Marketplace: Flowers By You lets florist share passion with Park City
September 17, 2018
Kathryn Blanken toyed around with the idea of opening her own floral shop for several years. But when the opportunity came to take the leap, she paused, unsure if it was the right step.
Now, one month after her official opening, she is glad she decided to take the chance.
Blanken's shop, Flowers By You, is a floral bar that offers classes and workshops on floral arrangements while also selling flowers and plants. It is located at 1729 Sidewinder Drive.
Blanken said her passion for flowers and plants has been one of her defining characteristic throughout her life. While working in market development early in her career, her desk was always covered in flora. One of the first thing she does when she checks into a hotel is buy flowers to liven up the room.
"Wherever my space is, I have to have plants and flowers, that is just part of me," she said.
When she and her husband moved to Park City in 2012 to work as household managers, she started to pursue her passion a little further. She attended workshops all over the U.S. on floral arranging and started getting calls from people asking her to decorate for parties or make an arrangement for a gift. She worked out of her home as a side project, but the demand soon became too much with her limited space and time. She started considering expanding her work into its own business.
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Around that time last year, life events shifted Blanken's mindset about her career. Her father and father-in-law died within a few weeks of each other. Shortly after, her brother passed away.
Blanken said the family deaths reminded her that life is short, and she should go after her dreams while she can.
Blanken and her husband also realized they wanted jobs that were more flexible so they could spend time with family. They started their own property management company, and started to look at possible locations to open a floral bar. They spoke with businesses about renting out a section of a store for Blanken to work out of, but no one was interested.
Then, in April, Blanken was printing business cards for her realty company when she saw a vacancy for a store off Sidewinder Drive.
"When I walked in I was like, 'This is perfect,'" she said.
When the opportunity was in front of her, she got cold feet and asked herself if she was really ready to take on a new venture. After several conversations with her husband, they decided to give it a try. "You just have to take that jump sometimes," she said. "And it's scary and it's thrilling and it's exciting."
She moved into the store in the middle of May and started building the business. She said growth has been slow, but she is happy to be doing what she loves.
"I still pinch myself," she said. "After everything happened last year, that's when my husband said, 'If we don't do it now, we're never going to do it.' Now, we're doing it, and it feels really good."
Currently, she and her husband continue to work for their property management business in the mornings, then she opens Flowers By You from 2 to 7 p.m. In the small family business, Blanken teaches classes on potting plants, caring for plants and creating personal terrariums, and her 84-year-old mother helps clean the vases and meet with customers.
As the business grows, Blanken hopes that she and her husband, who also has a passion for flowers and design, can work at Flowers By You full time and accomplish her long-time dream.
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