In 1981, Mary Wesley moved her flower shop to a corner space on 23rd and Jackson. She renamed her shop Flowers Just 4 U, hoping a friendly name and two windowed walls would establish a community-centric atmosphere, drawing foot traffic in. 37 years later, Flowers Just 4 U has found a new home on the corner of Cherry and 23rd.
Wesley and her longtime employees Patricia Ross and Emily Steele are looking to continue their shop’s legacy as the store relocates to make way for the construction of a new, six story affordable housing development on its former site. Despite initial difficulties involving the lighting, floor plan, and moving flower fridges into the new space formerly home to 701 Coffee, the crew at Flowers Just 4 U is optimistic about the move considering their close proximity to Garfield High School, Garfield Community Center, residential homes, and other new shops and development opening in the surrounding area.
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Situated behind her new desk framed with orchids, Ross recalled her initial shock when faced with the move. “Nobody knew until it was posted. Everybody was shocked. People were asking in disbelief, ‘you’re moving?’ I was asking myself, ‘Why do we have to go?’ But I know change is good.”
Steele shares this sentiment, believing Flowers Just 4 U will have to start over, but only “just a little bit.” Steele and Ross both described how they watched the old store develop and connect into the surrounding community throughout its thirty-seven years. Ross became an employee in 1992 and Steele “grew up in that store,” as she started working there when she was fourteen. Ross emphasized the sentimental significance of the old shop, “it was our spot, our home, and contained a lot of memories,” she said.
While the new shop is physically smaller, Ross and Steele agree “energy wise, the space is huge,” and they are looking forward to the new customers its large windows and colorful displays will draw in. While tossing a toy for Caesar, the small white terrier circling the new space, Ross smiled and expressed her optimistic outlook on the new shop’s capacity for memories and serving the community. “We’re moving in and we’re here to stay,” she said.
Flowers Just 4 U’s new home is 701 23rd Ave. You can learn more at seattleflowersjust4u.net.