Flowers and Photos
Two local businesswomen are proof that business and pleasure really can be mixed.
Val Voigt, formerly of Flowers By Val and Laura Wagoner of Wagoner Portrait Studio are joining forces to help strengthen each other's businesses.
Wagoner picked up her studio, formerly located in a little side space on 1135 Washington Avenue and moved into Voigt's flower shop, right on the corner of Washington and Holmes Street.
"I wanted to be store-front so that I could get some more exposure, and this was perfect," said Wagoner.
Voigt adds, "And I'd been looking for another business that would be a good match to join me because the space here was way more than I needed, and what better match than a photography studio?"
The two women have been kicking around this idea for over a year, and once the time was good for both of them, they made a go of it.
Last month they put up some walls, remodeled the shop and renamed it Detroit Lakes Floral and Gift & Wagoner Portrait Studio.
"I'd always wanted a name change anyway, and I think this gives it more of a hometown identity," Voigt said.
Detroit Lakes Floral is also blossoming into more than just a flower shop.
"We're now doing a lot more home decorations, gifts and fun stuff like that," Voigt said.
Neither of the women are new to their trades, but are experienced professionals, doing what they do best.
Voight, born and raised in Detroit Lakes, ran a little flower shop out of her house for 20 years before moving to town.
Wagoner, an East Grand Forks native, worked for five years in a St. Cloud studio before taking a shot at Detroit Lakes seven years ago.
The ladies of the shop have known each other through church for a couple of years, and are hoping this merger will generate business for each other.
"It is more of a one-stop-shop now, because people needing flowers or photos for weddings, graduations, prom, anniversaries, reunions, or whatever .... can now just come here for both," said Voigt.
Not only are the women reaping the benefits of a shared lease expense, but they are also seeing an increase in customers.
"It's been crazy here," laughs Wagoner, "I've already seen so much more walk-in traffic."
Wagoner and Voigt are hoping that walk-in-traffic walks out feeling like they just had a warm and inviting experience. Individually, the women are both friendly and mild-mannered.
Times that by two and you always have somebody greeting you at the door with a smile.
This week that door will be swinging open to a celebration.
Detroit Lakes Floral and Wagoner Studios are holding an open house on Thursday March 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday March 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We'll have lot of refreshments, specials and door prizes, so come all!" Voigt said.