By Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle
Invaluable. Amazing. Impossible to imagine. These were just some of the words Curbside vendors shared when they reflected on their nearly year-long path to the December opening of this one-of-a-kind flower shop in downtown Oklahoma City.
Welcome to Curbside Flowers. You may have heard about the floral campaigns that have been a staple of Curbside since 2016. What started as carnations and greenery sold out of buckets by Curbside vendors has grown into a brick-and-mortar flower shop located at 522 N Classen Blvd. It took thousands of bouquets to get here, but Curbside Flowers has a new home and a meaningful way to deliver both a beautiful product and a means of employment.
Back in March 2020, retail floral design classes started — and took a break because of the pandemic — then thankfully resumed with nearly a dozen vendors successfully completing the course at OSU-OKC. Thanks to unwavering community support, and a seed grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the shop opened its doors to customers on 15 December 2020.
What does it look like? Curbside Flowers is a traditional florist, offering daily floral deliveries throughout the metro, a retail shop, and custom floral for events like weddings, galas, parties and more. You won’t see these bouquets being sold on the corner. Instead, a select group of Curbside vendors have traded in their title of “vendor” to become “florists.” They are using their new talent to design beautiful, high-end bouquets available for online ordering. And while working in the shop, they are receiving training and learning new job skills to help them transition toward future employment.
On the shop’s snowy opening morning, vendors cleaned, built bouquets and greeted a handful of customers. I can’t wait to watch this program continue to bloom in our community. The energy from this unique opportunity was apparent, and it’s going to change lives. See for yourself.