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The story of Mills Floral Company mirrors the basic American belief that hard work and a little luck will take you as far as your dreams will allow. Linda and Phil Mills started Mills Floral Company in the basement of their Duluth, GA, home almost 23 years ago. In the beginning, they specialized in dried and preserved florals and unusual botanicals. And, while those products are still basic to the Mills Floral product mix, the company has expanded into artificial florals and pre-made arrangements. The company is among the fastest growing floral and home accessory suppliers in the United States. In the early days, dating back to 1978, they waded in farm ponds for lotus pods and made their own grapevine wreaths. They spent long hours making items to sell at local craft fairs. By the fall of 1987, they decided to try craft shows on a full-time basis. The result was a back-breaking schedule of 42 craft shows in 1988 - often two on the same weekend. Over and over again they heard exhibitors talk about the difficulty of finding quality dried flowers. High minimum orders, long shipping delays and poor quality products were the norm in many areas of the country, not the exception. So in the summer of 1988, they tried selling a few dried flowers on a wholesale basis. The future was set. The company was incorporated in 1989 and they moved out of their basement into a small warehouse. Then in 1993, they moved into their current office/warehouse facility. Today, the company exhibits in gift and trade shows in Atlanta and New York, other major cities. Orders can be placed 24/7 via the internet, email or fax. Products are shipped worldwide. By the summer of 1996, market demand led them to add a full line of finished floral designs and arrangements. More than 600 different items are now available from this family-owned and operated company. For almost 23 years, Mills Floral Company has built a strong and loyal customer base from among crafters, gift shops, florists, interior designers, potpourri and candle manufacturers, catalog companies, large chain stores and many others. And, today this company is still owned by the same two people who have never forgotten those long basement days (nights).