Emily Buckley, editor in chief
Arlette Michaelson and Terri James have been working together in the floral business for almost 15 years and have owned The Fleur Market together since 2015.
If you visit their charming storefront at 320 North 100 East in Logan during business hours, you’ll likely be greeted by Arlette, who manages the day-to-day operations while Terri is working her other job, as a registered nurse at Logan Regional Hospital.
But if you were to get a glimpse around the floral table in the afterhours when they are preparing for weddings, funerals, high school dances, and other special events, you would see Arlette, Terri, and the other members of their tight-knit team, mother-daughter duo Elise and Lauren Haslam, working, sometimes all night, with HULU playing in the background and lots of laughter and conversation going on.
While Elise and Lauren are Terri’s literal sister and niece, respectively, the four enjoy a sisterhood in the flower shop.
“We often spend more time together than we do with our actual families,” Arlette said.
Both Terri and Arlette say their love for flowers began in childhood in each of their grandmothers’ flower gardens.
Terri recalls her grandma’s beautiful tulip garden where she picked and arranged flowers and prepared small arrangements for her mother’s dinner parties. She has enjoyed honing her creative side through the floral business and as a counterbalance of the structure that is required in her nursing career.
“My love for flowers also came from my grandma,” Arlette said. “She was a major gardener. She would let me pick and arrange flowers, and my dad is a landscape architect, so it is in me.”
As for their floral design style, they say it is a ‘gathered garden’ look. “We both draw on our love of travel, and especially Paris,” Arlette said.
Some people wonder if giving or receiving fresh flowers is “worth” it. Arlette and Terri are quick to say yes. “Of course flowers die, but they are an experience,” Terri said. “You can see or smell a flower and be instantly transported back to a special time or place. Every time I smell a tulip I am immediately reminded of my grandma.”
For Arlette, flowers connect her to nature and to God. “Where else can you find that kind of beauty?” she asks.
No matter the occasion, whether it is at the bedside of a sick hospital patient or on someone’s wedding day, Arlette and Terri agree that flowers give people a moment of happiness.
Early last year, as events were being canceled and businesses were suffering, Arlette and Terri shared concern over how the pandemic would affect their small business, but as Mother’s Day approached and people felt more need to connect with loved ones they couldn’t see, The Fleur Market stayed very busy.
“[A friend of ours in the event business] pointed out that we provide a way for people to touch people without touching people, which became something really special during the last year,” Terri said.
The Fleur Market has some clients who have a bouquet of flowers delivered once a week to keep ‘a little of the outside inside’ their homes. One woman sends flowers to her daughter once a week, and if she is out of town, she sends it on to someone who she thinks could use some cheer.
Arlette says another fun part of their job is observing the interactions people have through floral deliveries. “We get to see the messages they send to each other, which are fun, special, and sometimes intriguing.” She added that their delivery drivers say they have the best job in the world, delivering happiness to people’s front doors.
Arlette enjoys the planning and preparation part of the business and spends much of her time working with brides planning their special days. She says it is important to her to get to know them on a personal level so their flowers can be unique and representative of their personalities.
“We often spend six months planning an event, and then have a short amount of time for it to all come together,” Arlette said. “Seeing that happen is my favorite thing — it is so rewarding.”