With the advent of online businesses like 1-800-FLOWERS and Telefora (and heck, even Kroger), the days of walking into a flower shop and being moved by the sight and scent of a particular bouquet seem to be going the way of the dodo. The scene at Mt. Washington Florist on a dreary January morning tells a different story, though.
The pace of patrons is steady, the designers are busy making bouquets behind the scenes, and the mixed-breed terrier pup, Trixie, mills about. Inside the walk-in cooler, a shelf is stacked to the ceiling with boxes of corsages for a local daddy-daughter dance later in the evening.
New owner Anne Terlesky describes what's new to the 60-year-old business as well as what isn’t.
“Our customers who have been coming here for 30 years are just as important as the younger crowd we are trying to attract,” she says. In addition to lightening up the floors and walls (including one playfully wallpapered in pink peacocks), Terlesky, who bought the business in 2016 with her silent partner and brother, Max, is also weighing the idea of adding classes, like a wine and flower arranging night.
The shop already offers a few fun customer experiences. You can enter its large, walk-in floral refrigerator to put together your own bouquet, or one of the four in-store designers is happy to help you (and at no additional cost).
Not the DIY kind? You can find a series of fresh flower arrangements put together by designers (who collectively have 100 years of experience between them) in-store as well as online. Mt. Washington Florist is the rare one who uses its own photography to promote arrangements online rather than relying on recycled photos from some of the larger chains. “Every single photo is our creation,” Terlesky says, “and it's ever-changing.”
Every stem is sourced from a local downtown grower; and in addition to the fresh cuts, Mt. Washington Florist offers a selection of silk flowers, statuaries, wind chimes, Capri Blue candles (yes, the coveted ones at Anthropologie), as well as a selection of cards handmade by Shirley, a longstanding store employee.
What’s more, Terlesky uses her 10+ years of experience as a wedding planner to make sure the shop stays current on the latest floral trends, not just for the wedding arrangements it creates, but also in the bouquets it provides to brighten everyday life. “In weddings, as well as in daily design, we’re seeing a lot of organic, not perfectly symmetrical arrangements that are whimsical and bohemian,” she says.
Terlesky is also the key to understanding how an Anderson-based business came to be named after Mt. Washington. “It’s always been in Anderson,” she says, noting its previous location on Beechmont Avenue. “The original owners in 1955 named it ‘Mt. Washington’ because that was the closest well-known town square.”
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Mt. Washington Florist is located at 1967 Eight Mile Road (45255) and serves areas as far as Dayton and parts of Kentucky.