According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. What’s more, Utah has been credited as the most pro-small business state in America, thanks to our state’s pro-business initiatives and support systems. Each month, the Salt Lake Chamber will highlight a small business in Utah to emphasize its importance in our economy and encourage local support.

Thirty-six years ago, Marci Rasmussen moved into the Judge building on Main Street with little else except a dream: to open up a flower shop in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, the area she loved most. 

It wasn’t an easy start, though. Rasmussen worked nights at a local bar to make ends meet and closed the shop whenever she needed to make a delivery. She called a local flower supply company and asked if they would be interested in consigning. The worker, named Keith, said he admired her nerve and even asked Marci if she’d like to go on a date. She declined, saying she was too busy with her new business.

They’ve been married for over 33 years now.

“I always wanted to be in Salt Lake City on Main Street because that’s where all my fond memories were shopping and growing up,” Rasmussen said as she reflected upon over 30 years in business. “I love downtown. I live downtown. I met my husband here. This is my home.”

Rasmussen’s ties to downtown and commitment to the community have made Especially For You more than just a flower shop. For many of their customers, the shop is part of their lives, present for every big occasion.

“Being a small business gives us that personal feel of the classic mom-and-pop shop,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve done flowers for people who dated, then got married, had babies, then had those kids graduate. In times when flowers are a part of people’s lives, I’ve been able to share their joy and create beauty for them.”

And because Especially For You is a small business, Rasmussen has been able to run it exactly how she wants it to be run: community-focused, occasion-oriented and always, always custom made. 

“Every single thing that is ordered is custom designed at the time of the order. It’s unique and special to each occasion,” Rasmussen said.

That means no matter who or what they order, each floral arrangement receives personalized attention to detail. From Utah Jazz florals to corporate events to her son’s wedding, Rasmussen and her team always craft the perfect piece for each occasion. 

(Just like her, Marci’s son Dixon also met his life partner through the shop. He married Rasmussen’s employee, Natalie, and they recently celebrated their eight-year anniversary.)

Although they have since moved out of the Judge building, Especially For You is still happily located downtown and proud to represent the small business community of Utah. 

“Small businesses are so important to the community; they keep tax dollars local and make our city unique in so many ways,” Rasmussen said. “My vision has always been to be part of it and give back to the place I hold dear.”

Rasmussen considers herself lucky to be able to give back in so many ways, from the Food Bank Volunteers of America to the Repertory Dance Theatre. For as long as Especially For You has been in business, Rasmussen has been involved in the business community through the Salt Lake Chamber, Pioneer Park Coalition and however else she can help. 

“I’ve always wanted to provide a quality service and make a mark on our community,” Rasmussen remarked. “Flowers are a part of people’s lives, so I can be too.”

Especially For You, your downtown florist, is determined to offer a unique variety of premium flowers, plants, gourmet baskets and more to the Salt Lake Valley. Click here to support their small business.