Surprisingly, it wasn't actually Fern who had the itch to get into the flower shop, but her husband Charles. In the early 1960s they had an antique and souvenir shop in Mammoth Spring and Charles decided to bring in fresh flowers. "He was a natural born designer. He loved flowers, and so when we added them to our antique gift shop he was the one who did most of the designing," said Reed.
In the late 60s, Reed and her husband decided to split the antique store and the flower shop and bought an existing floral shop in Thayer, Mo. The former owner had been separated from her husband and had allowed the business to deteriorate, so when the Reeds bought it, they changed the name to Chapel Hill Florist and announced that it was under new management.
As time went on, Chapel Hill Florist began to do more and more arrangements for the funeral home in Salem, sometimes sending up to three station wagons full of flowers. The time seemed right to open a shop in Salem.
"This was originally a little four room rent house. At the time, the square was completely full, but this was across from the funeral home, so it was a good location for the flower shop. We built in our cooler and then as time went on, the little rent house next door came up and we rented that so we could expand. So, this building is actually the two smaller homes converted into one large building," said Reed.
The Salem Flower Shop is a full service florist, offering fresh and silk flowers, plants, balloons, stuffed animals, snack baskets, fruit baskets, gift certificates, plus over 1,000 gift ideas for men, women and children. "We have a little bit of everything. We specialize in custom orders and custom designs. We can make a one of a kind arrangement that is tailored specifically to what your loved one would enjoy," said Reed.
"That's what separates us from mass production like Walmart, because all of our stuff is made and designed here, and made for individual people," said employee Tina Boris. "We custom make every piece and that's what sets us apart. Whatever the customer can dream up, we can do." For those with family who live out of town, the shop is affiliated with Teleflora and can send bouquets and gift items anywhere in the continental United States.
Whether it's a wedding, a funeral, a special birthday or anniversary arrangement or just a small spray of fresh flowers to let someone know you're thinking about them, shop locally at the Salem Flower Shop, your one-stop gift destination in Salem. Drop in and look around, and don't forget to wave to Fern -- she'll be in the workroom, designing her latest custom creation.
"I like it, I really do," said Reed. "I have to say I love working the flower shop. It's such a satisfaction in your life when you make something pretty, or something to comfort a family in their time of grief."