By Linda Greer
Armed with a floral knife and a basket of colorful flowers, design instructor Frankie Shelton told a class of flower-shop owners Wednesday that they can’t “sell an empty wagon.”
Relating how she lost a potential customer many years ago because the flower case was empty at closing time, Shelton told the students to always keep their coolers filled with “a bunch of stuff ready to go.”
The business tip was one of many that Shelton, a designer, teacher and motivational speaker from Houston, Texas, shared with students during a three-day seminar at Countryside Flowers, 109 E. 39th St., in Joplin.
While receiving her diploma, Shawn Wiland said: “Flowers are a beautiful thing to me. I want to show them off.”
Wiland, who started at Countryside Flowers as a delivery driver before becoming a design apprentice, said, “I don’t drive the truck anymore, and I don’t just feel like a delivery person.”
Shelton said she especially enjoys teaching the craft to students who otherwise would never be able to attend a design school.
“I like to take my knowledge to the grass roots, especially where people can’t get to a school,” she said of her 35 years of experience.
As she created a “memory garden” display, Shelton rejected a lily with blooms facing away from each other, saying the “divisive” flower produced a negative feeling. This segment of her seminar focused on funeral-flower arrangements.
The 10 students ranged from flower-shop owners hoping to breathe fresh air into their arrangements to housewives striving to create the newest displays.
Student Sharon Moravitis, a Freeman Health System gift shop volunteer, said she is a total novice.
“What do I do next?” Moravitis asked Shelton.
Shelton told the beginners to get silk flowers in various sizes and colors for line, mass and filler, and then “practice, practice, practice.” She said the skill eventually will present itself.
Shelton also told shop owners to set a one-day-a-week routine to go to businesses and establish corporate accounts. She suggested taking along a rose for the owners.
“I’m from the country, and I know you have to plant seeds to get a crop,” Shelton said.
She said flower-shop employees must be able to spell boutonniere and know the names of all the common flowers. They also should know that women buy more flowers than men, and that women prefer colored roses.
Frankie Shelton is a former president of the American Institute of Floral Design and trustee of the foundation’s scholarship fund. She said that under three presidential administrations, she decorated the White House for Christmas.
By Linda Greer
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
Granby man's body found near Joplin
An autopsy was conducted today on the body of a Granby man discovered Tuesday afternoon near a service road northwest of Joplin city limits.
Drunken driver in double fatality accident granted probation
In ordering Jeremy Johnson to perform 200 hours of community service back in August, Judge Gayle Crane suggested that he complete them in a program such as Safe and Sober, which targets underage drinking and driving.
Sunday morning fire displaces Joplin family
A Sunday morning fire that left a Joplin residence no longer habitable is believed to have been caused by an electrical short in the attic.
Driver charged with trying to hit police officer pleads guilty
A Joplin man, who was shot by a police officer when he swerved his pickup truck at him in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store, has pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer.
Murder defendant takes plea deal; teen to testify against suspected triggerman
Marcus Stephens, one of five young men charged in the Jacob Wages murder case in Joplin, has taken a plea deal that would limit his prison time in exchange for testimony against the suspected shooter, Daniel Hartman.
Council to name another commission member
A special meeting of the Joplin City Council has been scheduled for Thursday to name a replacement to the recently formed Charter Review Commission.
Construction work blamed in break of mall water line
A water outage was reported shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday at Northpark Mall in Joplin. Christie Barnhart, external affairs manager for Missouri American Water Co., said the outage occurred when a construction crew damaged a line.
Joplin Schools holds annual back-to-school rally for faculty
Joplin Schools formally welcomed back teachers and staff members today with its annual back-to-school rally, held this year at College Heights Christian Church.
Building demolition causes one injury
The demolition Monday of a building at Ninth and Main streets in Joplin injured one construction worker, but further details were not available at noon.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81