By Claire Harlin
If you’ve ever driven through downtown Rancho Santa Fe around Christmas, you probably know that it’s lit up like a starry sky, palm fronds and rooflines lit with white and green and twinkling snowflakes in the street median. What you may not know, however, is that the it’s a tiny 900-square-foot flower shop behind this elaborate presentation — as well as the outdoor lighting of more than 60 homes in the area.
RSF Flowers & Gifts is responsible for the festive lights around the village during the holiday season.
Rancho Santa Fe Flowers & Gifts, located at 6012 Granada, can not only fulfill your decorating needs for Christmas — whether you want to buy or rent the materials — but it’s a one-stop shop for planning events of any occasion. The store facilitates upscale linen rentals, tablescapes and even costumes.
For example, owner Penelope Bax just led a team of about a dozen in putting on a “queen for a day” birthday party, in which the birthday girl was led to a jet on a red carpet (provided by the flower shop) and whisked away for a fancy lunch in Los Angeles. When she arrived, the venue had been outfitted with embellished king and queen thrones and she was given a cape and crown to wear.
“The tablescapes had red roses, and we even had crown candles and napkin rings,” she said.
The shop may seem small, but all the planning and preparation takes place there, usually with the company of Bax’s well-known Golden Retriever, Charlie.
“Some people come in and say, ‘We don’t need any flowers today; We just came to see Charlie,’” Bax said, adding that in the 18 years she has owned the shop, she’s always had her dogs accompany her there.
Bax said that Christmas clients are booking up quickly, but she has added many seasonal team members to offer in-home consultations. A lot of people call the Rancho Santa Fe Association to find out who’s behind the lighting of the Village or the 15-foot tree in front of the Rancho Santa Fe Inn, and Bax gets bombarded with calls when the word gets out.
“A lot of people don’t realize we are the ones who do Christmas lights for the Village,” she said. “We decorate peoples homes and trees, we do tree lighting, hanging lights on homes and trees, custom wreaths, you name it. If you want to do it yourself, then if you buy the materials from us, we’ll tell you how to do it for free. Or we can come out and do it.”
The shop sells popular holiday items such as garland by the foot, pine cones and other greenery. She said she has spent hours with clients showing them how to line their mantles and staircases with Christmas embellishments. The shop also provides all the supplies, like ribbons, wires, lights and necessary tools. If you even want to go the extra mile, Bax said she can arrange for carolers to come to your home or event, wearing either traditional Charles Dickinson attire or “rockin’ cranberries” costumes.
Even after the holidays, Bax stays busy with decorating people’s homes no matter what the season. She specializes in sympathy services, weddings and new home welcomes, as well. For gifts, the store offers various items, from hummingbird feeders to perfumes to candles.
For more information on the shop, visit www.rsfflowers.com or call (858) 756-5023.
— Business Spotlight
These days, doing business in the downtown Rancho Santa Fe Village is particularly tough, making the pride factor even higher.
“We’ve come to have some pretty high expectations after close to 20 years by our regular clients and we love it,” said Penelope Bax, owner of RSF Flowers & Gifts.
Mother’s Day will once again be celebrated with the help of Rancho Santa Fe Flowers & Gifts, this year on Sunday, May 13. The flower shop, located in the heart of the Village at 6012 La Granada, is already gearing up for the day, with floral shipments coming from every corner of the globe. This will be number 19 in counting the holiday for Bax, a long-time retail resident in The Ranch.
Even in these more difficult economic times, it seems people continue to indulge in the small, simple pleasures that flowers can offer. Bax attributes this to flowers remaining one of the affordable luxuries with a high pleasure pay out. Touted as being the premier flower shop in North County, RSF Flowers & Gifts continues to offer only premium flowers at an affordable price.
“There are very few things in life that with such a small expenditure can bring smiles to people’s faces. We know that because we see it every day,” Bax said. She goes on to say that Mother’s Day is her favorite holiday in that it crosses all lines of not just mothers, but grandmothers and others who have been special in someone’s life.
Rancho Santa Fe Flowers & Gifts will begin Mother’s Day deliveries on Thursday, May 10, so that the moms are able to appreciate the bouquets for the entire weekend.
The shop has experienced a major growth in Internet orders over the recent years, as clients are able to view hundreds of designs and order at their convenience and budget. Direct ordering came be found at www.RSFFlowers.com and Bax personally answers all inquiries at penelope@RSFFlowers.com. Phone orders can be placed at the toll free number of 800-756-5020.