We are a family-owned business and group of creatives that thrive on the idea of big possibilities and the romance of fulfilling dreams. We specialize in floral designs for weddings and events both big and small, full-service wedding and corporate event planning & design, as well as weekly custom floral designs for offices across the metroplex. In our storefront, downtown Dallas, you’ll find to-go flower bundles, vase arrangements, and an eclectic mix of beautiful, easy-to-grab gifts and boutique items – locally sourced to support our community’s small businesses. Needless to say, we bring the centerpiece and a lot more to the dinner party.
My Nana, Josephine, is an absolutely amazing woman. She was one of only 3 women to earn a B.S. in Chemistry in 1947 from Texas College of Mines (now UTEP). Even more impressive, she gave the gift of life to 10 children. After the birth of each child, my sweet Tata, Eugenio, gave her a modern day “push present”. Upon the arrival of her first child, he gave her a gold charm bracelet with a disc charm engraved with the baby’s name and birth date. He added a disc for each additional boy and a heart for each girl. As a thank you gift for helping my aunt with her wedding, Nana gifted me a similar charm bracelet with my father’s charm. By far, the most sentimental gift I’ve ever received.
Choosing a name for my business was one of the biggest decision I was faced with when getting started. Like a marriage, it’s a life long commitment. I knew I needed a name that was timeless like my grandparents love, that could grow as big as you can grow a family, and that was so sentimental to me, I would treasure it always.
Our business truly is based on a foundation of family and love. From our original logo, to our fresh new brand, you’ll see pieces of that sweet bracelet throughout but we have and will always stay Charming!
I love when people ask “How did you get started?”. It gives me an opportunity to share my motivation to start a business, how our business developed into what it is today, and the story behind the name “Charming”.
At 29 years young, I became a single mom. One night, after I put my son to bed, I found myself sitting on the sofa, alone, at 8:30 pm watching Desperate Housewives. I thought to myself, “this can’t be all there is to life!”. At the time, I was working at a Dallas law firm and while I loved my job, my boss, and co-workers, the creative side of me was what I like to call “mildewing”. It was fermenting, stagnant, stale like a loaf of bread your Memaw tosses to the squirrels. I never understood what people meant by a “light bulb went off” but there it was, right before my eyes…my “ah-ha” moment. The wheels started turning and before I knew it, I was having this great conversation with myself – “God’s not going to knock on my door with a successful business to run. If I want it, I have to go get it!”. I had an expertise in event planning from working in legal recruiting, and I had a tiny amount of floral knowledge from working the front of house at a flower shop in uptown Dallas. Granted, I had never made a floral arrangement in my LIFE, but hey, I can do anything I put my mind to, right?!
The next day, July 12, 2012, I researched and hired a branding company, Doodle Dog Creative. I knew that first impressions in the wedding and event industry were important and I wanted to give the business a fighting chance. I gave Doodle Dog my ideas and one month to design a logo, a business card design, and promotional piece. It was a hard deadline as I wanted to participate in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Bridal Show at the Gaylord on August 12th, the next scheduled show in the metroplex. I had to find a high-quality print shop, register the business name with the government, decide on a booth design, rent linens, buy flowers, and figure out how in the world you make a wedding bouquet. That was a lot of big check marks to make on my to-do list while working full-time and being a mom. I put pen to paper and decided if I just booked one wedding, I could reimburse myself for most of the expenses, but if I booked none, I would let the idea die right then and there. Two weeks before the bridal show, I called my Mom and informed her I was starting a business and needed her help at a bridal show. Her exact word, “WHAT?!”. I’m surprised she didn’t check me in to the looney bin right then! But, she was “in” and she helped process flowers, make bouquets at my kitchen table and off we went to Fort Worth. We were nervous little butterflies but from that show, we booked 25 weddings and we did several holiday parties at the end of that year. In 2013, we offered Valentine’s deliveries (made in of my converted garage) – and we got our first corporate account, The Michael Flores Salon at Neiman Marcus downtown Dallas Thanks to one of my best friend, Angela Hicks, who was a stylist at the salon when she received her V-day flowers from her hubby, Chris. Either Mom or I would deliver arrangements to the salon before we went to our day jobs and would carry our flowers in our high heels up the freight elevator every Tuesday. We actually booked several weddings on our elevator rides by meeting Neiman’s employees that were brides and planning their weddings!
Our second year, we booked over 50 weddings, various corporate events, and wedding planning services. That year, our wedding season didn’t even start until March so we really were hustlin’ day in and day out. By that time, we hired 2 contract employees, Sonni and Denise, and had finished out my garage to be a production and office space. At the end of that year, we were run ragged! When 2014 rolled around, I realized that I wanted this to be a full-time gig and focused on how I could get to that point. In December of ’14 my Mom, who was an office manager for a law firm in the Bank of America Plaza downtown Dallas, took a centerpiece from holiday themed wedding to her office and placed it on the reception desk. It just so happened that the building manager was delivering gifts to offices that day. She fell in love with the arrangement and asked my Mom all the details of where it came from. The next thing I know, I’m getting a call from my Mom asking if I’d be interested in quitting my full time job to open a flower and gift shop in that bottom of that building. A brick & mortar was not in my wheel house at all but I did have some knowledge of how to run a retail shop from my degree program, Home Furnishings Merchandising at the University of North Texas. I told her I’d look at the space and we’d go from there. It was hideous. Terra Cotta floors and MAUVE countertops. Who in the world would choose those finishes together – had to be a man! I told the building that everything had to be re-done in white and once they told me what my rent would be, I said, “well…terra cotta and mauve are just fine”. January 2015, Mom and I were negotiating our lease for space over email while we were at Dallas market writing purchase orders for products. That was such an exciting day for us! The following day I gave my notice at the law firm, which was the most bittersweet thing I’ve ever had to do. I adored my boss – she was, and still is, a wonderful mentor, friend, and now client. The thought of not seeing her daily truly made me sad. Remember my thoughts when I first started my business “God’s not going to knock on my door with a successful business to run…”, but here it was, a knock on my little red door with an opportunity greater than I could have ever imagined. After that, the rest is history! Our store has now been open a couple of years, we’ve hired our first full time employee, we have grown our team to 9 amazing ladies, we’ve added several services to our line-up, and we are just completely in “awe” of how far this business has come. I am so thankful to my Mom for her constant hard work, dedication, tireless commitment, and mostly for believing in me. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next!