Patrick Robinson
Wendy Damoth has taken over the ownership of longtime West Seattle business Linda's Flowers and Gifts at 2600 California Ave. s.w. in the Admiral District. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

Well known Linda's Flowers now in new but familiar and capable hands

The landmark Linda's Flowers on the corner of California Ave. s.w. and s.w. Admiral Way is under new but still familiar management. Wendy Damoth, an employee for seven years, now owns the store that was run by its namesake Linda Harader for more than 20 years. Harader chose to retire.

Damoth has been interested in flowers since her days in college, and has been in the floral industry ever since (though at times she has worked in other retail businesses).

Born in Reno she moved to West Seattle eleven years ago. She genuinely loves this business.

"I love working with people, and working with my neighbors and the fact that I'm working in my own community," Damoth said.

She's been busy since she officially took over in January but wanted to keep her ownership quiet until she had a chance to make some subtle but she feels important changes. "We've had a lot of giftware in the store and I didn't want to just buy a lot of stuff, so I've been trying to see what my neighbors need. A lot of shops have gone out of business in this recession."

What do her customers say they want?

"The Alki Beach gift wear is a big request and things that are related to West Seattle in general. We've had numerous requests for postcards," she said. She sells Alki Beach Sweatshirts and hats and just placed a large order for more. They are one of the very few places in West Seattle to sell themed merchandise of this type.

Damoth and her associate florist Melody Smouse said because they are full service flower shop, they have the regular range of services including funerals, weddings, businesses who have fresh flowers as decor, birthdays, parties, and more. They deliver all over the local region, even as far away as Lynnwood or Issaquah on occasion but for greater distances they rely on being a member of Teleflora.

Smouse and Damoth agreed that their biggest seller is "bright mixed bouquets," even though everyone seems to have a different favorite flower.

Flowers, since they are persishable are sold by wholesalers who offer them for sale to florists very early in the morning. Damoth goes to several wholesalers but most frequently to one in Georgetown. "I love it," she said, " I love that sense of community with people in your industry."

Smouse said, "Wendy is very enthusiastic and she always has been, so a lot of people when they own a flower shop for a while, they forget about going down there early in the morning, but that's when you get the best stuff. The seasonal stuff and unusual stuff is available then."

Damoth has been busy "remerchandising the store" since people who walk by are often unaware of what's available inside. She also has a clever recycling program now in effect. Damoth was eager to mention her "Recycle vase
program" we've started. People can bring in their used vase and we will give them a $2 coupon for their next purchase. The coupon is good towards local orders and merchandise in the store. We know most people have too many vases just taking up space and would like to encourage them to recycle."

While the shop is just now getting a Facebook page going and does not yet have a Twitter account, you can of course find it online at www.lindasflowerandgifts.com or call them at 206-935-2587.

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