Rye Florist Movin’ On Up

Yoli LaGuerre is not one for resting on her “laurel leaves.” After stints as a children’s party organizer and event planner, she parlayed her experience in floral design and arranging into the establishment of a full-service floral shop in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.

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Published January 27, 2012 6:06 PM
3 min read

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floristthimbYoli LaGuerre is not one for resting on her “laurel leaves.” After stints as a children’s party organizer and event planner, she parlayed her experience in floral design and arranging into the establishment of a full-service floral shop in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.

 

By Bill Lawyer

 

Yoli LaGuerre is not one for resting on her “laurel leaves.” After stints as a children’s party organizer and event planner, she parlayed her experience in floral design and arranging into the establishment of a full-service floral shop in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.

 

As her heritage includes French and Hawaiian on her father’s side and Puerto Rican on her mother’s side, Ms. LaGuerre developed clients in Spanish Harlem, where she eventually moved her headquarters. Then, as she started to find clients in Westchester, she decided to move from New York City to Rye in 2007, where her two sons Kevin and Angel could have better educational opportunities.

 

floristThe following year she sublet the adjacent auto service station building on Forest Avenue next to Playland Market. She opened in time for Mother’s Day weekend in 2008. But, from the beginning, she realized there were some flaws in her business model. First, despite the high quality of her flowers, she could not compete with what she calls “the supermarket factor”. All the major supermarkets now have extensive floral sales operations, with, in her words, “much improved floral products.” And second, the drawbacks to the location outweighed the advantages. Ms. LaGuerre recounts the many occasions when potential clients had to thread their way through the flow of incoming and outgoing cars at the gas pumps, which are right in front of her entrance.

 

At the Rye Chamber of Commerce meeting this month, Ms. LaGuerre proudly announced that she was “moving on up” to a new base of operations on the third floor of 68 Purchase Street, above Water Moon. The new location will provide her with more than three times the space, with no increase in price.

 

Thanks to the fact that her weekly accounts have grown “fantastically” in the last three years she can use the larger space. She has developed cooperative programs with a variety of Rye institutions, including La Panetière and the Rye Historical Society, as well as Chamber members. Ms. LaGuerre is particularly excited that she has now partnered with Bloomingdale’s in White Plains.

 

The layout of her new space affords ample views of Purchase Street, as well as areas for an expanded plant/flower refrigeration unit, event displays, and client meeting rooms. If all goes well, Ms. LaGuerre will be making the big move between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.  
Ms. LaGuerre teaches floral design classes as an “on-staff instructor” at the New York Botanical Garden. Her next series begins in June. She says she’d also like to develop classes about flowers and plants for Rye girls in the 8-12 age group.

 

So it seems there will be many new blooms in Rye for many years to come.

To contact Yoli LaGuerre, call 921-1575 or visit ylevent design.com.

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