7 months ago
Tucked away in the Black Hills of South Dakota, you will find Custer, a rural town with beautiful landscapes and clean air. Here, you will also find Jenny’s Floral, a homegrown floral business and the only flower shop for 45 miles.
Here at Fresh-o-Fair, we like to connect with local florists, which is why we spoke to Carrie Moore, the current owner of Jenny’s Floral, to get her opinions on the flower industry and farms. Please keep reading to learn more about her business and experience with flower wholesalers and farms.
The Business Behind Jenny’s Floral
Established in 1987, Jenny’s Floral has been in business for the past 35 years. Behind the helm is Carrie Moore, a florist who has been in the flower business for five years. She took over Jenny's Floral this year, her first solo endeavor.
Jenny's Floral hand-delivers custom floral arrangements and gift baskets for various occasions, as well as handles arrangements for events such as weddings and proms. Currently, Carries gets all her flowers from a wholesaler nearly 400 miles away.
Delivered twice a week, Carrie says she has never had any problems with the flowers. They are always well-packed and secure, with ice packs in the summer and heat packs in the winter. So when she gets them, the flowers are in pristine condition. If some are dehydrated, which can happen after a six-hour journey, Carrie rehydrates them, and they are back to their full glory.
During the day, the flowers are displayed in the store, and at night they go in the cooler. Her system is obviously working because many of her customers rave about her flowers, saying they get a lot of life out of them, which is every florist’s favorite thing to hear.
Working with Wholesalers and Flower Farms
Even though Jenny’s Floral has been around for over three decades, it's Carrie's first time running a business on her own. A year in, she has learned a great deal about the flower industry but feels she has a lot more to navigate.
Even though the previous owner occasionally brought directly from flower farms, Carrie hasn’t started but plans to as her business grows. She cites attending floriculture conferences as a strong influencer because they opened her eyes to a world of new, unique florals, many of which were unavailable through her wholesaler. That is one of the major drawbacks of working through a wholesaler. A florist has a limited selection to choose from. She agrees that working with a floral farm has many benefits. It allows her to have a more hands-on approach, with the ability to pick and choose from a wider selection so she can offer her clients something new.
Carrie knows that while traditional flowers like roses and carnations will never go out of style, she has seen the demand for the unexpected. When she sells unique florals like stargazer lilies or colored roses, they fly off the shelves within a few days, confirming her belief there is a market for the old and the new.
Sustainability in the Flower Industry
Carrie believes sustainability should be at the forefront of the industry, but as a small business owner in rural America, it can be challenging to keep it in focus. Custer is still behind in environmental consciousness, having just voted to start a recycling program that, according to Carrie, will take some to effect.
However, she does her part in every way she can. She pays close attention to the packaging she uses to deliver her arrangements and gift baskets to avoid unnecessary waste. And even though flowers are compostable, Carrie avoids wasting them as much as possible because resources are spent growing, packaging, and delivering them. So she only orders what she knows she can sell. For Carrie, it's about being mindful; if everyone takes care, they can make a difference.
A Message to the Flower Farms
Carrie wanted to thank the flower farmers. She was especially appreciative of their hard work during the pandemic. Those were trying times for everyone, but the growers kept working, allowing her business to survive. The flower industry is a passionate place where each person is as dedicated as the next, striving to achieve the same goal. Carrie is delighted to be a part of it.
Before we let her go, we had to know what flower was Carrie's favorite. This question turned out to be a tough one to answer! Her favorites changed with the season, but in the end, she had to go with ranunculus, a fine choice.
It is always exciting to talk to new florists like Carrie, who are as passionate as we are about sustainable floriculture. Here at Fresh-o-Fair, we aim to be environmentally conscious. We aim to provide our customers with fresh, long-lasting florals grown via eco-friendly, sustainable farming. If you are interested in our floral concierge services, contact us today for more information!