By Erin Crowell
Planning a wedding? More than likely, flowers are on the list
somewhere between reception location and music for the evening. And
like everything on that list, there are options: outside or inside? DJ
or live band? Chicken or fish?
Not only do you decide the type and color of your flowers, but their
makeup in general.
At Lilies of the Alley in Traverse City, you have three options for
your florals: fresh, silk and dried.
NO WATERING REQUIRED
Cindy Hardy who, along with husband Scott owned Hibbards
Flowersstarted Lilies of the Alley in October 2010 after noticing a
lack of business in the dried floral department of area flower shops.
I really started focusing more on silks and dries because there
really wasnt anybody around here who specialized in them, Hardy
said. Some people dabble, but we like to think we carry a larger
option and higher quality.
Hardy added that any flower can easily be ordered if they dont
already carry it in stock.
While many brides would prefer having real flowers, there are
benefits to having silk or dried flowers, she explained. Theyre
less expensive and readily available if out-of-season. For a wedding
we booked recently, the bride wanted spring flowers, which obviously
arent available right now.
Another unsaid bonus for going faux? Silk and dried flowers last
forever, making your special day a truly memorable one.
Having flowers with no expiration date translates into the everyday
decorating world, as well.
Real flowers have a shelf life, said Hardy, but gee whiz keep
your silk flowers around until you get tired of them.
Choose from a variety of wreaths and bouquets arranged by Lilies of
the Alley employee Beth Hoffman.
(Beth) used to be at Hibbards and has been doing this for around 30
years, said Hardy. Shell sit down with the brides and help them go
through books and browse online for ideas.
BEYOND THE PETAL
Lilies of the Alley goes beyond the standard flower shop while keeping
Thats another reason why I started this business, Hardy explained.
Running a full-service flower shop is demanding.
Hardy refers to her shop as a home décor and accent store. Along with
floral arrangements, Lilies offers a variety of decorating goods such
as consignment furniture, antiques and custom magnetic chalkboards,
the popular American folk collection CowParadesmall cow figurines
inspired by the life-size cow statue collection in Chicagoas well as
items to decorate ones self.
Hardy created a felt hat line called Hatty Matty Hats, available in
adult and childrens sizes. The store also carries wooden rings,
hand-crafted by 85-year-old Neal Kretchman of Indian River.
JUST GETTING STARTED
With a business barely three months old, Hardy is looking forward to
what the coming bridal season and beyond holds for the downtown store.
The downtown association is already referring to us as their floral
store, said Hardy. So, its exciting to see what is coming.
As the name states, Lilies of the Alley is located in the alley just
off Union Street, next to the City Opera House. The high-ceiling,
narrow décor shop welcomes visitors with its dried eucalyptus and
splashes of floral color.
Its a really fun space, said Hardy. Its even really fun to decorate.
So let Lilies of the Alley decorate your special day, whether your
floral needs are fresh, silk or dried. Because chances are, youve got
a guest list to tackle, honey.
Lilies of the Alley is located at 112 A. Front St., behind Votrubass
Leathers, in downtown Traverse City. They are open Monday-Saturday, 10
a.m.-5 pm. For more information, call 231-360-3620.