St. Ives Florist closing after a generation on Wells Avenue

RENO, Nev. (KOLO)-- When Laurie Ann Acton got into the floral business, Richard Nixon was in office. Twenty-seven years ago she opened St. Ives Florist on Wells Avenue in a little green house.

St. Ives Florist. Photo by Terri Russell/KOLO

Inside are home decorations. Holiday knick knacks sit on tables and dangle from shelves.

“Business is really good,” Acton said. “It is almost too good for us at this age.”

Acton and sister Patty Sue Thornton are closing St. Ives. December 9, 2019 with an anniversary party November 9, complete with champagne.

The sisters are the heart of the operation, creating floral arrangements that come by request.

“We want to know what people are doing,” Acton said. “And when you get the story your heart goes into the work.”

Generations of families have come here. From cradle-to-grave and just about every life event in-between because they usually require flowers.

“We knew them,” Thornton said. “We tried to get them to bring in personal belongings. Firemen their hats their boots. Golfers we have done arrangements in their golf bags.”

The sisters call the work exhausting, but rewarding.

“Reno devoured us,” Acton said. “They’ve embraced us, supported us in every way possible.”

Acton began floral design at age 16. She moved to Reno in 1992 and in 1998 they transformed Vogue Cleaners into a flower shop--actually using the letters to spell St. Ives.

The sisters are already saying goodbye to longtime customers who stop by to say thank you.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019