“My family got too big to live there, so we moved, and the shop has taken over all the space,” said Marilyn Barr, owner of The English Garden floral shop. Barr is passionate about personalized service.
“We’re a full-service florist, and we also have a gift shop. We specialize in weddings,” she said. “We offer more one-on-one time helping people, a lot more personalized in everything we do. For instance, if someone buys a gift from us, we offer wrapping it for free. We can also deliver it locally.” Barr said some local shoppers mistakenly think they can get a better deal at a big-box store.
“We are a lot more flexible. We can work with them and their budget,” she said. “I understand people trying to find things for the least-expensive cost — they just don’t have the money. But they don’t realize at our shop there are things that they can buy that won’t cost them an arm and a leg.”
Barr is a fan of The 3/50 Project.
“I try in my own personal life to adhere to that policy, to support local business, especially in this economy,” she said. “Everyone is evaluating what they need to be doing right now to survive. I’ve been doing the same thing.” Her first step will be to get consignments for her gift shop.
“I’m going to explore getting local artists to put some of their things in our shop,” she said. “I’m looking for a few select people, maybe a potter, a painter.”
THE ENGLISH GARDEN
7376 Middlebranch Ave. NE, Plain Township
Owner: Marilyn Barr
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday,Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday and Saturday; also by appointment
It’s a simple directive. Every month, make a point of visiting at least three independently owned businesses, for instance, a restaurant, jewelry shop, furniture store or ice cream stand. Spend a total of $50 among them.
The result? For every $100 spent locally, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
In the stories that follow, you’ll meet six local business owners who have joined The 3/50 Project. For a list of participating businesses in Ohio, visit www.the350project.net and click on “Our Supporters.”