At Matthew Reynolds’ Shannon home there was a particular wreath that hung above the fireplace in the living room. And as the 17-year-old owner of The Flower Shop tells it, “That’s what started it all.”
Three years ago Reynolds got the idea that he was going to make another wreath similar to the one in his home. So he went out and bought his supplies, bringing home some burlap and flowers for this “pumpkin” wreath. When Reynolds finished, he placed the wreath on his front door.
Well, not being old enough to drive at that time, Reynolds was still taking the bus to school. So, when his bus driver picked him up, Reynolds was asked about the wreath on the door and if it was for sale. It sure was, and just like that he had his first sale as a small business owner.
As word of mouth spread and more people inquired about his creations, Reynolds moved into a 12-by-12-foot building beside his home, aided by his family. But it wasn’t long until business outgrew the small operation and he moved into a storefront off Ga. 53 in Shannon, serving funeral homes, churches and homeowners in Rome, Summerville, Cartersville and Calhoun.
After a year, however, Reynolds knew he needed to move his business.
“It grew quicker than I thought it did,” he said.
And Calhoun came to mind, since it’s where he has grown up all his life. So with help from his dad and grandmother, who put the business in their name, Reynolds rented out his space at 346 S. Wall St.
“It really kinda shocked me,” Reynolds said of how well his business has done in their new space and town, with an estimated average of 20 to 25 deliveries a day, significantly multiplied around holidays. “I really didn’t feel as if we were gonna get as many as we do.”
Now a junior at Gordon Central High School, Reynolds is in the work-based learning program, which he joined last year. But instead of working for another’s business, he works for his own. He goes to school until 11:30 a.m. and then leaves straight for his shop, where he often stays into the night filling orders. On some days, he comes into the shop before the school day even begins.
“It’s hard some days,” he said, adding that his grandmother helps as a bookkeeper, his dad aids in deliveries and local florist Tami West works with him in the back of the shop. “It’s hard going to school and doing this both.”
Certainly there are people who have told him he is too young, Reynolds said. But to him, knowing his heart is in the right place, this is exactly where he wants to be and exactly what he wants to be doing, “cause if it isn’t you might as well be sitting at the house.”
For Reynolds he wouldn’t have it any other way than to be his own boss, following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, who started Reynolds Tree Service and passed it down to his sons.
“I love making flowers,” he said, adding that he always looks for something different to add an element of uniqueness to what he makes.
With his senior year fast approaching, Reynolds knows where he will be after graduation. He said with the ceremony typically taking place on a Friday night, come Saturday morning, he will be right there at his shop, unlocking the doors for what will be his future.