Business Profile: All in Bloom Garden Center and Landscapes
Thanks to the locals and tourists alike, All in Bloom Garden Center and Landscapes experienced growth well beyond their expectations since opening in 2017.
All in Bloom Garden Center and Landscapes, the colorful 1-acre plot at Howe and Stuart streets in Southport, will mark five years of plant sales and yard-design services in April 2022, but the most intriguing item co-owners Kim Everhart and Tina York ever sold never bloomed.
It was an 8-foot-long, 6-foot-tall metal dragon, and it went to live in Wilmington. The center also has re-homed a 6-foot, multi-colored metal chicken.
“And an 8-foot flamingo,” adds Everhart, who runs the garden center’s landscape division. “He went home in a convertible. We’ve sold everything from the chicken to a Cinderella carriage. Maybe not everyone needs a tall flamingo or a 6-foot chicken, but I like those folks. They’re cool.”
Everhart and York opened All in Bloom in 2017. Their space is filled with a multitude of plants — from little flower pots to annuals to seasonal shrubs and trees — as well as vases, decorative containers and offbeat lawn ornaments. A 1,600-square-foot building filled with uncommon, knickknack merchandise sits in the middle.
“The most popular thing is wind spinners” Everhart says, “We try to keep a huge selection of those. Because we have wind here, and lots of it. Pottery is another big seller for us. We try to get a better product than the big-box stores, and give you a variety, too. We try not to sell the same thing over and over. We want to be unique.”
The pair visits a trade-show market in Atlanta twice a year, looking for new, out-of-the-ordinary items. “We want something very different each time,” Everhart says.
Knowing what plants will and won’t thrive in a coastal environment takes work. Both owners have lived in the dirt-and-clay soil areas of the N.C. Piedmont and have worked for landscape companies. Everhart says she’s been in the agriculture industry “about 15 or 16 years.” “The coast is a whole different ballgame, and you learn it by being involved,” she says. “It takes some time. There are a lot of plants that will do well here, but there also are a lot of harsh elements we have with the wind, and the sun can be brutal.”
When a customer asks about landscaping, Everhart visits the property. She says she takes time to plan a design, not just state what will grow. “We talk about what they like and don’t like, and I’ll do a rough sketch of plants that will work in that area, with an estimate of the work. That costs $125,” she says. “If they say, ‘Hey, we’ll try this on our own,’ then we’re compensated for our time. If they hire us, that’s $125 off the invoice. The majority of folks want us to do the work.”
Everhart has about 12 co-workers in her landscape division of All in Bloom. York, who runs the retail side, has three. During peak seasons, those numbers go up.
Everhart and York both live in Southport, and All in Bloom has developed a following of regular customers.
“We’ve been blessed,” Everhart says. “Never in a million years, when we opened in 2017, did we think the business would grow like this. It’s because of the locals. The tourists stop, and they do business with us, but the locals have gotten us to where we are, and it’s phenomenal, and we appreciate it. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears — and thorns. But we’re glad it is what it is.”
Want to go?
All in Bloom Garden Center & Landscapes
1200 North Howe Street, Southport, (910) 477-6024
Hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday 9 am to 4 pm, Sunday 10 am to 4 pm