Business is blooming at Noweta’s Flower Shop with Mother’s Day, the second busiest flower day of the year (behind Valentine’s Day) fast approaching.
Bruce Sansing Jr., owner and operator of Noweta’s, purchased the company in September of 2001 from a woman named Ms. Harris who established it in 1948. He then combined it with Green Thumb Florist, the second oldest flower shop in town. In 2001, he purchased their current location on Main St. and 14th Ave. N. and they have been there since.
Sansing said it’s a common misconception that there is a woman named “Noweta” that owns or has owned the shop. “There never was a Noweta,” he said. “The word ‘Noweta’ is the Native American word that means ‘something special.”
So he admits to getting a giggle out of people who call the store asking for her or saying they spoke to her and she quoted them a different price.
Sansing said he’s always been interested in floral design and arranging. “When I was in high school, I worked for Flowers by Margaret as a delivery person. A Columbus native, he knew he wanted to stay and work in the area because of his family roots. His grandfather, Ed Goodman, was superintendent of Parks and Rec. and his father, Bruce Sansing Sr. was an engineer for the railroad. His mother Joann Sansing cultivated his interest in flowers and supported him as he acquired and grew his business. “I contribute a lot of my success to my mother,” he said. “In the beginning she was a huge contributor to Green Thumb. She was there every day helping. Without her, I couldn’t have done it.”
Noweta’s employees four flower designers: Jeanette Smith, Laura Harris, Ashley Youngblood and Manager Wanda Baldwin. Brian Hill also works for the company doing delivery and sales.
“Wanda and Jeanette probably have a combined 75 years of design experience,” said Sansing. “And Ashley has taken some flower design courses.”
When questioned on how he chooses his designers, he replied that it is imperative to his business that he has a great design team. “All of our arrangements, sprays, wreaths, everything is made by our designers on staff.”
“Most of the people I find just have natural talent like an artist. People have come in with degrees, and I haven’t been happy when they’ve shown me what they can do. I believe that floral design is a God-given talent that is accentuated with classes.
“To me the secret to running a successful florist is having the right team. I think I have the best team I’ve ever had. I hire only experienced, dedicated, and loyal people who care about their work. Our work is our reputation. A lot of people that order the flowers — we don’t even see them. So our work is what people see and what they’re going to remember.”
In addition to floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions, Sansing supplements his business by selling gift items.
“We do a tremendous amount of gift items, gourmet and goodie baskets, we do interior design, weddings, events, and we carry some well known lines like Beatriz Ball Fine Metal Wear and Arthur Court Lines, Franz Porcelain, Mississippi Cheese Straws, assorted lines of crystal, collegiate items assorted lines of candles, including Trapp, Aromatique, and we carry Wilton Cake Products.”
A large part of their business comes from funerals, which Sansing says is the most rewarding part of his job.
“People assume that I would like doing weddings the most, but what makes me really feel good, is when I get a note saying thanks for the beautiful arrangements you did for our loved ones casket. It makes me feel good to know that I contributed to the memories of their last moments with their family.”
Sansing orders most of his flowers direct from growers and Noweta’s is able to ship orders worldwide. “You can walk in and say you need to deliver flowers to California or Spain and we can do it,” he said.
Noweta’s has mostly been unaffected by the economic downturn according to Sansing. “I have to say, in 2010 I saw a slight decrease in sales. But last year we had the biggest sales year we ever had, biggest Valentine’s Day we ever had… And this year has been even better,” he said. “Funeral work is based on people dying, when I was growing up in Columbus, there were four funeral homes. Now there are six. I think the increase in funerals has contributed.”
“I believe in putting out good work, giving people their money’s worth and taking care of the customers. Because if you don’t have customers you don’t have a business,” he said.
Noweta’s can be reached at 662-328-7181 or online at nowetasgreenthumb.com