Florist hopes second location will blossom

Published May 11, 2007

For nearly two decades, Frances Welt never thought she needed to expand her high-end flower shop beyond its original Clearwater location.

Her Four Seasons Florals and Events found business all over the Tampa Bay area, thanks to word of mouth and many well-placed or well-known clients.

So adding locations was never in the plan - until representatives from Tampa's new downtown Embassy Suites called.

"I did not want to do branch offices, but ... I was approached, " Welt said. "They're looking for upscale, and that's what we do."

Welt's new Four Seasons Florals and Events shop will open this month in a high-profile corner storefront at 513 S Florida Ave. on the ground floor of the Embassy Suites and across from the Tampa Convention Center.

Where Welt's Clearwater location is "all Old World, " this one will be sleek and modern, she said, more in keeping with what's evolving in downtown Tampa. The company is known for its work at weddings and other events and in upscale area hotels.

Welt said the new store will be approachable and browser-friendly and ready to deliver locally with little notice.

Welt will split time between Clearwater and Tampa, with frequent stops at Tampa International Airport to pick up the latest special orders.

"We don't buy anything locally, " Welt said. "All our flowers come from Holland, California and South America. They get flown in, and we pick them up at the airport."

Ms. Lisa's gets moving

The students at Ms. Lisa's Dance & Co. now have more room to roam, and their parents have more spaces to park. The dance studio, formerly squeezed into a 1, 000-square-foot storefront on W Bay to Bay Boulevard that had painfully limited parking, is doubling its size.

Co-owners Lisa Schmiedeke and Kelly Huckaby have taken over the space formerly occupied by Let's Eat! and Babes N' Bellies in the San Miguel Plaza at 3805 W San Miguel St. The new 2, 000-square-foot-plus studio will open when Ms. Lisa's summer camps begin June 1.

Schmiedeke said the studio is adding staffers and expanding its offerings, including a new martial arts and self-defense class for girls. The new studio will have three separate rooms plus a sitting area that features television screens so parents can keep an eye on their children's progress.

More new addresses

- The Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new location in the SunTrust building downtown. The bureau, now at 401 E Jackson St., Suite 2100, moved from N Tampa Street in mid January to a larger space that could accommodate its expanding staff.

- Embroidery and monogramming shop Sew Originals moved last month to a more prominent storefront at 4025 Henderson Blvd. The small shop, which also offers custom girls' dresses, embellished T-shirts and jewelry, had been at the corner of Neptune and Henderson.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394 or e-mail sharonlginn@yahoo.com.


The find

Silver necklace

Mom will know that you know she's the best mother ever when you give her this silver necklace that says, "A mother understands what a child doesn't say." $48, from DKM, 3104 Palmira Ave., 902-0044, and WestShore Plaza, 288-0499.

Amy Scherzer