Sweet William Floral - Classy Flowers for the Valley
Don Crickard's Superlative Arrangements for all Occasions
Operating out of a nondescript, cool basement in Hancock, Vermont, Don Crickard, designer and owner of Sweet William Floral, works considerable magic in creating some of the most stunning flower arrangements in the Upper Valley.
Don is preparing for one of his busiest weeks of the year, with Mother’s Day upcoming, but he welcomes the challenge.
“This is my creative outlet, part of my artistic make-up,” he explains. “It’s nice to make moms happy, but any time I deliver flowers it makes people happy. Even at funerals people appreciate the flowers as a happy distraction.”
Don works part-time at his craft, balancing the flowers with a full-time job at LCS Controls in Rochester. His interest in flowers began in random fashion. A long-time core member of the White River Valley Players theater group, Don met a Bethel florist, Kep Taylor, at a rehearsal. They hit it off, and as Don recalls, “we made a deal – one night a week, we’d get together, drink beer, and arrange flowers. I learned by watching Kep.”
Taylor encouraged him to develop his own retail business, and in 2002, Crickard launched Sweet William Floral, choosing a unique flower featuring his middle name as his logo. The business has developed nicely, with the basement facility restrictions forcing Crickard to manage his time and resources efficiently. “I can’t get too far ahead of myself,” Don admits, “and the nature of this business can be so last minute.” With several weekly deliveries from his wholesaler, Don balances his knowledge of his many repeat customers with the random orders to keep the product flowing.
“You’d think the winter would be slow,” Crickard reflected, “but there’s Christmas, then Valentine’s Day, Easter…there’s always birthdays, anniversaries, sick people, it’s a lot more stretched out really.” He regularly has bouquets for sale at the Skip Mart in Rochester, and standing orders for weekly, biweekly, or monthly deliveries for folks during the drab winter months. Sweet William Floral does no advertising other than Don’s products and word of mouth.
Don has provided flowers for dozens of weddings over the years, with the biggest being at the Von Trapp Lodge in Stowe. “I just did the reception,” he recalled, “and it was 40 tables!”
Yet most of his work is local, in Rochester, Granville, and Hancock, with one big exception: Gifford Hospital in Randolph. “It’s out of the way, but I go there because I should,” Don stated. “And, most of the time, I’ll know the person who is sick.” He delivers all of his flowers right to his customer’s doorstep.
Don plans to continue balancing his life interests until he retires from LCS. At that point, he says he might be interested in opening a store-front flower business, but for now, give him a call at 802-767-3956 for the nicest arrangements and the best customer service in the valley.