By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
As Valentine’s Day draws near and images of crimson roses drift through our minds, locals need search no further for the perfect gift for their loved ones. From sending messages to significant others or reminding loved ones of their importance, Boaz Florist strives to make February 14 special for all throughout the community.
Located at 10890 AL Hwy. 168 in Boaz, Boaz Florist sprouted in October of 1989 when Rachel Watwood’s mother established the business after working several years with her cousin and fellow florist in Attalla. While Watwood’s mother passed the torch to her several years later, the shop remained a lifelong presence in Watwood’s life before she began running the business solely on her own.
Following a series of events that transpired regarding the business and Watwood’s personal life, Watwood discovered that a time of change was drawing near. When Misty Portwood messaged Watwood about a potential position for her daughter at the shop, Watwood encouraged both mother and daughter to speak with her about something more.
“Everything is in God’s timing,” said Watwood.
A former teacher, the thought of owning and running a floral shop successfully came as an initial surprise to Portwood. Although she and her daughter were experienced in creating silk floral arrangements for Decoration Day, she possessed little knowledge of fresh-cut flowers and found herself in an entirely new world. However, her love for her children – her daughter and four-year-old son – inspired her to plunge into an adventure she foresaw as an inheritance for their future.
While working with family is not something Portwood always envisioned, the opportunity to form partnerships with her loved ones proved far more rewarding than she could have imagined. After accepting the ownership this past summer, she and her family spent months observing and learning the intricacies of the business, bonding and forming unforgettable memories in each day.
“My daughter is here with my every single day,” said Portwood. “My mama is here with me, even my four-year-old comes up here every day, and he has his little things. It’s brought us all closer. We get to see each other every day. We just have fun with it!”
Portwood described the atmosphere she strives to evoke through Boaz Florist, hoping customers understand their importance and feel welcomed to return time and time again. She emphasizes truly listening to each person’s wishes, taking into careful consideration their thoughts and translating those into breathtaking arrangements. She describes the shop’s mission as satisfying customers and meeting their ever need, no matter what is required to ensure they walk out the door content and pleased.
Portwood shared that while she locks the shop doors at closing, if someone notices her truck parked outside, she will happily open her doors to anyone in need – ensuring that all customers are taken care of, regardless of the hour.
“The people I’ve met, really, are what I enjoy the most,” said Portwood. “You know how people talk to their hairdresser? People talk to us like that, too. They will stand here and tell us everything – why they’re sending the flowers, who this person was to them…some of their stories are really amazing. I’ve loved hearing them. I love when people come in here and talk.”
For Valentine’s Day, Boaz Florist is offering a dozen roses in either red, pink or white for $85, with large heart-shaped sugar cookies for $5 extra. Boaz Florist is partnering with Blessed Catering & Events to provide the homemade cookies. If a few treats cannot curb a customer’s sweet tooth, he or she can purchase an entire cookie bouquet for $25.
For those who seek to travel down nontraditional path for Valentine’s Day, wishing to abandon the typical roses for a collection more unique, Portwood will create a mixed bouquet enriched with all the beautiful options preserved in the shop’s cooler – flowers like lilies, hydrangeas, snapdragons and carnations await the perfect customer to walk through the door.
Boaz Florist offers arrangements, keepsakes, baskets and décor for all occasions, from anniversaries to birthdays to weddings.
While the shop specializes in fresh floral arrangements, they deliver a plethora of services including dried floral arrangements, funeral designs, gift baskets, greeting cards and candles.
Even if the occasion is as simple as one person thinking of another, Portwood and her family provide ample options to satisfy every customer’s vision, spreading cheer upon each arrangement’s arrival.
From one family to the next, Boaz Florist withstands the tests of time and remains a staple in the community. While Portwood embraces customers as members of her family, she (alongside her mother and daughter) represent individuals committed to service, evoking smiles and creating memories one bouquet at a time.
“I want customers to feel welcomed,” said Portwood. “I want them to feel they’re going to be accommodated and listened to. We have a good time. We laugh, we joke and we cut-up. I’ve had people come in [for last minute orders] and I say, ‘Don’t worry about it; we’ll take care of you.’ I want them to feel part of the family.”
Boaz Florist is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed on Sundays. For more information, call 256-593-7673.