79 year-old Quitman woman keeps business afloat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

79 year-old Quitman woman keeps business afloat

By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

October 20, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -  To 79 year-old Deweece Blair, her flower shop is everything.

"I just enjoy working. Everybody asked me why I don't retire. But I lost my husband two years ago so I have nothing to stay home for. So I like working and I'm going to continue to work as long as my health will let me," Blair says.

The self-taught business woman has owned Blair's Flowers and Gifts in downtown Quitman for nearly three decades.

It was a business that flourished, until this year.

"It's gone down hill really bad.  Really bad.  It's not good at all.  Even for funerals.  I use to stay up to midnight working on flowers for funerals. Now, I'm lucky if I have something to run me half a day."

And lately, she's worked harder then ever.  With a struggling economy, Deweece is forced to run the entire business on her own.

She had to lay off her full time help.  Now, she takes orders, organizes arrangements and even shuts down her shop to make deliveries.

"I don't like doing it but I don't have a choice right now. It's either doing that or I might not survive. And I want to survive," Blair says.

She says closing these doors isn't an option.

"All my children are gone. I have no one at home but myself and so it's more fun working and doing something then staying home and complaining and thinking about myself. Thinking about other people is more fun."

More fun because this flower shop helps keep her golden years bright.

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