Designs By Teresa Flowers & Gifts closing in April

By Posted on Apr 16 2021 | By

Main Street anchor unable to replace experienced floral arranger

The power of the individual is often overlooked in today’s corporate world. The company rules. But what if the company is centered on one talented person? And she decides to retire.

So goes the story of a flower and gift business that has served Fauquier County for 35 years. Designs By Teresa has been a ubiquitous part of Warrenton’s life. Countless birthdays, holidays, weddings, graduations, and deaths, have seen the company’s flower arrangements grace the occasion.

The owners of both the building and the business are David and Virginia Gerrish. They are not selling the building. In fact, except for the impending retirement of Tina Colver, the daughter of the original shop owner, Teresa Bowles, the Gerrish’s would have continued to stay in the flower trade. Colver has been the principal floral arranger for almost 30 years.

The building, located at 7 Main St., was built in 1882. It was the town’s post office until 1910. It went on to serve as a restaurant, tack shop, and antique business.

In addition to the flowers and plants, the full-service shop has offered a unique line of fountains and garden ware, as well as home accents such as lamps, custom silk flower arrangements, statues, and gift baskets.

All non-flower items are now on sale, and its expected inventory will be exhausted by late March.

“The reason we are closing is we have been unable to find a high-quality floral arranger,” said David Gerrish.

Virginia Gerrish has been managing the shop since 2019 when the Gerrish’s purchased the business. “Virginia is very good at running the business. She will order the flowers, manage the books, take customer orders, help process flowers before they are arranged, and make some floral arrangements. But it’s not like she has 30 years of experience arranging flowers.”

The beautiful arrangements produced over the decades have been the shop’s hallmark of success. “We would love to find a replacement for Tina. We’ve tried hard to do so. There are a lot of people who like to arrange flowers. There are not a lot of people who are both creative and willing to own a retail floral business.”

Gerrish points out that the business is demanding since it’s essentially a manufacturing enterprise dealing with perishable products. “You have to work at it daily to make it sustainable.

“We’ve reached out to businesses in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area that teach floral arranging to see if they knew of somebody who would be interested. And we’ve exhausted all our contacts in the surrounding counties. We’ve not found anyone who is willing and able to come forward and own and run the shop.

Given the fading hopes of keeping the shop open, the Gerrish’s are concurrently looking at ways to repurpose the building into other types of businesses.

David Gerrish considers the building a prime business location on Main St. “Hopefully, it will be a retail business that goes into the building rather than office space.”

There is no intent to sell the building since they purchased it a year and a half ago from Teresa Bowles.

The Gerrish’s moved to Fauquier County in 1975 and moved to High Street in 1994. David Gerrish is the branch manager at Wells Fargo Advisors at 70 Main St. “I’m very familiar with Main St.”

The Gerrish’s have no plans to relocate. He has worked for 40 years in town, and they have lived there for 27 years. “We love Warrenton. We have loved Warrenton from the day we’ve moved here.

“Over the years, we’ve done everything we can to promote Old Town for both businesses and residents. We’re not going anywhere. I have no plans to move to Florida!”

As a testament to his love of Warrenton, David Gerrish chaired Experience Old Town Warrenton for several years and embodies the welcoming banner line on the organization’s website that reads in part:

“…love as you mean it, to break down the barriers that divide us, and to connect with someone in your life–a family member, a friend, even a stranger. Watch walls disappear when you love out loud.”

Until a specific closing date is set, the shop will continue to be open during March, Tuesday through Saturday.

In the interim, if there is a skilled floral arranger interested in purchasing a business with a stellar reputation, drop by the shop and start a conversation. The Gerrish’s are waiting to talk.


Published in a March 2021 edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES