Today is a friend of mine's birthday. Since it is a Monday I know she will be making sure she has enough water buckets ready for the day’s fresh flower delivery from her supplier, there will be a last-minute funeral spray to do for a grieving family and gossip to catch up on what her favorite characters did over the weekend from this seasons Big Brother 13.
Nikki (Fields, of is a true example of someone who is the backbone of our economy and often overlooked ... the small business person. Nikki grew up in a hard-working family. Both her parents were small business owners; her father had a garage and Nikki grew up around her mothers flower shop. She began working with her mother after school filling up the water buckets for the fresh flowers arriving at the shop. While most kids were enjoying the holidays Nikki was at the shop dressing the Christmas poinsettia’s in holiday colors and Valentines Day dethroning the Roses. After 30 years in the business working in the original shop owned by her mother she took the leap and opened her own shop in the North Atlanta suburb of Lilburn.
In spite of the economy and spending cutbacks on secondary items like flowers, Nikki has made it work. She has not asked the government for a handout. She pays her bills monthly. She has not overextended her credit and debit load. She has not utilized Georgia’s lax bankruptcy laws to avoid her responsibilities. Everyday Nikki arrives at her shop with the one goal of providing a fresh arrangement of beauty for whatever the occasion.
But Nikki needs your help like the hundreds of other small flower shops. The small business owner is the backbone of your community still today. I know you think it is easier to run into the 24 hour Super Mega Big Box retail store, or pick up a bouquet at the 24-hour Citgo or even go online and order the Bulldog Special because Vince says so. But who wants flowers delivered in a box from Fed Ex? Who wants flowers that were flown in from China and shipped from Cincinnati… how fresh are they ?
The point is visit your local florist! You will find their prices reasonable, parking a breeze, you are dealing with the owner and you know you will receive that special touch. You are helping your neighbor, community and you are putting dollars right back into your community.
If you cannot stop by and see Nikki, go to her website www.oldtownflowers.net or give her a call 770.921.4700 and let her or one of her partners across the country create that special memory!
Roger Jennings, Jr.
(Editor's note: Read more about Nikki Fields and Old Town Flowers and Gifts in this .)