NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- If you have been on Long Island recently, you may have seen a vintage baby blue 1976 Ford pickup truck that is quickly becoming an iconic symbol of the Hometown Flower Collective.
Jaclyn Rutigliano is a third-generation florist, but hers is much different from the one her grandparents owned in Queens.
This is a florist on wheels that collaborates with local farmers.
"If you ask my husband if I liked getting flowers when we were dating I didn't too often, I didn't feel that I had a connection to flowers. I didn't love how they were designed. I wanted a little bit more and they didn't feel like me," Rutigliano told Joe Connolly in this week's Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank — "Community banking from Montauk to Manhattan." "So the opportunity that we saw was a connection to where your flowers come from."
Rutigliano said Debra Prinzing, founder of the Slow Flowers movement, opened up her eyes to how people should be connected to their local farmers.
"On Long Island, where there are a ton of different amazing florists, we saw an opportunity to break through to connect people to the flowers that grow nearby," she said.
Now, Rutigliano sources directly from these local growers.
By going mobile, Hometown Flower Collective brings customers access to flowers from all across the region.
But Rutigliano stresses they're not peddlers, but partners.
In addition to participating in special events from farmers markets to festivals, they're hosted by local businesses.
"We actually collaborate with local businesses where we park either in their private parking or street public parking, we have a beautiful parking spot, but then we actually pop up in their store so we're attracting new customers into these businesses, we walk them through, we explain that we're being hosted, and it's a win-win for us," she said.