A new flower shop in the capital aims to create a comfortable atmosphere as soon as you walk through the door.
Breezy Designs of Shirls, 2828 SW Arrowhead Road, opened on 2nd February. Owner Shirley Wright said she is happy with the volume of business so far.
The name Breezy Designs was inspired by Wright’s daughter Briana Santiago, a former Shawnee Heights track and field athlete.
Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, prom or funeral, there isn’t an occasion that Wright has said he can’t provide a flower arrangement.
“There’s a litany of things that can happen with flowers,” Wright said. “As far as weddings, sadly funerals, and just every day someone wants to make their home beautiful. It’s for the gift of others and for yourself and that’s what I always promote.”
Shirley Wright’s interest in flowers is helping to inspire others
Wright’s love of flowers began as a young girl playing outside around the flowers. She often made personal arrangements with her friends. Though she doesn’t have a favorite, she said she swings toward pink and white peonies, since she saw them most in her backyard as a child.
“I love really bright colors,” she said. “Pink and orange, fuchsia.”
Later, she volunteered with a former florist, Amy Cronister, who showed her the details of how they should look and take care of the arrangements. Her time there inspired her to pursue the realm of florist as her career. During the pandemic, Wright began offering in-home services, and customers asked her to set up shop.
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Wright said he tries to give his employees the same listening and mentorship he has received.
Arminda Guerrero recently started working in the flower shop after placing an order. She is now quickly learning all there is to know about flowers while working alongside Wright.
“I love how it’s been embraced by the community, from being a new business,” Guerrero said. “I love the outpouring of support he has. He taught me, or anyone else, the secrets of making deals.
“I never knew I’d come across the flower.”
Customers can expect to “come in and hang out”
Customers will walk away from Breezy Designs by Shirls with more than flowers. They will have been heard and appreciated.
“I think what I can say is a point and what I want to serve is you have a little bit of attitude,” Wright said. “You feel some sympathy. And I’m not just saying, ‘Here.’ Don’t just walk in here and pick it up and go to the cash register and you’re out.
“You know, come in and you can spend some time.”
Wright has spent many years giving back to the Topeka community, serving as a foster parent, working at the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging and Valeo Behavioral Health Care, and being a substitute teacher for Topeka Public Schools.
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Now, with her new shop open, she hopes to continue helping out and educating others.
Wright plans to start a youth program called “My Little Buds, Watch Me Grow.” She said the program would meet once a month to educate children about flowers, including when to water them, the names of each part, how to keep them healthy and more.
“The one thing I’d like to see is books that are about flowers or stories that contain flowers,” Wright said, adding, “The wellness part of flowers and flower care.”
What are the opening hours for Breezy Designs by Shirl?
Shirl’s Breezy Designs is open 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 10am – 1pm Saturdays. Orders for a deal can be placed online or by calling 785-608-6371.
The price of a deal ranges from $10 and up. Wright said she cares about the concern of people who can’t afford flowers.
All flowers within Breezy Designs are sourced from wholesalers such as Baisch and Skinner Wholesale Floral.
“What I encounter the most is surprise,” Wright said. “The element of surprise is wonderful. Even if it’s for a sad occasion, they’re grateful that someone has taken the time to not only think about them, but take action.”
Keishera is most recently the business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Lately_KT.