For one Minot woman, everything is indeed coming up roses, as she has realized a longtime dream and opened her own flower shop.
Flower Central, located in the former GEM Federal Credit Union building at 405 Central Ave. E., opened its doors April 13. Niki Brose, the owner, said they carry many things besides fresh flowers and plants. Flower Central also has candles and diffusers, balloons, candy and plush stuffed animals.
"We deliver all over Minot and the surrounding area," Brose said, noting they'll go to outlying communities such as Berthold, Minot Air Force Base, Surrey and Velva.
Flower Central is also a Teleflora shop. Brose said Teleflora is a wire service like FTD, meaning a customer can place an order at Flower Central in Minot and have it delivered all over the world by a local shop wherever the recipient is.
Brose has 21 years of experience in the floral industry, while the two other designers at the shop, Lorraine Bell and Teresa McGeough, have 13 years and seven years, respectively.
"We have three very talented designers on the staff," Brose said.
It has been Brose's dream for quite some time to have her own floral business, and being able to work with other people she admires professionally and likes personally is just the icing on the cake.
Brose didn't always dream of being a florist, however. While she took a job in a flower shop right out of high school, she had other aspirations at the time when she enrolled at Minot State University.
"It was a job that I got when I was going to college, right out of high school I started," Brose said. "Once I was done with my elementary ed degree, I just kept on in the flower industry."
Brose loved working with flowers so much she never pursued being a teacher, choosing instead to focus on the job she worked to make ends meet while getting her degree.
She learned much just from the day-to-day work she did at the flower shop, and also from her co-workers. Brose also noted getting to attend floral conventions and work with guest designers was another great way to learn the trade.
"A lot is learning on the job, and at conventions you assist the guest designers and they give you all the little grunt work to do and you just learn the different techniques," Brose said. "And Lorraine and I have both done that several times through the years."
Along with on-the-job training, Brose has also attended floral schools to gain even more experience. In addition to attending a bridal design school in Oklahoma City, she also travelled to Holland to learn from seven or eight different designers during an intensive 10-day flower design school.
Brose is a Certified Floral Designer, and also happens to be North Dakota's first American Institute of Floral Design-certified florist, which happened in 2004. She equates it to a master's degree in floral design.
"First you take a written test and then you go and take a design test," Brose said. "You get four hours to create five designs, and then they basically rip you apart and critique them."
"James Lowe actually also has that designation, too," she added. "He was inducted the year after I was, so there's only two of us in North Dakota."
The AIFD is a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest standard of professional floral design, according to its website.
Brose knows there are many flower shops in Minot, and she said Flower Central focuses on the quality of their designs and customer service to set them apart. Her customers so far have been extremely happy with the designs Brose and her staff have come up with, and particularly appreciate the bright, sunny atmosphere inside the shop.
Although she was nervous opening her own business, Brose said things have been going well and she couldn't be happier with her decision.
"It's hard to know what to expect when you first open, but it's been constant and I'm hoping that it gets busier," Brose said.
"We're excited to have everybody come visit," she added. "We like putting smiles on people's faces."