We hosted an Easter Centerpiece Class the Thursday before Easter because we had such a blast at our Christmas Class. This class was a smaller class, but the class participants commented how they enjoyed the smaller class more because there was more individual help.

Thank you to the Cinnamon Stick for hosting our class!

The centerpiece we made was in a white basket and included blue hydrangea, yellow lilies and bright colored carnations, mums and tulips. Plus we added some Easter eggs!

Jen with Beautiful Blooms by Jen shows a guest her professional techniques during the Easter centerpiece cla

Jen with Beautiful Blooms by Jen shows a guest her professional techniques during the Easter centerpiece class held at the Cinnamon Stick!

 

Two class participants work on their baskets featuring hydrangea, tulips, daisies, lilies, carnations, and assorted foliages.

Two class participants work on their baskets featuring hydrangea, tulips, daisies, lilies, carnations, and assorted foliages.

 

The attendees begin to complete their new holiday arrangements!

The attendees begin to complete their new holiday arrangements!


The finished product!

Mother and daugher night out was a success! What beautiful complete arrangements!

Mother and daughter night out was a success! What beautiful complete arrangements!

Completed centerpieces!

Completed centerpieces!

On Friday we had a private class for a group of new moms. They weren’t able to make it to our class on Thursday and asked if we could schedule a separate class. We love to host private events! The group brought in appetizers and wine since it was after hours and we had a blast!

Easter basket centerpiece class night 2!

Easter basket centerpiece class night 2!

Working on their florist skills!

Working on their florist skills!

Almost Done!

Almost Done!

Happy Customers head home with perfect easter centerpieces!

Happy customers head home with perfect Easter centerpieces!

Class Night One Location: The Cinnamon Stick

Class Night Two Location: Beautiful Blooms by Jen 

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!

I was so honored to be asked to teach the students at Whiteford Elementary about my profession as a florist on St. Patrick’s Day. I had around 20 students for three different sessions. Two groups were of the older students who were in 2nd to 5th grade, I believe. They learned to design a wrist corsage that they were able to wear home.

Daisy pomp corsage.

Daisy pomp corsage.

We started with the base of a green bow that we tied at the shop since bows are very complicated and not something I could teach in the 45 minute session.

Daisy pomp corsage.

Daisy pomp corsage.

Students were taught how to glue their flowers in, which is what the plastic piece is on their desk. It held the glue that they dipped their flowers into.

Daisy Pomp corsage.

Daisy Pomp corsage.

Daisy Pomp corsage.

Daisy Pomp corsage.

The younger students, Kindergaten-2nd grade made dirt pudding. I definitely chose an activity that was a little over their heads, but we still had a blast! Thank goodness for the two parent helpers and one teacher that helped. Since I have a two year old, it’s hard to know what older kids can handle!

The students helped mix up their pudding, smash their oreos and we made the different layers of soil. Then we added a worm on top!

Dirt Pudding Flower Pots

Dirt Pudding Flower Pots

Dirt Pudding Flower Pots

Dirt Pudding Flower Pots

Dirt Pudding Flower Pot

Dirt Pudding Flower Pot

Dirt Pudding Flower Pot

Dirt Pudding Flower Pot

It was really fun because the Kindergarten students were learning the parts of a flower and how flowers grow in class. So it was the perfect project!

I had so much fun and can’t wait to help again next year. Beautiful Blooms by Jen values education and Jen is the only Certified Florist in Northwest Ohio. If you’re interested in Jen teaching your organization, please call 419-517-8821.

Thanks to Cleveland Plant and Flower for donating the flowers we used to teach the older students!

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!

 

 

Even though I have followed my dreams by opening a flower shop, educating the florists of the future is still a passion of mine. This year the FFA District 1 Floriculture Career Development Event was held at Penta Career Center. Since I am an advisory committee member for Penta and Sylvania Southview, I was so excited to be asked to judge!  93 students competed and Teams were from all over Northwest Ohio.

As the Certified Florist and Certified Floral Designer of the judges, my job was to run the hands on portion of the competition. The kids were to create a multi-flower pin-on corsage and then my job was to grade their corsage. Some of the students created some beautiful designs! I love grading the corsages and sharing with them what they are able to do to improve.

Jen Linehan CFD, CF judging the hands-on portion of the Ohio District 1 Floriculture Career Development Event.

Jen Linehan CFD, CF judging the hands-on portion of the Ohio District 1 Floriculture Career Development Event.

 

The written test.

The written test.

The placing classes portion of the Floriculture CDE.

The placing classes portion of the Floriculture CDE.

The Identification part of the CDE. Fresh flowers, indoor plants, insects, diseases and floral supplies.

The Identification part of the CDE. Fresh flowers, indoor plants, insects, diseases and floral supplies.

I had so much fun helping at the Ohio District 1 Floriculture Career Development Event! I can’t wait to hear which team won and how each team does at the State Competition in April.

Jen taught Horticulture at Southview High School for 2 years at Floral Design and Greenhouse for 3 years at the Natural Science Technology Center for Toledo Public Schools. She has a Bachelor’s in Agriculture Education and Master’s in Career Technical Education. If you are interested in Jen teaching your organization floral design skills or speaking to your group, please call Beautiful Blooms by Jen at 419-517-8821 or email jen@beautifulbloomsbyjen.com