Local Florist Keeps Close Ties with School Across the Street

Local+Florist+Keeps+Close+Ties+with+School+Across+the+Street

Will Hamilton, Staff writer

Every year around homecoming and prom, students scramble to buy a corsage or a boutonniere for their date. Luckily, the students at Chamblee Charter High School do not have to go far. Right across the street from Chamblee is Flowercraft. The quaint flower shop, recognizable by its massive green roof, has been a neighbor of Chamblee for years.

Flowercraft’s building is a huge part of what makes it so unique and successful. The entire front of the building is made of windows.

“It is great for the flowers,” says Scott Rideout, who is the owner of Flowercraft. “They get tons of sunlight.”

Potential customers can also see lots of the flowers available from outside the store.

The building has another feature that truly sets it apart from other businesses in the community: a towering green roof.

“The green roof is iconic,” said Rideout. “A lot has gone into keeping it up.”

But any building can have unique architecture. What really sets Flowercraft apart from other florists and Chamblee businesses its history.

Rideout went to Chamblee High School in 1981 and 1982 but graduated from a different high school. His father opened the floral shop in 1984, which was a period marked by corporate downsizing. Rideout helped his dad in the store whenever he could, and continued to do so when he went to Georgia State. He eventually took over the store from his dad in 1988 and has owned it ever since.

Flowercraft has always had a close relationship with Chamblee High School.

“Having the school right across the street is great for business,” said Rideout.

It is a very popular destination for people in Chamblee and Chamblee High School students around holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, as well as during the days leading up to homecoming and prom.

2018 is Rideout’s 30th year owning Flowercraft. Being there so long has led to one of the most special parts of his job.

“I have seen multiple generations of Chamblee students come into my store,” said Rideout.

He can recall many of the alumni he made corsages and boutonnieres for years ago. But what makes Flowercraft’s connection with Chamblee so truly special is that he also made the floral arrangements for the weddings, baby showers and anniversaries of many of these alumni. In some cases, some of the students he has made homecoming and prom arrangements for in the past few years are the children of Chamblee alumni that were his customers in the past.

One of the many Chamblee students that have bought flowers from Flowercraft is junior Nathan Whatley.

“I have gotten the corsage for my date there every year for homecoming,” said Whatley.

Whatley has always had good experiences with Flowercraft.

“The people there are really nice and good at their job,” he said. “The flowers always look great.”

Chamblee alumnus and current math teacher Howard Davenport has also been a Flowercraft customer in the past. He never shopped there as a student but has as a teacher.

“I got flowers from there for a coworker’s birthday,” he said.

Flowercraft’s history with Chamblee is a unique one. There are very few local businesses that can boast having sold their product to hundreds of Chamblee students every year for more than 30 years. Even more special than that is the connections that Flowercraft has made with Chamblee alumni, many of whom will be lifelong customers.