When Renarldo Parker took a job in a flower shop in the ‘80s, he thought he was just doing it to help out a friend. Now he owns the shop.

Parker started working at Lake Highlands Flowers in 1985 and became good friends with the owner. When she decided to sell the business, he did not want another boss—so he bought Lake Highlands Flowers himself.

“The owner and I became really, really good friends,” Parker said of the store’s previous owner.

Now decades into the industry, Parker said he loves the fresh, new challenges that owning a floral business brings every day.

“I love that it’s new every day. It’s a challenge every day, and it makes people happy every day,” Parker said.

The life of a floral shop owner is not as rosy as it may seem, Parker said. On any given workday, he rises at 4:30 a.m. before working on creating floral arrangements for delivery and answering hundreds of calls each day.

Learning how to design the best floral arrangements was a process of trial and error for Parker. He said he did not have any previous design experience when he took the job. At the time, social media was not available, so he had to teach himself what looks appealing.

Almost every arrangement that the shop sells now is custom designed.

“The only thing we do by recipe is a dozen roses; 99.9% of everything else is custom,” Parker said. “We don’t do recipes.”

Unlike many other small local businesses, Lake Highlands Flowers is still riding a boom in business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I hate to be so blunt, but ... there was a ton of funeral work,” Parker said. “COVID increased our business about 42% in the first year.”

While the Lake Highlands area has several flower shops, Parker’s business stands out because of his commitment to his customers, the florist said.

“Customer first, no matter what. ... We make them feel like we cared about whatever happened,” Parker said.

Business information:

Lake Highlands Flowers, 9661 Audelia Road, Ste. 118, Dallas

214-340-9950. https://shoplhf.com.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Sun.