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Choosing the Right Bouquet is Easy at Dandelion Flower Shop

By Marina I. Jokic

Dandelion Flower Shop, a small flower boutique located in the heart of Alameda's historic Park Street district, was born out of one woman's love for gardening. A humble flower stand at first, Dandelion has grown into a full-fledged flower shop, offering elegant arrangements, local sweets, soaps, and handmade greeting cards.

Owner Karim Preuss, a stay-at-home mother of three, wanted to do something different with her life and listened to her entrepreneurial drive. She was an avid gardener, and naturally thought that the flower business would be the easiest option given her natural proclivity and green thumb. Preuss shares that "it was tough getting started with a little flower stand on the street selling five-dollar bouquets with free poems all while my children were right next to me."

At first, it was tough for Preuss to adapt to the sobering realities of the business world. Despite the growing pains, she pressed on, developing relationships with local flower growers, slowly establishing her circle of customers, and making a name for herself in the city. That would all pay off in due time.

In 2010, Dandelion opened its doors for the first time. The shop continued to work with growers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in order to deliver the freshest flowers to its customers. Preuss has also made it her mission to share the arts and crafts of local artists with the Alameda community, which people really seem to like. In a nutshell, Dandelion prides itself on offering a personal touch to the flower shopping experience.

"We are always excited to share the voices and works of local craftsmen and craftswomen with our community," adds Preuss.

Behind Dandelion's successful customer approach, Preuss says, is her vow to stay away from formulas and "cookie cutter" arrangements. That really allows her freedom to experiment with innovative ways to arrange her bouquets and fulfil her customers' unique needs. "Not only does it make each order more interesting for me, but it allows me to honor every emotion and message my customers want the flowers to convey for them," points out Preuss.

Since Preuss is still a gardener at heart, she is really taken in by the names, colors, scents, and textures of the flowers. Choosing the right flowers for a particular occasion takes skill and a nuanced mindset. Some of her personal favorites include Forget-Me Nots and Love in the Mist.

Preuss mentions that "besides some of the obvious occasions such as weddings, birthdays and holidays, there are a multitude of reasons people would appreciate receiving flowers." Customers don't limit themselves to special occasions to buy a beautiful bouquet. Dandelion specializes not only in understanding customers' aesthetic requirements, but also in helping them figure out exactly what they want, which can sometimes be elusive.

With years of gardening experience and a love for running her little shop, Preuss feels prepared to tackle any new challenge.

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