DEARBORN — With its newer location in a familiar spot, the old Shatila Bakery building, you’d think that customers would know exactly what to expect when walking into Flowers by Renee on Schaefer Road in Dearborn just south of Warren.
But just about every time they walk past the Greek-inspired façade and through the double doors, the same thought inevitably pops into their head: “Wow!”
That’s what customers think when they gaze upon the vast assortment of decorations, flowers and other items on display at Flowers by Renee’s second location which opened up in December 2006 and has gained quite a following and reputation in Dearborn.
The first location opened up on Warren Road but the high demand for fanciful wedding displays of flowers and other decorations forced co-owner Abbas Bazzi and his partner Hala Saad to open a newer, bigger store.
“The other one was doing well but when we came here we expanded big-time for weddings,” he said. “We needed a bigger space to do things for weddings and we didn’t want to move out of Dearborn because it’s like our headquarters.”
Bazzi said the response has been positive from customers about the wedding decorations and Flowers by Renee does all different types of ethnic weddings from Arabic and Indian celebrations to more Americanized versions. One of their specialties is decorating king and queen stages with colorful bouquets to make the bride and groom feel like royalty.
Besides the typical floral fare, the store also offers a ton of different lavish decorations that can be bought either as gifts or as decorations for weddings and other special occasions. Some of the eye-catching items on display were detailed-looking fake trees including a palm tree, large Arabic-themed paintings, exquisitely decorated picture frames, and smaller items like candles, greeting cards, antiques such as crystals, tablecloths for weddings, and trays for serving food at events.
While all of those items are popular, the flowers have remained the top draw in Bazzi’s shops. The first location went up 17 years ago and both continue to sell a large amount of flowers each day. The Schaefer location features a massive cooler filled with all types of bouquets and other arrangements.
One of the services that helps Bazzi expand his customer base is the delivery provided to him by companies FTD and Teleflora. They allow him to deliver all over the country to people seeking arrangements that go a little above and beyond what they would get from a typical corner flower shop. Even the delivery people tell Bazzi how much they like the store on a routine basis, telling him they would vote his shop number one of all the ones they’ve visited in Michigan.
Bazzi’s expertise in satisfying his Arab customer base is also a big reason for the deliveries to other states. He tries to cater to the Dearborn Arab demographic but also likes to mix in a few personal favorite items of his own to keep things interesting and to give customers a chance to personalize their own celebrations instead of picking from a cookie-cutter selection of things they may have seen at other places around town.
“I look at Dearborn and everybody is doing the same thing,” he said. “I kind of pick items that nobody else has in the area. I like to be distinctive.”
That uniqueness goes a long way for customers who want their special events to be one-of-a-kind celebrations, and it’s a big reason why Bazzi continues to see looks of surprised delight on the faces of customers as they walk through the doors for the first time.
“This shop is beautiful,” said customer Lisa Alawie of Dearborn as she walked up to the counter to purchase flowers. “I’ve been to his other shop but this is the first time I’ve been here. It’s really nice.”
Customers can check out Flowers by Renee’s Web site at www.yourfloral.net to browse products and place orders. The phone number is 1.800.348.1420.