Sometimes when you say it with flowers, you also say it with a sneeze, watery eyes or an occasional prick of a rose's thorn.
Ashlee Willis has a solution: artificial flowers.
Two years ago, Willis transformed her hobby of creating floral decor using artificial flowers into a blooming business. And while some may immediately think dollar store when they think artificial flowers, Ashlee Willis Floral Decor
looks as fresh and natural as real petals and greenery without the pollen.
"Everyone tells me they just love the look and design," says Willis. "Most people can't believe that they're not fresh flower arrangements."
Willis is on a quest to remove the stigma surrounding artificial flowers, as well as to bring affordable, maintenance free beauty to any home, office or special event. Her arrangements can be as small or large or as varied as most any bouquet ordered from a florist, and include roses, daisies, tulips, orchids and various accents and greenery.
Flowers are available primarily for rental, with some customers renting new arrangements each month for a "pick-me-up" for their home or office. Organizers and hosts of special events and parties also can enjoy the carefree setup and maintenance of Willis' arrangements, with no wilting, falling petals or drooping stems to detract from the ambiance.
"I just love the mood and memories flowers can create," says Willis. "I did a wedding recently where I surprised the bride with a bouquet that featured a charm of her mother who had recently passed away. The bride told me it was the best thing she ever had since she got to walk down the aisle with her mom and could keep the arrangement forever."
Willis runs her online business from home, and sometimes receives expert advice on arranging and color selection from her two toddlers. She hopes to move to a storefront once her kids are in school. Until then, she's planning to hire an intern or two to help out with her growing calendar of spring and summer events.
"I'm really into entrepreneurship," says Willis. "It's my passion."
Source: Ashlee Willis, Owner, Ashlee Willis Floral Decor
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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