Deb Willoughby has opened a full-service florist and gift shop right out of her home in Boyle County. She started a website on Oct. 1 bearing the name of the new business, Lavender Blooms Florist and Gifts, and it is up and ready for online and phone orders.
She started the business in response to a need she saw in the community - several florists in and around the county had closed or were closing shop, and it was becoming more difficult to find a local florist. So Willoughby, who has more than 40 years of floral design experience, decided to open a shop of her own since she had always wanted to.
She contracted Covid-19 in September and had several weeks of free time to plan for her business while she was quarantined. With her time, she created a business plan, purchased a domain, registered the name of her business, and set up the website. For now, she does her business from home, crafting her creations on a big table in her home office, but once the business grows, “hopefully I’ll be able to rent a building in town and do the floral design from there.”
She purchases flowers as she gets orders so they are not sitting in a cooler for a couple of weeks, she said. Especially for events like funerals she wants customers to receive a quality product and provide them with the freshest possible flowers.
Willoughby sees a need in the community for florists, as, for example, they have been needing to search for a florist if they have had a loved one die. “And there’s been a lot of that with the pandemic, unfortunately.” She said when creating arrangements for funerals, “I think it’s a very significant thing to know what you’re talking about and know how to offer them what they’re asking for.”
When it comes to events like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, or to say congratulations, she loves the power flowers have to make people smile. “I’ve always found it amazing how much it can brighten a person’s day to receive a beautiful, well-arranged, fresh, bright arrangement of flowers,” she said.
For Willoughby, it means a lot to her to get the chance to provide her services during a pandemic, especially with the holidays coming up; people will want decorations, ornaments, and wreaths, which she designs.
“It means a lot to me because I know people have been saddened by all of this. They have been disheartened, and they’re worried that their holidays won’t be the same anymore, and I want to try and show them that they can still shop, I can still deliver to them - they don’t even have to leave their house.”
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