OTHELLO — Desert Rose Floral Designs owner Melody Anguiano was looking for a career opportunity and found it in a business that technically wasn’t for sale.
“I happened to see a sign saying Desert Rose was for sale. But I wasn’t supposed to see that sign because (then owner Renee Para) took it down, she thought” , said Anguinao.
Anguiano had a day job and refinished furniture on the side. She went to Desert Rose to talk to Para about putting some of her furniture in the shop on consignment.
Desert Rose, 745 E. Hemlock St. in Othello, was and is a flower and gift shop. Anguiano knew nothing about flowers or flower arrangements – but that didn’t matter.
“I wanted to be in a creative business,” she said. “I was pretty much open to anything that had to do with creativity and interior design, and I saw the opportunity.”
Para had announced the sale of the business, then changed his mind and removed all the signs – except for the one Anguiano had seen. The thought of a buyer made Para reconsider.
“This kind of thing has sparked interest again. And then five weeks later it was in my name,” Anguiano said.
She bought Desert Rose in 2015, and it was both exciting and scary, she says.
“I knew it would be successful, but it was like – how? I had never done a flower arrangement in my life. At that time, I had never successfully cared for plants,” she said. ” How am I going to do ? »
But she was confident she would pull it off, she said.
“I knew I would pick it up,” she said. “It was just a matter of time that it would take me to learn. Honestly, it was kind of ‘fake until you make it’, as far as flowers go.
Not only was it successful, but Desert Rose grew from a flower and gift shop to a flower shop, gift shop, and jewelry and clothing store. Plans are also underway to open a cafe, Anguiano said.
Para stayed for a few months to help Anguiano learn the art of flower arranging. The new owner added more gifts, then clothes, and expanded her clothing space in 2021, she said. The cafe is currently under construction and is expected to open later this year.
At the same time she was learning flower arranging and the art of running a business, she was also learning the gifts and decorating side of the shop.
“Buying merchandise for a full customer base – that was very interesting – and it still is today. You never really learn what people want, you kind of get a feel for some of the popular themes. But it’s almost like, by the time you get the idea, the trend is over,” she said.
The Columbia Basin tends to lag urban areas when it comes to things like decorating trends, Anguiano said. Social media has made people aware of current trends, but there can still be a difference between what’s popular in Othello and what’s popular in Seattle or Los Angeles. This means that the Desert Rose must be careful not to be too far ahead of its customers.
“Learning floral design, how to run a business, how to have employees and how to choose merchandise for your store. It’s a lot, but I tend to do better when I have a lot to do. I do more “said Anguiano.
Her parents and other family members provided crucial support, she said, as they also owned their own businesses.
“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs,” she said. “So I was confident that I would have the resources to go when I had questions.”
Anguiano said her husband, Jorge Anguiano, and their four children also support the business. They’re ready to help when mom’s attention needs to be on business, she says.
“It’s definitely a team effort,” she says. “Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (in the floral sector) are intense. We had a pep talk with the kids the week before, and it’s like, ‘Ok, guys, this time is coming. I know it’s hard. I know it’s stressful and I’m coming home later. But it’s our harvest, and it literally helps feed our family. We all have to work together and make the house work.
Anguiano said she wasn’t sure about the coffee proposition when it was first presented because she didn’t want to learn another business. But for many of its customers, Desert Rose isn’t just a place to buy flowers or gifts.
“The ladies will come in and tell me it’s their break. And they’ll browse the store for a few hours. I want Desert Rose to be a place where people hang out, even more than it already is,” he said. said Anguiano.
Customers help make owning the business a satisfying experience, she added.
“I love people and I love interacting with people. And the fact that people are excited to spend even more time at Desert Rose, I don’t think there’s anything better for me as a as a business owner.
“Obviously you’re here to make a living, but it’s not even that,” she said. “We built something as a team, as a family, that people look forward to, that people recommend to family and friends. It literally blows my mind.