I feel extremely blessed to be able to do what I do. God has truly provided in all aspects of this business and it is amazing to look back and see the Lord’s hand in my story. My husband I are so thankful for all of our customers that make this dream possible. So here is a little info about how all of this got started!
I grew up immersed in plants and horticulture. My great grandpa was the original nursery man. He started Zelenka Nursery and my grandpa later took over. My dad was employed at Zelenka Nursery for over 20 years (through multiple ownership and name changes). My dad started his own small nursery business right out of college which is where my personal journey in the plant world began. I worked at his nursery for as long as I can remember- potting plants, weeding, spacing, fertilizing, loading trailers, going to farmers markets, and making sales. Along with the plant business, my grandpa and my dad are also in the blueberry business where I was able to see farming from a different perspective.
I graduated college with a degree in Spanish with a business minor. I worked in the retirement industry in Fort Wayne Indiana for a few years but knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. I wanted to get back to my roots both literally and figuratively. I was constantly looking for ways to do this. I redesigned the landscaping at my first home. I received my nursery dealers license and sold plants at a local farmer’s market. I helped friends with advice on their landscaping (I found out not everyone grew up working at a nursery). I tore out a landscaping bed on the side of my house and planted a garden even though I had limited space to work with. I had even completed a full landscaping job for my pastor down in Indiana.
So here I was- desiring a change but wondering what direction and what field (pun intended) I would end up in. I thought about blueberry farming, but was advised against it. Then one day the beginning of an idea came to me as I was selling plants at the farmers market in Indiana. I wanted to build a specialty greenhouse. I wanted to try my hand at growing flowers that you didn’t always see in the regular stores. I also wanted to do something with flowers- I just didn’t know what that would look like.
My sister came to town a while later. We sat in my yard and dream-weaved. She introduced me to literature on flower farming and I was hooked. I already had a name that I liked – Florista, like a barista but for flowers (It also helps that it means florist in Spanish). We dream-weaved about all the possibilities. We started praying for results and a property up in West Michigan. A few months later, the right property presented itself at the right time. Florista was officially started about 9 months later in April of 2019.
There is a lot of dream weaving still happening with Florista- but this is how we came to be. I am now a full-time mom and full-time plant lady. I hope you enjoy the products, designs, property, and parties Florista has to offer as we learn and grow.
Chief Flower Organizer
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