Whether it is holding a door open or buying someone’s coffee, it is no secret that small acts of kindness can be some of the simplest ways to make someone’s day.
“I just thought what a nice thing to do,” Hilary Bateman told NBC 7.
Bateman is the owner of Little House of Flowers. It is a local, family-owned flower business with two locations in San Diego. One is near the University of San Diego and is a small, drive-up shop. The other is a brick-and-mortar store on Rosecrans Street in Point Loma.
“This little adventure started five years ago,” Bateman said. “I had no floral experience whatsoever.”
Bateman laughed and said the extent of her flower knowledge came from going to the farmer’s market in Ocean Beach, picking her favorite stems and putting them in a vase at home.
“I have always loved flowers and gardening,” she said. “My dad loved flowers, so I’ve always been surrounded by flowers but never thought it would be a career for me.”
Bateman shared with NBC 7 that her dad, who has passed away, used to buy flowers from local florists and take them to different people and places as a surprise.
“So, I think I really was inspired by him,” Bateman said.
She was inspired to not only to start a flower business, but also to pay it forward with acts of kindness.
“When we deliver flowers, everyone smiles,” she said. “If someone’s having a bad day and, you know, they’re outside and they see flowers, it’s just a very natural way to change your attitude.”
That’s part of the reason why, about one year ago, she and her team started placing one handcrafted bouquet with a “take me” note outside of their shop every Sunday afternoon.
“Maybe they’re taking their dog for a walk, maybe they’re on their break from work and they walk by and see a beautiful bouquet and it can make them feel better or make them smile,” Bateman said.
Some people who find the weekly bouquet tag Little House of Flowers about their discovery on Instagram, which is also mentioned on the ‘take me’ note, but not everyone does.
“Then we know who got it,” Bateman said. “Sometimes we don’t know. It’s just gone in the morning, but we know it got a home and hopefully it’s with somebody and making them smile.”
For Bateman, it is something she said makes her happy to do, because she has experienced times throughout her life when finding something like this would have made a big difference.
“I love giving back,” Bateman said, as she started to tear up. “When I started this [business] it was a hard time, so I made it through to the other side with flowers. It makes me feel good that I did it, and somebody else can too.”
Bateman has the help of her daughter in her Point Loma location, as well as manager and floral designer, Auburn Torres, among other team members.
“It’s a small thing that doesn’t take us any time, but if it makes a little difference to somebody, it’s worth it,” Bateman said.