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Irene’s Flower shop flourishes at Drake

Photo: Luke Nankivell

Looking for flowers for a special someone? Stop by Irene’s Flowers on 25th Street for a unique arrangement. Irene’s has been a staple in the Drake neighborhood since it first opened in 1956. It was originally called Black’s Flowers and was located on 24th and University. In 1976, it was bought by Irene and moved to the current location, and Linda Waknitz has owned it since 1995.

Waknitz’s favorite part of owning a flower shop is the “creative expression of floral design.” She has worked in floral design since high school when she worked at a floral shop in eastern Iowa. She began by delivering flowers and has worked her way up to designing arrangements and eventually owning her own shop.

At Irene’s, customers come first, as a family owned business. Each customer is able to get a personalized design for his or her floral arrangement. Irene’s specializes in contemporary and traditional arrangements and also offers an extensive gift line, including gift baskets.  Irene’s offers a large inventory of exotic flowers and “individualized care rather than assembly lines,” which Waknitz says is common in many other floral shops.

Though Irene’s is located in a neighborhood that some business owners might avoid, Waknitz says its location has been “more of a benefit than anything else” because her business is able to attract large amounts of Drake students and parents. It also receives lots of customers due to their close proximity to Drake Diner.  Crime has not been an issue for the store, and Waknitz enjoys being close to Drake’s campus.

In addition to Drake students, Irene’s attracts employees of downtown businesses because of its centralized location. Much of their clientele fits into the young professional demographic that Des Moines is becoming known for. It deliver throughout the metro area, and many choose the business over nationally owned floral chains as it supports the local economy.

Currently, there is not using any social media sites for marketing, but you can find them at their website http://www.iaflorist.com/. It hope to create a greater online presence in the future.

Irene’s offers a 10 percent discount to Drake students when they show their Drake student ID. You can order flowers by stopping in Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by calling (515) 650-4420.


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