Local flower business blooming: Ivins Florist provides unique creations

chuck 01FARMINGTON — The Town of Farmington might be small, but it’s home to a locally-owned business that boasts big ideas and unique creations you may not find elsewhere.

Ivins Florist opened three years ago in the very small Kent County town south of Harrington, fulfilling Chuck Ivins’ life-long dream.

Mr. Ivins said he has worked in the flower business for more than 25 years and always wanted a shop of his own. When he inherited the property that is now his home and business, he figured it was time.

He opened the shop with a prayer and $25, Mr. Ivins said.

His prayers seemed to have been answered, because now, Mr. Ivins said, his shop is busy as ever.

“When I was in high school I started working at a flower shop, after school and on weekends. I started out at the bottom and worked my way up,” he said.

The art of flower arranging is what he loves most about the business.

“Weddings are my thing. I enjoy doing them and funerals. People may think that is crazy, but they are more elaborate pieces. More than the everyday stuff,” he said.

chuck 02Ivins Florist recently converted an old, unused dairy barn into the perfect venue for a wedding at customer’s request.

“We transformed the barn into something spectacular. We brought in chairs and lighting. Those kinds of things mean something to people,” he said.

Mr. Ivins said he can make almost anything out of flowers; and he has for many funeral celebrations.

“I’ve done cars, tractors, boats, animals. You name it, I’ve done it out of flowers for funerals,” he said.

He prides himself on Ivins Florist’s unique creations.

“If you want something different. If you want something designed for you, then you come here. We aren’t a flower shop that throws things together,” Mr. Ivins said. “You can go to Walmart or anywhere for any old bouquet, but here you get a designed bouquet. If you want something created for you or that someone special than you come here to us.”

If you want to go to Ivins Florist for your wedding next year, you better go soon.

“We are already booking for 2016,” Mr. Ivins said.

When brides-to-be come to Ivins Florist, they are welcomed and ushered to the shop’s consultation area. There, they discuss what they would like their wedding to look like and what their budget is.

chuck 04“I never turn away anyone. I will work with you. A lot of times, they may order something that might not fit into their budget but we can find something to make it work,” Mr. Ivins said.

He employs another designer, Amy Rodriguez, to help create Ivins Florist’s unique and budget-friendly creations.

“Flowers are expensive. There is always an alternative. If you are a designer, you work with color and shape, not just flowers. We can find something to substitute. A carnation is a carnation, but when you stick it in a bouquet, it doesn’t look like a carnation,” said Ms. Rodriguez.

Besides Ivins’ Florist and its few residents, Farmington only has a gas station and a fire department to draw people to town.

When asked why Farmington, Mr. Ivins said, “It is on the highway and it’s my home. There is major traffic coming from the highway. At first, I thought, ‘Would people come to Farmington?’ But they come from all over, Seaford, the beach, Wilmington.

“It is a small home town shop and it’s kicking,” he added proudly. “I never would have dreamed three years ago. It’s fun.”

In 1919, Farmington’s fate changed forever. A spark from a passing train ignited a blaze that destroyed the farming town, which was once bigger than Harrington.

Ivins Florist might be the spark the town needs to grow and attract people and businesses. In the future, Mr. Ivins said he hopes to expand the store and include furniture and home décor items.

Within his current store he has already started to branch out. In many other flower shops you might find chocolate and balloons; but at Ivins Florist you’ll find antiques, like the large antique glassware section featured in the main part of the store.

The flower shop keeps Mr. Ivins busy enough, but he runs the operation all while still working for the Seaford School District.

chuck 05“I work full time. I have worked for 18 years with the state of Delaware. I am a full time Autism Specialist for the Seaford School District,” he said
His dedication to both of his vocations is evidenced in the success of the flower shop and that Mr. Ivins was voted Teacher of the Year for the Seaford School District this year.

“I leave the school every day, then come and do flowers here until 1 or 2 a.m.,” Mr. Ivins said.

He does have help some help though, along with Ms. Rodriguez he has a delivery driver as well.

Ivins Florist is at 20976 South DuPont Highway, for more information call 302-398-3702 or 302-670-9155.

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at landerson@newszap.com. Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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