Small Business Q&A: Flowers of Marietta
This full-service florist in Woodlawn Point Shopping Center stocks unique gifts including handcrafted jewelry and American-made felt purses.
Who are you going to call? Birthday, thank you, special occasion centerpiece or just because, are a few reasons people give fresh cut flowers.
Flowers of Marietta owner Richard Nurik believes that customer service, premium flowers and unique designs are what keeps his phone ringing.
“In 2004 there were six florists on Johnson Ferry between Lower Roswell and Shallowford roads,” Nurik shares, “We’re the only one left.”
He believes the stale economy has affected the fresh flower budgets of his corporate clients but not individuals’ spending habits. He does, however, see a customer behavior change.
“The economy has ratcheted up people’s expectations,” Nurik states, “Our job is to ask a few questions to help a customer express what they’re looking for in an arrangement.”
Colorful gifts in the store help staff and customers discover what color statement an arrangement should make.
Nurik remembers his first job, after earning an MBA, was at Macy’s in Herald Square in New York City. He was an assistant buyer in women’s wear, working for, Harriett Moson.
“Harriett taught me to not just listen to what people say, listen to what they mean.”
The influential boss is also credited with teaching Nurik about color and igniting his passion for the use of color.
Flowers of Marietta employs four full-time and three part-time staff and Nurik, who designs arrangements, makes deliveries, buys, and sees his overall responsibility is to ensure the satisfaction of every customer and the happiness of every employee.
Flowers of Marietta is also the Patch Readers Choice florist winner for 2012.
Nurik moved to East Cobb in 1996 with a job heading up a large apparel company. In addition to running the florist, he consults entrepreneurs on new business development.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. The unpredictableness of it. It can be soft in the morning and excruciatingly overwhelming in the afternoon. I often spend time responding to emergencies. Walton High School proms are an example: I’ve been to many prom sites to deliver corsages that had not been picked up.
We’re looking to make a lasting impression with each customer.
Q. What is the best thing about East Cobb?
A. A growing cultural diversity. I grew up on Long Island, N.Y., where the population is not diverse and then I lived in Queens, which is diverse. Here, I think there are opportunities as East Cobb grows in cultural diversity.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in East Cobb?
A. I like the demographics. The sensibility of the people felt like they would appreciate what we do. East Cobb will continue to grow and thrive.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. Color. I love working with colors. And, no one business has top of mind in the floral category. Our aim is that each person on the receiving end of our flower arrangements feels great about what they get.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. We will create silk or dried arrangements if someone comes in and asks. We have gifts, gourmet food baskets, balloons, chocolates. We make all kinds of accommodations for our customers.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. I bought the existing business in 2004.
Q. How did your business get started?
A. I was working in the apparel industry and was traveling to China often. I decided that I wanted to stay home. I was beginning to smell like jet fuel from all the flying.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. 1. Be very clear about what it is that you’re selling and see it through the eyes of your customer, not just yours.
2. Identify who your customer is. How is your customer important to you? How are you important to your customer?
3. Be very cognizant of cash flow. Many businesses have seasonality to them. Don’t overlook future expenses and get into a cash flow crunch.
4. Figure out very clearly what your reason for being is. Be distinct and special or your existence will be short lived.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. It’s really hard for us to say "no" to somebody. (Smile.) The shop phone rolls over to my cell after hours and I take the calls.
We want to go as far as we can to meet your needs and to satisfy you. I’ve come in early to get out an arrangement for a birthday and stayed late to make a last minute delivery. We understand that flowers are often not premeditated.
Richard Nurik, owner/floral designer
Flowers of Marietta
1100 Johnson Ferry Rd., suite 250, next to Publix