Your Name: Jenny Behlings
Your Business name: Jenny’s Floral
Your Location: 528 Mt. Rushmore Road, Custer, SD 57730
How did you start your business?
I started my business when I was 23 years old; I had always loved flowers, a trait that had been “planted” in me by my Mother and Grandmother, both were big gardeners (veggies and flowers) and especially my Grandmother who raised African Violets. I am truly a South Dakota Girl, my roots here can be traced back to my Great Great Grandparents who came to Dakota Territory by covered wagon and settled here to be farmers. When I graduated from High School and I was looking for a career that meshed flowers and plants and that I could do and still live in South Dakota. Landscaping here is quite seasonal, so Florist rose to the top of my list. I borrowed $2000 from my parents, bought an old pop cooler and wrote “Jenny’s Floral” with a magic marker on a big piece of paper to hang in the window of the building I had rented.
How many years have you been in business?
This past March marked my 25th year of business in my own shop.
What is your design aesthetic?
My design styles have changed and grown over the years, originally I was trained in a very traditional “old school” style that I still hold true to for the design principles that tradition holds. But due to the great changes in trends and the designs that have become more popular in my region I would have to say much of my design leans toward a mille fleur style with a rustic garden look and feel. We design most often in vases (very little done in foam) with a lot done as hand tied arrangements that are created as the customer looks on – we have an open floor plan in our shop with the design area flowing into the retail space and the display cooler. Thus many of our bouquets for walk-in purchase are created as they are purchased, which lets the customer be a part of the design process.
What inspires you?
A better question might be what doesn’t inspire me? I see design everywhere! Nature is the best for finding inspiration, but art, photography, music…it all plays a part in my very creative life!
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
We do a lot of wedding work, as we are in a mountainous forest region of South Dakota, where many people come to get married in beautiful outdoor settings. So I would have to say most of our wedding work centers around the natural “wildflower” look that most of our brides are after. No one color plays a heavy role for us more than green – all shades. Everywhere you look you see green and it is a great “neutral” to mix with all the other colors in our cooler.
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I am a Main Street Retail shop. 5 years ago we tore down the building where I was based (a 120 year old “shack”) and built in its place a historically themed building. We love it and it has been called the “jewel” of our downtown.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Other services we offer include plants, gifts, wedding planning, designs and rentals, tuxedo and linen rentals, as well as home décor.
What does your toolbox look like?
Like most florists it’s typically a mess – but if I dig long enough I’m sure I have everything I need! Most days I work at an “island” work station with a drawer filled with all my necessities. But when working off site, I carry a well stocked “tackle box” that helps me deal with all my chores.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I’m a knife user…I like a single-blade red folding Victorinox knife that I keep very sharp, but I do love the “Chinese scissors” that I use when unpacking flowers.
What’s your favorite flower?
Hands down my favorite flower is the Peony. Since I was a child playing in my mom’s garden the peonies have been my favorite and being able to use them in wedding work is my dream job!
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Being able to do what I love everyday has been the greatest blessing of my life. Being a small business owner and my own boss has also been a great blessing to me and my family, with the flexibility it has offered. It’s very important to love what you do – you’ll never “work” a day in your life!
Thanks so much!!!!
What is your contact information?
Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, CFD, SDCF
528 Mt. Rushmore Road
Custer, SD 57730
800-432-3549 toll free