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Meet Heidi Richards Mooney of Eden Florist & Gift Baskets in Fort Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Richards Mooney.

Heidi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Eden Florist has been proudly serving the Broward and Miami-Dade County 37 years first in Miramar and more recently moving to West Fort Lauderdale (Davie-Weston area) to be more centrally located for deliveries to anywhere in Broward and Miami Dade Counties. We started in a small 800-square foot space and after 3 short years moved to a larger space (3,000 sq. ft) to better accomodate our customer’s needs. As the retail climate changed, we did as well. In 2008, when more than 30 retail flower shops were closing their doors we decided to move to a more practical and affordable location. We were not ready to quit! Our current location is a warehouse in West Broward. Because most of our customers either call or shop on our website, we found the need for a retail store almost non-existent.

How I started? Well, one day in the summer of 1981 my “starter husband” came home and said he found me a job in a florist (we had just sold our child care center and he thought I needed to work). So, I went in for an interview, got the job and two weeks later, we made the previous owner an offer to buy and “the rest is history…” I have never looked back. The company had less than 300 customers and in 3 years time, I grew it to 3,000 customers. Today, we have more than 7,000 customers and continue to serve them with the same quality, dedication and artistic flair they have become accustom to. Our motto is: “let our flowers second that emotion.” I believe our integrity and attention to detail and exceptional customer service has kept us in business.

In addition, we have created a working environment that made it easy to come to work. We offered our employees to bring their children to work on holidays and after school which helped create a zero absentee record. Because my business is primarily based on holiday sales, we did not want to make it a hardship for staff to work when we needed them. We created a play room for them to watch movies, play games and more. When it was super busy, I had a part time lady come in and watch the children. Otherwise we took turns making sure they were taken care of and having a good time.

I have been involved in several organizations including past president of the Miramar-Pembroke Chamber, on the boards of both the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Chambers and founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Broward County (now part of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber as their Women’s Council). I found early on, that networking was the best way to spread the word about my business. So, my team and I agreed that I would “get the business” and they would “take care of the business.” I love floral design and have taken many courses including being a certified wedding consultant and designer thru The American Floral Service, a past top 500 FTD Shop and a certified wedding consultant thru Teleflora. In 2000, I was inducted into the Society of American Florists American Academy of Florists and that same year was also inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame.

I also served on the board of directors for the Florida State Florist Association from 1999 to 2003 and wrote their business column for Sunlighting Magazine. In 2005-2006, I was president of the Broward County Florist Association.

A family run shop, we are celebrating our 37th Anniversary of owning this highly-regarded Florist! Our reputation for exceptional quality and service has been recognized by the Miami Herald, South Florida Magazine, South Florida Business Journal and Channel 7 WSVN News as well as the thousands of customers we serve.

Over the years, I and my team have been actively involved in the community and support many civic and nonprofit organizations. Because of our involvement, dozens of community organizations have recognized us with many honors and awards both locally and nationally.

We are a full-service flower shop specializing in sympathy arrangements, gourmet and fruit baskets, wedding and events and elegant flower arrangements for any special occasion.

Every order is professionally designed and delivered to insure the highest level of quality and service.

At Eden Florist, we care about our customers and understand that flowers are an expression of your feelings for your friends and loved ones. Let us help you with that special unique order. Whether it’s for the birth of a new baby, a romantic gift, a corporate gift, an expression of sympathy, or just to show you care, our designers will create a floral arrangement, sure to express your true feelings.

We work with a network of preferred florists worldwide to provide deliveries anywhere in the U.S. and worldwide.

At Eden Florist, we treat each order as if it were our own. We make sure your floral gifts are exactly what you want, delivered when you request, with your best wishes. We understand that the gifts you send are an expression of you, so why not “let our flowers be your messenger.”

We specialize in: Fresh Flower Arrangements Roses Tropical – Exotic Flowers Plants European Dish Gardens, Lucky Bamboo High Style/Contemporary and Traditional Arrangements Gourmet Gift Baskets Fruit Baskets, Corporate/Business Promotional Gifts Feng Shui Bouquets™ Eden Signature Series™ Sympathy Floral Tributes and Etiquette, Weddings Event Decor and more.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In 2007, I lost a daughter and struggled to get up in the morning, let alone go to work. It took everything I had to do so. You see, my other two daughters worked for me and I knew they depended on me. So, I worked half-heartedly. I didn’t go to any networking events, I didn’t take customer calls, I simply sat at my desk and became a hermit. Oh, I went through the motions – like ordering flowers and supplies for the shop, making payroll, etc. But it was difficult. And, it showed in the bottom line.

In addition, I eluded to it in the previous text that 2008 was a trying time for retail. Many shops closed their doors. We saw a 30% drop in business that year and decided that we no longer needed the large 3,000 square foot showroom. It simply was impractical.

But I’m a fighter and was not ready to give up. So, instead of closing our doors we looked around for alternatives that would be affordable.

At the same time, another shop opened in West Miramar using a similar name (Rose of Eden Flowers) and phone number. I could not believe someone would try to capitalize on our good name like that. I did call and speak to the owner and suggested a name change. She hung up on me! Instead of hiring lawyers to sue them to change their name we started a massive email and social media campaign letting our current customers know we were still in business and we were the “original” Eden Florist. It worked because that company is no longer in business.

It was not our goal to drive them out of business, just to make it clear that using a similar name was not considered fair business practice especially in the same city. I also believe in karma. Things have a way of taking care of themselves when you do the right thing. So, we did. And it did.

We had other struggles, which in comparison seemed minor. Like divorce – at the time, it was not easy, but we remained on friendly terms mostly because we had 3 daughters to care for. Today, we even spend holidays with him and his family.

I have been very fortunate to hire great people. But when I first started out, that was not the case. I hired a guy with a suspended license who got several tickets during his deliveries resulting in my vehicle being impounded. I learned my lesson and from then on, did background checks on everyone!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is being able to look at your surroundings, at the people in your life and smile knowing you had a small part in their well-being. My mother had two sayings that always stuck with me

#1. Either everyone is important or no one is. Either way, you will treat people equally

#2. She also taught me that whatever I learn in life worth sharing should be shared with others so my personal mantra has always been to, “live, learn and pass it on.” We cannot make all the mistakes in life – we must learn from others or we will never be happy.

The markers I look for in others, is the willingness to learn. I have always believed you can train people for skill but it is much harder to train for a good attitude. One of the things I have always done when hiring someone is to hand them a broom. I love seeing people’s reaction. Some are offended but the vast majority will start to sweep. I hire the “sweepers.” Because, they are not too big to do what some would consider a menial task.

And, in the floral business when times are slow, sometimes people need to pick up a broom and sweep. It shows me they are also willing to help others. So many valuable lessons can be learned from sweeping.

Pricing:

  • Our minimum order for delivery to most areas is $50
  • We deliver or send out of the area for $15.95
  • We have wedding packages (customized to their needs) starting at $499

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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