In an era when virtually anything can be ordered online, Simply Beautiful Flowers and Gifts strives to provide an authentic shopping experience that’s personal and “made with love,” says Rennie Friedlander. Friedlander co-owns and manages the store, at 1400 Clarkview Road, with her husband, Brian, and mother-daughter team Debra Carey and Courtney James.
Founded in 1992, Simply Beautiful was located in Pikesville’s Alley Shops until last March when the business moved to a brand new and larger location overlooking Falls Road in the Bare Hills neighborhood of Baltimore County.
“Pikesville was a great place for this business, [and] so is this new neighborhood,” says Brian Friedlander.
Says his wife: “Our dream was always to build this business and have a larger space. There is much room to grow.”
In addition to the store’s myriad varieties of roses, orchids and hydrangeas, Simply Beautiful imports fresh flowers such as peonies, sweet peas and freesias from across the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America. The floral offerings vary seasonally to include such flowers as tulips and narcissuses in the spring and dahlias in the summer.
The store, replete with soaring ceilings and elegant furnishings, features long wooden tables where floral designers create personalized bouquets and arrangements; a consultation room for bridal parties and events planners; and a large walk-in cooler room where customers can peruse daily floral offerings.
Many regular customers have their own vases and pots that are left at Simply Beautiful to be filled each week with new selections and arrangements of flowers. These loose-cut floral arrangements can be ordered, designed and delivered on the same day to hospital rooms and corporate office spaces throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area and its surrounding 25-mile radius.
Aside from the high-end bouquets and arrangements that Simply Beautiful’s clientele has come to expect, the space has room for a large selection of unique items. These include candles, bath oils, perfumes and natural crystal potpourri; baby gifts such as stuffed animals and nursery rugs; and home décor pieces such as oversized painted trays and baskets and coffee table books. The store also sells terra cotta planters and gardening tools.
The owners contend that what sets Simply Beautiful apart from other flower and gift businesses is the personal care and attention provided to each client. Over the years, Simply Beautiful has fostered relationships with a diverse customer base consisting of flower enthusiasts, garden club members, caterers, funeral homes, businesses, bridal parties and simchah celebrants.
“We ask ourselves, ‘What should a gift look like coming from this client?’” says Friedlander, “and we build customer trust this way. We can’t afford to make a mistake. We deal with the most important people and their most important events.”
Sharlene Sherman, a longtime client and wedding and events planner, praises Simply Beautiful for its attentive customer service and close relationships with clients.
“We have been working together for years on many fabulous events,” she says. “Simply beautiful is just that. Their new shop has expanded to include the most beautiful gifts and goodies.”
For information, call 410-484-7743 or visit simplybeautifulflowers.com.
Shira Zeliger is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.
Photo by Evan Cohen
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