Oh my goodness! What a night! It was quite a surprise when my husband walked out onto the stage at the Cirque de Soiree Annual Recognition Banquet at the Great Lakes Floral Expo!  It actually took me a few paragraphs until I realized what in the world was going on. This was my face…

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My handsome husband was in Grand Rapids, MI…. But he was supposed to be at home with our 2 year old son, Cooper!  But he was up on stage and telling the story of my career! Cue the tears…. Please check out his amazing speech below!

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I’m honored to be the presenter of the Certified Florist of the Year Award for 2017.  You might be asking what qualifications I have to be the presenter, and the answer is, I have none, but the reason I’m up here will soon be revealed.

This year’s winner got her start in Sylvania, OH around 1995.  During this time, our recipient happened to be in the fifth grade and she and a group of friends started their very own bead business.  Designs ranged from bracelets, to necklaces, to…. Well that’s pretty much it but you get the point.  This year’s winner was such a savvy business owner that she wouldn’t even allow her partners to spend their earnings on ice cream.  I’m going to assume that she instead suggested that they should invest their money into retirement savings, to which Emily and Rachel probably replied, “What’s a four-oh-wonk?”

Once the bead business fizzled out, our winner moved on to typical teenage jobs like babysitting, taking care of a family friend’s horse, Central Tennis Club, and Subway.  The last job continues to put a strain on her marriage since she can no longer stand the smell of that eating establishment.  During her high school years, our award winner would spend some spare time around the major flower holidays working at Schramm’s Flowers and Gifts in Toledo, Ohio, which was owned by her best friend’s parents.  Perhaps it was at this time that she was bitten by the flower bug and she and her friend decided to enroll in a floral design class at her high school.  There must have been some type of bait-and-switch scheme going on at the time because the floral design class turned into general horticulture without them knowing.  Our recipient and her friend Emily were known as the intelligent, well-behaved students who would study and get their work done.  This quickly put them into the good graces of Mr. Fredrick, which allowed them such perks as leaving school to go get Burger King breakfast croissant-wiches.

Her love for floral design continued on to Ohio State University, but since there wasn’t a major that matched exactly what she wanted to do, she decided to get her Agricultural Education degree.  Our recipient never quite fit in with the agriculture crowd, and it has been reported that she asked questions in class like, “Why do we want to dry our corn out in silos?  I like mine nice and juicy when I eat it?” which I’m sure caused eye rolls and shoulder shrugs from her fellow classmates who wore faded jeans and Carhartt shirts to class.

Her degree landed her a horticulture teaching job at her alma mater, Southview High School in Sylvania in 2006.  She worked there for two years with her former teacher, Mr. Fredrick, before switching to the Natural Science and Technology Center in the Toledo Public School system.  While there, she dreamed of bigger and better things for herself.  Teaching was great, but it wasn’t a passion.  She dreamed of opening her own flower shop and rediscovering her entrepreneurial roots that started to grow way back in the fifth grade.

The dream of a stand-alone flower shop was still out of reach at this point, so it all began on a very small scale with a wedding floral business out of her house.   She would meet with brides at local Panera’s, carrying pictures, books, and a laptop as her only evidence to prove to brides how talented she was.  Now, getting a bride to book was the easy part.  She needed to figure out how to get the flowers since wholesale houses wouldn’t deliver to residential addresses.  The solution was found when a saleswoman at Mayesh Wholesale Florist in Detroit, who lived in Toledo, volunteered to bring the necessary flowers home with her.  The flowers would be picked up, brought back to the house, and turned into beautiful bouquets and centerpieces that wowed her brides.  Of course, there were snags to this system.  We can probably all relate to a time when the lilies wouldn’t open… am I right?  (I use the term “we” very liberally; I’ve never been in that situation, but probably 85% of the room can relate to something along those lines.)  Long story short, between the hair dryer and the direct sunlight idea, the lilies got a little, let’s say, well done.

The business continued out of the house and grew from 12 weddings in year one, to 34 in year two, to 56 in year three.  All of this was happening while she maintained her teaching job at NSTC.  Also during this time that she met a strapping young man that brought joy into her life and made all of her previous crushes and boyfriends fade into the past.  After things didn’t work out with him, she settled with me.  And I should have known that the flower life was for me, because we were actually introduced by one of her brides who happened to be a guidance counselor at the high school where I teach.

 

Our relationship grew and our bank accounts grew fat on a combination teaching and weekend wedding business salary.  We decided to purchase the flower shop at the tail-end of 2010.  It was located just off of Main Street in downtown Sylvania in what used to be an old dental supplies office.  After months of tearing down walls, painting, and rewiring, Beautiful Blooms had changed from a wedding-only floral service to a full-functioning everyday flower shop by the new year.  The dream was alive and kicking.

After months of trying to make teaching and running a flower shop work, our recipient decided to hang up her fashionable FFA polos, retire from teaching, and become a full-time flower boss.  She was able to do this because our relationship had progressed from dating, to engagement, to “I now need insurance.”  I know you guys are all probably shocked to hear that a teacher’s insurance plan is a little better and a little cheaper than a small business owner.  I know right?  Don’t feel bad for me, once you see her up here, you’ll see why I’m totally OK with being used for my body and my insurance coverage.

It’s now been 6 years as a fully functioning flower shop and I see my wife’s creativity, drive, and need for more space grow more and more every day.  The flower shop finished last year with 125 weddings and five-and-a-half employees.  I can only assume that her assistant Colleen was trying to take a jab at me with the “half” of an employee comment.  If you must know, my job as the self-appointed vice president includes gutter cleaning, maintenance of the 2 x 10 foot patch of grass in front of the shop, delivery driving when she’s desperate, and holding the cooler door open for our two-year-old son while he smells the flowers.

The saying goes that a new small business is not supposed to make money for the first two-three years; well whoever came up with that doesn’t know my wife.  She not only runs a successful flower shop, she participates in the Downtown Sylvania Association, is an extremely active member in her local BNI, and basically does everything in our family that I am not capable of, which is basically everything.

So without further ado, I present to you the winner of the 2017 Certified Florist of the Year; my wife, Jen Linehan of Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

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The Gorgeous, Team BBBJen! Colleen, Jen and Hailley with Jen’s Certified Florist of the Year Award.

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The 2017 Certified Florist of the Year, Jen Linehan, and husband, Kyle Linehan.

What an amazing surprise and honor! I love being a part of a great organization like the Michigan Floral Association and man am I lucky to have such a supportive and talented husband! The work that I do would not be possible without him!

And thank you to my awesome staff who kept this a secret because it was such a great surprise, and work so hard because I couldn’t be where I am today without them either!

 

 

At Beautiful Blooms by Jen we have been working hard for months to plan an amazing Valentine’s Day for you and your loved one. Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year so we will be open for walk-ins and delivering in honor of Valentine’s Day beginning Saturday, February 11th, open 12-5pm on Sunday the 12th and all day Monday the 13th and Tuesday the 14th.

Great news! We’ve planned ahead so far that we want you to plan ahead too!  When you place your Valentine’s Day order before February 3rd, Beautiful Blooms by Jen will add a FREE Cookie gift pack from The Cinnamon Stick!

The Cinnamon Stick is a new bakery in Toledo on Holland Sylvania Road that specializes in pies, sweet treats and cocktails. If you haven’t been in yet, you definitely need to try it out.

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We have bunch of super fun specials for Valentine’s Day and can’t wait to share all of them! We have added new items to the website and hope you’re all excited!

This arrangement is called Simple Romance and it features Valentine’s Day colored gerbera daisies and complementing tulips. This arrangement as shown is $42.95. The step up is $52.95 or the premium is $59.95.

I love this arrangement, Loving Gaze, because it’s so “Valentine’s Day” but way more bang for your buck than a dozen roses! It’s a fun red vase filled with red roses and stargazer lilies. As shown is $115.95 and can be upgraded to $129.95 and $139.95 which adds in more roses and lilies.

We love this specialty vase that features silver hearts! Pair of Hearts is the perfect pick filled with red roses, white alstromeria and red miniature carnations. As shown is $55.95 with steps up at $75.95 and $85.95.

Want to order online? No problem! Add the note FREECOOKIES into your online order before February 3rd and we will add them in for you. Thank you for shopping local this Valentine’s Day and shopping early!

 

 

Cooper and Momma get to hang out a lot during basketball season. With all the special holiday schedules and days off, as a business owner, you’re never totally off duty. The good news is that I get to work with an adorable assistant! With Christmas and New Years, we have had funerals the day we were back to work and so we needed gorgeous fresh flowers for our customers. So Cooper and I have headed down to the wholesale house in Perrysburg twice the last few weeks.

If you follow us on instagram or facebook you’ve probably seen pictures of Cooper growing up and Cooper smelling flowers. He really loves to come visit the flower shop.

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This was before Christmas and he is still telling me about lilies. This kid and his memory crack me up!

Right after his 2nd birthday he got to go to the wholesale house for the first time! He LOVED it! I wanted to share some pictures.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like inside the wholesale house, it’s kind of like a grocery store filled with flowers and supplies. The supplies are in aisles where you can walk up and down and grab what you need. And then inside the giant cooler there are buckets and buckets and rows and rows of flowers that are available for us to hand pick.

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The first thing he did was go right to the closest flower to smell them. Unfortunately he picked statice which doesn’t really smell!

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Cooper loved the berries!

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Then we headed over to check out the miniature carnations.

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We almost lost his head inside these roses!

Then we went again on New Years Day. He talked about going to the “flower store”  the whole way there.

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He picked the perfect flowers to sniff first this time. Check out these amazing garden roses!

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And then we found these gorgeous peonies! But it’s funny, the flower he decided was his favorite were the green roses. He talked about them all day!

He loves fist bumping Dan, Dan the Flower Man too. We might have a future florist folks!  Hopefully we can go visit Cleveland Plant and Flower again soon! Thanks Dan!

Our first opportunity is for kids of all ages!  Stop in at Beautiful Blooms by Jen anytime between 3-5pm Monday December 19th, Tuesday December 20th, or Wednesday December 21st and design a pinecone centerpiece! It just takes as long as it takes each child to design. Typically around 20-30 minutes. Make one, or make a bunch! $5 per project includes all supplies. Perfect for grandparent and teacher gifts!

No reservations needed! Please stop in to have your child design a centerpiece.

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We are also hosting an Adult Holiday Centerpiece Class on December 22nd from 7pm-8:30pm at Chandler Cafe. We picked the 22nd so that flowers will be nice and fresh for Christmas or Hanukkah.

We are so excited to offer our holiday centerpiece adult class again this year. We love the design that we’ve chosen and hope you do too! The design consists of winter greenery, red roses, lotus pods, red ribbon and lily grass.

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The class price is $35 and includes all materials needed for you to make and bring home your own holiday arrangement! See picture above. Other rose and ribbon colors will be available as well.

Make it a girls night! Chandler Cafe will have a wine special for $4 and appetizers for sale. It’s also a great gift to give your mom or daughter and do an awesome activity together!

Class size is limited, so please call 419-517-8821 or email jen@beautifulbloomsbyjen.com to reserve your spot! All spots must be pre-paid to be saved.

Only a few spots are left!

Not available to make the class? You can order one that one of our floral artists can design for you. Please call 419-517-8821 or order online here.

If you’re looking for a floral design class, we typically teach them in our off season which is November-April. We love groups of girl friends, girl scouts, co-workers, birthday parties and more. We can accommodate groups of any size whether it is in our flower shop or another local shop nearby.

The Ability Center is our pick for the December Charity in Bloom! We’ve had so much fun this year with our first year of the program!

Through our Charity in Bloom program, Beautiful Blooms by Jen is proud to contribute during the month of December to The Ability Center, 20% of the proceeds from a specially created floral arrangement. Please check out the beautiful arrangement below.

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo is a non-profit Center for Independent Living (CIL) serving Northwest Ohio. The Ability Center believes in and supports equitable and inclusive communities for people living with disabilities.

The mission of The Ability Center is to assist people with disabilities to live, work and socialize within a fully accessible community.

Please call (419)-885-57335

We chose this gorgeous arrangement of winter foliages, burgundy candles, red and green apples, leucadendron and hypericum berries because we thought it was the perfect winter centerpiece that can be used for any occasion. It could be sent through the whole month of December because it is so long lasting!

December Charity in Bloom

To send this gorgeous arrangement, all you have to do is call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821, order online, or stop in our Downtown Sylvania location to pick one up. We even deliver all over Northwest Ohio and Southeast Ohio if you’re interested.

This picture is $64.95, there is a simpler version for $49.95 or the premium is $79.95.

Each month we choose a different non-profit to support as our Charity In Bloom. We love to support organizations that also support Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

My mom and I went to visit Holidays in the Manor House yesterday. I had never been before, but I wanted to check it out since I’d been hearing a lot about it. One of my employees and her family decorated a room and one of our favorite customers had the honor of decorating the entryway!  And then there were more surprises by other friends once we were there!

The first room you walk into was designed by one of my employees, Alisa, and her family. What an awesome Coca-Cola collection they have!  I loved the topper she designed on the Christmas Tree.

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Check out this amazing tree designed by one of our awesome customers, Traci and her family. You can see her gorgeous fire place as well with curly willow purchased from Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

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I loved how in many of their rooms there were these purple circles that shared information about our local parks as well.

Traci and her husband, Mike, were married 5 years ago in November in the Manor House so it is so cool for them to be a part of this!

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Traci and Mike’s gorgeous wedding with flowers by Beautiful Blooms by Jen, from their wedding 5 years ago. Photo by Grand Lubell Photography.

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And then I came around the corner and saw two sweet trees that were decorated by our friends at the Pinnacle! There was a Mrs. Tree and a Mr. Tree.

Once we went upstairs we saw this awesome snowman and cake room made by Strachn Bakery!

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I couldn’t believe how many people were there to walk through this awesome exhibit. It probably took about 30 minutes to walk through all the rooms because you are following the line of people in front of you. You follow a specific path and can’t go out of order. There is also a scavenger hunt if you want to participate.

Plus you could make a s’more and take a horse and carriage ride which would have been super fun! We were definitely not dressed warm enough yesterday to partake in either activity. But now we know for next time.

For more information on Holidays at the Manor House, please check it out here.

 

We had such a blast last year at the Miracle on Main Parade that we wanted to share our pictures from last year and share the info for this year.

DECEMBER 2
Red Bird First Friday Art Walk | 5PM–8+
Warming Tent with Adult Beverages, Music & Movies | 5PM–10PM

DECEMBER 3 | 11AM–4PM
Art Walk Continues with Family Crafts and a Warming Tent with Kids Activities & Holiday Movies
• 9:15am-10:30am Yoga with Live Music at Harmony in Life
• Face Painting – Kevin Charles Salon (Main Street) 11am-4pm
• Free! Ornament Making – 10am-2pm at Beautiful Blooms by Jen

FREE Tree ornament Kids Class offered at Beautiful Blooms for Miracle on Main 2016.

FREE Tree ornament Kids Class offered at Beautiful Blooms for Miracle on Main 2016.

DECEMBER 4 | 4PM–8:30PM
1pm–7pm Deck the Halls for History at the Heritage Center Museum
4pm–7pm Historical Village open with costumed staff in each building, blacksmithing demonstrations, children’s activities, live music and more
4pm – 5k Run/Walk starting on Main Street (Register below)!
5:30pm – Santa’s Little Helper Kids Dash
6pm Festival of the Lights Parade and Tree Lighting with Santa
Melissa Andrews will MC parade!
7pm–8pm Visit Santa at Historical Village

Register for the parade
http://redbirdarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2016-festival-of-lights-form51.pdf

Register for the run
https://runsignup.com/miracleonmainstreet5k

DECK THE HALLS FOR HISTORY
Visit the The Heritage Center Museum all weekend to support their
fundraiser and silent auction benefiting Sylvania Historical Village!

For a full schedule of events & times in Downtown Sylvania visit
MIRACLEONMAINSTREET.ORG

Thank you to our sponsors Dave White & 101.5 The River!

This event is a community collaboration with Sylvania Community Arts Commission, Downtown Sylvania Association, Sylvania Historical Village and Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce.

Parade Crew from the 2015 Miracle on Main Parade.

The Beautiful Blooms By Jen Crew from the 2015 Miracle on Main Parade.

Madeline and Cooper ready to walk in the parade.

Madeline and Cooper ready to walk in the parade 2015.

The Winter Sisters and Kristoff from Laurel's Princess Parties visited the flower shop for Miracle on Main.

The Winter Sisters and Kristoff from Laurel’s Princess Parties visited the flower shop for Miracle on Main 2015.

Thanks to Photos By Yvonne for all the awesome pictures from Last Year!

It was such an honor to be invited to teach a flower arranging class at the Fall Leadership Conference at Camp Libbey for the Girl Scouts of Northwest Ohio! This has been on my calendar for months and I have been looking forward to it the entire time!

Were you a girl scout? Did you ever go to a camp at Camp Libbey? I remember one summer going to a Paddle Saddle Camp at Camp Libbey with my childhood best friend. We learned to ride horses and canoe and stayed in platform tents. Such amazing memories!

The Girl Scouts who were invited to attend the Leadership Conference were in 6th-12th grade and my class was mostly from the Western half of Ohio, Eastern Indiana and Southeastern Michigan. These ladies had the opportunity to choose between multiple classes during my time slot and 16 chose to arrange flowers!

We first started talking about floral design and how to become a floral designer. Everyone then grabbed a container and we discussed floral foam, how to soak it, care and handling of flowers and taping the floral foam into the container. Then we began to green in with leather leaf, followed by pittosporum.

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Two girl scouts beginning to green in floral arrangements with leather leaf during floral arranging class at Camp Libbey taught by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

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Girl scouts beginning to green in floral arrangements with leather leaf during floral arranging class at Camp Libbey taught by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

Then we began to add carnations and fall mums!

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Adding carnations and fall mums to our greened in flower arrangement during floral arranging class at Camp Libbey, taught by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

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Adding carnations and fall mums to our greened in flower arrangement during floral arranging class at Camp Libbey, taught by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

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The finished product! Fall Centerpiece designed by the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio at Camp Libbey. Class taught by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

The girls did amazing and I had so much teaching them all about flower arranging and the floral industry. I love teaching classes so if you, or anyone you know is interested, please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 or email Jen@beautifulbloomsbyjen.com.

Last March a customer came in and asked for help planning the centerpiece for a Las Vegas themed party. It led to the conversation that Colleen, my manager, had never been to Las Vegas. I had been a couple times while I was living in San Diego for an internship at a flower shop, I had been a couple times for a conference called Wedding MBA and I had also been there with my husband for the American Institute of Floral Designer’s Conference. It’s a super fun city, but I had never been with a fellow floral designer.

I hopped right on the computer and checked out when Wedding MBA was this year and there was a screaming deal for the conference. I found affordable tickets for the plane and decided that this was the perfect trip for my soon to be 50 year old manager who hadn’t even been to the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas!

I also double checked with my amazing husband who would have to take care of our almost 2 year old without me for a few days. Luckily we have a fabulous team of my parents, my mother in law and our child care provider and we were able to make everything happen.

We went a few days early to the conference so Colleen could see Las Vegas and so that we could check out the hotels and their flowers!

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We made it! At one of my favorite hotels in Vegas, Cosmopolitan! I LOVE sparkle and crystals!

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The Bellagio is a florist’s dream! This is the arrangement just for the concierge desk!

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How cool is this fall display in the Bellagio?!

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This scarecrow is adorable at the Bellagio!

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We love that art is created out of flowers!

We had such an amazing time our first day! Can’t wait to share more!  We are still brainstorming how we can design something on this scale in Toledo!

 

 

 

 

 

Petal It Forward

Beautiful Blooms by Jen is excited to announce their participation in Petal It Forward on Wednesday, October 19th. In partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF), Beautiful Blooms by Jen will be hitting the streets of Sylvania, OH and handing out hundreds of flowers to busy commuters to help brighten up their week.

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Our smiling staff will be camped out at Chandler Cafe and Brieschke’s Bakery at 8am and Lourdes University Dining Hall at 12pm handing out two bouquets to each customer. The lucky recipients are then asked to ‘petal it forward’ by giving one of the bouquets to a loved one, co-worker, or even a stranger who looks like they need a smile!

See Coverage from SAF’s 2015 Event

The Impact of Flowers

‘Petal It Forward’ is in response to the release of new data by SAF showing the positive emotional benefits of flowers. University research reveals that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. Now, a new survey has found that, when it comes to flowers, it is just as good to give as it is to receive.

In March 2015, SAF conducted a survey of 2,500 people throughout the U.S. to uncover the impact of flowers. The results revealed the many benefits of flowers including the positive impact flowers have on one’s emotions and happiness. These findings are backed up previous research studies on flowers conducted by Rutgers, Harvard, and Texas A&M (More information on the university studies). The following are highlights from SAF’s recent survey results:

  • When it comes to happiness, it’s just as good to give flowers as it is to receive: 88% of Americans report that giving flowers makes them feel happy, while 80% reported that receiving flowers makes them feel happy.
  • Just being around flowers improves your mood: 76% of Americans agree that having flowers in their home or office improves their mood.
  • The best reason to receive flowers is “just because:” women (92%) are more likely to agree with this, but the majority of men (three in four) also share this sentiment.
  • Florists to the rescue! Nearly four in ten Americans indicate florists have helped them in a past or current relationship; most frequently to say “I love you,” or schedule a surprise delivery.

Spreading the Happiness

Beautiful Blooms by Jen and the Petal It Forward Team will give away hundreds of bouquets to people throughout Sylvania. After receiving their flowers, recipients are asked to spread the happiness by gifting their extra flower bouquet, and sharing their happiness on social media using #petalitforward. For more information on the benefits of flowers, visit here.

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Thanks to Cleveland Plant for partnering on this with us!