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Florist-hair salon combination a hit

Jordan Narvey, Special to The Daily Graphic

A new Portage la Prairie business has conveniently opened as a one-stop shop, satisfying its customers' needs from the everyday to the most formal occasions.

Primary Design Florist and Salon invites patrons to stop and smell the flowers after fulfilling their beauty needs. While the business may offer a rather unusual combination of goods and services, there are certainly reasons for the unique arrangement.

"It was a good combination for both the hair salon and the flower shop," said Sherry Ann Soos, who runs the salon and developed the idea. "Grads, birthdays, weddings .. We have a little bit of everything for those special occasions."

Obviously, the store offers customers a broad selection - from fresh flowers, wedding bouquets and home décor products to hairstyling, gel nails and pedicures. Located at 818 Saskatchewan Ave. E., the idea behind Primary Design was long in the making before the opening in April.

"We had talked about it for years and years, sitting around saying, 'We could do this,'" said Soos' mother-in-law Shanna Cote, who handles the florist duties.

"Once we finally took the plunge, it didn't take long at all to get the place set up. The store was completely renovated in seven weeks."

Cote has been in the floral industry for 17 years, having previously worked at Schapansky's Florist, while Soos has been doing hair for the past eight years.

Besides a unique and convenient concept, Primary Design offers citywide delivery, several private hairstyling stations, a fresh floral aroma, an outdoor playground for children, and a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Soon, it will also be home to the city's first drive-thru window for floral purchases.

"Customers say it's very relaxing. It's a nice, modern atmosphere," Soos said. "They like the playground in the back too, for the kids. It's nice that Mom can have a colour and watch her kids play back there."

According to Soos, "The salon has been designed to offer a private, relaxing place to come and get pampered."

Aside from the regular, everyday challenges of owning and operating a business, there have not been too many problems.

"We ran a Mother's Day special where we combined a bouquet of flowers with a manicure," Soos said. "It was very popular, people really liked that."

Customers also appreciate the store's location, as the only flower store within walking distance for east end residents. Primary Design is open six days a week, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

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