A thorough understanding of flowers
Even flower shops inside grocery stores aren't assured of turning a profit and to cut expenses the Safeway store in Newberg recently reduced the hours for its floral department. For Kelly Buxton, who managed the department for 15 years, the reduction of hours gave her the time to rekindle a business she started at age 17.
Buxton acquired Natures Reflection as a business name in her teens and for 40 years used her business predominantly for fundraisers while working at other jobs.
"It is time for me to do it again and thought that maybe I would try it again," Buxton said. "I've always been wanting to teach flower classes and do workshops. I really always loved floral work and during high school I did a co-op work experience. I worked at Attrell's Funeral Home to showcase the flowers and I started thinking, hum, I kind of like this," she said.
Through the years Buxton learned how to blend both colors and textures of flowers on the job. She landed a job at a cookie factory and volunteered at a Carlton florist every holiday. Then she went to work for a Newberg floral shop called Sweet Nellies.
"I just kind of learned from the old florists around town, Dave Daniels and all of them," she said. "I had a knack for it and I just loved it. I did a lot of volunteering but I also did a lot of observation."
She recently started a Facebook page and is building a website. Social media is what Buxton is hoping will help kickstart her business and it seems it's working; she already has several regular clients who connected with her via Facebook.
"I'm trying to get accounts where they just call me and I can deliver to them," she said. "This was my first Valentine's Day and I was stressed and I didn't know what to expect, (but) I did about three-fourths of my goal. People are finding me, which is really awesome!"
She does not have a store front and she works in a corner of her barn lined with work tables and a large walk-in cooler that she has had since she was 19 or 20.
"I am having a lot of support from the community and already have a few clients," Buxton said.
What she likes about her new venture is the feeling of freedom and spending more time with her grandchildren. "I can still do fun stuff and have a life," she said.
Buxton has a vision for the future of her business, including planting a cutting garden this year for people who want to stop by and cut fresh flowers.
"I am hoping to start growing more of my own, because then you will see more of nature' reflection. Naturally grown flowers just make naturally beautiful bouquets."
For more information, visit Nature's Reflection on Facebook or call her at 971-221-3623.