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Shop Transformation: But first, a bit of history.

To think it has been two and a half years since my landlords handed over keys to the "shop" (aka workshop, office)...

If you are a local in Ascension Parish, chances are, you remember Beverly's Flower Shop from back in the day . . . situated on the curve of a road with a funny name. Several people have already come to me sharing special memories and stories from their routine visits and time spent working there. Miss Beverly ran it for about 25 years and then Miss Karla for about the same.

Miss Beverly in the "fireplace room". You will see these built in shelves are still in the shop!
Miss Beverly on the right. This appears to be in the room we now use to assemble furniture and store art.
Miss Karla cleaning up tree debris (after a hurricane, I believe.)

Beverly and her husband, Don rented my family our first house when we relocated to the south from the pacific northwest over 12 years ago. We didn't know a soul, but through a third party connection we were blessed to find them. Everything was completely foreign to the three of us. Don and Beverly were the picture of southern hospitality. I recall sprinting across the road many times to use their personal washer and dryer before we were able to buy our own second hand.

Next to our rental house was Beverly's Flower Shop, run by Karla at the time. Our son would often ride his bike or walk over. He quickly made friends with the ladies (they always had candy) who worked there and Tigger (the cat). Never in a million years did I imagine that I would one day rent that very same shop for my own business (that didn't even exist yet) a decade later. Surreal.

This is my son in 2009 and the only shot I have found of the old flower shop sign!
My son and "Flat Stanley" visited Miss Karla for a class project.

We lived in the (dark green, 3 bedroom, 1 bath) rental house for two and a half years before buying our first home. Don and Beverly were very receptive to my ideas and allowed me to paint every room in that house while we lived there. Here is a view of the flower shop from the time we lived next door:

Fast forward to late November, 2016...I was desperate for a solution to my business overtaking my family's home. While I couldn't see a viable, affordable option, God provided just what we needed. I called Beverly and inquired about the old flower shop. After explaining it was vacant, but needed work, my husband and I drove over to check it out. This is what we saw that night. I realize most people see something else, but I saw great potential and answered prayer. And the terms she offered were something already calculated in my head -- God's providence, no doubt!

Now, don't get me wrong, I was as nervous as I was excited. I knew this would be a huge undertaking. While it was an immediate answer to prayer, it was not an immediate solution. Due to being vacant for several years, there was an undeniable old, musty smell throughout. Waiting to truly "use" it was a lesson in patience, for sure. Little did I know, it would be another year and a half before the business was fully operating out of the shop.

About a year in, my sister suggested I take some videos walking through the shop, in addition to my voluminous "before" photos. Videos are not my strong suit, but I knew getting my son over there to do it would be like pulling teeth. (I applaud any of you mother + son teams out there! Apparently, we would rather just laugh together than work together.) Maybe I will convince him to edit my footage before I add it to the blog? In fact, I should just add each video clip to the corresponding before and after posts. This will take some time, but I would love for you to follow along and see how we have transformed Beverly's Flower Shop into Called To Order's headquarters! The shop on Coontrap Road!

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