By Rachel Parker Dickerson
Alan Hahn's family has been serving Conway at Ye Olde Daisy Shoppe in downtown Conway since 1968.
Hahn's parents, Manny and Peggy Hahn, started the business in 1968 and operated it until he purchased it from them in 1993, he said.
"I grew up here," Hahn said. "Especially when they first started, they didn't have many employees, so both my parents were here all the time. I was here more than I was home."
The original location was in a smaller building on Parkway between Oak and Main Streets, but Hahn's parents moved the business to its spot on Oak Street in the mid 1970s, he said. He remembers several floral shops that came and went over the years in the downtown area.
"When I was a kid, I didn't pay attention to other businesses, but downtown was pretty busy, because we didn't have other shopping centers," he said.
Although trends have changed, the business is much the same, offering a variety of gifts: fresh flowers and silk arrangements for home, offices, and churches, weddings, and special occasions.
"We've kept up with trends, offered that unique mix," Hahn said. "We have a wide range of customers, and we're just as thrilled with a $10 sale as we are with a $1,000 sale."
The business has grown to employ about 14 people, including delivery drivers, floral designers, bookkeepers, and managers.
"Conway's growth has definitely been an advantage for our business. It has helped our business grow, because we have a good reputation." Hahn said. "We've gotten a lot of referrals from our longtime clients. We've grown, definitely, along with Conway."
One unique aspect to the fresh floral business is the challenge in planning ahead.
"A lot of times, people wait until the last minute to order, whether it's a birthday or an anniversary, so we have to be prepared for whatever orders might come in," Hahn said. "Fortunately, we have suppliers close by, so we can order daily."
As for the busiest times of year, he said he knows roughly how busy each month tends to be.
"We can measure by the previous year's sales," he noted.
Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are the two busiest single-day holidays, he said. Valentine's Day is perhaps the most difficult of all, because the order has to arrive that day. On Mother's Day, customers might order with a little more flexibility.
"Christmas is another big floral holiday, but we have a couple weeks. Starting about mid-December, it's okay for people to start getting their poinsettia or (floral arrangement)."
May through July is the main wedding season, although he does weddings year-round, Hahn said. Another wedding rush occurs in October through December.
"January is the craziest month," he said, because many people get engaged at Christmas and all the brides want to have their floral consultation in January.
One of the things Hahn loves about his job, he said, is "I have a little bit more flexibility with my schedule than some people do."
He added that he is active in his church, Second Baptist, where he plays the drums. He is also a full-time college student in the Central Baptist College PACE program studying leadership and ministry.
Hahn and his wife, Sarah, have a 7-month-old baby, Jake.