Cynthia Baranski, owner of Marylu’s Flowers and Gifts and Thee Wedding Center
Cynthia Baranski, founder and owner of Marylu’s Flowers and Gifts and Thee Wedding Center is often asked what her secret is when it comes to her stunning floral arrangements and her successful wedding consultation businesses.
According to her, from the time she was a child she had a love of beautiful things, including interior décor and floral design. That love of beautiful things was nurtured when she moved to New York as a young adult and was able to attend the many art and design museums there. Many of her ideas, even today, go back to the great works of art she studied. Once she returned to the Rio Grande, she attended every floral workshop she could and after that she studied floral design with Ralph Newell of Oklahoma University. Even then, her education was not complete, and she worked with an international award-winning designer on the West Coast, who introduced her to floral design styles and materials rarely seen here in the Valley. She still keeps in touch with him to this day. When pressed to give the identity of this designer, she jokes that this is a “trade secret”, but the certificates and diplomas found on her shop walls might lend some clues.
Her business acumen, she says, comes from her father. He was a broker for a major produce company here in the Rio Grande Valley, and would often bring home surplus produce. Cynthia would attractively package the produce and then sell it to her neighbors. She credits her dad’s early sales advice with many strategies that she still uses to provide win-win solutions to her customers today.
When it comes to floral design, Cynthia personally trains each of her associate designers in the same way she was trained. As a result they can produce any style of arrangement, from traditional, to natural, to highly innovative and contemporary. Her favorite style is Ikebana, an Asian design approach that combines exotic tropical flowers with accessories made from natural organic materials, such as decorative birds created from palm leaves.
In 1996 Cynthia took the plunge and started selling floral arrangements out of her one-bedroom apartment. In 1997 she took over a friend’s shop on Pecan and 12th in McAllen, named Marylu’s. The name Marylu’s is short for Maria Guadalupe, the virgin mother who appeared in Mexico in 1531. With its rising popularity, Marylu’s moved one more time in 2000 to its current location at the corner of Hackberry and 10th in McAllen.
Recently, the wildly successfully Thee Wedding Center was opened on the same corner. Thee Wedding Center is a full service wedding consultation center where brides and their families can access all the services they need for their wedding, including a small wedding chapel.
We just wanted to thank you for providing such beatuful flowers. They were exaclty what we wanted. Sarah
My flowers were so beautiful, words cannot begin to express what a privalege it has been working with you. Thank You! Katy
Thank you so much for our flower arrangements. It was like you truly knew me. Everything look so beautiful. Krystal
Once again, thank you so much for our flowers they were perfect. Everyone loved them, you made my special day a perfect day! Kim
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Recommended by 95% of couples
Maira · Married on 03/28/2015
If you are a bride that is wanting to have a breathtaking, fairytale, wedding, , , Where your Arrangements will be Absolutely GORGGggeous , and everyone compliments you Still!!! ,, Even After your wedding,, TRUST me This is your place! Cynthia sat down with us , and instantly we were impressed with her work. She first analyses you and finds what Type of Bride YOU are and then narrows you down to what type of arrangements that are what you are looking for. This makes it very personal because she customizes your flowers and its very unique. Usually other florist try to sell you what they have or kinda pull you to like their work. This demonstrated me how well experienced she is. Shes very knowledgeable with the whole wedding process, and if you also want recommendations on other vendors, she has very good taste and directs you to other professional vendors, very helpful for a lost bride like I was. My wedding flower arrangements were absolutely stunning. I LOVED my bouquet, omg, Our table , ahh stunning, The church! oh heavenly, everything was very impressive, and delicately, decorated. Cynthia is the BEST. I know a lot of brides that have gotten their wedding decorated by Cynthia and they all speak very highly of their wedding arrangements and how they've all received high quality customer service. (and others who paid florists top dollars but have all kinds of disaster stories) I highly recommend her to every future bride, who is looking to have a wedding where everything will look exquisite, and you enjoy it because everything looks AMAZING! Thank You Cynthia! We are grateful for your beautiful work, and look forward to hiring you for our next special hopefully very soon occasion! :)Sent on 08/07/2015
Keirsten · Married on 12/27/2014
Cynthia was incredibly nice. Loved working with her.Sent on 12/31/2014
User4679576 · 2+ years ago
We had a very good service it was very professional. We enjoy working with our florist, we loved our flower arrangements our wedding venue look beautiful.Sent on 01/09/2015