Floral Artistry Studios, a Sanibel flower shop wrecked by Hurricane Ian, is opening its doors again just in time for Mother’s Day, but in a new location.
When WINK News covered Floral Artistry Studios back in December, it was operating out of a warehouse. At the flower shop’s new setup in Estero, chrysanthemums, roses and sunflowers have things smelling like a fresh start.
“One thing we have learned the last seven months and nine days is that you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, and the best thing to do is just pick up what you get and run with it,” said co-owner Frans Kox.
Ian destroyed a business of more than 16 years. For Kox and his wife, Jana Telecka, no beach venues meant no weddings and no business.
“With the hurricane, all our customers disappear too,” Kox said. “Our sales physically went to zero, an egg.”
But now they’re ready for what’s next: a flower shop they’ve always dreamed of. The new store on the corner of US-41 and Estero Parkway offers more than fresh blooms.
“We like fun things, so we have books, we have cards; we have unusual little gizmos and gadgets,” Kox said.
Kox, Telecka and their 22 employees have poured their lives into reopening a store again.
“We dug a hole that is so deep that everything we have and don’t have is in there,” Kox said.
“It’s not just us,” Telecka said. “There’s a lot of businesses that we are fighting. This is not, ‘Oh, look, they opened a store, so there must be money galore.'”
Like so many businesses, they’re still trying to turn a new leaf, but they know they’re not out of the woods yet.
“I hope we can keep this open until the fall, and if the fall comes, we’re good,” Kox said.
Floral Artistry Studios hopes to go back to Sanibel one day, but right now it’s not financially possible.
Kox says not to wait until the last minute to get your mom her flowers this year; it’s been chilly in Central and South America where a lot of flowers come from, so supplies may be limited.