Frank Bohlander, owner of Best Wishes Floral in Golden Valley, is a friendly man who says he’s been in the flower business for over a hundred years and tells stories of his aunt’s famous chocolate cake containing potatoes. But when it comes down to it, Frank has a passion for crafting bouquets with special attention to detail and capturing the essence of beauty. Talking to Frank in his floral shop he explained his dedication to providing each customer with what they want and explained why he’s passionate about what he does.
Q: Frank, how did you get started in the floral industry?
A: I started in the industry because I was the kid that was always out playing in the dirt. And there was a greenhouse about a mile from our house and my mom says ‘you know, why don’t you just go down there and see if he’s hiring.’ It was in the spring when they were starting to get busy and I rode my bike down and this guy gave me a job. And I’ve pretty much been doing something related to this ever since.
Q: How did you come to open Best Wishes Floral?
A: We bought an existing business just over 8 years ago. Then we kicked it up several levels.
Q: What makes you excited to get up in the morning and go to work?
A: Coffee is very good (He laughs). I enjoy meeting my customers, finding out what they like, what they want, what they need and kind of helping them whether it is for a funeral, a wedding or a party. It is a really fun, creative outlet.
Q: How are you different from other floral shops?
A: I tend to ask people questions. Somebody comes in and says ‘I want an arrangement.’ I like to ask questions to find out what they need so I can provide them with something that fits their needs. If you go to somewhere, like the big box stores, they spend a lot of money on marketing to make you want what they want to sell you. Those kind of places, they aren’t particularly interested in what you need, they are more interested in selling you something.
Q: How do you approach office floral arrangements?
A: For office settings I usually steer people away from flowers that have really strong fragrances. You want lilies but you don’t want oriental lilies with the really strong fragrance because someone is going to be allergic or be uncomfortable because it is very fragrant. Whereas if it is going to somebody’s home and you know that they like the smell, then go for it.
Q: How can flowers change the mood of a meeting and elevate a meeting?
A: Flowers always change the setting they’re in, no matter what that setting is. Number one, with fresh flowers there is not a person who does not realize that in two or three or five or six days it is going to be thrown away. It makes people think that it’s an extravagance. So if you’re invited to an event that has fresh flowers you feel very special because they’re providing this for you, this extravagance, richness and it provides an ambiance to an event in way nothing else can. I would guess that happy employees are more productive employees.
And there is something unique about fresh flowers as a gift. Almost everyone remembers the last time they received flowers. There are not many things you can give that makes that big of an impact.