website, where orders can also be made. The arrangements displayed online are all original pieces previously made by The Flower Box florists; that way, O'Neill said, customers know exactly what they are ordering.
Deliveries can also be made no-contact, but O’Neill warned that while deliveries can be made within a work day exact times are difficult on busy days, such as holidays.
As for the best flowers, O’Neill said it is all about personal preference. But if one is unsure, she recommends assorted arrangements, as flowers blossom at different times, which may extend the life of the arrangement.
In offering other tips, O'Neill said she suggests keeping arrangements in a cool place away from vents or drafts and away from electronics. She also said to keep the water clean and remove any dead leaves or petals.
O’Neill said the best part about flowers is that they can be sent for any occasion throughout life, from birth or a birthday to a wedding or a funeral—or, even better, just because.
She added she enjoys hearing about a loved one’s special occasion and their likes and dislikes and using that information in her creations.
“[Flowers] just represent any feeling that you want to express,” O’Neill said. “Our motto is, 'We love to create what your heart wants to say.'”
910 Martin Luther King Jr. St., Georgetown