Business is blooming for new Flowers De Amour

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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Having been a florist her “whole life,” there isn’t much Melissa Williams doesn’t know about flowers and floral design. She worked with her mother, a florist in Idaho, and later was employed by a corporation in the mass-market end of the business for nearly 15 years. Smaller is better, she discovered, and in mid-November she opened her own floral design center and flower market, Flowers De Amor, in El Dorado Hills’ Town Center. “I definitely learned I’m an independent florist, which means I don’t have to pay out fees and can save money for my customers,” Williams said. In the past, she had accounts with banks and other corporations for holiday decorations and is beginning to book new customers with businesses in town and at the El Dorado Hills Business Park. She also arranged close to 100 10-inch poinsettia holiday decorations for Town Center. “I really strive to have fresh, quality product and to develop personalized customer relationships,” she said. Williams and her family moved to El Dorado Hills in August from Jackson Hole, Wyo., a community of about 13,000. “I want to offer a small-town service to a bigger town here,” she said. Delivery is free in El Dorado Hills. “If you call and need a delivery at an early hour, we can do that. We’re pretty flexible with deliveries,” she noted. Her close to 2,400-square-foot shop specializes in custom floral arrangements for weddings, private parties and special occasions, as well as seasonal offerings, such as Christmas decorations, and gift baskets, balloon bouquets and quinceaneras, the traditional Latin American celebration of a girl reaching womanhood at 15. Her inventory consists of “things that are unique, that you don’t see in a grocery store,” said Williams, 32, who lives in El Dorado Hills with her husband, Josh, a general contractor who grew up here. They have three children, ages 17, 11 and 10. Williams tells of a woman from England who came into the shop last week “all excited” because she hasn’t often found floral shops in the U.S. with market-style coolers such as Flowers De Amor has that allow for market-style flowers for arrangements and bouquets Flowers De Amor carries imported Ecuadorian roses, which have larger blooms and last three to four times longer than domestic varieties. The Ecuadorians, often used in beauty pageants and seen at events such as the Kentucky Derby, arrive via express air three times a week. They sell for $3.99 a stem or $48 a dozen bouquet style and $75 in an arrangement with vase. Domestic roses are priced at $9.99 a dozen. Domestic flowers are shipped twice a week from Half Moon Bay. * * * SHOP TALK What: Flowers De Amor Where: El Dorado Hills Town Center, 4357 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 116 Phone: 933-9090 Online: