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The Front Porch –

So Much More than Just a Flower Shop

story by Callie Clark
photos by Rey of Light

Take the Logandale exit on I-15, drive past the alfalfa fields, homes, and a few churches until you get to downtown Overton. Once there, you will find the auto parts store, the two hardware stores, the grocery store, an ice cream shop, a boarded-up old-time movie theatre, and several other small businesses. Look to your right, and you can’t miss The Front Porch with its white picket fence and beautiful window displays. Owned by Charlene Udall, The Front Porch is a quaint little shop filled to the brim with gifts, antique furnishings, cards, Moapa Valley High School Pirate gear, decorations, and of course, fresh flowers.

The Front Porch is located in a building with a rich history in and of itself. Once owned by Lee Bishop, it has been a library, an annex to the auto parts store, a place for the Boys’ Club to meet, and a flower shop. At one time, it housed a Christmas shop in the basement.

In 2012, Charlene Udall could not shake the feeling that she was somehow being drawn to the flower shop. She was initially very wary because she had no experience in retail or the floral design business. But the feeling just would not go away, so she applied for a business license in November of that year, and the ride began.

When she took over, the store needed a major overhaul. She loved the historic feel of the place, so she worked hard not to modernize the look. A fresh paint job and new creative displays brightened the interior. One thing that stayed the same was the floor. “I love the way it creaks when you walk across the floor. It gives you that old-fashioned corner store feeling,” said Udall. It also needed a name. Char’s Flower Shoppe was considered, but Udall wanted people know it was so much more than just a flower shop. She wanted people to feel welcome and comfortable as they entered, kind of like enjoying a beautiful spring day on someone’s front porch. And the name stuck.

Even though she had no floral design experience, she was determined to make this dream a reality. She and a few close friends took floral design courses, and on May 14, 2013, the first orders went out the door. From Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day, Senior Prom and birthdays, from weddings to other special occasions, Charlene and her staff will see to it you get just the right flowers to make the day especially beautiful.

When people walk in the front door for the first time, they are generally amazed at all the different displays and items in the store. It is not uncommon to hear someone remark, “Oh, my gosh! I can’t believe what you have here!” A lot of them tell Udall it is the cutest store in town and they can’t wait to tell their friends and relatives. “I love serving people, and always dreamed of owning a service-oriented business,” says Udall.

When asked what one of the most meaningful aspects of the business is, Udall explains, “Meeting with people and sharing their experiences when they have lost a loved one is a sacred experience. Helping them know what to order, being able to offer a little comfort, and hearing their stories make this part of the business very special.”

She is the go-to florist for Cactus and Lace Weddings owned and operated by Rachel Garcia and Lory Fabbi. Cactus and Lace Weddings, with Reyanna Jarrel, do exclusive, elegant elopements and fun stuff other wedding designers and photographers don’t. They are one of only twenty companies licensed to do photos in Valley of Fire State Park.

During the Christmas season, The Front Porch sets up Santa’s Mailbox. When kids bring their letters to The Porch and drop them in Santa’s post office box, they get a candy cane and the promise that Santa will answer their letter. Udall says that every single letter to Santa is answered personally.

Udall is an enthusiastic supporter of Moapa Valley High School. She designed Pirate’s Corner and now sells a wide variety of Pirate items. She even has a backdrop for selfies that can be changed to match the seasons.

She can special order anything out of the Ringmaster’s catalog, and there is a large selection of LDS jewelry as well.

When you enter the store through the white picket fence, you will be greeted by a cheery, “Hi, welcome to The Front Porch!” You will see a sign at the back of the store by the floral case that says, The Earth Laughs in Flowers. Come on in. Browse a while. And be sure to come back soon.

Visit their website at thefrontporchflowers.com. Order online at overtonflowers.com. Mention thier ad in this issue of View On Magazine for 20% off.

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