We were so excited to offer this super fun wine and design floral design class for the first time right after Mother’s Day where Mom’s and daughters could come as an awesome Mother’s Day gift and make a super fun night out for ladies!  We chose Element 112 because they have fantastic food, drinks and their room, the Periodic Table is a room we’ve used before when delivering flowers for showers, parties and even a small wedding. It was the perfect setting!

The groups of ladies arrived at Element 112, in downtown Sylvania, for cocktail hour! They were served wine and beer and appetizers that were all included in their price of the class. Billie Jo, from Beauty by Billie Jo, was also on hand to help the ladies pick out the perfect lip stick color by LimeLight!  Then once everyone had the perfect lip, they were able to get their picture taken by the Toledo Goof Booth, by Love is Greater Photography!  Then to finish up cocktail hour, they were treated to desserts from So Sweet Pastries!

Colleen, from BBBJen, Billie Jo, from Beauty by Billie Jo, Jen from BBBJen and Stacey from Toledo Goof Booth

Then the designing began!  Beautiful Blooms by Jen’s Certified Florist, Jen Linehan instructed the ladies on how to create a pedestal centerpiece in whites, ivories and blushes and we finished them off with draping greenery and a succulent!  It was discussed that this would also be a super fun class for a bride and bridesmaids to come do and design the wedding centerpieces together!

All prepped and ready to go for class!

Cocktail hour while everyone admired their buckets of gorgeous flowers!

Beer and wine were included in the price of this design class. 

After enjoying appetizers from Element 112 and dessert from So Sweet Pastries, we prepared to begin our floral designs. 

We added our hydrangea first, and then our snapdragons. 

What a great Mother’s Day gift!

The last thing we added to our designs was the greenery to fill in any holes we had and to add a romantic element. 

The silver dollar eucalyptus was a hit!

This design class was also a super fun night out for girlfriends!

And Moms, daughters and Coworkers all together!

Love how much fun everyone had!

The finished project!

Check out more pictures from the Toledo Goof Booth!

We love to host classes of any kind. One of the Beautiful Blooms by Jen talented designers will teach the class, and all classes include all tools and supplies needed to make a gorgeous arrangement. We can also custom design a class to fit into your budget. Most classes are in the $35-75 range. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to schedule your class! They are perfect for holiday parties with employees and girls nights out!

The next Beautiful Blooms by Jen floral design class is July 7th from 5:30-8pm at Element 112. It is in conjunction with the First Friday Red Bird Art Walk that has the theme Red, White and Brew for July. We are hosting Blooms and Brews! Click here for more details!

 

I was so honored to be invited to visit You First by Grant Services this last week by one of my former Floral Design and Greenhouse Students, Tamnika. She is now the Community and Integration Manager there.

“You First by Grant Services LP, an agency certified by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disibilities, offers a variety of services to individuals living in Lucas and Fulton Counties.  Services include recreational activities, personal care, vocational opportunities and transportation. You First by Grant Services was founded in 2013 by CEO John Grant and his partners, Shawna Grant, Paul Grant, Charolotte Grant, Eric Bickford and Marie Bickford. The purpose of You First by Grant Services is to work alongside the individual and their support team and assist each individual with achieving his / her desired goals.”- http://www.yfbgs.com/

Your First by Grant Services offers adult day support, vocational rehabilitation, non-medical transportation and homemaker/personal care. I was invited to visit because one of their focuses is building job skills. I was asked to share how I began in the floral industry and a bit about what I do on a daily basis. Vans brought over the interested individuals to hear me speak.  I spoke at the location on Airport Highway and everyone was so welcoming. Multiple individuals shook my hand and welcomed me and one even wanted to play me a song on the piano!

Jen Linehan, Certified Florist

Jen Linehan, Certified Florist, teaching the adults at You First by Grant Services about floral design.

Jen Linehan, teaching at You First

Jen, Linehan, CF, teaching adults at You First about the career of floral design.

Jen Linehan, CF, teaching floral design

Jen Linehan, CF teaching floral design to the adults at You First by Grant Services.

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The whole group with instructor, Jen Linehan, CF, after the floral design presentation.

I had such a wonderful time sharing my love of floral design with this sweet group! Thanks so much to Tamnika for inviting me to come! If anyone else is interested in sharing about the job they love, Tamnika is looking for more people to speak. Please let me know and I’d be happy to connect you.

 

The Beautiful Blooms by Jen Christmas centerpiece class was fabulous!  We had so many different interpretations of our centerpiece and we love it when people get creative!

This floral design class was packed as we headed into holidays, especially since this arrangement was sure to knock their stockings off!

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• Sarah explained to everyone the different techniques to making a full and lasting arrangement.

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• Traci and Ana always have fun at our classes!  The are a creative dynamic duo!

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•These ladies were hard at work making sure their pieces turned out perfectly… and they did!

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• The winter greens make the arrangements so full, long-lasting and fragrant. Nothing beats fresh pine!

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• The arrangement had a little  more traditional look with greens, red flowers, plaid ribbon and a candle.  They were a beautiful addition to everyone’s tables!

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• These girlfriends had so much fun and look how beautiful the centerpieces turned out!

Thank you to The Cinnamon Stick for allowing us to use this space as well as indulge in coffee, pies, and other treats!

We love to host classes of any kind. As the only Certified Florists in Northwest Ohio, Jen Linehan, CF, CFD or one of our other talented designers will be your class instructor and all classes include all tools and supplies needed to make a gorgeous arrangement. We can custom design a class to fit into your budget. Most classes are in the $35-50 range. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to schedule your class!

I cannot believe that January 2018 marks the beginning of year number 7 for full retail, Beautiful Blooms by Jen!  After three years of working out of my house, we got the keys on December 31st and while I was finishing up Amanda Caig’s New Years Eve wedding, my family moved all of our things from where we were working out of Bumble, and into 5646 Summit Street. It was just a block over.

First Wedding at the New Building. Photo by Sarah J Photography.

Last wedding before we had our very own retail space! Photo by Sarah J Photography.

It seemed so large when we bought it! I only had one employee at the time and I was still working full time as a floral design teacher at the Natural Science Technology Center for Toledo Public Schools. As soon as school was out each day, I would zip over to the shop and continue to help Meghan, my manager in painting, cleaning, whatever needed to be done. We opened our doors immediately, despite the building being a mess because we already had customers needing flowers. Meghan would just design in whatever room wasn’t being worked on as we had new floors installed, lights installed, etc. We were so fortunate to have understanding customers! Check out below to see some photos of our early shop.

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That year we had 77 weddings and I couldn’t believe how fast our day to day deliveries and business grew! By that spring we had hired more employees and I was able to retire from teaching. It was a total dream come true since I had wanted to open my own flower shop since I was a sophomore in high school. Teaching wasn’t ever the plan, but was a way to pay the bills to afford a shop.

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Seven years later, I have an amazing team of 6 employees, am able to take a relaxing maternity leave because I totally trust them. Colleen and Sarah have worked for BBBJ for over 5 years and Hailley for over 3! That is incredible considering that we have only been open for 7! I was honored with the title of 2017 Certified Florist of the Year, Hailley became a Certified Florist and we have won the Knot Best of Weddings for 10 years and Wedding Wire Couples Choice Awards 10 times!

As I sit reminiscing today about everything we’ve accomplished in such a short time, I can’t help to think I couldn’t have done it without such an amazing team of employees, past and present, awesome customers who let us be creative every day and a supportive Downtown Sylvania.
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We have exciting things planned for 2018! Can’t wait to share them with you!

We are so excited for our annual Holiday Centerpiece classes on December 21st and 22nd. Due to the demand last year, we have decided to have two classes this year! These classes are the perfect Christmas gifts to grab a couple friends and come together, or moms and daughters, etc.

The Thursday night class will be hosted at the Cinnamon Stick at 3535 N. Holland Sylvania Rd. Toledo, OH 43615.  Your investment is $40 and includes all instruction, materials and tools for the design. Coffee, tea, and assorted sweets from Cinnamon Stick are also included. Extra treats and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. You can also pick up a pie for your holiday celebration while you are there!

The Thursday night class will be at 6:30pm on 12/21 and is our Family Celebration Arrangement. It’s a traditional arrangement of winter greenery and red that will last and last!

Family Celebration winter design class by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

Family Celebration winter design class by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

The Friday class is at 5:30pm on 12/22 and is our Golden Lights arrangement. It is an elegant arrangement in a gold container with gold candles and berries and all white flowers. This class will take place at Beautiful Blooms by Jen and will include holiday treats! Please feel free to bring a bottle of wine or drink of choice.

Golden Lights Holiday Design class by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

Golden Lights Holiday Design class by Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

 

Space is limited. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to reserve your space.  Don’t want to make your own? You can order one designed by one of our fabulous florists by clicking the links above.

We love to host classes of any kind. One of the Beautiful Blooms by Jen talented designers will teach the class, and all classes include all tools and supplies needed to make a gorgeous arrangement. We can custom design a class to fit into your budget. Most classes are in the $35-50 range. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to schedule your class! They are perfect for holiday parties with employees and girls nights out!

We are so excited for our annual Thanksgiving Centerpiece class on November 21st. It’s a gorgeous centerpiece of orange gerbera daisies, red carnations, bells of ireland, solidago and hypericum berries.

Your investment is $35 and includes all instruction, materials and tools for the design. Coffee, tea, and assorted sweets from Cinnamon Stick are also included. Extra treats and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. You can also pick up a pie for your Thanksgiving celebration while you are there!

Space is limited. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to reserve your space.  Don’t want to make your own? You can order one designed by one of our fabulous florists here!

Beautiful Blooms by Jen Thanksgiving Centerpiece Class.

Beautiful Blooms by Jen Thanksgiving Centerpiece Class.

We love to host classes of any kind. One of the Beautiful Blooms by Jen talented designers will teach the class, and all classes include all tools and supplies needed to make a gorgeous arrangement. We can custom design a class to fit into your budget. Most classes are in the $35-50 range. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to schedule your class!

We are so excited to share our Fall Wreath Class with everyone!

Our class is in conjunction with Downtown Sylvania Association‘s Downtown Delights on November 9th. Our class is from 6-7 and Downtown Delights is 5-8 so you can make the event a super fun girls night out!  All of the Main Street shops and restaurants will be having specials, sales and some are hosting fun events!

Our permanent botanical fall wreath class will be at Beautiful Blooms by Jen from 6-7pm and the cost is $45. It includes all materials and instruction to make a super fun fall wreath, similar to the one pictured. We will even teach you how to switch out the ribbon to turn your wreath into a winter wreath!

Fall Wreath Class at Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

Fall Wreath Class at Beautiful Blooms by Jen.

Only 8 spaces are available so call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to reserve your spot today! To check out our event on facebook, click here.

We had such a blast at our fall Wine and Wellness in September. 11 ladies designed an arrangement from local flowers and then learned about Essential Oils from Mary Bryant, of Melaleuca, The Wellness Company. Oils that were discussed were lavender, lemon and Peace which is a Tranquility Oil Blend that includes tangerine, orange, patchouli, tans, elemi and German chamomile blue.

Our flowers were almost all locally grown flowers from Barnswallow Farms.  They included sunflowers, celosia, roses, snapdragons, ageratum, globe amaranth and explosion grass.

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Traci and Ana made our class a Mother-Daughter night out. Ana is such a talented designer and I love watching her creativity bloom. Her designs are very zen because she even uses her stems in her design. Plus she is so sweet, she made her arrangement for her teacher at school!

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These two ladies made the class a girls night!

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I love the way every arrangement looked just a little bit different!

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Mother-2 daughter night out! Love these ladies and how supportive they are of our classes!

We love to host classes of any kind. As the only Certified Florist in Northwest Ohio, Jen Linehan, CF, CFD is your class instructor and all classes include all tools and supplies needed to make a gorgeous arrangement. We can custom design a class to fit into your budget. Most classes are in the $35-50 range. Please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 to schedule your class!

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!