Photo: Sheryl White, owner of Fiddly Fig, stands before a repurposed door from the Brookside building
Fiddly Fig reopens to a whole new world
Photos and story by Kathy Feist
When last we featured Fiddly Fig, the Brookside floral shop was having a massive moving sale in late January. Customers crowded the floors to take advantage of marked down inventory. Florists hastily wrote down orders for the spring’s weddings, graduations, and fundraising events.
That was back in the day when no one imagined wearing a mask to a store, unless to rob it.
From the time that Fiddley Fig closed its doors in March, to when it opened in May, a new world had been reimagined. Masks became mandatory. Crowded stores gave way to 6 feet social distancing. Weddings, graduations and fundraisers became nonexistent. And businesses big and small risked an unstable consumer environment.
“I’m so thankful I sold my store now,” exclaims Fiddly Fig owner Sheryl White. “Someone up there was looking out for me.”
White relocated Fiddly Fig to her second store, Teefey Flowers, merging the two at 9716 Holmes Rd. “I don’t know what I would have done with two stores,” she says. “I would have tried to keep it going, but it would have been rough.”
No longer named Teefey Flowers, the store has a new charm, different from either store. White brought with her some old wooden doors from the historic Brookside building and repurposed them as backdrops throughout the store. Since she sold most of her gift and decor inventory, almost every product for sale is new.
Like her website, the gift shop is portioned off by category.
In one corner are plush toy animals and children’s books perfectly displayed for a child to sit and play.
Near the window are the tiny succulent gardens and Southwestern clay pots. “Succulent gardens are huge right now,” says White.
Nearby are disparate, colorful cookbooks, including one by rapper Snoop Dog.
What looks like tall bottles of champagne are actually bottles of bubble bath sharing a shelf with homemade bath bombs, shea body lotion and hand soap from local artisan Mixture.
Neatly laid out near the entry are aromatic candles made from another Kansas City company, Pickwick Candles.
Amazingly, there is a jigsaw puzzle area. “We sold 73 of them on Mother’s Day,” says White, speculating it was a perfect indoor activity during the shutdown.
Of course there are several lines of jewerly as well as unique wall decor and some clothing items.
All can be chosen to accompany a floral delivery or even delivered without flowers. “Sometimes we will deliver a gift to the person who is giving it,” says White. Most of what is found on the giftroom floor can be seen on Fiddly Fig’s website.
White says she prefers the new building to the old because it has more space for the designers, there are no stairs, no basement, and her office is located within the gift shop, allowing her easy customer contact. “The people part is my favorite part of the business,” she says.
White has retained most of her Brookside and Teefey customers. She has also held to her promise and retained all designers from both shops, despite the economic downturn.
While the new location will never have the walk up customers that Brookside had, she says the number of customers visiting the gift shop has slowly increased. So too have the weddings and celebrations, though much downsized.
Eventually business will be back to normal for the Fiddly Fig and all florists. And when it returns, the new shop on Holmes Rd. will be fully stocked and ready.