Our Studio | 8 Stony Brook Avenue has been a creative space since the early 1900s. Hupmobile showcased the finest automobiles here. The folks that cared for the Ward Melville properties used the building as their hub. With a product design firm downstairs and a master hair designer next door, Sugar Magnolias has served as the building’s anchor for over twenty years.
The building faces south, which means it is sunny and flower loving, and our avenue is residential, so it’s quiet. Sugar Magnolias and all of us at #8 are grateful to be surrounded by many adoring, supportive neighbors!
Heidi Jo Lauber, Owner
Sugar Magnolias is the centerpiece of my existence. My life has revolved around the space and my brides for over twenty years. From the first day it has been about love and weddings and work that smells delicious. My home and my own true love are around the corner from my studio and my labrador retrievers have their favorite napping spots here. My parents live five minutes away, retired in the house I was raised in. My Dad visits almost daily to fix and support.
I’ve watched in wonder as the young girls I employ grow up and have weddings of their own. Now they are beautiful women, some with grown children, others raising their babies right here amidst the boxes of flowers and piles of green stems. I love when I can hear them playing with a discarded flower box on the grassy hill out front.
There is labor, and there is love. We work hard and long. We are true laborers. The flowers are temperamental; they have a short life span that needs prompting and prodding so they will peak, not before, not after, but only on that special day. There is a world market with prices that fluctuate, and summer heat, and trends. My clients are emotional as they begin their march towards married life. They need guidance and corralling and help prioritizing. There are budgets, venue logistics, and family dynamics. “Spend your money where your guests spend most of their time…”, I say over and over, “…your ideas can be tailored to fit your budget”. I love my couples, their mothers, their families. I love the fathers that sit quietly, so willing to let the wedding wave wash over them. And I love that there is love. I am honored to be a part of that love, never passing up the chance to watch as the vows are exchanged.
Flowers have been the way I express myself for almost forty years. My first job at eleven paid me $2.25 an hour. I can manage a staff, grout a tile floor, cook for twenty and mow my own lawn, but flowers are my love.
Kristen Macaulay | I am often introduced as Heidi's right and left hand. For twelve years she has been my boss, my friend and my mentor; it's an honor to work by her side.
I'm a bonafide details girl - anything that takes time and patience is my specialty. Whether carefully adding a piece of grandma's veil to the clutch of a bouquet, or foraging the best flower bits for the groom's boutonniere, I know ‘little things’ go a long way, and I make it my duty to think of them so our couples don’t have to.
So, what's it like to work in a flower shop? Well I can't tell you about most, but at Sugar Magnolias, it's always the best day ever. We chat and laugh and sing to great music on full blast. We eat yummy food. We gush over intoxicating blooms. It's also messy and exhausting and physical work, too.
My children are often in tow, and there is no greater joy than watching them experience what I love firsthand, and have them welcomed and encouraged to love, play and grow around flowers.
It's beautiful and wonderful way to work, and the love we have for what we do reflects in each and every wedding we complete.
Julie Remien | I began working for Heidi while I was in college, just a few years after she opened her shop. I had never worked with flowers before, but I quickly began learning and loving the beauty and art of what she did. I still love to see a bride so excited about her bouquet on her wedding day, that she is practically brought to tears...it never gets old.
I know that Heidi truly puts her love into every single piece she makes and I am always proud to set up a room, and watch it come to life with the beautiful arrangements she had created.
Over the years the flower shop has seen my joy, my tears, my peace, my sweat, my three children's playful faces, my love and so much more. It truly is an awesome place to work. Heidi has not only been a boss, but a true friend and I can honestly call myself a proud employee of Sugar Magnolias.
8 STONY BROOK AVENUE • STONY BROOK • NEW YORK • 1 1 7 9 0