Boots and Blooms
Felicia Sumner has always wanted to have a funeral home and a flower shop because the two businesses complement each other so well.
"I've been in the funeral industry for 13 years," said Sumner, who owns Juniper Ridge Funeral Home in Prineville. "I love my funeral work — it's my passion."
But owning a flower shop in addition to the funeral home is just what she needed.
She convinced her friend Megan Whitlatch to join her on her next venture, and the two opened Boots and Blooms Floral in downtown Prineville on Sept. 4.
"It gives me the freedom to have some creativeness over here and definitely more of a positive, happy outlook on things," Sumner said. "It gives me a good balance."
She had originally opened Bizzy Bees Flowers and Gifts at the same Northwest Third Street location in 2015 but recently sold it.
"It didn't work out, and so I reopened this because it makes it convenient for my families and everything at the funeral home as well," Sumner said.
In August, after the other business moved out of the shop, Sumner reached out to her friend Whitlatch, asking if she wanted to open a flower shop with her.
Whitlatch, who worked in the medical field and, like Sumner, has two young children, thought Sumner was joking.
"She said, 'No, I'm serious,' and I said, 'Let's do it,' and two weeks later, the doors were open," Whitlatch said.
Although she does not have experience in the floral industry, Whitlatch has caught on quickly.
"I just find joy in it and learning new stuff and being able to help people with sympathy or dog house or anniversaries, happy moments," she said. "It's fun being here to help those people in their time of need, whatever it might be."
Sumner also hired her to work as manager at the funeral home.
"She threw me into it, and now I think it is interesting," Whitlatch said of the funeral business.
"She loves it, and she's doing well at it," Sumner said of her friend. "She reminds me a lot of myself when I was starting. She gets really passionate and excited about things, so it's nice to share that with someone in both businesses."
Boots and Blooms Floral specializes in flowers, especially sympathy arrangements, but they also offer bouquets for birthday, wedding, anniversary, get well and any other floral occasion.
They have their fresh flower orders delivered from Portland once a week.
The duo also offer floral arranging classes. Last week during their Thankful for Center Pieces class, a dozen ladies filled cornucopia baskets with colorful, fresh flowers.
They plan a Deck the Halls with Center Pieces class next month for Christmas and will continue to offer specialty floral arrangement classes.
Boots and Blooms Floral also offers what they call Weeklies.
"That's just like a subscription that you can subscribe to," Whitlatch explained. "It's so much a month, and every Monday or Tuesday, we deliver a fresh arrangement."
Their employee, Angelica Luna, delivers the Weeklies to a variety of businesses and homes around town.
"A daughter bought some for her 87-year-old mother, so we deliver fresh flowers every Monday to her," Whitlatch said.
Aside from flowers, they also offer a large selection of balloons, and they plan to bring in wine and chocolates to sell with bouquets.
In need of one-of-a-kind greeting cards? They have you covered there, too. They sell a variety of cards that are handmade by a local lady. They also have a selection of locally handmade soy candles, jewelry, home décor and a few gift items. They plan to expand their gift offerings in the coming months.
Coming up with a name for their new flower shop wasn't much of a problem.
They were shopping for business supplies, rattling off words that are reflective of the Crook County's cowboy culture.
"Spurs? How about Cowboys and Cowgirls? All of a sudden, I said boots, and she said Boots and Blooms," Whitlatch laughed. That was it. "It took us like 15 minutes, if that."
"We just wanted to make sure that it was going to fit Prineville," Sumner said.
"We're down home. We're country," Whitlatch added.
Boots and Blooms Floral
Owners: Felicia Sumner and Megan Whitlatch
Address: 399 NW Third St., Prineville
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday