“When all of this happened, that kind of shut us down,” Houck said.
Houck said a large percentage of the flower shop’s business is events, including weddings and corporate functions, most of which were delayed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, House of Blooms was not allowed to deliver to any hospitals or senior living facilities.
House of Blooms was closed for the remainder of March, but Houck slowly began returning to the store and eventually brought her employees back, too.
Throughout the pandemic and subsequent recession, Houck said she has not had to lay off any of her staff. And people have kept ordering flowers.
“People kept ordering and sending what we call ‘just because’ [arrangements],” Houck said. “We get requests from all over the state. It’s mainly ‘pick-me-up’ type arrangements.”
Houck said the pandemic has also affected many of the flower fields and field workers nationwide, which has led to a disruption in the supply chain and a shortage of certain varieties of flowers. She praised the community and her employees for being flexible and working through the challenges.
“The wonderful thing about the whole thing for us is that everybody has been so cooperative and willing to work with us with change,” Houck said.
As she looks ahead to the coming months, Houck said she hopes the Thanksgiving and end-of-year holiday season—traditionally a busy time for her business—increases sales again this year, although she knows it will not be the same.
“What’s probably going to change during the holidays is ... there probably won’t be as many company celebrations or holiday parties, and that’s one of the things that, in the past, was a revenue stream for us,” Houck said.
Houck said her business will get through the struggles of the past eight months and that she is hopeful about the future of the business and of the Sugar Land community.
“Things are looking better,” Houck said. “There are a lot of positives out there. Because of my industry, I get a chance to work with a lot of people, and I feel that among the people—they want to help each other.”