Interviews

LouAnn David, owner of Flower Tyme on the Plaza and Manzanita on Main

WEB_LouAnn_DavidFor over 32 years, Flower Tyme on the Plaza has been a local favorite, providing full-service floral services as well as some of the best treasures and gifts to be found in Ashland.  LouAnn and her staff go to great lengths to keep the shop fresh, fun, and exciting for their customers and each day brings new items found on their recent buying trips.  On the florist side of things, LouAnn is preparing Flower Tyme for Valentine’s Day, ordering a vast amount of roses, spring flowers and exotics.  You can drop by the shop as early as nine o’clock to place your order for delivery in Ashland or Talent, or take them home to your sweetheart yourself for that personal touch.   Early last year, LouAnn opened another shop just a half block away from Flower Tyme.  Located between Agave and Thai Pepper, Manzanita on Main is what LouAnn likes to refer to as Flower Tyme’s “alter ego.”  Where Flower Tyme is a whimsical explosion of color, Manzanita is calming, earthy and serene.  Both shops represent her love of nature in different ways.  I spoke with LouAnn to learn more about her stores, her passion for flowers, and her great eye for finding those “must have” gifts.

Hi, LouAnn! Thanks for speaking with us today. Thirty two years doing business in Ashland! This is a great accomplishment. Please tell us how you’ve done it.

I feel blessed to have spent the majority of my working life here in Ashland, making a living doing what I truly love. Of course it hasn’t always been a bed of roses…groan…but when things got tough, I found the energy to keep going.  I would re-display, re-think, redesign until things seemed to work out.  I get that energy in large part from my wonderful, loyal returning customers always so full of praise and encouragement.  They have helped to keep me going all these years.

Flower Tyme has become a favorite store for many shoppers over the years, and now they have a second one to add to their list, Manzanita on Main.  Take us behind the scenes of the vision for this new store.WEB_Manzanita_3

I love the power of color and what the use of it can do to your senses.  Bright, vivid colors bring a sense of joy and delight to a person in need of those feelings.  This is Flower Tyme; softer, quieter colors.  On the other hand, grounding, earthy colors lend a feeling of peace, contentment, and coziness to a person.  This is Manzanita.  Bright colors tend to overtake softer tones, and this new shop lets me highlight some wonderful items that I have found that have an earthier aesthetic and gives them the space they deserve.  It is layered with textures: wood, metal, ceramic, and even soft textiles.

Your son, Nick David, played a large role in helping you get Manzanita up and running.

Yes, he did!  He is a woodworker here in Ashland (The Jefferson Woodwright) with an artistic eye for design and I had him design and make the display tables with help from local metal worker Peter Grossman of Rocker Ski Racks.  Nick loves mixing old with new, and his tables and shelves can be found for sale in Manzanita.  He built our sales counter from old barn wood found in Phoenix and topped it with beautifully finished hardwood.  I am very proud of his work!

What are some of the unique items you have brought into Manzanita?

One of my favorite lines is Campbell Pottery from Pennsylvania.  The glaze is breathtaking!  You must see it to believe it. ….and it is very affordable.  We also have brought in some unique lighting fixtures, both table lamps and hanging pendant lamps with a simple modern flare or touch of industrial design. Our customers have responded very well to a line of metal wall sculptures from a Canadian artist that mixes the texture of polished or rusted metal with the softness of elements of nature…..leaves, trees.

WEB_manzanita_1LouAnn, I’ve always thought of Flower Tyme as a gift shop, but you have other clients who only think of you as a florist. Can you tell us more about the vision and inspiration that goes into Flower Tyme?

Yes! Flower Tyme is BOTH a florist AND a gift/home accents shop.  It is kind of like running two shops under the same roof.  I am always interested in listening to my customers and helping them choose the most thoughtful gift, the right silk flowers or the best scarf or pair of earrings for themselves.  It is from my customers that I learn the most about what to buy and how to improve my shops.

You have spent your career working with flowers. Can you tell us about your early days starting out and some of the important lessons you have learned?

My first job was in my home town flower shop in El Dorado, Kansas at age 16. I was so intrigued by all of the activity in the design room of that shop that I knew at that time I had found my passion.  I worked holidays through high school, then at age 18 I was hired by an amazing floral designer in Wichita who became my mentor.  My first boss taught me the lesson of sound mechanics. I had to make arrangements that didn’t fall apart and that lasted well. My second boss and mentor helped develop my artistic eye.  At age 22, I opened my first flower shop in Wichita with my then husband, Kirk.  After four years, we sold that shop and moved from Kansas to Ashland and opened Flower Tyme in 1982. That is when I started the journey to where I am today.  Here in Ashland I have learned the art of doing business in a small town that also happens to be a tourist destination.  To offer quality goods at a fair price for both residents and visitors, and to develop good relationships with my customers by greeting them with a smile and friendly conversation and treating them with the respect they deserve.

You recently had a customer walk into Flower Tyme and say, “This is a store full of happiness!”  Can you tell us how this made you feel?

Happy!  We never get tired of people saying how being in the shop lifts their spirits.  Some stop in just to get a whiff of wonderful fragrances or an eyeful of color.  We love that!

Can you provide us with an overview of the services you offer at Flower Tyme?

Sure!  We bring in many varieties of fresh flowers every few days, make up fresh designs for sale out of our cooler, deliver arrangements in the Ashland and Talent area for all occasions….birthdays, anniversaries, sympathy gestures, or just to brighten someone’s day.  We also do wedding flowers for any size wedding from a single bridal bouquet to an elaborate event at a local venue.  In our gift department, we will gift wrap for you in our custom bag, and ship items for you if needed.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what’s hot? When should we order?

Well, the tradition of sending a dozen roses is always hot.  But how about trying a different color other than red?  Or a mixed assortment of flowers in soft romantic tones with a few roses added?  And of course you should order early…..as in “NOW”!  The earlier you order the better!  The best way to order flowers on Valentine’s Day or any day if you can’t come in to the shop, is to pull up our website at flowertyme.com, and look at our selection as you are talking to one of us on the phone.  We can help you choose the appropriate flowers and describe what we can do best that day and help with the pricing.  We want to talk with you about your selection so you know what you are sending.  The biggest mistake you can make is to order flowers at midnight sitting at your computer in your pajamas.  You are not ordering a manufactured product, you are sending an emotion by way of flowers and you can’t do that online.  Look at our website for inspiration then call us during business hours for our help and expertise.

You are assisted by some wonderful employees.  Would you mind introducing them to us?WEB_manzanita_2

I would love to!  Tracy Clark is the beautiful, tall blonde that you see at Flower Tyme most days of the week.  She keeps the shop organized and restocked on merchandise between helping customers and is also my bookkeeper and my back-up memory!  Jennifer Harrington is my floral design help….so talented and a joy to work alongside.  Amirah (Said) David is a budding floral designer and also my wonderful daughter-in-law.  I love seeing her artistic talent being used in this way.  Saba moon has recently joined our team, and she keeps the displays looking good, the back room organized and our customers happy.  Cindy Gross is my mainstay at Manzanita and she is the shining light you feel when you walk in. We all take turns assisting her when need be.

Any last thoughts you would like to share with our readers?

I would just like to say what a pleasure it is to have worked in downtown Ashland for the past 32 years! Where else could I walk to work, crossing a bridge over a rushing creek, in the embrace of two mountain ranges entering either one of two shops that I love and interacting with amazing co-workers and the best customers imaginable?  There’s no place like home!

Learn More:
Flower Tyme on the Plaza
55 N. Main St. Ashland
http://flowertyme.com/

Manzanita on Main
90 N. Main St. Ashland
(541) 488-9886

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Hi, I am Shields. I am the creator or LocalsGuide. The mission or my company is to provide a positive media platform for my community which in turn makes it stronger and more resilient. I hope you will enjoy and feel inspired to start your own LocalsGuide in your town or community.
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Shields Bialasik

Hi, I am Shields. I am the creator or LocalsGuide. The mission or my company is to provide a positive media platform for my community which in turn makes it stronger and more resilient. I hope you will enjoy and feel inspired to start your own LocalsGuide in your town or community.

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