Inside Track: Posh Petals grows out of successful home business

December 6, 2014 - garden totes

Elizabeth Schenk competence still be operative in corporate communications during Universal Forest Products Inc. had it not been for a business try that gradually blossomed.

“Blossom” is some-more than a cliché. Schenk finished a preference progressing this year to renounce a systems analyst/communications position she hold for 10 years during Universal Forest to thrust uncontrolled into her possess floral pattern business she has dubbed Posh Petals.

In November, Posh Petals was named Outstanding New Business by a city’s Neighborhood Business Alliance and Neighborhood Ventures.

The storefront during 2150 Plainfield Ave. NE has a possess storied past. In a 1940s, it was a Roxy Theater. Later it served as Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and, after that, as a roller-skating arena.

But a chronological stress of a building wasn’t on Schenk’s mind when she leased a 2,100-square-foot space for 6 months. Her categorical reason for selecting a site was since it’s tighten to where she lives.

“I beheld on a Saturday (while looking during Craigslist), it was a integrate of blocks from my home,” pronounced Schenk. “I looked during it Monday; we shook hands and sealed a franchise on Tuesday, in Apr of this year.”

Today, there are no vestiges of a building’s former occupants. Schenk has finished a interior her possess with a friendly vibe. The space isn’t impressed with a confusion of merchandise. Instead, she wants business to be intrigued by a accumulation of flower-related pieces on arrangement that inspire browsing.

Posh Petals facilities a cooler filled with uninformed blooms and arrangements and a “build-a-bouquet” hire where shoppers can name a vase, supplement H2O and name from a accumulation of blooms.

Ribbons and bows are accessible for that finishing touch, as is valuables from Spring Lake’s Rose Water Designs, receptacle bags from Green Girl of California, perfumed physique products from Library of Flowers, and custom-order timber equipment like marriage cake toppers and pattern frames that can be personalized. Schenk combined that Posh Petals is one of usually 3 Trapp Candle retailers in a Grand Rapids area.

Then there’s Murphy, a lionhead brew rabbit who stays in his enclosure many of a time though can infrequently be found erratic via a floral store.

In some ways, Schenk is not a normal florist. For instance, she does not keep on palm for business a “look book” — a catalog of photos that arrangement customary floral designs from that congregation can choose.



“I didn’t wish to do that,” pronounced Schenk. “I wish each fragrance to be singular — to have some personality.”


Schenk started Posh Petals 6 years ago as a home business, doing floral arrangements and bouquets for weddings. Word widespread fast about her personalized and smart designs and, by a commencement of this year, she had outgrown her home workspace.

Initially, she was only looking for a incomparable workspace that could hoop a volume of her business — until she found a ideal space and motionless to open a storefront.

The certain appetite during Posh Petals might not have happened if not for a birth of Schenk’s son, Waylon, named after nation song fable Waylon Jennings. His attainment nudged Schenk to comprehend that operative an normal of 100-hour weeks between her pursuit during Universal Forest and her floral pattern business did not leave adequate time with her son.

It sounds extraordinary that anyone would frankly work that volume of hours, though Schenk insists she would frankly have continued that gait since she enjoyed sophistry her responsibilities during Universal Forest with her floral business.

“If we didn’t have my baby, we substantially would have kept doing a same thing,” she said. “But we didn’t wish to keep him in daycare all a time.”

Earlier in her life, creation a vital by conceptualizing bouquets with calla lilies, eucalyptus, mist roses and a like wasn’t on Schenk’s radar as a career. During her years as a college tyro during Ferris State University in Big Rapids, it was a approach to acquire income during a summer months during Batschke Flowers Greenhouse and Garden Center in her hometown of Bay City. After graduating, she changed to Grand Rapids in 2002 to work for Sharp Marketing.

But afterwards one thing led to another. Three of her brothers were married within a year-and-a-half, and all incited to her for their marriage floral arrangements. Soon, a crony who worked as an eventuality planner enlisted her flower-arranging skills. It snowballed from there.

Six years ago, she started conceptualizing arrangements and bouquets for weddings on her own. The initial year she estimates she did about 25 weddings, that climbed to 40 a subsequent year until, in 2013, it was scarcely 80 weddings. Projections for 2014 prove she’ll do floral arrangements for around 100 events, including weddings, events for nonprofits and corporations, and funerals. She also does her possess deliveries.

Schenk pronounced she left Universal Forest on good terms. Her trainer positive her there would always be an opening for her during a association if she ever wanted to return.

She named her business Posh Petals, in part, as a curtsy to a British cocktail lady group, a Spice Girls.

“The CEO of Universal used to call me Posh, for a Spice Girls,” pronounced Schenk, referring to Victoria Caroline Beckham who was dubbed Posh Spice.

Schenk’s work in corporate communications might have combined a pet peeve: People who can’t spell even a simplest of difference correctly.

“It’s extraordinary how many people can’t spell ‘petals,’” she said. “I’ve seen ‘peddals’ and ‘pedals,’ like on a bicycle. we did proofreading for years for Universal. we cringe.”

Schenk’s favorite flowers are from a ranunculus family, that includes buttercups, spearworts, H2O crowfoots and a obtuse celandine that are mostly splendid yellow or white. Her humorous side comes out when she explains because a ranunculus is a personal favorite.

“It looks like a rose that got crushed in a face, like a pug,” she said. “It comes in a accumulation of colors and looks so cute, like a bunny.”

When she was a child, Schenk wanted to be a zoologist. “I only adore animals,” she said.

Zoos, however, are not high on her list, generally a ones that don’t yield adequate room to roam, she added.

“You go to a zoo and see a bear pacing behind and forth.” She shakes her head. “Animals are like flowers. You can’t demeanour during this man and not smile,” she says, gazing during Murphy who’s nestled in her arms.

Behind Schenk’s enchanting grin is an abiding enterprise to make people happy.

“People don’t comprehend over a financial cost,” she said. “Yes, it’s $45 to send flowers, though compared to creation someone’s day, we can’t unequivocally put a value on it.”

There is an unsettled side Schenk thinks she might try during some indicate in her life.

“Sometimes we feel there’s something else we could be doing,” she said. “I haven’t figured it out yet. we let things take their course, only follow a devise given to me.

“I arise adult in a morning with no regrets for what I’ve done. I’m giving my family time and giving my clients good work, and I’m happy with what I’m doing. A good residence and so most income do not conclude who we are. I’d rather be famous for my enchanting personality.”

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