BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, today recognized outstanding Alabama retailers representing 12 retail businesses with operations in 72 Alabama cities and 31 states as Retailers of the Year. The 12 winning Retailers of the Year were chosen from almost 50 nominees. The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2013 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 14th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Dorothy S. McDaniel, author and president of Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market in Homewood, earned the Silver Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. McDaniel was nominated for the award by both the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Homewood Chamber of Commerce. The Alabama Retailer of the Year judges commended the 35-year-old business for its longevity and its “good business numbers.” The market more than doubled its growth rate from its 2012 to 2013 fiscal years, according to McDaniel’s Retailer of the Year entry.
The store’s emphasis is on daily arrangements, weddings, events and stationery. The Retailer of Year judges especially liked the flower market’s Do It Yourself bridal concept, which allows brides to fashion their own arrangements in containers they bring or buy from the store.
Dorothy McDaniel, a college teacher who made flower arrangements for her friends, moved “her love of her friends and for flowers into the marketplace,” turning her avocation into a vocation, said the Birmingham Business Alliance’s Victor Brown who nominated McDaniel. Tricia Ford, the Homewood chamber executive, said, “Dorothy McDaniel began her business in Homewood in the mid-seventies with a Pepsi cooler filled with flowers and a will to succeed. She has built her company into one of the best in the floral industry.”
McDaniel has been recognized as Birmingham’s Best Florist seven different years and was selected as the Women’s Committee of 100’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009.
She shares her knowledge by educating her customers through newsletters and after-hours arranging classes. She also is the author of two books, “Flowers” and “Dorothy’s Simply Beautiful Flowers.”
McDaniel’s sharing spirit also extends to the community. She is on the board of Opera Birmingham, is a member of the Women’s Committee of 100 and has been an adviser to a flower ministry. McDaniel donates $1 for every clear flower vase customers return to the store to Children’s of Alabama. “You would be hard pressed to find a small business that does more for the community than Dorothy McDaniel does,” John D. Jones, general director of Opera Birmingham said in a letter in support of McDaniel’s nomination.
Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, a Birmingham law firm that was McDaniel’s first corporate account, said the highlight of their football brunch at “The Club” is taking the centerpieces designed by McDaniel to local nursing homes on Sunday morning. “Dorothy puts smiles on the faces of many people who have not received flowers in years,” according the firms’ letter of support for McDaniel.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Dorothy McDaniel is a retailer of the year EVERY year to her customers, her 22 employees and the Homewood and Birmingham communities.”