Every floral shop carries the same items: flowers, balloons, knick-knacks, stuffed animals. Choices of those items are often the same regardless of where you go, but Michele’s Floral & Gifts in Copperas Cove offers a unique, decidedly Texan twist on the flower shop.
Beyond the nondescript store front lies a veritable Eden of flowers and expertise coupled with a plethora of made-in-Texas gifts for sale.
For 23 years, owner Michele McGuire has put together her very Texan shop with her own unique twists on everything she makes and sells.
“I really want to offer things that you can’t get anywhere else,” McGuire said. “There are all sorts of people who make so many beautiful things in the area.”
McGuire takes a great deal of pride in how long her flowers last compared to those of other florists.
“Most places, you get flowers, they last for a little while, but what I do is place smaller, more frequent orders so that there are fresher flowers in every arrangement,” she said. “I have had customers tell me before that their flowers have lasted three weeks.”
First career choice was teaching
McGuire didn’t always want to be a florist. Teaching was her first career choice, and she taught kindergarten for three years in Harker Heights. But fate intervened when she was looking for a summer job and took one in Copperas Cove.
“I worked at a florist in college to help pay my way through,” McGuire said. “But just doing deliveries, cleaning up, I was on the bottom of the totem pole. So when I saw the ‘help wanted’ sign in the window, I went in and said I had worked in a flower shop before. I was told on the spot to make a carnation arrangement, and I somehow managed to make a good one.
“I learned from there, and a few years later, when the shop was doing poorly, I bought it. And here we are today.”
McGuire realized being a businesswoman was always in her blood, as her entrepreneurial spirit shined at an early age.
“When I was somewhere around 8, 12 years old, I used to get pieces of driftwood, then buy little plastic animals and moss and decorate them,” she said. “I would ride my bike around the neighborhood with the basket on the front and sell them to people. I guess doing this is just in my blood.”
Her teaching spark still shines bright, as McGuire has some big plans for the future of her business.
“I envision sectioning off a part of the store and holding floral arrangement classes,” she said.
The idea for the classes came from a call she received about hosting a birthday party.
“At first I said no, but then I thought about it and decided to do it,” McGuire said. “It went great. We had the back all set up so everyone could make their own flower arrangements, and while they were doing that, we were teaching them about the different flowers, how to arrange them, and what the names of everything were.”
McGuire gave this advice about flowers.
“Something I tell all my new employees is we don’t sell flowers, we sell feelings and emotion,” she said. “Customers aren’t mad at you because flowers are late or the order is messed up. They’re mad because you messed up their emotion. The value of flowers is not the carnation dying in 10 days; it’s the conveyance of emotion.”
Michele’s Floral & Gifts is at 821 E. U.S. Highway 190, Copperas Cove.