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Peggy McAtamney, Four Finches Flowers & Gifts

When Sarah Wright sold Four Finches, it was to Peggy, her employee and biggest fan

· Gifts n Collectibles,Plants

Tell us about yourself and your business! What do you do or sell?

Four Finches specializes in creating custom floral designs for any occasion, from single arrangements to weddings. We also have unique gifts, antiques and a line of luxurious soaps, lotions and fragrances from Provence.

Four Finches Flowers & Gifts

1320 Sherman Ave., Studio 105
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-4836
fourfinches [at] att.net

Why did you start this business? If you were a superhero, what would your origin story be?

I purchased the business from my previous employer, Sarah Wright. I had worked for Sarah for close to three years, and when she and her husband decided to move to New York she afforded me the opportunity to buy the shop. And I jumped on it! I wanted Four Finches to carry on with the same ambience, gracious customer service and floral style that our loyal customers had come to expect over the last eight years.

I came from Planet Restaurants, where my powers of multi-tasking, ability to lose sleep and be on my feet for hours at a time were granted to me. But I was also was fortunate enough to be transported to the magical world of flowers, a place I never want to leave!

What's the story behind the name of your business?

Sarah actually had four finches who lived in a beautiful antique birdcage in the shop.

Tell us the story of selecting your location.

The location definitely chose me!

Peggy's story from an announcement about new ownership:

A little birdie may have told you that Four Finches had been sold. It was--to me. Just as many of you were, I too was hooked the moment I walked in and realized there was something wonderful prepared for me, for all that enter. I stalked and hounded Sarah to hire me, and lo and behold she did! Fast forward almost three years and it is my honor now to own the shop. When Sarah made the decision to relocate to New York, and we talked about passing on ownership, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to buy it. I didn't want anyone else to have it, to change it--to do anything that would take away from the magic that Sarah had created. I will do my utmost to keep that magic, and to try to earn the same respect that we all have for Sarah. She will be a tough act to follow, I don't envy me! Only I now know whether or not she ever slept!

What sets your business apart from others that sell the same products?

We try to feature items that are not found in area shops. We also have a more eclectic style of merchandising our products in such a fashion that our customers come into the shop and know they have come to a very special place.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business?

Aside from the behind the scenes responsibilities (learn how to use Quickbooks!), to know that you are providing a service to your customers--the key word is service. Great customer service is the benchmark of any successful business.

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