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Newhall business is blooming

Rooms & Blooms provides gift options

Posted: January 27, 2009 9:14 p.m.
Updated: January 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Rhonda Coleman organizes her topiary plants, one of the many decorative items available for sale at her boutique gift shop, Rooms & Blooms, in Newhall.

They don't deny the economy is tough on business, but husband and wife, Rhonda and Don Coleman, are thrilled about their new Rooms & Blooms gift shop location and the opportunities it provides.

The Colemans will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 23127 Lyons Ave.

The Colemans moved from their Valencia Boulevard location to the old-western style Golden Oak Pavilion strip on Lyons Avenue in late December.

"When we moved (to Santa Clarita), this was the hub. Lyons was 'the' street," she said. "But people left when they put new centers in, thinking they were following the money.

"Now it's like we're moving back to the core. But people are still here it's not like they all left. And the rent is much more affordable."

Lower rent means more affordable prices for their customers, Rhonda Coleman said.

The troubled economy has affected businesses, but the couple looks for ways to steer around it.

"It's tough and it seems everyone is afraid to admit it's tough," Rhonda Coleman said. "It's about persistence and hanging in there."

The Colemans said they try to curve their gifts to fit their customer's interests and needs.

"It's about figuring out what people buy the most of, about flexibility and reinventing yourself," Rhonda Coleman said.

The long-time Canyon Country residents tackled the business together for five years but Rhonda Coleman's gift shop experience dates back to the early 90s when the couple first moved to Santa Clarita.
While Santa Clarita was exploding with new home developments, she thought new homeowners like herself could benefit from a noncommercial gift shop.

She began with Full Bloom on McBean Parkway, where she mostly sold items like pine furniture, dried flowers and wreaths. From there she shifted to Rooms & Blooms on Valencia Boulevard, and that's where her husband, Don, joined her.

"I worked for a marketing firm that put together campaigns for retail record stores and they all went out of business," he said. "(Rhonda) already had the shop and I had the Web site going for her, so we merged and joined energies."

The couple enjoys working together although Rhonda joked that Don doesn't show as much enthusiasm for redecorating as her girlfriends do.

"But Donnie is a good finder. When we go to gift shows, he'll be out like a shark looking for stuff," she said.

Following the recent move to Lyons, the Colemans said they want to stay put.

The Golden Oak Pavilion location provides a quaint wooden porch, a more open floor, a dressing room and even a "Catholic Corner" where the couple will provide items such as baptismal gifts.

Along with jewelry, photo albums, custom-made topiaries and other gifts, the couple creates their own "Instant Attraction" magnet boards. The boards are made to hang with a ribbon and come with strong magnets.

Rhonda Coleman hand-paints most of the boards herself. Designs range from zebra-patterns, fairies, nature and floral prints, to music notes, crosses, peace signs and more.

Amy Montz, of Valencia, said she likes the "mom-and-pop feel" of the shop.

"It's just really comfortable. You feel welcome and they have great products," she said. "I met Rhonda when I moved here three years ago at her old store. (The new location) fits Rhonda really well with all its different elements. It fits her personality, she's very creative."

Montz, an interior decorator, will be available from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the store's open house to help people troubleshoot spots in their home for decorating.

She asks those who need help to bring pictures.

At the open house, the Colemans will provide drinks and snacks. The first 25 attendees will receive goodie bags. The store's Web site is


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