During the last three years, the owners of an array of small specialty stores have chosen downtown Fort Dodge as an ideal venue for doing business. That renaissance in the city's historic commercial heart got its latest addition last month. Modern Day Florals by Kristin opened at 1414 Central Ave. on July 17.
Owner Kristin Kenyon said her decision to launch a new business in Fort Dodge was influenced by the community's economic boom. She said that made it an especially appealing time for her to turn her longtime dream of establishing a floral shop into a reality.
"I started doing the floral business about 10 years ago and worked at a floral store," she explained. "Then I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. From that point, I did strictly silk arrangements out of my home. ... I liked working in the flower industry. I was ready to get back into the floral business. ... I felt Fort Dodge would be a good fit and this business would be a good addition to the area."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kristin Kenyon, owner of Modern Day Florals by Kristin, poses with a selection of arrangements available at her new store, at 1414 Central Ave.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kristin Kenyon, owner of Modern Day Florals by Kristin arranges a bouquet of flowers recently in her workshop.
Modern Day Florals by Kristin provides an array of products and services.
"We offer fresh-cut flowers and silk florals and arrangements," Kenyon said.
The store sells green and blooming plants, gifts, decor items and greeting cards. There are also custom canvas prints, balloons and plush items such as stuffed animals.
Whether the customer is motivated to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase or contemplates something that requires a bit more planning, Kenyon said her team stands ready to help.
"We have a variety of stock," she said. "I have a cooler in the showroom for people to pick already prepared items and also I have a space in the back where I have additional cut flowers for them to choose from."
If something isn't already in the store, Kenyon said her suppliers can usually provide it within 24 to 48 hours.
Helping clients address special events such as weddings, funerals, anniversaries and birthdays is a priority at Modern Day Florals.
"I like being a part of special events in people's lives and making sure that they are done in a way that meets their needs and their wants to their individual likes," Kenyon said. "Everything we deal with here is very personal - anniversaries, new births, birthdays."
She said her store offers customers unique options.
"It's an updated style of flower arrangements," Kenyon said of her floral creations. "The products and services that we provide are the latest trends. ... Just like every other market, everything changes - the kind of flowers, the combination of flowers, the design of flowers. We make sure we're on top of the trends."
She said she puts great emphasis on the quality of the interaction with customers.
"We are very detail-oriented and warm and friendly and want to make sure that every person who walks in is treated as our guest," Kenyon said. "My biggest thing is customer service. ... We empathize with those who are here mourning. We also want to make sure that for all the joyful events that people are experiencing, when they are here they know that we care about it and want to make sure that we meet their expectations."
To make the planning process as professional and comfortable as possible, the store has a spacious consultation room where discussions can take place in a quiet, private venue.
While Modern Day Florals by Kristin can handle the full range of special events, Kenyon said she expects weddings to be an especially important focus and looks forward to that part of the business.
"I really enjoy doing weddings," she said. "I have a lot of experience doing weddings. I want to offer brides something different. Weddings are definitely a top priority of mine."
Meet the owner
Kenyon now lives in Fort Dodge, but grew up in Humboldt. After high school she studied at Northwestern College in Orange City. She has four children. Bailey is 12. Shawn is 10. Jordan is 8. Kaleb is 3. The older children attend Mason Northwest Webster.
Kenyon has a straightforward message for potential customers.
"When they come here, their wants and their needs are heard," she said. "We are going to create something and produce the product to meet exactly what they want. We listen to the individual needs and characteristics to make it personal. ... We truly care about every single event in a person's life and what's going on and want to be sure that we help create something that is meaningful and is exactly what the customer wants."
About Modern Day Florals by Kristin
Modern Florals by Kristin is an FTD florist. It has a website - moderndayforalsbykristin.com - as well as a Facebook page. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Additionally, appointments at other times can be arranged. Delivery is available throughout Webster County and to other nearby locations.