Payson Florist has been a fixture in Payson for more than 30 years. Now new owners Shayne and Marilyn Dedman are giving the place new growth. They have renamed the business Payson Florist and Gifts and are expanding the inventory to include many unique gift and card lines, and even food and furniture.
The couple aren't newcomers to the Rim country though, Marilyn is known as "The Flower Lady" from the special arrangements she has made over the years for Family Mercantile and Cyd's.
In fact, she has worked with dried floral arrangements for more than 20 years, first teaching herself the fundamentals and then training with Barb Bourscheidt.
"I've always loved flowers and down in the Valley I made potpourri for a gift shop near where I lived," Marilyn said, "One day they asked if I could do flower arrangements and I thought I could. That's how I got started."
The Dedmans bought the store in January. "It seemed the natural thing to do," Marilyn said. "Family Mercantile had closed, it almost fell into our laps."
While the main focus of Payson Florist and Gifts is flowers -- fresh, dried and silks -- the new owners wanted to bring in unique gifts such as those for which Family Mercantile was noted.
Marilyn said they are searching all over for the gifts lines.
They have Keepers of the Light candles, which come in hand-blown glass holders with wrought iron frames; both cabin and traditional decor items; Camille Beckman bath and personal care items; custom made gift baskets are available, as well as specially designed floral decorations for the home and office.
Marilyn and her designers can usually create the piece a client has in mind just from the description they're given. Sometimes they will use a throw pillow or swatch to make a color match, or they can do an in-home consultation.
"We're carrying a great line of candy you can't find anywhere else in Payson," Marilyn said. "It's Cerreta's Candy from Glendale. Right now we just have the chocolates, but will be bringing in other items."
One of the most popular items the Dedmans have brought to the shop are prayer box bracelets.
"They just fly out of here," Marilyn said.
The shop also features wedding planning, providing tuxedo rentals, arbor and display stand rentals, accessories such as the guest book, ring pillow, toasting glass, and of course, all the flowers. Marilyn said at least a month in advance of the wedding is needed to get everything ready.
Water colors by Duane Swensen of Happy Jack are also coming into the inventory.
Flowers are and will remain the backbone of the business though, Marilyn said. And it is a business that has been especially good in the last several weeks.
"We get our flowers from Phoenix once a week, but we have had to make trips down to the Valley to bring in more flowers," she said. "We ran out of flowers Tuesday and had to make a special trip."
Her husband, Shayne, is the man behind the steering wheel on those trips, he has also been doing most of the shop remodeling and takes care of the business books.
To make sure you have your Easter flowers, Marilyn suggested ordering them by March 21.
She also invited everyone to come to her open house Saturday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be refreshments, door prizes and a 10 percent-off sale.
Payson Florist and Gifts is at 800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, it is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (928) 474-0710.