Geni’s Florist & Gift strengthened its connection to the Rialto community throughout the pandemic

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Photo by Geni Quintanilla: Geni Quintanilla, a fashion designer turned florist, puts the final touches on a mix flower arrangement.
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Since 2017, Geni’s Florist and Gift has held a strong presence in the Rialto community, but that connection drew even closer amid the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020. 

“During the pandemic, my flower shop became extremely busy. So in 2020, I was designing a lot of ‘thinking of you’ flower arrangements, with notes asking loved ones to stay indoors. Last year was tough; in 2021, we designed a lot of arrangements for funerals, and this year we see a lot of requests for ‘sympathy’ flower arrangements,” said Geni Quintanilla, owner of Geni’s Florist & Gift.

Quintanilla said that after writing personal notes on the flower arrangement cards on behalf of the purchaser, she felt a stronger connection with the customers. 

“We felt the love when reading people’s messages; it made us even more compassionate and encouraged us to pray for those customers who were experiencing a loss of life or a tough season in their life. During this time, we stopped seeing them as customers, and more like family,” continued Quintanilla.

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Another element that helps Geni’s Florist & Gift stand out from its competitors is its tailored directions on how to care for each customer-ordered arrangement.

“With each order, I write a little note about how to care for the flowers, with watering and placement directions to increase the longevity of each flower arrangement. From start to finish, I put my entire heart into each order that goes through my door,” Quintanilla said. 

And while business hasn’t completely recouped since the onset of the pandemic, Quintanilla says that she’s getting a lot more orders for weddings, quinceaneras, baby showers and corporate events. 

She recommends a mixed flower bouquet to any new customer or anyone struggling to pick out a flower arrangement. 

“Personally, my favorite flower is a tulip because they close when they sleep at night and bloom with the morning sun, and they remind me of butterflies. But, I always recommend a mixed flower bouquet because it’s a rainbow of blooms. It’ll last longer because you can pick out the dying flowers as the weeks go by, allowing you to create a new arrangement every step, ” said Quintanilla.

While business continues to grow for Quintanilla, so is her to-do list. She will teach a summer class to middle and high school students in Rialto Unified School District about how to create a flower arrangement, an initiative to encourage students to get outside, along with practicing mindful meditation.  Geni’s Florist & Gift is located at 261 Bloomington Ave., Rialto. For more information, visit rialtofloristandgifts.com.

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