Florist opens up downtown shop

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Javelin Guilford, owner of The Secret Garden II, creates a wedding bouquet Thursday at his shop in downtown Rocky Mount.


Staff Writer

Friday, July 14, 2017

Javelin Guilford is giving it another try in Rocky Mount.

The Washington native is a North Carolina-Certified Professional Florist designer with 30 years of experience in the floral industry. Guilford, who specializes in weddings, funerals and permanent botanical, recently started another florist shop in Rocky Mount as owner and operator of The Secret Garden II at 115 Tarboro St. in downtown Rocky Mount.

“We’re a nontraditional flower shop,” he said. “We’re a floral design studio because we design everything fresh.”

Guilford ran a flower shop from 2002 to 2005 on Sunset Avenue. The business closed largely because of the slowdown in the economy, he said. Guilford, who lives in Raleigh, went on to work several years as a lead designer for a floral company in Raleigh. Guilford said he also worked for a major event company in South Carolina, having done flower arrangements at many celebrity events featuring the likes of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

“I’ve gotten more experience, and I’m ready to give it a second try in Rocky Mount,” Guilford said. “This is the right time to come with the revitalization happening downtown with the Event Center coming to the area, which will be big for the area. Also, there aren’t many florists on this side of town, so there is a need to service people in this area.”

After growing up in a family florist business, Guilford said he received a stronger education about the industry when he took a job in 1996 and worked six years in Rocky Mount for florist owner Otis Jordan. Guilford said Jordan taught him a lot about the different concepts of flower arrangements.  

Guilford said being a part of the Greater Triangle Florists Association and N.C. State Florists Association has helped with constructing different design panels. He added attending different design and trade shows also helps with the knack of wanting to be creative in his work. While he already has a customer base of people in the area familiar with his work, Guilford said he hopes people looking for a unique look will give him a try.

He added Secret Garden II carries mostly high-end flowers but also has traditional flowers on hand. In the next few weeks, Secret Garden II should be able to go to a full-service delivery, Guilford said.

“I want customers to come in here and see something different than what they’ve seen here in town,” he said. “They can come in and pick out flowers where they can arrange themselves or we can arrange them for you. We’re here to take care of the community.”