What makes this 50-year-old floral business different from the rest

An arrangement designed by Barbara Schneider in the English Garden style. Schneider and her husband created unique one of kind arrangements that are a departure from the traditional florist style. CONTRIBUTED
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An arrangement designed by Barbara Schneider in the English Garden style. Schneider and her husband created unique one of kind arrangements that are a departure from the traditional florist style. CONTRIBUTED

Tucked away inside a small building on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville is a floral shop that focuses on the unique. Far Hills Florist has been serving the Dayton and Centerville communities for more than 50 years.

“It was my husband’s (Jeff) father’s business,” said Barbara Schneider, an owner of Far Hill Florist along with her husband, who officially bought the business from his dad in 1995. “Today we offer the best, highest quality flowers at the onset and created styles that are unique and different.”

Barbara and Jeff are “artisan” florists and prefer to work with flowers that most people wouldn’t think of as long lasting.

“We tend to create in two drastically different styles,” Schneider said. “The English Garden style uses a lot of different types of plant materials and we like the French Compact style, which we tend to do more than anything else.”

These styles lend themselves well to square cubes and Barbara said they line their vases with leaves to create more interest.

“It’s the care of the flowers that makes them last,” Schneider said. “We pay a lot of attention to that kind of thing.”

Teaching customers to care for their floral creations is key, according to Schneider, who is often invited to speak at area garden clubs. Over the years, Schneider has learned much about the floral field, including the unique arrangements and styles she creates today and tricks to help make them last longer.

Schneider’s interest in flowers began in childhood when she grew her own garden and preserved dried arrangements. She thought she would like to going into interior design but ended up becoming an accountant because she said it was difficult to find good design schools.

“I was good with numbers and accounting and being a designer seemed like an unattainable thing,” Schneider said. “I was always creative and continued designing as a hobby.”

When she met her husband, and learned he came from a family of florists, her passion for decorating with flowers accelerated. Jeff Schneider had gone to design school and had worked in the floral shops with his father, creating more traditional arrangements. But he was a mechanical engineer when he and Schneider met.

“We decided to return to the florist industry after we got married because he missed it,” Schneider said. “We see our customers all the time and we have become friends and that’s what I love about it. The hustle and the bustle of this life brought us back to it.”

The couple complements one another with their strengths: Schneider’s is in color design and her husband’s is mechanics of design. When they started out in the field together, they had two shops in the Dayton area. But at the end of 2000, they decided to combine forces at the current location in Centerville, where they remain today.

“We are not traditional,” Schneider said. “We are executing our own vision of what we think a floral shop should be.”

This includes having a large and sometimes unique selection of plants available year-round. Customers coming to the shop this time of year will find seasonal spring flowers like hyacinths and tulips, often purchased from countries all over the world.

Their family business has grown through mostly word of mouth and recommendations from longtime customers. And of course, through cultivating and building strong, close relationships with their clients.

“I enjoy what I do because I get to be creative and make people happy,” Schneider said. “I do a lot of wedding flowers and when I see how happy I’ve made them with what I have created, it makes me feel complete.”

Over the years, Far Hills Florist customers have moved from weddings, to having children to grandchildren. Customers who buy flowers for their weddings often come back for special occasions in their lives.

“It’s satisfying to develop those relationships with our clients,” Schneider said. “Anyone can say they are different, but people who walk into our shop or see our photos on social media get the idea that our designs are not every day cookie cutter. We have built a good reputation.”

Far Hills Florist supports the local community by donating flowers by request to non-profits. They also support Centerville Schools and local churches by giving the gift of flowers.

“I think most people would be shocked to see what we have in our store,” Schneider said. “We have a really great selection of plants and unique home and garden gifts as well.”

Visit the shop online at farhillsflorist.com or at 278 N. Main Street in Centerville.

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