Business adds flower power to downtown Auburn

White Willow Company is at 222 E. Main St. #D in the Downtown Arcade north of Safeway.

Gobsmacking floral arrangements bedazzle the eye just inside the door.

So lovely are the arrangements that first-time visitors to the White Willow Company may not realize that these blooms didn’t come from a garden. Indeed, these are “never-wilts,” “can’t kill ‘ems,” silken beauties painstakingly, lovingly assembled by the expert hands at one of downtown Auburn’s newest brick and mortar retail stores.

Word on the street is that even faces determined to keep a frown can’t restrain that tell-tale upward movement of the lips when they happen on the business at 222 E. Main St. #D in the Downtown Arcade north of Safeway.

“You can’t look at a flower and feel bad,” said Carol G., who helped open the store on Nov. 11, 2023. “It releases serotonin in your brain and makes you happy.

“What better business could you be than making people happy? You can’t beat making a person happy. Can’t beat it,” Carol added.

Carol said she’s worked hard to create “a little bit of a different vibe” than is typical for stores like this one.

“We like to create the dream for people. We invest in developing a personal connection with each and every person by providing the best quality client service, one-of-a kind floral creations, new and repurposed home decor items and helping out with all those special occasions.

“We are the best in our field, and it’s all thanks to the incredible relationships we’ve formed with clients — past, present and future,” Carol added.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that ever since she was a girl, Carol and flowers have been best buds, and that she has been designing floral arrangements since 1984.

“My nana taught me how to garden and taught me the love of flowers,” Carol explained. “During all the summers of my childhood, I was with her, and part of what she did was showing me how to care for flowers and how to cut them. I quickly realized I’d rather be creating and making something.”

Carol became a manager for the floral department at the Ben Franklin store in the city of Shelton and later had her own gift basket business. Then, she said, she “went corporate for a while. But I got to the point where I wanted to get back into it and offer Auburn another beautiful floral shop.

“When Covid hit, we put everything in storage and then we were paying storage, paying storage, and I’m finally like, you know. I think I can open up a little retail spot and bring in the things we have in storage and also bring some more life to downtown Auburn, especially with the apartment buildings and all the different things that are going on. There’s a lot of retail coming in, and so we felt that it would be a good time to get in now.”

Repurposing items gifted and thrifted is a big part of the business.

“I have these vases a lady bought in, and she wanted me to create something for her. So I visited her home, looked at different things. She had some different flowers so I took those and created these here. We’re bringing new life here and we’re very good at what we do,We take classes all the time to keep current on what’s going on in the industry and all the changes,” she said.

The store is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.