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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014

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Thursday, June 5,2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-21 Journal photo by Lloyd Mullen ABOVE: Veina Liles, owner of Blooms By The Park, takes a break while cleaning up her shop Friday. BELOW: Liles displays her "hippy" flower pot. Blooms By The Park will officially close June 30. Last bloom looms for Shelton flower shop By LLOYD MULLEN Iloyd@masoncounty. com To maintain her mental stability, Verna Liles, owner of Blooms By The Park, will retire June 30, she said. Liles sent out a notice last week to custom- ers notifying them of the decision. Sue Offerdal opened the Shelton flower shop in 2001. After five years, Offerdal decided to retire and asked Liles whether she would be interested in buy- ing the business. Liles said she was thrilled to take over the flower business. "It was my first adven- ture into ownership," she said. "It was scary and it was exciting all at the same time." After a few overly thrill- ing months, Liles calmed down as she figured out how to run her new busi- ness. She hired two employees, mother and daughter Robin and Amanda Thurber. Liles' husband, Wayne, was another integral part of the business. "I couldn't have done it without them," she said. As Liles thought about some memories in her shop last week, she started laughing. "There's probably some things I can't even talk about," she said. "We've had some very (she paused) interesting isn't the right word, thought "The customers are really what kept us going." provoking customers." She then reminisced about some of her "perfec- tionist" customers. 'Tou'd tell them it's not possible and they'd say, 'No, it has to be this way.'" The lease on her shop will expire in October. Liles said the building owners plan to renovate the build- mg and the lot. That's the reason Liles said she de- cided to go into retirement. Initially she wanted to move her busJi$ to another location. "I started looking for other p]ac and the rent was just so sky-high," she said. "After I checke the last couple of places that I could even think of, I thought, I don't need to keep beating my head against the wall for this. I'm getting too old." Liles sat down with Robin to talk it over with her. Robin said she wouldn't have any problem retiring; she'd enjoy Verna Liles, owner, it. Blooms By The Park Robin's daughter, Aman- da, will be a nanny after the shop is closed. Her customers are what she's going to miss the most, Liles said. But she's looking forward to spend- ing more time traveling the globe and seeing her grandchildren. "It sounds silly, but the customers were my fa- vorite part of the business. We would always greet them with a 'hi' or 'hello' and it always put a smile on their faces. Even if they came in for sad reasons. The customers are really what kept us going," Liles said. As for her first day of retirement, Lfles said siae;s going to start it offby sleeping in 30 minutes. "I haven't even thought about it," she said. "Once it's all taken care of, we21 take a trip to see our lit- tlest grandchildren in Baker, Oregon. Just some ba- sic traveling. I don't know what I'm going to do the first few days. Probably just sit and not have to think about anything. That would be the fun thing to do." Until the shop closes its doors for the final time June 30, prices have been cut by 50 percent. "I guess I just want the folks in Mason and Thur- ston counties to know how much I appreciate their loyalty all these years," she said. "It has been a tre- mendous amount of pride that we have in what we do and in our customers. They treat us like royalty." Liles said she's bound to get some flack from those. who have heard yet. She wanted to thank everyone for sticking with them. BUSINESS BRIEF Kennedy RE/MAX brings new talent to Belfair Blair Humes has been a North Mason resi- dent since 1992. He lives in Allyn and now com- mutes to the Remax office in Belfair. Humes said he transitioned to real estate because of his varied experience. "I can accumulate and put it into one ef- fort forward," Humes said, "Doing real estate is really a good way to bring all of that expe- rience together to help others." Prior to setting up shop at the RE/MAX of- rice, Humes owned Cartridge World in Port Orchard. A news release from RE/MAX states, "He was a merchant marine for 16 years and he has built several homes in the Gig Harbor area. He is a trained chef, author and community activ- ist." The new real estate agent said he decided on RE/MAX because of its reach. "After working with a couple of different brokerages, they (RE/MAX) are where I thought I could elevate my game and my client's," he said. "It's an international company as well as local. That's a big advantage for everyone." For more information on the Belfair RE/ MAX, call 253-778-9216. Compiled by reporter Lloyd Mullen ............. ,  : m I '1 I a;