Meet Jason and Joseph, owners of Fleur de Fou
The Christmas Season holds a special place in the hearts of Fleur de Fou owners, Joseph McCain and Jason Camper. As they helped to decorate during for the season at Wharf Hill Antiques, a shop located in downtown Smithfield, they watched shoppers as they entered. They were struck by their reactions to the lovely shop and could sense how important it was for a shop to be beautiful. “It just seems to make people happy when they’re surrounded by beauty,” explains Joseph.
Fast forward to January 2018 when their own vision of a beautiful shop came to life as Fleur de Fou (pronounced “flewer de foo”) opened its doors.
In between, Joseph and Jason sold their floral arrangements at the town’s Christmas Evening Market each year. But with both of them holding down a full-time job and trying to run the floral business from home, life was too stressful. “We became so overwhelmed with flowers, greenery, and merchandise that we decided it was time to get this stuff out of the house and find a place in downtown Smithfield,” says Jason.
With deep family roots in the community, Smithfield was a natural choice for Jason for the location of the shop. But something different drew Joseph to the town. “I grew up in Danville, Virginia, a very rural area. Smithfield reminds me of Danville. I like that people know each other here. It’s hard to go somewhere that you don’t see someone you know. And the downtown has a charm that triggers childhood memories of visiting Chatham, Virginia, a town outside of Danville, with its own Main Street and great shopping.”
It hasn’t taken long for customers to find them, even in the short six months Fleur de Fou has been open. “Both locals and tourists come in,” explains Jason. “And it’s important to us that so many are returning customers because that means we did something right. They like what we did.” In fact, several of the customers who met them at the Christmas Evening Market were thrilled to see they had opened a shop. Clearly the work these two talented floral artists create is memorable. And isn’t that what flowers do? They help us remember special moments and special people. Long after the flowers fade, the lovely memory of the gesture remains.
Fleur de Fou is a full-service florist, providing flowers for every day occasions, weddings, funerals and other special events. “We also have flowers by the stem for freshly made bouquets that can be put together while you wait,” says Joseph.
But the shop is more than a florist’s salesroom. “We also offer silk arrangements, wreaths, home décor items, hand-crafted soap and other gift items, even furniture, including some pieces from Europe.”
While creating beauty in their arrangements and in Fleur de Fou remains a priority, Joseph and Jason offer customers convenience and great service as well. Delivery is available seven days a week and the shop is open seven days as well. They even offer same-day delivery of arrangements purchased online at www.FleurDeFou.com.
The Fleur de Fou family includes Jason’s dad, Dennis who helps with deliveries, and well-known local florist, Edwin Little. Titus the lab and Harry Potter, the cat are the four-legged members. They also have several chickens and ducks that control the back yard at their home in Rescue.
The pair have jumped right into the business community with Joseph taking a leadership role in “Genuine Merchants of Downtown Smithfield” (G-MODS). He explains, “GMODs is a brand-new organization for the businesses of downtown Smithfield. We’re hoping to create an organization where businesses can work together to increase the economic vitality on Main Street and within the historic district.”
Both owners continue to work full-time in addition to running the shop. Jason is a Landscape Supervisor at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, and Joseph is a contract Paramedic with Sentara in Ivor. A full-time job, creating inspiring floral arrangements and delivering them seven days a week, running the shop…it’s no wonder that Joseph says, “Boy, do I need a vacation.”
“I have learned that running a business is truly a 24-hour job. You are always thinking about what needs to be done next and trying to anticipate the many things you have no control over. And it’s been far too long since we stepped foot in Europe. I would love to visit Greece and Italy. I tossed a coin in the famous Trevi Fountain once and it’s well past time to return and toss another. And we could sure use some European inspiration to create even more artistic arrangements to share with the folks here.”
But have no doubt that Jason and Joseph enjoy what they do. Jason explains, “We offer something that people truly need. Flowers always brighten your day. When we deliver an arrangement to someone, the look on their face is truly indescribable, and knowing we made their day better makes all the hard work worth it.”
Just six months into the Fleur de Fou adventure, Jason and Joseph are looking forward to the Holiday season. They plan to transform the entire shop into something completely different for that magical time of year. After all, creating beauty and Christmas magic was what inspired them in the first place, and as they like to say, “We are more than flowers. We’re about creating beauty.”