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Two businesses prosper by sharing a location: Florist and photographer add up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts

Rochester Business Journal
May 2, 2014

Under one roof, Flower Power Decor and North 40 Photography Inc. have a symbiotic relationship. Both companies play a role in celebrating life’s special events, and in doing so they support each other.

Flower Power Decor was started nearly a decade ago by Lisa Meyer, a native of New Jersey. She tightened her wide-ranging retail focus to weddings five years ago and has found her home in the city’s South Wedge neighborhood.

“I think being just a wedding florist, as opposed to a regular retail shop, gives me the advantage of being able to really focus on my clients,” Meyer says. “I’m not worried about answering the phone and having to stop and run an arrangement to the hospital. I just focus on my bride that week; she’s the sole attention of my time.”

Paul Madison, a Rochester native and owner of North 40 Photography, has been drawn to the emotional aspect of taking pictures for a long time.

“You see the best-dressed, happiest people with great emotions, inner family emotions. That’s what drew me in,” he says.

Weddings have become a major focus for Madison in recent years, allowing him to give each event his complete attention.

“I work with those people from when they’re engaged all the way through to their wedding day and beyond, so it’s really nice to see that progression,” he says.

Both companies moved to their 695-square-foot location at 653 South Ave. at the beginning of the year. Previously, both owners worked with a collaborative called Studio 180 in the St. Paul Quarter.

The South Wedge was a natural fit for them.

“I think this neighborhood really draws people into it,” Madison says. “We really wanted to focus on a neighborhood that had support from our fellow businesses.”

“I find that because it’s such a small-city feel, people really kind of know everything around here,” Meyers adds. “You know your politicians, you know your new restaurants; it’s such a tight-knit community. You can really get your name out there pretty quickly. Back in New Jersey, you were just a drop in the bucket.”

Clients benefit from having their photographer and florist in sync, Madison says.

“It’s beneficial in both ways for us and also for our clients,” he said. “It really gives them peace of mind. I talk with my clients and then I say ‘Lisa, whom I’ve worked with for years on many different occasions, does fantastic work.’ It lends credibility both ways.”

Meyers services 40 to 60 weddings a year, and Madison shoots 25 to 30 weddings annually with 3,000 to 4,000 photos taken at each event. Meyers has recently added a walk-in flower sales retail segment to her business, mimicking the feel of a New York City bodega.

“I think people hire florists and photographers based on a certain trust in the way their brain works,” Madison says. “There’s a certain amount of trust between you and your client where they have seen your past work and you’ve kind of felt out the way they think, and then they trust your judgment.”

Trust starts with both owners and extends to their clients, Meyers says.

“We work together a lot, which is great for our clients to come in and have us both here,” she says.

Small Business is a biweekly feature focusing on entrepreneurs. Send suggestions for future Small Business stories to Associate Editor Smriti Jacob at

5/2/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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