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By Jeanne Lesinski

The saying "April showers bring May flowers" might be clichéd, but when Erika's Flowers (214 Federal Ave., Saginaw) celebrated its grand opening on April 30th, this dictum proved to be true. 

Owner Erika Woods, a one-time Delta College fine arts student, had worked for a decade in the florist business before thinking of starting out on her own. "I thought the downtown would be a good place for a florist because there's alot of development going on, and there was no florist." 

Yet because she was new to management, let alone ownership, Woods visited the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (1961 Delta Rd., H Wing, University Center) to get some advice from business consultant Deb Wieland. "She gave me useful information, and the confidence to keep going because I had alot to learn about owning a business."

For the grand opening of Erika's Flowers, Woods made up fresh floral arrangements and delivered them personally to local businesses. These arrangements and then word of mouth quickly brought people to the shop, including a representative from the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, who ordered flowers for the season finale concert. 

Not only does she sell flowers as a full-service florist. Woods offers  gourmet cupcakes, "Baby Cakes" and other handmade confections by her sister Danielle Petre, as well as Cookie Lee jewelry. "Many people are thinking flowers when then get out of work, and I'm right here for them, on their way home," said Woods, noting that often customers want something more permanent to go along with the perishables.

"Everyone has been very supportive. It's like a community down here, "Woods added. "You go into something a bit scared, and when people accept it, you feel like you're bringing something good to the community." 

Hours of operation are Monday & Friday, 9a.m. - 6p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 9a.m. - 5p.m.; Saturday 10a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, visit Erika's Flowers.

© Jeanne Lesinski, 2011