Hello there, Lilygrass friends! This week I’m bringing you something special we haven’t done before. As with everything, we only really see our side of situations. This week we’re giving you some insight into the world of the floral industry through the eyes of our owner, Alicia Rankin! Enjoy!
Q: How long have you owned Lilygrass?
I bought the store in June of 2011.
Q: Why did you want to enter into the floral business?
I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life as a senior in high school. God told me to go apply at a local flower shop in my home town of mustang, OK. I said "sure, I like flowers". I started out as the delivery driver and then moved up the ladder and realized it was what I was supposed to do with my life.
Q: What is your favorite part of owning Lilygrass?
At the end of the day I can make the final decisions, and I can run the business the way I want to. I love my employees. They are my second family and i enjoy coming to work and seeing them!
Q: What’s the hardest thing?
Everything is on my shoulders - good or bad. You eat it, you drink it, you sleep it, you BREATHE it. Even if I get 300 hundred things done in one day, I still can think of 300 more I need to do the next day. Everything is my responsibility. THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT! HA!
Q: What inspires your creativity for the centerpieces and bouquets?
I draw my best inspiration from the flowers themselves. I also research people’s designs and get inspiration from their creativity and ideas, but I then manipulate them into my own. Sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants and whatever God guides my hands to design is what happen with the arrangements! And of course it is beautiful!
Q: What’s your favorite thing to design?
My favorite things to design are casket pieces. I have flexibility with the product choice because of the prices of the arrangements and can use more flowers and other things to create something for the deceased as a last farewell. I love capturing the person’s personality.
Q: What’s your least favorite thing to design?
Easel sprays are hard, because there is no direct source of water for the flowers. The design and shape are not the easiest to work with because of the lack of room in the foam. It restricts what I can design.
Q: Do you get to do much designing, or are you bogged down with clerical duties?
I do not get to design as much as I would like to, but I do still get to design. I find myself putting off office work as long as possible. I love being in the design room and surrounded by flowers. It is like my second home.
Q: What is your background with floral design?
I went to OSU-OKC from 2002-2004 and received my retail floristry certificate.
I have been involved in learning opportunities after that such as workshops and specific designing classes. I have also worked at multiple shops and have seen different designing styles and techniques that I have incorporated into my own style. I have been in the industry since 2001.
Q: Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? Did you ever have other professional aspirations?
I will be in the floral industry for the rest of my life. I had desires to be a hair designer, but my mom told me I couldn't, because I would be on my feet 24/7. I also had aspirations to become an interior designer but when i foud out that I would need to understand different cultures and history, it went over my head. Now, looking back at it all, those careers involve some kind of design, so all along I was meant to be a designer. I just didn't know what kind of designer until God ushered me into the floral industry.
Q: What is your dream for Lilygrass? Do you want it to become a huge floral chain with shops all over the US?
Oh HECK NO!
Triple heck no! Lilygrass will be a one store only, because I like to see that all aspects of the shop are run to my standards, and if I had more than one store my business would not be personable. I like that I know my customers on a name-to-name basis and care for them. If I know who they are that just helps to make their order that much better. Chain businesses only care about bottom lines. I care about more than bottom lines.
Q: If you could tell all of your customers one thing, what would it be?
Thank you for supporting me and my family. The floral industry is a dying trade, so I am forever grateful for my customers thinking of us instead of going to big box stores. I would thank them for shopping local and supporting small business. It means the world to me, my family, and my employees!
So, there you have it, friends! Shop local, support small business, and feel the personable experience Alicia has to offer! Come on in and see us today! Thank you!
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