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Flower biz freshens up downtown Sun Prairie | Business

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Flower biz freshens up downtown Sun Prairie
Flower biz freshens up downtown Sun Prairie

Prairie Flowers moved to a new location in March

"If you don’t use it, you lose it."

It’s a truism for small businesses on Main Streets around the country according to Dina Pocernich, owner of Prairie Flowers and Gifts in downtown Sun Prairie. She believes that communities' economic vitality is affected by where people choose to spend their money.

"We’re losing small businesses simply because they’re not being used. It takes making a choice, a choice to say, 'I’m going downtown to shop. If I want our economy to be vibrant, I need to be aware of that.'"

Fortunately for her, it seems that many people in her community understand that concept: a recent move to downtown Sun Prairie has strengthened business, Pocernich said.

“I’m proud we’re here and thriving,” she said. “People tell us we freshen up the downtown -- they’re thrilled and we’re thrilled.”

Prairie Flowers and Gifts originally opened in 1983, operating out of a Victorian home down the street from its present location. Pocernich began working there on a part-time basis in 1994 and bought the business when its owner retired in 2006.

In March of this year, Pocernich moved the store to Sun Prairie’s historic downtown. Employees and family members pitched in to help.

Part of the reason behind the move was that Pocernich wanted to expand the gift portion of the business. With financing, Pocernich boosted giftware inventory to fill the new larger place. In addition to the floral shop, the store offers handmade jewelry, hats, scarves, pottery, candles and chocolate.

Pocernich said the move resulted in quadrupling the gift portion of the business.

Pocernich’s “what-goes-around-comes-around” style of thinking is also evident in how she gives back to the community with her business. In addition to contributing to the Sun Prairie Education Foundation, she serves on committees with Downtown Sun Prairie, which sponsors business-promoting events within the Sun Prairie Business Improvement District.

She’s also happy to take on initiatives of her own, fueled by her own creative touch. Earlier this year, she started a “Violets for Seniors” initiative. For every $2 donation, Sun Prairie Flowers and Gifts sent a violet to a senior in a local nursing home on May Day.

“People loved it,” Pocernich said. “As soon as you said it was for seniors, people would say, ‘Absolutely!’” She plans to continue the May Day violets program next year.

“That’s been so heart-warming to me,” Pocernich said. “There’s a lot of goodwill about a small business that’s going to serve people well, and just be there, as a bright spot.”

To find out more about Prairie Flowers, visit the shop online, stop by 245 E. Main St. in Sun Prairie or call 608-837-3830.

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