Silver Lake Greenhouse continues family entrepreneurial spirit
The Silver Lake Greenhouse and Flower Shop, at 16803 Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road.
Suzanne Deking goes back and forth between helping three customers with a flower arrangement for an upcoming wedding and accepting a delivery for supplies.
Deking is the owner of the Silver Lake Greenhouse and Flower Shop, at 16803 Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road. She is in her second year of owning and running the greenhouse.
Deking is from Seattle where her parents owned a garden store when she was five years old. Her father also sold antiques and cars.
"My whole family has all been in business for themselves," Deking said. "Working for ourselves is in our blood."
Her first experience of selling flowers came when she was 25. At the suggestion of her mother, she sold Fuchsia baskets for $10 for Mother's Day.
Years later, she made and sold wreaths and swags during Christmas season. She enjoyed it so much that she went to Career Floral Design Institute in Bellevue, Wash. after she got married.
Deking said that making flower arrangements remind her of her mother, who not only showed her how to create arrangements, but also taught her the ins and outs of running a business.
"The first plant she gave me was a geranium for my apartment on Lake Washington," Deking said. "I told her it was dying and she asked if I was watering it. After I told her I was giving it one cup of water per day she said 'Oh my gosh, you have to give it more water than that.'"
After floral school, Deking lived in Davenport, Wash. and owned a garden shop in nearby Harrington that she ran seasonally. Seven years ago she came to Medical Lake and bought a house on Silver Lake. She converted an empty barn into her garden store.
Deking said she looks at her store as more of a boutique garden center where she can interact with the customers and show them all of the flowers she has in her garden and greenhouse.
"People can sell flowers, but when you go to most stores, they're all on a rack," Deking said. "It's not as interesting."
For Deking, May is her busiest month. She makes arrangments for graduation, weddings, Memorial Day and Mother's Day. She also enjoys doing fresh flower arrangements and the personal interactions she has with her customers.
"Everybody I see, I try to introduce myself and find out where they're from," Deking said. "I'm a people person. I also enjoy showing people how to put stuff together."
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.