When was the last time you explored the shops in downtown Ashland? I mean, really explored….ventured down streets off the beaten path, taken the time to see what’s new in town; or checked out a shop that you know has been there for a long time, but you’ve never walked through the door? I am constantly surprised at how often people come into my shop, Flower Tyme on the Plaza, and say, “Wow, what a great shop! Are you new?” or “Gosh! I always thought you were just a florist!” amazed at the mix of merchandise they were finding. When I tell them that I opened Flower Tyme in 1982 (I was just a child!) and have been on the plaza this whole time, they try to explain why they haven’t ever been in. “I was always so focused on getting ice cream next door that I just walked on by.” Or…”I’ve called you for flower deliveries, but I don’t make it downtown very often. I had no idea you have so much more than flowers!” I just smile and say that I am thrilled that they finally discovered Flower Tyme.
Flower Tyme opened with the idea of being a small European style bucket shop…. no deliveries, cash and carry only. Well, that lasted about a week before we had so many requests for deliveries that we decided to scrap the original concept and become a more traditional, yet trendy, florist. Over the years, we have evolved into so much more than that! I learned our unique Ashland market, and explored different types of merchandise other than fresh flowers, and Flower Tyme bloomed into what you see now…. a shop filled with things that make you feel good and make you smile… accents for your home, or just the right gift for your girlfriend, or for yourself! I have always strived to find quality items that are a good value, and I focus on those made in the USA, although I find treasures from around the world as well. Actually, I’ve found so much great stuff I opened another gift and home decor shop last May called Manzanita on Main, over by Thai Pepper!
I suggest that the next time you have a few minutes to spare, explore downtown Ashland! The shops that survive our unique market are successful because they are there for you, the locals, year-round. And who knows what you will discover when you walk down that strip of Main Street that you usually don’t explore, or walk through that door that you have passed countless times without entering. You may find a new favorite shop, or a florist that is much more than just a flower shop…. not that there’s anything wrong with that!