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Three Dimensional - Tina Coker, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, grows a trio of shops in Florida

A blossoming career in the floral industry began for Tina Coker just after she graduated from college and a friend told her about a flower shop for sale. “I thought ... that sounds like a fun business ... and I put in a contract,” says Tina.

She was outbid for the shop, but the idea of being a retail florist stuck with her. So, to gain experience, she sent her resume to several shops in her local area in Florida, letting them know she was interested in any job available.

“I was an art major in college, and minored in business with lots and lots of accounting,” Tina states. “I was hired by a florist to do her books and billing. After a few months, they let me on the design table and it was like a duck to water. All the same principles of art applied to flowers and I was totally smitten with becoming a florist shop owner. Just shy of a year later ... I sold my car, opened a shop, and began a most fabulous journey.”

That was in 1982 and the shop, called Designs of the Times Florist, began operations in Melbourne, Florida. Tina opened a second shop in 2006. The shop is called Merritt Island Florist, located in Merritt Island, Florida. A third shop, called Beautiful Bouquets, was added just this past August in Palm Bay, Florida.

“Each store has a distinctive look,” Tina says. She explains that the main store in Melbourne is more upscale and only carries owers, balloons, plush, high-end greeting cards, and chocolates from a local chocolate maker. The Merritt Island store’s interior is “island-themed” and carries just a touch of giftware that is centered around the island life. The Palm Bay store is located in a warehouse district and carries owers, plants, plush, balloons, and chocolates.