We'd like to start doing some blog posts featuring the neighboring businesses in the Timberlyne Shopping Center, because we LOVE them. From the flowers to the coffee, to ALL THE DELICIOUS FOOOOOOD, we kind of lucked out being so close to these places.
Our first neighborhood feature is the Victoria Park Florist just two doors down. Mike has given me a few different arrangements for special occasions and once for a time he got in trouble...I mean a time he wanted to show his appreciation for me....And they are the three most beautiful arrangements I've ever received. The customer service is amazing and their creativity makes for a perfect and unique bouquet every time. All you do is walk in, call in, or go online and give an idea about what you want, then they make the magic happen. They make arrangements for any occasion you can think of, make deliveries, they even sell jewelry, chocolates, Peruvian gifts (blankets, sweaters), cards, and more!
We are lucky enough to have two of the floral designers, Carly and Christina, as part of the gym now! I sat down with them to ask a few questions about the shop and what they do, and here is what they had to say:
Give us a background on Margaret and Dave, how long the shop has been open, etc:
Margaret and Dave grew up in Zimbabwe (Margaret was born there and Dave moved there with his family) and ended up meeting each other at Fort Victoria High School and the rest is history! Fast forward a few years after they sent both their daughters to the US for college, Margaret made a trip for a graduation and decided she was never leaving! After telling Dave, his reply was "Well, you have to find something to do". So she did. In 2004 they opened Victoria Park Florist and have been successfully running it ever since.
What made you want to be a flower arranger/how did you get into this?
Carly: Carly's uncle used to deliver flowers for Margaret and Dave, so she had known about the shop for some time. One afternoon, she went to pick up a corsage for her brother's prom and got to talking with Margaret. At the end of the conversation, Margaret told Carly that maybe someday she could work there. In Carly's mind, that someday was right then and there! She called a few days later and told Dave she'd been offered the position and was ready to come in for work (much to his confusion). Finally they decided to let Carly come in and do some helping out and began training her in floral design. Fast forward a few years, and she's now one of their best long term floral designers in the shop! As Carly puts it, "I forced my way into getting the job."
Christina: Christina tells us back in high school, she hated school and didn't think she wanted to continue into college. As she was growing up, she had worked on farms and in gardens, so a friend told her being a florist might be a good career path. Christina's grandmother came into Victoria Park Florist one afternoon and told Margaret, "She sucks at school but is a hard worker." Margaret took her under her wing and let her volunteer in the shop by cleaning and helping out with various things. Every few shifts, they would teach her how to make arrangements and then let her take them home. Turns out, she was pretty good at it!
Christina ended up going to college for farming, and as graduation grew nearer, Margaret and Dave asked her what she was going to to after she finished school. Christina replied, "I don't know. Maybe get a dog?" So Margaret and Dave offered Christina a job, and 8 years later she is still one of the top florists in the shop.
What is your favorite thing to make?
Carly: Carly says she loves doing birthday cake flowers. Her least favorite is doing the flowers for weddings, because "brides are too picky."
Christina: While Carly is not much a fan of creating wedding bouquets, Christina LOVES it. "I just got married, and it gave me a lot of inspiration". She says they are fun to create because you get to make an entire set of something, and the brides are (almost) always so happy when they see them. Wedding flowers are also more fun she says, because they're for a special occasion and not just an arrangement that's for "trying to get out of the dog house". (I laughed real hard at this.)
Tell us a few fun facts about you two and Victoria Park Florist.
1) Carly and Christina are best friends now, but were not at first. Carly ran the shop on Saturday's, while Christina ran it most other days. When they finally started working the same days, they each had their own way of doing things and did not appreciate how the other person wanted to run things. After enough picking on each other, they eventually became friends and have been besties the last 4 years.
2) Victoria Park Florist supports local farms anywhere from 5 minutes away to 2 hours away.
3) Dave and Margaret have a pet bird named Poppy, who is the shop mascot. He's featured on the delivery truck, and the girls say some people come in just to say hi to Poppy.
4) Christina's not allowed to drive the delivery truck because she's had too many speeding tickets.
5) They supply the flowers at the UNC hospital gift shop.
6) Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are their busiest days. This past Valentine's Day, they had over 400 orders on that day alone! (Fellas - reminder to get your orders in ahead of time next year).