Downtown Silk Flower Shop

Downtown Silk Flower Shop

By Marla Ballard


FORT PAYNE – While fresh flowers are beautiful the artificial flower market

is growing exponentially. According to online research, in 2019 the value

was just over $42,000 and is now expected to reach $600 million between 2021

and 2025.

Several reasons for the upswing include being allergen free, can be more

reasonably priced, with no risk of out-of-season arrangements, preparation can

take place months in advance; allowing for one less variable to worry about

as an event draws near, lightweight; making transport easier, and of course

long-lasting durability.

For 16 years Heather Smith has been arranging and selling silk flowers. She

began her business in northwest Alabama and for the last four years has run

her silk floral shop, Little River Floral, in Fort Payne.

“Cemetery florals are currently the most in-demand arrangements,” said

Smith. “However, I also arrange and deliver for weddings, receptions,

banquets, funerals, hospitals, and events. My customers like that I can

blend both silk arrangements with some live arrangements and greenery. My

clients also appreciate that I’m able to deliver and set up well in advance

of the occasion or event.”

Smith also said her cemetery customers like that their arrangements are more

durable than live flowers. She said she has had some very unusual requests

for cemetery arrangements, which included: incorporating deer antlers, a

miniature John Deere tractor, footballs, and sports memorabilia into the

arrangement. “One customer requested a six-foot long saddle arrangement that

is placed over the headstone at the grave,” said Smith. “It was the largest

saddle arrangement I’ve been requested to make, but it is all about what the

customer wants.”

Smith said she has had Brides who wanted entirely white arrangements while

others have gone with autumn colors, she works with each bride to meet their

vision. She said what is growing in popularity is Boho floral arrangements.

Boho short for Bohemian is a play on the free-spirited, organic use of

wildflowers – a mix of fun and unpredictability. “I had one Boho wedding

reception where the Bride used her grandmother's quilts as tablecloths along

with the Boho arrangements I made,” said Smith. “It was a lovely reception.”

While Smith is the owner, the business is family-operated with Smith’s

sister-in-law, Kathy Guest, and niece Madisen Brown also working at the

shop. The showroom offers more than 1,000 square feet of showcase

arrangements along with a gift line of candles by Spring Creek Candle

The company, candle holders, jewelry, insulated cups by SIC, picture frames, and

home décor.

“We deliver to all of the surrounding nursing homes, hospitals, funeral

homes, homes, and events,” said Smith. Gift bags and card notes are

available and free delivery within Fort Payne city limits. (Small fee for

outside city limits). Obtaining a cooler for small cash-and-carry live

arrangements is part of the future business plan. The shop is located at 102

3rd St. SE, Fort Payne. Business hours: W-F 10-6, Sat. 10-2. Follow on

Facebook and Instagram to see samples of arrangements.

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