Valentine's Day Floral Retail Spotlight: A Garden Party

by Details Flowers ● 10 February ● Designers

Valentine's Day has arrived, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than by recognizing our outstanding florists who are on the front lines during the holidays. We interviewed customers who operated a retail space and got the inside scoop of their operations during a busy floral holiday. 

A Garden Party, Elmer, New Jersey

mary"A Garden Party is a floral and event design company in Elmer NJ, based out of a renovated barn where their new retail store curates blooms, plants, home decor, garden elements, and gift items for their customers. For 14 years, the sister duo of Dawn (pictured right) and Mary (pictured left) have been designing with as many locally grown flowers as possible, giving their floral arrangements a signature "from the garden" look. Owner, Mary Coombs also shares her passion for being in the garden with garden styling services, helping her clients enjoy outdoor living with more blooms and less work. Specializing in weddings and events, the Garden Party team knows how to transform a space into a flower wonderland and they enjoy serving clients in NJ, PA, DE, and MD. Mary, Dawn, and their team of designers host workshops seasonally to help inspire their studentsdawn to learn more about nature through their designs." 

Opening their retail space in August of 2020, A Garden Party will be celebrating their 2nd Valentine's Day in the retail world. We had the pleasure of chatting with Mary Coombs and Dawn Clark, Owners of A Garden Party, about their Valentine's Day operations, as well as, the day-to-day systems as a retail florist. 

To start off Valentine's Day prep work, the team creates designs and gift options that would be a hit with customers for the season. "We come up with set floral designs and gift basket options, professionally photograph them, and order the materials based on those offerings." Once they have all of the recipes are created--they set a goal for how many arrangements and gift baskets they need to sell.


A Garden Party's store is styled with locally made products that have central themes. "We style our store with a common theme of trying to source locally grown/made in USA products as much as possible. We like things to have a botanical theme. We frequently change up the displays and do themed displays throughout the year. For example, we are located on a peach orchard, so when the orchard is in full bloom we do a peach-themed display." The merchandise is selected first then the store is styled around it. Offerings such as fresh plants, flowers, containers, candles, bath products, children’s toys and products, honey, candy, tea, drink mixes, wine, home decor and so much more are found at A Garden Party--they certainly cater to everyone's needs! 


Faire is a favorite when it comes to suppliers. They can search amongst the site to find products that are made in America and that match the store's branding. You can find everything from home decor, jewelry, pets, food and beverage, and novelty gift options. This is a great area to find what is trending in your area and around the globe!


Taking the leap to open a retail location is challenging for any business owner. Opening a retail location during the Covid-19 Pandemic was certainly a large undertaking for A Garden Party but they have blossomed into a full-service shop with many different experiences for their customers. "We expanded into retail at the beginning of the pandemic. It was nerve-wracking, but we have thoroughly enjoyed having a retail space.  It is a new experience meeting new people every day and we enjoy the process of sourcing unique and interesting items to draw people in. We also host small events in our retail space to help bring in new customers.  Farm to table events, yoga, fairy garden classes, floral design classes, holiday wreath-making, etc."

A Garden party has so many fun and exciting events going on, make sure to follow them on Instagram to see what they will be doing next! 

Photography by Tara Federico

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