You’ve all heard my story… growing up in the middle of my mother’s retail store, my job was to entertain the customer’s children while their mother’s shopped. Owning a small shop has always been a dream of mine, even after knowing all of the challenges (to say the least) of owning your own business.
When I was introduced to Tricia Barksdale, local floral designer and small shop entrepreneur, we connected on so many levels! Tricia told me the story of how her grandmother taught her, at a young age, to be an advocate for small businesses.
Stepping off the bus, Tricia recalled the times that she and her grandmother spent Saturday mornings walking from small shop to small shop. Tricia watched her grandmother as she would visit with each owner and purchase one item at each store. When Tricia asked her Grandmother why they were spending so much time at each store, her grandmother explained the value of knowing your retailer, the value of shopping small, the value of giving back to your community – it makes it stronger.
What I’ve learned from watching my mother and meeting successful entrepreneur, Tricia, is that the key to a successful small shop are the relationships you build with customers, sharing the creativity that sparks imagination and provides customers with high quality value.
Although the way we communicate has changed, we still have the need to connect with each other, that’s where relationships mean the most. Through Tricia’s art, design and creativity she has influenced our community through the gift and her passion of flowers.
In closing, I want to leave you with a few most common misunderstandings about flowers and hopefully inspire you to shop small and continue the legacy of business owners like Tricia in our community.
1.“Flowers are just for special occasions.” Let’s develop a European mindset, Tricia says, and change the way we think about flowers. Flowers are a vital part of our emotional well being. Flowers are a living art in your home that brings peace and joy into your home or office.
2. “Don’t buy flowers, they will just die.” What a unfair expectation to place on such a valuable part of your well being. Can you imagine placing this weight on a sporting event or on your next family vacation – “well it’s just going to end, so why should we go?” Let’s re-frame how we look at flowers and lower the expectation that they will live forever.
3. “Men don’t like flowers.” Yes they do! According to Tricia, she has men customers who enjoy them as much, if not more, than her female customers!
4. “In lieu of flowers…” This was probably the most eyeopening conversation that Tricia and I had during our interview. She completely re-framed my thinking about how we can separate honoring our loved one through the generosity of donations to a local nonprofit and also bringing life among sorrow with the gift of flowers. Tricia recalls making a floral delivery to a funeral and when she walked in there were no flowers. The life, the hope and joy that flowers can bring in a time of sadness and mourning cannot be replaced.
If you are interested in purchasing floral designs or gifts from Tricia Barksdale visit her online or in person at her new shop in Tower Point.