Meet Samantha Monday of Gardenias Floral Shop

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MM asked Samantha Monday, the proprietor of the new Gardenias Floral shop on Amboy Aveniue, to give us a look into how this Metuchen native made it back to her hometown with a burgeoning new business intact. Here's what she told us, in her own words:

I grew up in Metuchen and love this town, so it was an obvious choice to start our business here. My partner (also my fiance) and I live about a mile from the store and we like to walk to work in the morning.

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Being environmentally responsible is extremely important to us- -we compost nearly all of our flower clippings in our very own compost bin. We use recycled glass vases, and carry as much locally grown products as possible to support the local farmers. When locally grown is not available, we try to carry as many Veri-Flora certified flowers as we can. We use rags to clean up as opposed to paper towels and much our furniture in the store is made of reclaimed wood. We recycle everything!! We are even  doing a "vase exchange program" where our customers can bring in their used vases for us to re-use or recycle and in exchange they receive free flowers.

I have been doing floral design for 15years. At age 13 my mother told me to get a part-time job. The first place I walked into was "Jack's Flowers" on Main Street (they are no longer there--it is now Creative Crafts) and I immediatley fell in love with the work. After awhile they closed and I worked at Kaiser's Flowers (also on Main Street) and a few other places after that.

Adam has been doing architectural landscaping for many years. He was living in Hawaii when we met ( I was on vacation) Where he lived, the "Village" was off the grid--no electricity or running water. The treehouse he was living in had solar panels and a rain cachement system for the plumbing. Needless to say, as rugged as it was out there, it was quite romantic. He took me to the place where he was working at the time and the entire mile long driveway was lined with my favorite flowering bushes--Gardenias. He picked so many for me and told me to put one behind my left ear, as that would mean "I am Taken." Two and 1/2 years later here we are! We realized we both shared a love of horticulture and design and a desire to work for ourselves.

I had been doing weddings out of my house for some time and over this past summer it just became too much for us to handle in the limited space, so we decided to take the leap and go all the way into a full-service florist. I would say our hopes are to continue to specialize in weddings and events. We would really like to do children's birthday parties here in the store as an educational type of party where they can learn to design. And I think people in Metuchen and surrounding towns will really appreciate our eco-friendly approach and our aesthetically pleasing designs for all occasions."

Samantha's work can be seen on the store website, www.GardeniasFloral.com  as well as the wedding site,  www.GardeniasFloralWeddings.com.

In this day of economic uncertainty, it's great to see a young business ready to thrive in our town!

 

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