The fairy-tale wedding is always filled with flowers. So how fitting that, during our monthlong celebration of weddings, we feature an amazingly talented WillCo floral designer? Today’s FACES profile spotlights Shelley Horton, owner of Spring Hill Florist. She’s a wife, mother and artist, whose brushes are flowers and her canvas is anything beautiful in which her arrangements can be contained. Welcome, Shelley!
How did you get into the floral design business?
A dear friend of mine, Janice, owned Spring Hill Florist for 15 years prior to our purchase of the business. I have always had a love for flowers, and I’ve always had fresh flowers in and around my house. I would stop in weekly and buy Casablanca Lilies from Janice. One day after retiring from a business I did for 30 years, I asked Janice if I could volunteer at her shop, with no pay. She allowed me to help her with a large wedding right off the bat, and I got the fever. A few weeks later, she asked me if I’d be interested in buying the business, and the rest is history.
Finish this sentence. Being a floral designer is like …
I am still learning, and I have been really blessed to be surrounded by very talented, highly experienced designers. With that said, being a floral designer is like being an artist. You have a clean canvas with each container that you choose. Then it is up to you to create “emotions” for your clients with colors, textures, styles … it is so fun to do something different each day. And we LOVE to do custom work. We create experiences for our clientele based on their wants and needs. There is no better feeling than delivering flowers for a wedding and watching the bride beam with happiness! Or to deliver and install celebration flowers and realize that you nailed it on trying to create the perfect mood with your flowers!
What are your favorite unusual combinations for flowers?
I am eclectic by nature, so my favorite is to bring soft romantic flowers and elements from the outdoors together. You might say I like merging styles together that wouldn’t normally be considered, like modern and vintage.
How long have you owned Spring Hill Florist?
This is the beginning of our fourth year.
What does an average workday look like for you?
Our shop opens at 8 a.m. I have a fantastic and extraordinary team of professionals that opens the shop during the week. Unless it is a special holiday, I come in later, and then I stay late and close the shop when the team leaves at 4. I work most Saturdays. There is always something to do. Cut in flowers and process them, design the orders we have on the agenda for that day, answer the telephones, wait on customers that stop in the gift shop, keeping up the website and social media, redesigning the shop …
What are the biggest trends in floral design right now?
There are some really exciting trends in floral design for 2015! Mediterranean colors and patterns are big this year … blues, aqua, taupe and whites with Greek key patterns. Then there is a trend that encompasses neon and exaggerated colors in bright tangerine, coral, turquoise, yellows. Another color trend is using royal colors like purple, red and lavender in vessels that are gold or rose gold. Monograms are still very hot when it comes to containers and accessories. Burlap is still trending, but it is no longer the focus of many weddings and designs.
What’s hot in wedding floral design?
Brides are moving out of the perfectly symmetrical round bouquet and moving into the cascading-style bouquet. They seem to be gaining popularity. I was married in the late ’80s, and I had a cascade, but they are coming back with a vengeance. The other trend we are seeing with regard to brides is brightly colored sashes that are added to the pure white gown, either as belts or as pageant sashes.
What is the strangest order you have ever received?
We have had some strange orders to be sure, but to protect the innocent, I will tell you about a funny standout instead. We had a client who was turning 50. Her brother called from Florida and told me this long story about how he and his sister were always trying to “one up” each other throughout their lives. He wanted to send his sister 50 dead roses. (He also ordered a beautiful live, heart-shaped azalea tree so she wouldn’t be really mad at him!) We didn’t have any dead roses, so our designer spray painted the 50 roses black, then we took hot glue and drizzled it all over the roses to resemble cobwebs. Our delivery driver went in and gave the roses to the recipient. Then she left, waited in the van for a few minutes, went back in and delivered the azaleas. Pretty funny and cute!
What is your favorite flower?
I love all of them for one reason or another, but narrowing it down, it would have to be a Casablanca lily and peonies.
Do you even celebrate Valentine’s Day?
I do with my kids and husband. We make cookies. But Valentine’s Day is definitely the busiest time of year for my business. Last year, we delivered 489 bouquets.
Any upcoming events or specials we need to know about?
We do custom and personalized crates for our clients. This is a specialty of ours. We have a local artisan who builds them for us, and we offer them year-round.
Tell me about your family.
My husband, William, and I have been married 25 years. We have twin daughters, who are in their first year of college, Katie and Corbie. They’re 19 years old. We also have a couple of furry kids and plenty of wild pets on our property.
How do you juggle owning your own business with wife/mom life?
It has been both challenging and rewarding. Time is a very precious commodity when you own your own business, so we try to spend as much time together as a family as possible. That is the most important focus of all. I believe you have to take each day as it comes and focus on the good and “little” things. My husband and his sister own a private company together, and have for many years. I never had worked for myself, so the difficult adjustment for me was learning everything I needed to learn AND making enough money to make payroll every week. It was scary at first, but my husband has been my strength through it all. With his experience and expertise, he guides me and helps me through it. Our girls keep me focused on being a mom, and they keep me laughing! With that said, I never feel like the business is a burden. I absolutely love what I do. I am so grateful for the talented, beautiful people that God has blessed me with. On the days that challenge me, I think about all of the single moms and dads out there that own their own businesses and seem to juggle it all and then I think, I can do this!
What three things, other than faith, family and friends, you cannot live without?
My dogs, Starbucks and my iPhone!
Thank you, Shelley, for sharing your flower power! Spring Hill Florist & Gifts is located at 5251 Main St. in Spring Hill. Call (931) 486-3209 or visit springhillflorist.com.
Thank you to Heather Sisemore for the beautiful images in today’s FACES post.