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Growing a Blooming Business

Floral Store Expands Under the Leadership of a New Owner

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Article by Allison Gibeson

Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Lee's Summit Lifestyle

When Barbara Keller bought All A’ Bloom Floral Design about a year and a half ago, it was already a well-known and successful floral business in historic downtown Lee’s Summit. Since taking the helm, Keller has grown the business to a new level and has plans to continue that growth in the future.

All A’ Bloom first opened in 2004, and thanks to the hard work of the previous owner, it developed a great reputation and customer base over the years. It moved locations in downtown but remained a key business in the area.

With this solid foundation, Keller was able to immediately begin looking at how to further improve and expand the business.

“It was really important to me to be able to provide that same level of service, if not more, and breathe some fresh air into it,” Keller says.

She had previously owned a business of her own but spent several years in the corporate world. She was looking for ways to get back into running her own business when the previous owner planned to sell All A’ Bloom, and she believed it was a good fit and the right opportunity for her. She loves the business development aspect of the work and believes this was a chance for her to step outside her comfort zone and pursue one of her dreams.

Despite her business background, she didn’t have specific experience in the floral industry. Yet, she was excited about what she could do with the business, and the team of designers helped teach her. She also hired a consultant to help update processes and procedures. She said she has found other owners of floral shops were in the same position when they began their business, and she has enjoyed becoming immersed in the industry.

Having a quality product is essential and is one way All A’ Bloom stands out from the competition. The team of non-traditional designers at the business work hard to ensure this quality. Keller says they have improved processes with their flowers, so they are healthier, more vibrant and last longer.

“Most people think we spend our day creating big beautiful flower arrangements when actually we spend a great majority of our time caring for our flowers,” Keller says. “It all starts by hand selecting our flowers each week to ensure we have the most beautiful blooms available, but having the best flowers is not enough for us.”

She says once the flowers arrive, a regimen of processing, hydration and maintenance begins. Even the cooler, tools and vases are treated to a special maintenance regimen.

Keller has also worked to create a new website which has enabled the company to end its business relationships with wire services. She says if a customer places an order with them on their website, they are supporting the local business and no longer paying a commission to a third-party collector.

All A’ Bloom is a traditional florist with flower arrangements in the cooler and plants and home décor in the boutique gift shop. They also do arrangements for same-day delivery, and events, businesses and weddings are an essential part of the business.

The business reaches across the country as they can deliver nationally with the help of their network of florists. They also hold various workshops where they teach techniques for arranging flowers in a fun way.

“We’re working hard to reach that customer who isn’t going to think about ordering flowers when they are walking down the street,” Keller says.

To accomplish this, they move flowers outside when the weather is nice and have “Flower Happy Hours” on Thursday and Friday afternoons when they offer half-priced stems.

She said in the future they would like to do more workshops and events, have more corporate accounts, go to more wedding shows and partner with more event coordinators.

Keller encourages everyone to go for their dreams and is glad she took the chance on the business. Through it all, she hopes she is giving her daughters inspiration to chase their dreams as well.

“It’s never going to work if you don’t try,” she says.

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