Friday, 05 September 2014 00:00

The Darling Elves: Flowers, Gifts and More

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The Darling Elves Flower & Gift Shop owners Mary Haines and Suanne Darling. The Darling Elves Flower & Gift Shop owners Mary Haines and Suanne Darling. Stephany Reyes photo

The Darling Elves Flower & Gift Shop, 155 W. Fifth St., prepares for its grand opening Sept. 8, opening its doors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on weekends. 

3The shop, owned by longtime friends Suanne Darling and Mary Haines, offers an array of gift and flower arrangements that are coordinated by the talented pair.

Like a traditional flower shop, The Darling Elves offers fresh flower arrangements for all occasions, but it also offers gifts such as teddy bears, baby gift sets and silk arrangements. 

“One of our more unique gifts is this type of ‘bouquet’ which is a bunch of baby cloths rolled up to look like flowers, all wrapped around a baby towel to look like a flower bouquet,” Darling said. 

The baby bouquet is one of the many gifts that can be given to new moms. The Darling Elves also provides an array of gift choices for children.

2“We also have little plush animals,” Darling said. “We can place a little cast on their arm or a cast on their leg. We also have coloring books, little race cars and gift baskets like that, that a child would want rather than a flower arrangement. We have fresh flowers, but we also have those gifts as alternatives.” 

Not only is The Darling Elves committed to providing the best services to the community, but it also hopes to build long-lasting relationships with other locally-owned businesses. 

“Some of our gift baskets will have suckers that are provided to us by Man in the Moon Candies,” Darling said. “Every month we plan on having a new sucker. For instance, this month we have chocolate suckers shaped into fall leaves, and we’re going to include those in our arrangements. Next month, we’ll have Halloween suckers that we’ll include in the arrangements.”

But the locally-owned business relationship doesn’t stop there.

4“We’re also looking to include Cakes Galore products in our arrangements as well,” Darling said. “Like cookie trays, cupcake trays for college students or just for gourmet baskets.” 

Darling and Haines first met while they both worked at Flowers by Mr. John. They later each pursued their own careers: Darling and her husband owned a house construction business and Haines retired from the designing industry to pursue her education. She received a bachelors degree in business from SUNY Oswego. 

Darling later pulled Haines out of retirement, saying that Haines’ talents are too good to not be put to use.

“I have been in the designing business for almost 30 years,” Haines said. “I retired when I lost my husband. Suanne called me one day to start a flower business and I couldn’t say no.” 

7Haines’ passion for designing was too strong to let an opportunity to work with a good friend pass by, so they decided to form a Christmas decorating service in October 2013, now known as The Darling Elves. 

“Well, [Suanne’s] last name is Darling, which I just adore, so we decided to go with that,” Haines said. “And elves just seem to fit because of the occasion. So we became The Darling Elves.”

Haines and Darling decided to keep the name after extending their flower services from Christmas decorating only, to all occasions.

“People knew us as The Darling Elves already, that’s how they know about our business,” Haines said.     

Now, the pair are dedicated to providing top quality service to the community. Their store is preparing for its grand opening, with fall decorations already lining the walls. 

The Darling Elves Flower & Gift Shop delivers arrangements to Oswego, Minetto, Fulton, Hannibal, Mexico, Scriba and Sterling.  

For any flower or gift arrangement, call The Darling Elves Flower & Gift Shop at 315-312-0403.

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