Aretha Franklin loved flowers, and she ordered them like a queen.
The owners of Blossoms in Birmingham say for thirty years they have had the privilege of getting calls from Franklin. She came to be not just a customer, but a friend.
“How many times in your life do you get to know someone the world knows?” says Norman Silk, Blossoms Co-Owner.
Norman Silk, one of the owners of Blossoms, says it has been an honor.
He says his partner delivered flowers to Aretha Franklin earlier this year and as often happened ended up visiting and chatting with the Queen of Soul for quite a while.
“We felt a connection,” said Norman.
The business helped decorate Franklin’s house for the holidays, helped her celebrate her friends and honor other celebrities. Workers will miss her wild way of placing an order.
“She would leave messages in the morning at 1:30 a.m., two in the morning of who to send flowers to the next day,” said Bridget Mitchell, a florist at Blossoms. “Typically she would just give us the name, maybe the state, so it was a lot of work, but it was really worth it.”
“At Christmas, she sent things to people in the White House and was like, just call and get their home address,” said Silk.
Blossoms now has the duty of putting together arrangements for the celebrations of Franklin's life.
The arrangements being made for her visitation and funeral feature literally thousands of her favorite flowers. She often ordered pink and lavender roses or orchids.
For the people making them, it is definitely not just another order. The Franklin family made it clear, the business’ work meant something to Aretha.
“They really gave us carte blanc,” said Silk. “They said you know what she likes. Just do something special.”