A Conversation with a Butterfly

How Michelle Puckett is Helping the Earth and Ecosystem

By now we all have heard that the butterfly population is in danger. We have read it briefly in magazines, might have seen it on signs or on commercials while watching TV. But do we know the extent of it? 

Michelle Puckett does. She truly should be called the spokeswoman for the butterflies, these beautiful creatures that we love and admire, creatures that we would miss dearly if they suddenly disappeared. The annual population status report for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus shows a 27 percent decrease from last year’s population.) Populations of this once-common iconic black and orange butterfly have plummeted by approximately 90 percent in just the last two decades.

I got the special chance to talk to Michelle about her passions, her businesses, and her love of helping others. 

Tell me how you started/ how and why you were inspired to create Blooming Butterflies, on top of your other business, Designer Diva Retail?

Blooming Butterflies is a non-profit organization that originally began as providing mini-grants to both public and private organizations so they could build garden beds and fill them with milkweeds, a butterfly’s primary food source. After this initiative took off, the foundation aggrandized more innovative in-classroom programs and supplemental educational material in order to raise more awareness. Helping people is my passion- my other business is Designer Diva Retail that is aimed at helping people who are unemployed or recently getting back into the workforce dress appropriately for the job! 

Where do you see Blooming Butterflies in the next 5 years? 

We are currently looking for land to flourish into a Monarch butterfly habitat among many other ideas I have mapped out. We are just awaiting the perfect plot of land for the garden. 

On your website, Blooming Butterflies, you have a section dedicated to papers of researchers, journalists, and other writers that viewers can read and learn about a variety of things associated with butterflies and our ecosystem. Tell me what kind of articles you want to see more of in the future?

How Designer Diva Retail is a place for women and men to come for shopping for designer clothes at an affordable and reasonable price- and enjoying the experience! 

How do we stress to the Houston community that butterflies are a vital part of our ecosystem and must be protected and rejuvenated? 

Monarch butterflies are a vital part of our food source regarding the pollination process. The illegal logging in Mexico where the Monarchs fly over 3,000 miles to migrate in the fall is being destroyed. In the spring, the Monarchs fly back over to begin their process of laying eggs on the only host plant, the milkweed! 

Are there any other events that you are planning to add to your calendar in order to raise awareness for the butterflies? 

Yes! A fashion show this summer and garage sales coming up this spring, and even BIGGER things coming up that I can’t disclose at this time! 

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