Dwight Richardson is the owner/designer of Fenimore’s Floral Design Studio.
Fenimore’s is family owned and operated.
“I think Fenimore’s is Cleveland’s newest and most exciting floral studio,” Richardson said. “I’m looking to give Cleveland something they haven’t had in the past.”
Although he’s been in business for 18 years, he just moved into his new location in October 2010 at the Market Centre at the corner of Georgetown Road and Paul Huff Parkway.
“I really don’t know how it started,” Richardson said. He first put together silk flower arrangements and then moved on to arranging fresh flowers. He now still offers both. “No one in the family has ever done anything like this.”
Richardson started out working in real estate and still works with Bender Realty.
“I especially like new home buyers,” he said. “Selling real estate is a great experience.”
But, over those same years, his home-based business kept growing and growing until he actually wanted to open a separate studio years ago.
“People heard about me mainly through word-of-mouth referrals,” he said. He provided the flower arrangements for the local Fox News station’s dream wedding of the year and some events at the Museum Center at Five Points, as well as for the Dr. Drood Mystery Dinner Theatre. “It was going very well.”
But he was advised against moving into a separate brick-and-mortar building until it was just absolutely impossible for him to conduct his business from his garage and kitchen any longer.
His wife, Londa, was particularly happy when he decided to get his own shop because she was tired of opening the refrigerator and having “greenery” fall out all the time.
“I always knew one day I wanted to do this,” Richardson said. He spent almost two decades working from his home and collecting arrangements and décor along the way. “I’ve collected things over the years.”
His shop features a children’s corner.
“Kids need flowers too,” he said.
A men’s corner.
“Most flower studios don’t offer gift items for men,” Richardson said.
A garden center.
And it was serendipity that had a hand in providing him with the perfect venue to display the large variety of items he had collected. The space at the Market Centre was originally intended to be a tanning salon.
“I love the rooms,” he said. “They’re special, different ... But I want to be known as a floral designer and not just a florist.”
In fact, he prides himself on being a full-service floral studio. He can provide arrangements and displays for just about any occasion or event, including weddings, birthdays, floral tributes for deceased loved ones, sympathy notes, get-well wishes — in fact, delivery to hospitals is free — anniversaries, thank you sentiments, funerals, and corporate events, like the United Way’s kickoff event this coming Tuesday on Aug. 23.
Fenimore’s also offers a large inventory of fresh flowers for any occasion, plants, European or dish gardens, dried floral arrangements, an extensive gift line, gourmet fruit baskets, and a variety of other gift baskets.
“But I especially love weddings,” he said. In fact, Richardson is offering an initial free consultation. He offers both traditional and classic wedding looks, as well as contemporary wedding packages in the latest color trends. Right now, for this coming fall, the most popular design is the natural look, using, for example, tall curly willows, twigs, bark, wood and rocks, as accents. “I like to sit down with the bride and groom and get an idea what they are looking for. Do some brainstorming to put together something they’ll be delighted with. I can customize any design the bride wants.”
Other services he offers includes the Teleflora Network, a national and worldwide wire service, through which Fenimore’s can send flowers and plants across the country and around the world.
“Anybody who needs to wire flowers can do it through me anywhere in the world,” he said. “I do a lot of wire business.”
Fenimore’s is also affiliated with The Knot bridal network that provides ideas about flower arrangements, as well as catering, etc.
“A studio must meet certain standards to be able to be a member,” he said. He is also a member of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, MainStreet and can be found on Rely Local.
Richardson also offers a “Butler Deal” of the day. For example, one day he might offer a special discounted deal on a fresh-cut flower arrangement, the next a tabletop arrangement.“We are committed to offering only the finest floral stem arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt,” Richardson said. “Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect.”