What is the primary purpose of your business? To serve the local community with floral and gift needs for all occasions. We specialize in assisting families with sympathy arrangements and in wedding design.
What is the business background of the owners? West End Florist has been family owned since 1970 when Shirley Smith purchased the business which she owned and operated until her retirement in 1993. Her son and daughter-in-law Ken and Deborah Smith took over and have operated it since. Their daughter Kathryn Smith-Stover is now managing the shop, representing the third generation.
Why did you start (or purchase) this particular business? The business has been handed down through the generations. It will remain a part of the family as long as we’re living. You might say it’s our “second home” considering as much time as we spend here.
What makes your business unique? West End Florist is in its 33rd year at this location, offering a complete line of floral arrangements gift items, and more recently, antique furniture. We strive to be compassionate and understanding with all floral needs.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession? Being able to help our customers express their sympathy and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other memorable life events. It’s also special to be able to express our creativity and never feel like we are “working”.
What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner? Balancing the needs of a business requiring seven days a week service and raising a family at the same time. Our business hours may be Monday throughFriday 9-5 and Saturday from 9-noon but we are available seven days a week for sympathy needs.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? West End Florist strives to be family oriented. The children of our staffers are able to come to work when they are sick or out of school. A designated play-room is available for kids to rest in and still have mom nearby to care for them. Kathryn Smith-Stover joined the family business in May of 2004. She is our shop manager and lead designer. She attended Teleflora design classes and is certified in Traditional Wedding Designs. Kathryn is mother to Kensley Stover who will more than likely become our fourth generation employee when she is older. Lisa Matthews is a Bartow County resident, mother of two and joined our staff in August of 2000 and worked fulltime until May of 2003. She worked PRN for busy holiday seasons but returned full time as a designer in August of 2011. Lisa is a pastor’s wife and is able to minister to families dealing with a loss in a caring, compassionate manner. Hope Sellears is a single mom of two and became a member of our staff as a delivery driver in July of 2008. She resigned in April of 2009 to raise her small children but returned to our staff in October of 2011. Not only is she our safe driver but also is learning floral design to assist as needed. None of us feel as if we are co-workers, we are a family.