ANDERSON, Ind. — Kathie Swan said that for more than 20 years she has been fortunate enough to do a job she loves.
That is something customers often realize after walking through the doors of her business, Katie’s Bloomers Floral Shop, 2630 Broadway.
“We love what we do and it shows,” she said. “We listen. We care and we produce the top styles of today, but if you like the traditional styles, we also do those. But whatever your style, we make sure it's right and beautiful.”
Swan said regardless of whether it's the everyday work of filling orders or the crazy, long, hard days florists have on special days like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, she enjoys every minute of her job.
That is one of the reasons she decided to open her store.
Katie’s Bloomers offers fresh floral arrangements for funerals, birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions. They also have wall art, home accents, botanicals, fruit and goody baskets, candy, afghan blankets, and stones with floral arrangements that can go to funerals or hospitals.
“I started the business because I worked at K's Blossom Shop for almost eight years and when the owners decided to close, it broke my heart,” she said. “I just was not ready to give it up. I thought for a long time before I decided to do this, but when the doors started opening for this to happen, I decided to walk through those doors. I believe with my whole heart that God had a hand in this. Things just started to open up and it's so great to be able to say, I know that God is in this. I wouldn't want to do it without him.”
Swan said she's had lots of help from friends and family to open her business, including turning the former Ritter’s and TJ’s ice cream restaurants into a flower shop. She said her sister was especially helpful.
“We have put in a front door, which it didn't have, and painted, and painted and painted,” she said. “We also put in new lighting and redecorated a lot of new things and I think it looks beautiful. I've had people come in and say, ‘Wow, this is gorgeous!’”
There were also challenges to overcome.
“It's not like buying an established business where you have a list of customers,” she said. “You are starting from scratch and getting the public to trust you with their orders and making them feel comfortable to come back and use you again.”
Swan also experienced a delay with her signage and said some people still think it is an ice cream shop. She is using a portable sign until the new signs can be made.
“We are working on that, but it's not there yet,” she said.
The new floral shop is already becoming known for its customer service, Swan said.
“We are not just an order taker,” she said. “We listen to what you want to send and we talk it through with you to make sure we understand just what you would like to send. You won’t be disappointed when you see what was sent.”
Katie’s Bloomers also has an advantage over its competitors.
“We are the only florist in Anderson with a drive-through window,” Swan said. “You can call ahead with your order and we will have it ready for you and you don’t even have to get out of your car.”
She also likes to be creative with her styles.
“We stay up-to-date on new styles in designing and we go the extra mile to make sure it’s something you will be proud of," she said.
Swan said while it is helpful for customers to have an idea of what they are looking for when making an order, it is not crucial.
“We are here to help you figure that out,” she said.
Quality is also not dependent on price, with $30 orders treated no differently than the $300 bouquets.
“Everyone likes to feel like they can trust that they will get what they ask for," Swan said. "We listen, ask lots of questions to make sure we totally understand you and we design the best arrangements. How could you ask for more?”
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