Flowers are the passion of childhood friends Kristy Pierre and her best friend Katherine Farley. With a background in finance, Pierre discovered her love of flower arranging after joining with Farley, who moved back to Coronado after years of flower experience in New York and Chicago. When both had one year old babies, they decided to combine their talents and opened Root 75 floral shop at 845 Orange Avenue.
Fast forward 10 years, when the pandemic hit last March, and Root 75 hasn’t been open for walk-ins since that time. Just before Mother’s Day, they got their website up and running; prior to that orders came via walk-ins, phone, and email. Mother’s Day orders turned out to be popular, with people sending flowers because they couldn’t be together in person.
It has been important for Pierre to have a flexible schedule during the pandemic, because with her kids at home doing schoolwork, she needs to provide stability and help when needed. Pierre goes into the shop on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to create arrangements and they offer pickup and delivery in Coronado.
Pierre says, “People have been understanding and shifted to online ordering. We miss connecting with customers in person, but have been busier with our flower deliveries this year, although our overall sales are down, due to the lack of special events, especially weddings.” It definitely helps that Root 75 splits the space with Island Flooring, owned by her husband Andre Pierre, who has been in business for 30 years.
They have simplified their ordering menu, so people aren’t overwhelmed with too many choices. “We have found that people are more open to trust us to create beautiful bouquets,” comments Pierre. Their personal service extends from handwritten cards, personal attention paid to every flower in the bouquet, to the safe delivery. “We are involved in 100 percent of the process, to make sure it is up to our exacting standard,” comments Pierre. They also have a subscription service for ongoing blooms.
They source as many flowers locally as possible, but some come from other countries, especially South America. The pandemic has caused reduced inventory selections, and they are also experiencing delayed shipping on a regular basis.
“I love bringing joy to customers” she smiles as she says she treasures the thank you emails she gets from clients sharing how much a bouquet brightened someone’s day. During the pandemic, she has seen people send more flowers, just because, to help fill the void since people can’t be together.
The creativity of Root 75 flower bouquets goes well beyond an ordinary dozen red roses. Pierre and Farley excel at making vibrant, garden-inspired mixed arrangements, selecting flowers when they are in peak season. Many people don’t realize that every type of flower isn’t always available. For example, peonies are best in May and November. This season, she is using her personal favorites: ranunculus, tulips, hyacinth, and sweet peas.
Pierre is grateful to live in Coronado with the wonderful people and weather, but admits that this has been a tough year, and she hopes things get back to a normal where people feel comfortable going out. “I’m taking it one day, then one week, at a time, as I create beautiful products and get them delivered in a safe manner.”