Interview with Angela: 16 years in flowers!

Interview with Angela Stocke May 2016
16 Years in Flowers!
Ok, Ang….I’m just surprised you sold the shop. I thought you loved flowers? And this job seems amazing!!! What’s up???
I do love flowers. And they will always be part of my life…an integral part. And this job is amazing…and has been amazing for me for 16 years!! It’s just that my brain seems to keep going. It’s ready for a new experience and new challenges.
What will you do now?
Next for me is a career in a different field altogether. I have spent the last year and a half going to school to be a Business & Life Coach. I started a practice almost a year ago called Refine Life Coaching, LLC. I LOVE IT! I am so excited to do it full time. Much like the girls are ON FIRE for the shop…I am on fire to move forward in this next venture. So excited.
Ok, so you are going to be a Business & Life Coach, but will you still be at the shop sometimes?
I will be at the shop until the last week in July. From now until then, I will be in and out helping to transition the new owners into ownership. (But remember, they have worked at the shop a combined total of 8 years already…..so there are just a couple things for them to transition into!) I will also be designing for several weddings that I have taken. I will, of course, play an advisory
role to the new owners when needed over the next year or two. I may teach a class if the girls would like, and there is some talk about Windowbox Week. (I just love Windowbox Week….)
Stay tuned for an invitation to my Thanks & Goodbye Party! I’d love to say THANKS to you all for 16 years of business & flowers, and a sweet goodbye to the place I have built and loved. (Sometime at the end of July)
What about classes? What about Windowbox Week?
The girls will still have classes and all the events Bella has become known for. I imagine, with their energy and creativity, these events will be even BETTER THAN EVER! There has been discussion that I will perhaps play a role in the Windowbox Week Festitivies. TBA!!
My group was going to schedule a class with you…can we still do that before you go?
Yes. I will teach private classes until the end of June. If you still want to schedule a group of friends, email flowers@angelasbellaflora.com and let us know.
Is the name still going to be Angela’s Bella Flora, Inc.?
Angela’s Bella Flora, Inc. will change to Bella Flora, Inc.
What about the website?
The website will stay the same for now, and I‘m sure will get even better in the futureIt will be accessible under both www.angelasbellaflora.com and www.bellafloraduluth.com
Will Ang work on my wedding?
I will complete the weddings I have taken and the clients I have met with. But really, Ellie & Sarah have been doing most of the weddings these last years already. YOU ARE in GREAT HANDS! It’s likely the girls will call if there is a wedding or event that requires a very large design team.
Can I request that you come back to work on my wedding or funeral?
I will literally be working to build an entirely new business practice….and will be focused on the wonderful world of coaching. Again, Ellie & Sarah have been creating these designs for years. They are so excited to take care of you.
Is something wrong with the flower shop?
(Because otherwise, why would you leave…it seems like a dream job to me!)
Nothing is wrong with the flower shop. The sales are amazing, we have thousands and thousands of clients, hundreds and hundreds of brides and grooms. It’s extremely busy. It’s actually a wonderful time to sell a business! An entepreneur often has the goal of selling their business at some point. It’s OK! It’s a normal thing to do. (Actually, we are hiring for a busy summer and fall.  Check postings on FB if you are interested.).
I started this shop from a quiet thought in my head….and it got bigger and bigger. The shop is a really big job now…..a job that will now be split between two owners & their families. Bella Flora needs that kind of attention. It was little and now it’s big. It really is good news that it will now be run by TWO flower lovers!!!!
Are you sad?
Hmmm….am I sad, am I sad…..no. Not sad. Blessed to be able to sell something that I created. In the beginning, I had no idea if it would work. I thought it would. It worked!!! Amazing. I loved it. It was a beautiful way to spend 16 years. It did a LOT for me and for my family. It’s just time for me to move on.
Is there anything you will miss?
The smell of the shop, the constant source of entertainment….looking at flowers and combinations ever changing is kind of like being at an art show. Ellie and Sarah create gorgeous arrangements of color, texture, line…..and seeing the end product is like looking at art. I will miss that for sure. I will miss the positive energy the the shop brings out in everyone who walks through the door. I
will miss seeing the Bella Community…the Hermantown Mary’s, Linda’s, & Cindy’s. I’ll miss the garden club ladies & the Maurice’s crew. I will miss the entire downtown flower loving community. I will miss seeing 16 years of employees walking through the door to say hello. I will miss clients who were with me from the beginning. Many of you have been with me for 16
years!!!!!!! God Bless you guys! I will miss the Rose’s of the world, and watching how a wonderful place with good energy can make a person’s day.
As I write this….I have gone back up to reading the question, “Are you sad?” I guess I am a little sad. But this is what I am supposed to do next. I couldn’t be more sure of it!!! So mostly, I feel excited and peaceful about the whole thing. It’s a great place to be…really blessed.
Ang, what would you like us to know about the new owners?
Oh my goodness. So much.  To begin, I want you to know I would not sell the shop to just anyone. I wanted the next owners to really understand Bella. The heartbeat of it….the core. Sarah has been here for 5 years, and Ellie for 3. They’ve got it. Floral design is a lot about emotion. Flowers are used to celebrate important events from birth to death. It’s a workplace that requires heart and empathy, care and love. It’s not just a retail store. It’s truly about
feeling.
So let me just tell you what makes me so confident about these two lovely ladies.
1. Both Ellie & Sarah have a strong work ethic. Come early, stay late, get the job done. Both love work. They appreciate a project well done, from beginning to end. You have to like work if you own this place. There are long days and sometimes nights. Florists make hay while sun shines. The
sun isn’t always shining evenly each day for a steady and balanced schedule.
2. They know how to plan, execute & reflect. For instance, a wedding….they have done so many at this point it’s pretty natural. Plan your bouquets, write your flower order, flowers arrive….process flowers, pull bouquets, make bouquets, make corsages & bouts, make centerpieces, plan for packaging and delivery, execute all, reflect when done. They are not afraid to examine what works, what doesn’t and make changes. That takes skill, humility and
a willingness to learn. Not everyone has this…these ladies do!
3. They support each other and communicate well with one another.
4. They are young and there are TWO of them! They have energy, fire and excitement!
5. They are very supportive of local supply chains. They are already creating new relationships with local artisans and continuing our relationships with local flower growers.
6. The girls can make THE BIG STUFF. They can create & execute on a grand scale. These girls are creating amazing designs that I am amazed by.
7. They both have families that will support them. Over 16 years, my entire family has been involved. From Grandparents, to in-laws, to brothers, to parents….even my friends come and help on busy delivery holidays.  Family is so helpful when you own your own business.  (Who remembers Grandma Carmen cleaning the radiators in her white pantsuit, gold jewelry & heels?  God Bless Grandma Carmen!!!)
8. They are WELL-VERSED in all of Bella’s signature styles…Hana-Kubari, European Hand-Tied Bouquets, Earthy Crates, Rose Pots, Outdoor Winter Arrangements, etc. They have made hundreds and hundreds. Possibly thousands. I imagine they will add some more signature styles to the list!
9. They know and LOVE flowers.  They especially have a passion for the wedding & event industry.
10. They’ve got the art of “combination” figured out! (What looks good with what)
11. They are able to create a gorgeous store with their merchandising skills. These girls as a team can do IT ALL.
12. They continue to learn and are passionate about continuing their education in all things Bella. Stay tuned and watch them go!!!!
This still seems like such a surprise! How come I haven’t heard anything about this? I was just there yesterday….
Well, when you sell a business the attorneys, accountants & advisors involved recommend getting these things done quietly. This has been in the works for some time now. Ellie, Sarah & I, along with our families have had a decent amount of time to process this exciting news. And for all of us, it really is exciting news.
So, what’s the plan…is there a flower retirement party or something?
Hmmm…..not quite a flower retirement but a celebration of 16 years of wonderful. Stay tuned to Facebook & the Bella Newsletter for more celebration information.
If you have gotten this far, wow. Thanks for reading and for being a part of Bella. I’m truly grateful, and hope you will continue to love & find wonder and joy at the new Bella! Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at refinelifecoaching@gmail.com.
Additionally, I will be in and out of the shop until the end of July. If we don’t connect before then, you can find me in my yard….working on the gardens with dirt on my face (yay!), on the side of soccer field, a baseball field or a hockey rink with my husband watching three boys play their sports. Otherwise, I’ll be busy building the next chapter…..and isn’t it fun that there’s more than one???
Until then friends, Happy Flowering!
Sincerely,
Angela Stocke