HAMLET — Erica Ford, 32, was in the Navy for four years — starting from the day after she graduated from Richmond Senior High School in 2002 until 2006. During that time, she said it can be difficult to find things to do to keep your mind occupied. That’s where flowers came into the picture.
“When I was in the Navy I used to read a lot of books about flowers,” she said. “You have to find a hobby when you’re on the sea for six months.”
Ford, who is originally from Hamlet, began her florist endeavor with a shop in Montgomery County for five years. That business didn’t last as long as she would’ve hoped, but since moving back to Richmond County in January, Ford started up another shop — Ford’s Florist — this time in the basement of her home.
She joked that she should’ve just started the business in Hamlet the first time around, but since moving back, Ford has found that a lot of people are in need of floral arrangements. And she says she’s able to provide them for a fraction of the usual cost.
Ford makes sprays, which she says are “live flowers that are arranged to look pretty,” and she makes them for funeral caskets that sit on top or stand next to them during services or visitations.
She also has set up deals with local rest homes in Richmond County where she provides arrangements for residents who they receive flowers twice a month for $50 a month. Also, with her own delivery driver, those flowers can be delivered anywhere in Richmond County.
“It’s just to let them know you’re still thinking about them,” she said.
Although Ford can make anyone a live arrangement for any occasion such as birthdays and Valentine’s Day, that’s not all that Ford’s Florist provides.
In addition to flowers, Ford makes decorative wreaths for doors, and for weddings she’ll put together birdseed in a bag and glasses that feature the newlyweds’ names.
“So I do a whole lot more than flowers when you say it out loud,” said Ford.
After learning the ins and outs of the flower business in Montgomery County, Ford has found working out of the basement of her home is a way to pass her savings on the customers.
“Because there’s less overhead, working out of my home I can give people lower prices,” she said. “That’s hopefully gonna get me more customers. They can get the same product for a lower price.”
For more information on Ford’s Florist or to order an arrangement or door wreath, contact Ford at 910-373-4000.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674, follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson and listen to him at 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on G-104.3 FM.