Happy Saturday! It's Holiday Open House Weekend in Downtown Tecumseh, so we stopped by Grey Fox Floral to check in with Gary and Jan Fox to see how they were holding up. Good news! They are still in business at 125 S. Evans Street, right next to the American Legion. Their temporary location is actually right across the street from the building that they are rebuilding, just keep an eye out for their signage on the building. Being right across the street from the rebuilding site, they can keep a close eye on the progress, like the coin vault that is currently being built. Everything is still in business at the temporary location: Grey Fox Floral, Michigan Wares and Tecumseh Coins.
Grey Fox Floral just celebrated it's 47th Anniversary of business on November 1st! Jan describes how they have "evolved" over all of those years going from being just a flower shop to then including Michigan Wares and then when Gary retired, they also added Tecumseh Coins. Jan says they have changed over the years to "meet the times". I love that Gary and Jan live their passion. Jan lives her passion in the floral industry and Gary in the collecting and exchanging of coins.
Grey Fox Floral keeps busy around the holidays throughout the year, having a long Christmas Season starting at the Holiday Open House and going until the end of December. Can you guess what the busiest holiday is for Grey Fox Floral? You guessed right, Valentine's Day! Jan says it's because it's all concentrated on one day, and 90 percent of the customers are men, and they of course, don't order ahead and they are scrambling the day of to get a floral arrangement for their significant other. No worries, Grey Fox Floral offers some pre-made arrangements for those "last-minute opportunities". They also welcome a lot of business for Mother's Day. Jan describes Mother's Day as a "good time" because it's spread throughout the week with all the Moms, Mother in Laws, those that have been a mother figure in people's lives. Those are the big Hallmarks.
Gary with Tecumseh Coins says his busiest time of the year is Christmas. This is the time most people are looking to buy gifts and something unique. What could be more unique than something that's cherished and has been around a lot longer than you and I have? People also enjoy finding coins with certain birth years to give to someone special.
Here in Downtown Tecumseh this weekend, we're going to light up the town, the Open House will run Friday and Saturday. Luckily, we have some snow to put people in the Holiday mood! There are all kinds of fun activities on Friday, vendors, storefronts open and burn barrels. One of my personal favorites is when they light up the Downtown! And who doesn't love the Whoville theme?! It's crazy in downtown Tecumseh! Some of those windows that the storefronts decorated are wonderful. If kids don't go crazy over them, I know the kid inside me will!
Being an established business in Tecumseh for so long, I was eager to ask Jan and Gary one particular question: What do you think the one thing that leads to your success is? Jan says it's the passion of the business. In the flower shop, everyday is new and different. Some days it's funeral work and other days it's to celebrate the birth of the child. Jan enjoys being involved in the highs and lows in people's lives emotionally with them and tries to make them feel good. Jan eloquently describes her passion as, "Living a passion like that, just because you do an arrangement, the next arrangement is different; appreciating mother nature, the beauty of working with the flower, the colors."
Everyone has their favorite flower, but I do think a lot of Jan's creativity comes through when she makes something unique. I know I personally always think back to the high school dances, the corsages and some of the other great things Grey Fox Floral makes, and the last thing you want to do is show up to the dance and you have something someone else has on!
So everyone is seeing the construction going on when driving down Evans street, so any projected dates you ask? We all have goals, but the contractor, the goals and mother nature doesn't always agree. The snow for the Holiday Open House is great, but not so great for construction. Gary said, "When we first started, we thought if everything went well, we would be open back over there by Christmas." Gary guesses now that they will be open sometime early summer. The best part is, they have a perfect spot downtown that is so close as a temporary shop. If you haven't been in here, the first time I stepped into the shop, I was so surprised about all the fun stuff to look at. Not to mention, most of the time I'm calling at the last-minute or looking at the case for something to pick up on my way to have coffee with a client and take them flowers. I'm always doing that last-minute thing! There are so many fun things going on in here and we're so glad Gary and Jan have not given up. I know they have gone through some major challenges this past year. The economy is one thing when you have a small local business, but the economy you can still predict. The fire that destroyed the Grey Fox Floral and Tecumseh Coins building was devastating, and to see the commitment to the community from Jan and Gary, they do not get enough accolades for everything they have done for Tecumseh. I just want to say how much we appreciate everything Gary and Jan do for the community, the fact that they made the commitment to the town to rebuild, the fact that they are still in business. Come Downtown this weekend for all the Holiday Open House Events, and stop by and see Gary and Jan at 125 S Evans. If you need to get ahold of them by phone you can call Grey Fox Floral 517-423-3735 or Tecumseh Coins at 517-423-7972. You can find them online at GreyFoxFloral.com and TecumsehCoins.com.
Come on down to Downtown Tecumseh today. If you didn't make it out last night for the lighting up of Downtown, come by today, it is absolutely beautiful. Tecumseh never looks prettier than when the lights are on Downtown. Make sure you stop in and give Grey Fox Floral, Michigan Wares and Tecumseh Coins a visit, too! Let Jan and Gary know how much we appreciate them and that they are still with us.
Jan ends with, "Tecumseh is a great place. We owe our livelihood to Tecumseh. The support from the community - I can't talk about that without getting teary-eyed. The fact that the support we've had from them through this whole thing, we're going to have one big party when we open that new one up!" In the meantime, you can still order your flowers, get your Christmas arrangements, pick up your coins and all of that is still open and ready to go.
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