Updated: Mar 12
By Janey Tate
Since 1976 the mother and daughter duo, Lillian DeLaFlor and Kim Lue, of Dolly’s Florist have been providing the Miami-Dade community with custom high-quality floral arrangements. For this women-led and owned business, their company is more than selling flowers, they said they pride themselves in providing their customers with arrangements to make their life experiences memorable and meaningful.
Located on NW 147th street and 7th Ave, the floral shop is in the heart of the Uptown 7th Avenue corridor and is one of the many businesses that keep the area thriving. Dolly’s Florist’s reach has gone beyond northwest 7th avenue with them being the official florist of the Miami Fashion Week April 2007 and MTV Video Music Awards for 2004 and 2005. Dolly's Florist has built a reputation in Miami as the innovator of exotic floral design by combining the art of design with the elegance and raw beauty of nature.
Lillian De La Flor, and her daughter, Kim Lue, shared with interviewer Janey Tate, why they began their business and what has set them apart from other florists for the past 45 years.
Janey Tate: What inspired you to open a florist business?
Kim Lue: For my mother, it was working with her parents in their first flower shop, Little Flower Shop back in 1966 and many years after in Hallandale, Fla. She loved the way the flowers made people feel and how important they can be in someone’s life. For me, it was the joy of being able to grow up in the shop since I was a baby and growing up to realize this place is a legend and staple in Miami and needed to keep this going. And same feelings as my mom; I love how we can create a mark in someone’s life from birth to death.
Janey: What special services and products do you provide?
Lillian: We provide flowers for weddings, for sympathy, and all occasions in between. Decorating and creating custom and unique designs.
Janey: What can people expect when they shop with you?
Kim: 100% satisfaction! We have been busy this long because we strive to have the best customer relations and provide quality to everyone.
Janey: How long have you been in business?
Kim: Lillian and her then-husband back in 1976 bought the business Dolly’s Florist.
Janey: Were you intentional about opening a business on the NW 7th Avenue corridor? If so why?
Lillian: The only intention was that the existing florist was there and happened to know me and my husband. It was a great area back in the day and the location was perfect. We can reach two counties.
Kim: When my parents met, my mom was working at her parents’ flower shop and that’s when my dad started working there as well and just fell in love with the business.
Janey: How has the community received you? What do they say they like about the shop?
Lillian: The community has been really great. Some have been around a long time, some have changed, but it has definitely grown over the years. We’re going by what the reviews on our website say and online people always compliment our customer service and the quality of our flowers.
Janey: What do you do to give back to the surrounding community?
Lillian: Over the years we have opened the doors to many organizations in Miami. For example, we have opened our doors to many groups to hold fundraisers, teach flower design classes, and we have teamed up with a local church and donated food items and turkeys. We have also teamed up with Uptown Avenue 7 and Miami Urban Contemporary Experience.
Janey: You've been in business for 45 years. That's no small thing. How have you lasted so long when many others have failed?
Lillian: Again, over the years having consistent customer service and we’ve held the same employees for over 20 years which makes a difference with people. When they call to place an order, they feel comfortable. Also, we try to stay true to our customers by giving them one on one attention. We have built a strong backbone. It is a hard world for a brick-and-mortar flower shop. There’s lots of competition like 1-800-flowers, grocery stores, online, and the internet companies that claim to be a florist but they are just known as order gatherers-- not designers. We have a reputation and that’s the key to our success.
Janey: What do you guys love the most about what you do?
Kim: Being so lucky to work with such beautiful flowers and having fun while working. We are artists and we create. I love that we are a family and treat all our employees, owners, and customers as family.
Design your own unique floral arrangement at the Battle of the Bloom Floral Workshop at Dolly's Florist on March 21, 2021. Tix are $25 | Register at bloomonuptown.eventbrite.com
Uptown Avenue 7 has teamed up with Hy-Lo News to bring you the stories of the businesses that shape the 7th Avenue corridor in Miami-Dade county. Hy-Lo News is South Florida’s only news blog dedicated to Black and Brown Millennials. Through this partnership, we will bring you in-depth profiles of the entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders invested in the 7th Avenue corridor. If you’d like to be considered for a profile click here.