Like mother, like daughter

Published 7:00 am Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mothers are unlike any friend you make throughout your life.

It’s something I’ve come to realize since I’ve grown up, moved back to Natchez after college, and started life as an adult.

My mother became more than the person I go to when I’m sick or the person I ask for permission when making plans. She’s become the person I call to catch up on the day, the one I bother when I’m bored and need a project, and the one I prefer to spend my free time with.

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In downtown Natchez, Bethany Zerby has the pleasure of spending each day working alongside her mother, Brenda, at Moreton’s Flowerland.

“Moreton’s has a long history in Natchez,” Bethany shared. “The Moreton family started it in 1948. My dad interned under Mr. Moreton for a year, and then bought it from him. My parents married and moved to Natchez from Ohio on their honeymoon in 1973.”

In the beginning, Bethany’s dad was the floral designer and Brenda did the bookkeeping for the business. After some time and design classes, Brenda started working with the designs.

“The shop was originally at the corner of Main and Canal,” Bethany said. “When I was six years old, they moved to where we are now.”

Now that Bethany is a part of the daily business, she works closely with her mother in all aspects of the shop.

“She has taught me so much about this business, but there are two things that I keep coming back to,” she explained. “The first thing is creating and forming relationships with our customers — from knowing their favorite flowers, to what design styles they like, to who their family is. It’s all about those relationships. There are many times when the customer places an order that they say, ‘Brenda knows what I like,’ and she always does.

“The other thing is the details and taking that little extra effort to make all the difference. Her ability to take someone’s pictures, thoughts, and ideas and make them into exactly what they want is truly unbelievable and something that I hope to be able to do one day. That is why I ask her to do wedding appointments with me. I just listen to her descriptions, and then later when the bride sees the bouquet, she says that is exactly what I wanted.”

Learning to create the beautiful designs that come out of Moreton’s each day is a treat for anyone who gets to enjoy them.

“I feel that florists are artists,” Bethany said. “Our medium just happens to be living. I love that. There are so many textures in nature, and we have the privilege of being able to put them together to create a beautiful design to help our customers express how they feel.

“From our wholesalers,