HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - After 32 years in business, White Flowers in downtown Homewood will close this Saturday.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do is to close," said owner Diana Hansen. "I've loved having my business and serving people."
Hansen started White Flowers more than three decades ago by making t-shirts. When people kept asking her where she got the shirts, Hansen started selling them to local businesses and eventually opened her own store. Hansen said she makes just about everything in the store.
"We sell feelings more than things. They are often given as gifts," explained Hansen.
The store first opened in Brookwood Mall before moving to Mountain Brook in the early 1990s. White Flowers has been at its current location for 10 years.
She blamed the closing on dropping sales over the last two years as more people shop online.
"Things have changed," said Hansen. "People shop differently."
Hansen now plans to focus on improving her website whiteflowers.com, where she said customers can buy many of the items found in the store.
"It's sad to anybody to have to close their store, and I didn't think this day would come, but it has. It's just time for us to maybe do something even better," continued Hansen.
Every Saturday night, Hansen and her husband painted the floor of the store white to keep it looking clean. Fred Hunter featured their weekly painting tradition in an Absolutely Alabama story in 2014.
"In fact, we painted it last Saturday night, and we'll probably paint it until the day we walk out of the store," said Hansen.
The store's closing was announced on Facebook last month. Hansen decided she would close on May 12 because she wanted to stay open until Mother's Day. Since the announcement, business has been strong.
"It is just so incredible the people that have been in here since then," said Hansen. "We appreciate that so much."