What started out as a simple home business has grown out of control – in the best way! Former high school teacher Emma Mallon decided to leave the profession in search of a new career and upon purchasing the inventory of wedding linens, vases and décor items, opened Save The Date in her Sarnia home. “In my first house I had a little 10 by 10 room where I had all my files and products,” Emma recalls. “It didn’t quite fit so some of it went to family members’ basements. Then I ended up with a shipping container in my front driveway to store my inventory. The business was growing so quickly that we had to move to a bigger house with a double garage. Once I filled that space, I decided it was time to get a commercial space with the hope that in the future we will have a warehouse.”
Save The Date is now operating out of 452 Christina Street North and the business continues to grow. For Emma, it has been a dream come true. “I was teaching, but I knew I wanted to buy my own business,” Emma says. “So, I went back to college and studied business marketing and then worked in the field of marketing. Not long after I started Save The Date, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I thought, this is probably over, but it wasn’t.” She began doing a little more floral and décor along with drop-offs and pickups in order to grow the customer base. “This year it made sense for us to advance to a brick-and-mortar store and start doing floral and décor year-round.”
Emma is grateful for the help she received from the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation which gave her blossoming business a boost. She has also been able to hire a full-time florist as well as a part-time worker. “My vision for Save The Date is to have a one-stop shop for décor, gifts and everything special occasion, so people can come in for birthday gifts or sympathy, but also weddings.” In addition to flowers, Save the Date has candles and vases; things customers can buy or rent for their special occasions. Save the Date also promotes fellow vendors such as photographers, DJs, and hair and make-up artists to make life a little easier for her customers. After conducting most of her in-person meetings with clients at Starbucks the past four years, Emma is also proud of the showroom she has in front of Save The Date where she can sit comfortably with customers on a large couch. “We can chat about their needs in a comfortable environment,” she boasts.
It was important to Emma that Save The Date be environmentally friendly. “We are a little different than other local flower shops in that we use sustainable packing methods and avoid using single-use plastics in all our processes and packaging.” Even the flower food is in recyclable packaging. “We also have one of the best arrays of dried flowers in Sarnia. We have almost every dry flower imaginable in a wide range of colours. This means your arrangements are ready to last forever!”