Business owner finds the beauty in everyday life
Colleyville Florist has seen a rotating door of ownership since it was founded more than 42 years ago. But its fifth owner, Verna Farris, plans to stay.
"It is an established business and we need to keep it here," she said. "It is too much of a community need to go away."
Farris had worked part-time as a custom floral designer at Colleyville Florist for 10 years when the previous owner told her some alarming news in December 2006.
"She came to me one Christmas and said 'I'm going to close the shop. We're just not doing very well and I'm just going to close, unless you'll buy it,'" Farris said. "And I guess I just lost my mind and did."
Farris has owned Colleyville Florist for five years. When she took over the business in January 2007, she replaced the rattan and wicker displays with new tables and display cases for gift items. She painted over the purple walls with pastel green and yellow to give it a touch of spring, and she hung paintings and plaques on the walls.
"I want people to feel comfortable and warm and at home when they come in here," she said. "And feel like we'll take good care of them for whatever floral need they need."
Farris has increased the shop's social media presence online, driven a pink delivery van to draw attention, purchased higher quality vases and provided attentive customer service. The flowers also receive special care at the shop.
"We take a lot of steps to make it long lasting as it can be," she said. "I want it to bring a smile to their face."
The shop offers floral arrangements and gifts for various occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and funerals.
Farris orders flowers such as roses, lilies and tulips from a Fort Worth wholesaler and an online service, as well as fresh orchids shipped from Hawaii. But those are just the details of the business.
What keeps her going, she says, are the lives that she is able to touch through her work.
One customer, for example, orders a single stem flower every day for his wife.
"I just thought that was really special; how thoughtful," Farris said. "And he doesn't really care what it is, but we try to keep track and coordinate the colors."
Farris recalled three years ago when a customer ordered six rose arrangements and six boxes filled with petals for Valentine's Day.
"This guy was going to propose to his girlfriend, so he filled his house with flowers," Farris said. "Not just one arrangement, but he had six, and the petals were scattered everywhere from the front door to the living room. We got to do the wedding—that's the fun part."
When it comes to weddings, Farris said she strives to make the day very special.
Flowers are important for those who have lost a loved one too, Farris said.
Another customer thanked them for the family flower arrangements for a funeral service.
"She called back after we'd done her mom's flowers and she said, 'It was just a wonderful send-off for her,'" Farris said. "And it made us happy that the flowers were so beautiful."
Colleyville Florist, 5121-B Thompson Terrace, Colleyville, 817-281-5147, www.colleyvilleflowers.com