For 15 years, Sok Lee has operated a flower shop below Group Health at the corner of 15th and John.
This weekend, he’s celebrating the grand opening.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but Lee’s business is now known as the 1-800-Flowers|4GiftSeattle floral shop.
“Which way should I go with my business? I cannot do [it] by myself,” Lee said.
Lee has joined the national 1-800-Flowers chain as a local franchise owner after running his own flower businesses for the past 15 years. In 2009, he shuttered his Blooms on Broadway outlet to focus on the 15th Ave Flowers shop. The location has been a florist for more than 30 years, Lee says. But the business environment today calls for more and more marketing and social media muscle — strengths Lee said he just didn’t have time to develop.
Lee said he’s well aware of Capitol Hill’s independent-championing community. But he’s certain he wouldn’t have been able to stay open much longer on his own. He’s happy now to see an expanded selection of products like teddy bars and chocolate added to his floral offerings. He has the marketing muscle of 1-800-Flowers to push that part of the business forward. For the most part, he says, he’s dealing now with the same distributors and flower auctions.
This weekend, you can stop in the store for a variety of promotional offers and deals. Our visit found the shop glossed up and more flowers on display out front than in recent weeks. A shiny new digital board flashed deals and special offers. The new purple 1-800-Flowers van was parked out front.