As florist shop Fern Studio Flowers celebrates 10 years of business this year, it is extending its branches into daily flower orders after primarily catering to weddings and events. Located on Devine Street, the shop offers a peaceful oasis of flowers, blooms, leaves and thriving greenery in the busy Columbia landscape.
While florist shops are often thought of as sacred ground for those planning a wedding or special occasions, many people purchase flowers to brighten up their homes.
Sarah Shell, the owner of Fern and a floral designer, said the people of Columbia let her know they wanted Fern to be available to the general public.
“I got calls, probably close to daily, of people wanting us to be able to deliver our sort of artisan, designer flowers because we just had such a different look,” Shell said.
Ashley Thigpen, one of the floral designers at Fern, said opening up its services to the public has been a constant demand from customers.
“It’s been a long time coming. We’re really excited for it, and that’s where people can come in, order 24 hours in advance some days," Thigpen said. "We’ll have a stem bar featuring really fun stuff that you can’t find anywhere else, and then sometimes local blooms when they’re in season.”
To accommodate for the public’s interest in custom, daily flowers, Fern launched its “flower bar” just under a month ago. The flower bar, or stem bar, happens every Thursday and welcomes anyone inside to order a single flower, build their own bouquet or have the designers build a bouquet around a particular vase.
“It’s a great way for people to come and to look and, you know, buy one thing, or come and meet us and hang out for a little bit,” Thigpen said.
As Fern focuses on listening to what customers want, it is also attempting to master the art of online ordering and added an option for customers to order directly from its Instagram.
“We have really tried to streamline our website and online shop to make it very easy for our customers to purchase flowers online,” Shell said.
Described as a marketing maneuver and a way to impact the community, Fern has started decorating art installments and statues around town with “flower flashes.”
“A lot of what we want to do is connection with our community,” Shell said. "So far, we have had a really good response to it, and the public has been really excited."
Thigpen said Fern wants to showcase the art around Columbia.
“We picked, like, the statue in Five Points we wanted to show because it’s new and not a lot of people notice it, and it was done by a local artist in Shandon,” Thigpen said. "We kind of pick stuff like that, that we wanted people to go to; it was easily accessible for people to walk around."
Fern Studio Flowers is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.