We have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and personable vendors and wedding consultants in the wedding industry. We love to refer our clients to professionals we have worked with who we truly believe will do an amazing job for them. Our first ever installement of the Local Business Spotlight is on one of our favorite local businesses, as well as our friends!
Today meet Wendel McCorkle and Bitsy Carter of Hope Floral. We have shot a number of weddings while working along side of Wendel, who is also a fantastic wedding coordinator, and his daughter Bitsy.
Wendel’s favorite part of the business is dealing with the brides that come in to talk to them about the flowers for their wedding. “I love it when a plan comes together” says Wendel. “We spend so much time, over several months, with our brides that we begin to feel like we’re part of the family”. A lot of them are like family. Wendel was born and raised in Hope and even taught some of the brides when he was teaching in the school system. That makes it extra special when he is asked by one of them to help design their wedding.
Bitsy works very hard to stay current on the business side of things as well as marketing. She attends a lot of classes and loves to network with other florists in the state through the Arkansas Florist Association, where she is on the board (Wendel was also President in 2009). “We listen to our customers and try not to bog them down with all the details. We try to show them as many options as we can for the colors they are wanting. Brides are pretty smart about what they want”, says Bitsy.
Wendel and his wife Kay started out in the florist business in 1983 when they purchased a wedding shop called Forever Yours in Hope, Arkansas. A few years later, Forever Yours merged with Hope Floral and the Hope Floral we know today was born. Wendel was an educator and principle for many years in Hope and Spring Hill, but decided to devote all of his energy to making Hope Floral the best business possible and retired from the education business. It is a business that has changed a lot since Wendel and Kay were married in 1975. Wendel recalls that the flowers they had at their wedding consisted of bronze mums, orange roses and lot’s of other fall colors. A far cry from all the floral choices that brides have today.
Bitsy started working as soon as Wendel bought the business. She loved it so much (and had a great eye for design), that when she graduated from college she came back to Hope to work in the family business. That decision has paid off. Bitsy was voted Arkansas Floral Designer of the Year for 2010! In her “free time”, Bitsy serves as the President of the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, is married to husband Anthony and has a 10 year old son, Nate, who’s becoming a pretty good designer himself according to Bitsy. Oh, and she also finds time to play the piano at the First United Methodist Church, as well as a number of weddings and funerals every year.
Along with Wendel, Kay and Bitsy, you can also get lots of help at Hope Floral from employees Susan O’Bryant and Tara Chambless. Hope Floral is located at 501 South Main Street in Hope, Arkansas. Stop by or call them anytime at 870-777-6667 or 800-950-9205. Also, check out their cool website at http://www.hopefloral.com