Inspirational Stories From Real Florists
We surveyed florists all over the world and gathered our Top 6 floral inspirational stories. It was not an easy task and we thank everyone who participated. So, with the busy Mother’s Day now over, why not grab yourself a cup of coffee, your favorite snack and take a moment to read these real florists short stories.
My Grandmother And Her Garden – Tarah
Every summer at Gramma’s house all my life has been full of ‘Purdy Flowers’ – as she pronounces it. Not a single corner of her yard is without a flowerbed and there are always hummingbirds and songbirds from dawn till dusk.
Every summer has always lead up to fair time. Gramma has competed in the local fairs for decades. I must add that Gramma almost always takes home Grand Champion prizes in every department she enters; crochet, canned goods, baked goods, photography, poultry, rabbits, goats, potted plants, vegetables, and my very favorite… cut flowers and floral arrangements! (she competes in the expert division). I just loved going out in the morning the day the flowers had to be entered and searching for the prettiest most uniform blossoms of each variety, cutting them in threes (for the holy trinity she said) and filling her kitchen with every kind of flower you could imagine surviving in Montana.
We filled jars and cups by the dozens with special cut flower elixir she made with soda pop, picked the best of every category for the cut flower division and prepared them for fair.
Then the fun part, bouquet making! All of the flowers left that had been cut that morning (Gramma calls them the ‘reject flowers’) went into our bouquets, we got to use the pretty little vases she keeps in her curio cabinet for these.
Every year Gramma would set aside a beautiful old Victorian boot shaped porcelain vase, I’d always make a monochromatic arrangement with it in pink just specifically so I can put her chenille flowers into cascade down the side of the boot. One of Gramma’s favorite flowers is a petunia so there are always plenty in any pink or purple, double or single. We’d always make an ‘arrangement in white’ in her milk glass and hobnob vases, a great place for lots and lots of her adorable feverfew flowers! We had so much fun making our little bouquets, it’s always a day full of laughter!
By far my fondest summer memories are during fair time with Gramma; spending the day playing with flowers and eating the ‘reject cookies’ that didn’t make the cut for fair.
She is my hero, my favorite person in the whole world, such an inspiration in every way in every part of my life. My little shop features many of her handcrafted treasures from her crochet work and beaded jewelry to her fresh baked goodies, and her canned jams and pickles (everyone loves these pickles!)
The biggest drawback to my shop ironically is that for the last handful of years since I opened I haven’t been out at my Gramma’s making bouquets in her kitchen for the fair…. So, I want to thank you for you’re putting this survey in your newsletter. I needed to remember why I wanted a shop in the first place, who’s garden started this. I think I’ll make a bouquet and take it to my Gramma’s and get our fair schedule set for this summer.
Designers Choice – Harlins Renaissance -Shinese Harlins, Owner
I started my business at the moment in my life where a choice had to be made. I was laid off from a job. No money, no choices – so I took my savings and went to Phil Rulloda Floral University and received my floral certificate.
It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Being a florist allow me to use my creativity side. There is no color line – just balance, and harmony. I love when a customer loves the outcome. They come back. And when they say “designers choice”, my heart skips a beat!
Flowers Touch Lives – Val Voigt- Detroit Lakes Floral
A young man calls and would like to know prices on roses. He is going to bring his girlfriend some flowers. He places an order to be picked up. He arrives at the flower shop. He is so excited to bring his girl some beautiful roses.
In two weeks, he calls again and places another order for roses. He arrives at the flower shop. This time I ask him what is the name of this special girl? He smiles from ear to ear and tells me her name and how they met. She loved the first order of roses and now he says she will be very surprised and happy with the second order. He thanks me over and over for our service and says he will be back in two more weeks for some more roses.
That’s why I love the floral business. It touches people’s lives. We meet people and get the privilege of being a part of special events and moments in time.
My Dream – Cynthia Dearnbarger – Flourish Flowers & Gifts, Old Town, Lewisville, TX
A dream in the making….
Years and years ago, I dreamed of opening a flower shop. I had completely forgotten about that dream, so many other things had taken priority and it was gone. Recently I have begun to dream again. God brought back this specific dream!
I am currently in the process of opening a storefront! The building is under construction and we are currently at our local farmers market, getting our name out to the community! Our hope is to bring life, love, compassion and hope to every person who gets an arrangement, bouquet or gift!
Love Conquers All – Cheryl Bakin-Parkway Florist
I was hired as an after-school high school helper during my junior year in high school. Because of the values instilled in me by my Dad, I knew that I had to be on time, and do my very best each day. I walked to the flower shop, which was inside the first Indoor shopping mall in the Pittsburgh area.
My boss was an older lady who was impressed that I showed each day on time, and tried to do and get done everything she assigned me to do. She kept me on after the Christmas holiday and began to teach me things, bow making, botanical, common names of flowers and plants and many other items large and small.
She instilled in me (or maybe brought out in me) a love for the beauty of flowers, and a desire to help others realize their dreams thru weddings, pretty everyday bouquets, and funerals. She taught me that education was very important, and to try to think out of the box.
After leaving the flower business at age 19, and going to work for corporate America for the next 20 years, I still kept my hand in the flower business and attempted to gain all the education — both flower and business — that I could. In 1987, I bought my flower shop. October 2017 will record a 30-year milestone of shop ownership.
That early training, as well as the fulfillment of my own dream of owning my own business, has helped me to mentor other people and get them onto a path where they can fulfill their dreams. Sometimes it is thru educational opportunities; Sometimes thru mentoring and being a good listener; sometimes it is being a trainer…….or just a role model.
In all cases, I try to always remember what my Dad and my first flower shop boss taught me……..”Kindness never goes out of fashion. Lead by example. Listen to all comments and critics. Be hardworking in all areas of your life, and you will succeed. And finally, Love conquers All”.
A Final Goodbye – anonymous
During my late teens, I had a Yorkie that meant the world to me. After a couple of years, I was forced to give my beloved dog up due to family members allergy. A family friend had found a good home for him in town about 40 minutes away from where I resided. I was, to say the least, devastated and would have done anything and everything to keep him. As time went on and now me in my mid 20’s, already set in my floral career I often thought of ways to kidnap my beloved dog from the family I gave him too. The issue here was I only knew what town he was in and not so much the house. I knew how irrational it was to try to kidnap my dog back, however, I just never felt a sense of closure or like I said goodbye.
As years passed I never let go of the awful sadness of giving my dog away. Although the sadness was not as profound, it was always with me and made me feel like I failed him. After 10 years in the floral industry, I decided to open my floral business and was super excited to finally be a flower shop owner. This was a great and overwhelming time in my life, I was very busy and focused.
Much to my surprise, I was also getting many bookings for weddings and one in particular which was referred by a customer. This customer was booking flowers for her daughter’s upcoming wedding in June. After 6 months or so her daughter’s wedding was finally here. I sent off the delivery driver to deliver the reception floral centerpieces and went to deliver the floral bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres to the bride who was at her mom’s house for pictures. Upon arriving I had, which was hard to explain a very airy feeling. I could not put my finger on it at this time. I was invited in and asked to stay and eat something. Which I did, not sure why, most of the time I just want to deliver the flowers and get out as fast as possible, but something kept me there.
After many conversations, the bride’s mother mentioned she had a lab who was at the groomers, then she proceeded to say she used to have a Yorkie who had passed a few years back. At this moment it all came together for me. This was the family that took my beloved dog, Crazy, I know but I felt it way deep inside. I asked her where she got the Yorkie, “from a young girl who had family member that was allergic.” She then proceeded to take me into her bedroom to show me my beloved dogs ashes in a beautiful box which sat on her nightstand. At that moment she handed me the ashes and said this is him. I tried hard to hold back my tears I could finally say goodbye to my beloved dog. I realized then he was so dearly loved and had family and no longer felt as if I had failed him or was a failure.
The lesson it taught me was that not all decisions in life are ones we make, good or bad. The floral industry allowed me to mend my broken heart and finally say goodbye to my doggy. It definitely is a small world, and shows me that nothing happens by chance.
Florists, do you have an inspirational story to tell? What keeps you in the floral industry? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!
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