Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
“I have always loved flowers, all my life,” Affordable Flowers owner Rebecca Williams explained. So, in 2018, she decided to open her own flower shop. After looking at several locations, she decided to do the work out of her home. The most important thing to her at that time wasn’t the location, it was keeping costs down.
That’s always been a driving factor with Williams, who specializes in Memorial Day flowers and funeral arrangements and wants to keep those types of displays affordable.
“My fiancée and I, we decorate right at 30 graves a year,” she said. “So, my thing is, to go out and spend $200 or $300 on one grave, we can’t do it. And I know a lot of people can’t. So, I try to keep my prices as low as I can, to try to help people in any way that I can.”
“That’s how we got our name,” she laughed. “My boyfriend, he said, ‘Well, they’re very affordable.’ And I said, ‘There you go, Affordable Flowers. That’s the name.’”
It’s an honorable business model, and one that was paying off for Williams.
Then, just as the business was really taking off, the pandemic struck. With events like weddings and high school dances on hold, and funerals taking place with online memorials and limited attendance, Williams took a short break from the work. For most of 2020 her business was on hold.
Then, with the New Year and the promise of some relief on the virus front, she decided it was time to not only return to work, but to move it out of her living room and into a business space.
“I got to talking to Nikki (Rayburn), and she was telling me about having the building down here available,” Williams said. “I thought it would give me room to expand. I could do the six foot distance, and not have people in my home, so I just decided to come to town, and I’m really tickled that I have because the people have been great.”
Williams offers mostly silk arrangements. In addition to the memorial arrangements, she does arrangements for weddings and formal dances. She’s offering free corsages and boutonnieres for senior prom attendees this year as well. While she has had requests for fresh cut flower arrangements, and is considering adding fresh cut flowers in the future, for now she is sticking to the artificial arrangements and offering live flowers and hanging baskets in the space next door.
In this space, which makes use of an otherwise empty shell building with a new gravel floor, guests can purchase live plants individually or by the flat for their home gardens. This variety of live plants will change with the seasons, she said.
That will be the focus at least until after Memorial Day, when she plans to revisit fresh flower arrangements.
“When I was home I never really had a big demand for (fresh cut flowers),” she explained. “So, I hadn’t really looked into it. I was just waiting to see. Now I’m starting to get more requests. More people asking if I have them. So as soon as we get through this Memorial (Day) rush, I am going to look into doing the fresh cuts.”
Another service they offer is free funeral home delivery within Carter County and into Morehead. Outside those areas they can consider deliveries – such as to Lewis or Elliott Counties – with fees depending on how far they have to go.
As for being downtown, she said at one time she would have had serious concerns about being in the location where she currently is, which was underwater during the big floods of a decade ago. Today, though, she said, “I don’t worry about that as much as I would have, because of the work being done on the creek by the city.”
Instead, she said, she is looking forward to growing and being part of a new, vibrant, downtown Olive Hill for years to come.
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