In honor of Valentine’s Day, we talked to Lavertta Hochstetler, who owns A Lily’s Dew Drop Flower Shop in Harlan.
When did you buy the flower shop, and why did you buy it?
My husband and I bought it in June 2016 from the previous owners, whom I was working for at the time. We bought it in memory of our daughter who was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident. She loved flowers and was the type of person who always was doing something for other people to cheer them up.
Did you give it its current name?
What attracted you to this business?
I knew the owners and some of the employees, and I always liked to work with flowers, but I learned so much more than I expected the two years I worked there before we bought the business. And I like the small-town business and meeting lots of the local people who are now friends.
Did you have business experience when you started out? If not, how did you learn that aspect of owning a business?
No experience. It’s a real growing and stretching experience learning the ropes. Customer service is what we wanted to have on top so the community knows they will be taken care of.
How many employees do you have?
What’s your average day like?
It will consist of answering the phone and designing the arrangements, and then do the deliveries. Some days are more crazy if you have lots of deadlines to meet to have things delivered. Every day can be so different, so that’s what makes this kind of work interesting.
What are your days like right before Valentine’s Day?
A couple days before Valentine’s Day we get the flowers and have to clean and hydrate them. Usually the two days before we are busy answering the phone and taking care of customers who stop by to place their orders or want flowers to surprise their wife.
Do you have a walk-in store, with cash-and-carry options? If so, what are your hours?
Yes, lots of cash-and-carry items, and hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Do you always offer free delivery in the Harlan area? What are the boundaries?
We deliver to lots of the surrounding area as well as Hicksville and Antwerp, Ohio.
Do you do flowers for weddings and funerals?
What is your biggest business (i.e., delivering bouquets, weddings, funerals, etc.)?
The everyday bouquets that are for birthdays, get well or anniversary. We also do lots of snack baskets. Next would be weddings.
What are the trends in the floral business these days? (Be it weddings, funerals, arrangements, etc.)
For the weddings it’s lots of blush and all kinds of greenery. For the funerals it’s flowers (in) the neutral colors of all whites and greens or lanterns.
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