Much of the inspiration behind starting Bronte’s Florals came from working with flowers as more than just centerpieces. My first moment when I realized what impact flowers could have was at age 17 --‘faking it til I made it’-- designing someone’s landscape. I spent the summer weeding, walking the aisles of nurseries, planting petunias, pruning lilacs, and driving past the house to water and fertilize those plants any time they might need it. In the moment, I probably didn’t like it as much as I remember, but at one point, the woman whose yard I had taken care of all summer told me that at the end of the day, she would sit in her garden and weep, because she at least had one beautiful thing in her life that she could sit with and feel at peace.
After that, I couldn’t imagine a career that would hold as much purpose for me in any other field. I dedicated my degree, every internship and summer job, and my career path to it.
Working at the Conservation Garden Park one summer, I found myself surrounded by a group of women who showed me how big life is. One taught yoga, one had worked on an organic vegetable farm where she learned to tell time by her shadow, one was a scientist, and one hiked from one border of the US to the other in a summer. Being around that diverse group made me feel that I could and should do anything I could dream up.
The greatest turning point was being taken on as a partner at Linnaea Farm Design. I lived on a one-acre flower farm in the Durango, Colorado valley. We grew flowers from seed, harvested them, and used them to create arrangements for destination weddings. Being part of every process of the flower business- creating a website, talking over pricing, consulting with brides, protecting the flowers from hail and voles, learning harvesting techniques, and, finally, designing the arrangements gave me a huge confidence that I could be a main player in the flower business.
Straight-from-the-farm designing taught me to use quirky things like raspberry buds in corsages, taught me that poppies last longest in a bouquet if you sear the ends, and taught me the secrets to sticking to a bride’s budget while still being able to make her flower vision come to life. After learning the ins and outs of being a farmer-florist I knew that I could go on to have my own business.
Eventually, I tried for a position at a larger company that I had had my eye on for a long time. I would be able to do marketing and inventory under a big brand name. Except for one question, I might have passed the interview: “Would I be willing to give up doing weddings under my own name?” I knew I couldn’t. I had grown to love too much being in each part of the process. It would have been a dreamy job indeed, but I couldn’t give up on my own dream that I’d started to realize in having my own wedding flower business.
The last hurdle was not without help from fellow florists and even the customer service team over Utah taxes. They pushed me to finally go through the process of getting my own business license, tax ID number, and wholesale account. Then, during the first weddings, and even still, they are quick to help answer questions like ‘how many bunches of douglas fir would you order for a wreath?’ and ‘do you know what type of garden rose would get me this exact color?’ and ‘can I have a price list of every flower so I can get the right combination to fit this look and budget?’ You get the hang of it eventually, but it’s far from a one-man show.
Though I’m no longer growing my own flowers for weddings, I take with me the confidence and skill from all my teachers along the way. Whether it’s a bouquet for a first look, or (my dream wedding) an extravagant event with a suspended floral installation and tall centerpieces, I am here to make your flower dreams come true.
Specific thanks to Orem Floral, Nannette York Floral, Linnaea Farm Design, Red Mountain, Conservation Garden Park and Central Utah Gardens, Wasatch Shadows, Freshly Bloomed, and my friends, family, and flower helpers who have trained, challenged, and encouraged me along the way.