After dealing with the loss of loved ones, three women wanted to preserve keepsake items to remember their loved ones.
The women had two main things in common in their quest to have something that they can cherish forever: They chose to do business with The Flower Patch Preservations and they were disappointed with the results.
Morgan Johnson lost her brother in December of 2021 and she wanted to preserve flowers from his funeral. She said the florist in Gonzales she normally uses was out of town so she decided to look for someone else to do the job.
Johnson said someone referred Alexis Carroll, who runs The Flower Patch, to preserve the flowers.
“She gave me a funny feeling when I met her,” Johnson said. “She didn’t seem to enjoy what she does. I saved all of our text messages because I wanted to make sure I kept up with them just in case.”
Johnson brought the flowers to Carroll in December and also paid for the flowers up front, which was $100.
Carroll told Johnson her flowers would be done in June, but that wasn’t the case.
“I texted her three times on June 27,” Johnson recalled. “She responded she was going through some things and it would be a little longer. On July 6, she said we would get it next week. On July 18 it wasn’t ready.”
Johnson shared a post on Facebook about her experience and the post prompted others to share their similar experiences with Carroll.
“This girl has ripped off so many people,” Johnson said. “I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m only out of $100. Some people are out of $800.
On July 20, Johnson picked up her flowers from Carroll but she had not completed the job. Johnson did not get a refund.
A customer who wanted to remain anonymous shared her story with Unfiltered with Kiran.
The victim’s father died in December 2021 and she brought her items to Carroll on December 18, 2021. She paid $300 upfront for Carroll’s services. The woman said she ordered a shadow box with flowers, prayer cards, a handwritten letter from her father, and a picture of her and dad when she was little.
“I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, so there aren’t many pictures of me and my dad from when I was little,” she said.
The projects typically take several months to complete, which include the tedious process of drying the flowers. The woman said she was told several different times when her keepsakes would be ready for pick up but it never happened.
“Since February it’s been off and on,” the customer said. “She kept saying it’ll be done soon. She (Carroll) always has an excuse and it’s always a lie. How can she do this to people especially in a vulnerable state like this after losing a loved one?”
Fed up with what was going on, the woman’s husband went to pick up the items. The shadow box was done but not the dome she ordered.
“The quality was subpar for sure,” she said. “Judging by the flowers, it does not look like the white rose I gave her, which is very upsetting. What upsets me most about this whole experience is when I look at these ‘keepsakes’ in the future, I’m not going to remember the good memories of my dad. All I’m going to remember is the hell this girl had put me through over the last eight months.”
Stephanie Lambert, her aunt, and others in her family placed five separate orders with the Flower Patch in December 2021.
The group paid in full before dropping the items off a couple of days later. The order total was $981, which included flowers, domes, shadowboxes, bracelets, and rosaries.
As time passed, Lambert said her mother warned her that they may have been scammed.
“My mom called and told me we may have been scammed out of our money because Alexis stopped returning their calls,” she said.
After reaching out to Carroll several times starting on July 17 and 18, Lambert went with Johnson to Carroll’s home to get their keepsake items
“She said she would give us a refund and give us our stuff,” Lambert said.
Carroll told Lambert she finished the shadowboxes and she dried the flowers. Her rate is $20.50 per dried flower and she counted 40 flowers in Lambert’s order so that totaled $820.
She didn’t get some of her flowers back because Carroll said some of them didn’t make it through the drying process.
“She may not have intended for it to go this way but there was zero professional communication whatsoever,” she said. “It’s almost like you feel the loss all over again. You don’t know if you’ll get your stuff back in the condition you sent it.”
In a phone interview with Unfiltered with Kiran, Carroll sounded broken saying she had been going through several personal issues that aided in the delayed orders.
“I’ve been going through some things,” she said. “I’m trying to get my health back on track.”
She mentioned the pandemic had a negative effect on her business and her ability to get certain materials.
“When covid hit, it was just a mess,” she said. “Materials are hard to get ever since covid. This year has been worse than 2020.”
The business originally started with her grandmother and was called Keepsake Flowers by Sheila. Carroll took it over.
She explained it can take 6-8 months to set the flowers. She said she did explain this to the customers up front.
She mentioned that she’s still swamped with orders but she would be reaching out to her customers to apologize.
“I’m going to let everyone know sorry it’s taken so long,” she said. “I’m going to give them their flowers back and not charge them if I haven’t gotten to their orders. Some people, if their orders are finished, I’m getting them to them and refunded their money. I really am trying to make this right.”