Meet the Vice President

Kelsey Thompson, AIFD, CFD is the current Vice President and acting Secretary for the Iowa Floral Association. The owner of Bloom in Algona Iowa, Kelsey has been in the floral industry for 12 years. She is also the Vice President of her local Chamber of Commerce and was recently awarded the Algona “Retailer of the Year”. She encourages everyone to get involved at some level – if you want to change or influence something, you haven’t earned a voice unless you are involved. Her passion is education, both on the receiving and giving end. If she could be a full-time floral student, she would! Kelsey is the Education Coordinator for IFA and loves the cooperative aspect of the classes; learning from the teachers as well as the attendees. She spends her free time chasing her two kids, traveling with her husband, golfing, reading, or in the gym. 

Get to Know Tonia Benson at Blooms and Things

Blooms & Things

8 South Main Street

Albia, Iowa 52531

Email: albiablooms@gmail.com

Phone: 641-932-7008

What got you into the Floral Industry?
I have always been, and will always be in love with all things wedding and wedding
planning. For four years I was the Wedding Sales Manager at Honey Creek Resort
in Moravia, IA. I worked with Mike’s Blooms & Things on several different events through the years and always appreciated a well designed bouquet. When my
husband and I decided it was time to expand our family, I thought it would be nice to be a little closer to home. So, halfway through my pregnancy, I saw Mike’s was
looking for a new manager, I checked it out, fell in LOVE with the floral world (and
my new son, Henry), then a year later I bought the shop I loved it so much! We’ve
renamed it Blooms & Things and it has been wonderful so far!
Areas of Specialty:
– Wedding Florals and Planning
– Personalized and Detailed Funeral Arrangements
Achievements:
– Certified Wedding Planner
– Working towards her ICF certification through the Iowa Florists’ Association
– Secretary of the AAYP (Albia Area Young Professionals)
– Voted as one of the Albia’s Chamber Board Members
Favorite flower and greenery type to work with and why:
If I HAVE to choose a favorite flower, I would most likely choose the ranunculus. They are so frilly, beautiful colors and if placed right in an arrangement can dance above the rest of the flowers. Such a pretty flower! I like everything eucalyptus. I’m really fond of the dusty sage color and the wonderful smell.
Favorite design style:
Garden Style or Natural.
What is a ‘must have’ staple to always have on hand:
Carnations, I know over the years carnations have received a bad rap, but they
come in SO MANY beautiful colors. They are ruffly and sweet, not to mention very
economical. Such a versatile flower if given the chance it deserves.
Frequently used words or phrases used around your Shops’ work family:
We like to keep it clean around the shop, so when we stub a toe or cut a flower too short, we might say “SHARKS” instead of… well you can fill in the blank! 🙂 We like to
call the shop flower world and you can often hear us reference the backup bucket for weddings or other events.
If you had one chance to convey your passion for all things floral to a huge group
of anti-florists (and cost wasn’t an issue), what would you say or do?
I would attempt to demonstrate the wonders of flowers and the happiness they can bring into peoples homes, offices or hospital rooms. As I put together an
arrangement (probably a large installation) I would try to educate the people of the benefits of flowers and what colors inspire what feelings, while focusing on some
of my favorite flowers and looks! Hopefully my enthusiasm will turn the haters into believers or at least make them consider it! 🙂
What is your goal when someone comes into your Shop for the first time?:
We hope that everyone that comes in our shop finds the prefect item or gift, that
they may not have even known they were after. We like to learn about the recipient and help them find the perfect arrangement, plant or other decor item that reflect
the person they are going to.
If you could change one thing about the way that Floral Designers are perceived – what would it be?
Our job is not just “easy” or “so much fun”. We actually work really hard to learn
each variety flower and it’s different preferences. Ordering the right amount of
flowers so we don’t run out or have too many. Keeping up with the latest trends and buying pretties that both fit the trending looks and desires of our customers but
also fit their spending plans. We are so lucky to tap into our creative outlets for
work everyday, but we aren’t just hanging out and playing with flowers all day.
What floral things are on your bucket list?
I am so excited to put together a large floral instillation someday. Something tall
and gorgeous, or maybe hangs from the ceiling.
What’s one thing that you wish the general customer knew?
The more freedom you give your designer along with good details of your event
and overall look your going for, the more unique and one of a kind your
arrangements will be. “Designers choice” arrangements are more often the most
beautiful pieces that go out of our shop!

Thank you for reading this post and learning a bit about one of the wonderful many member shops in Iowa! If you get the chance to drive through Albia, please pop in and say hi to Tonia and her crew! Thank you Tonia for sharing talent and pictures!

If you would like to have your shop featured on our blog. We would love to get to know you and your shop, and your specialties and what make you unique! What’s better is: IT’S FREE and so EASY to sign up! Here’s the form: https://iowafloristassociation.com/contact/feature-opportunity/

The Iowa Florists’ Association

We know you’re busy too!

This will be a short blog post, so please read all the way through!

We know that each and every one of you are busy, and your schedule may not leave much time for reading a newsletter all the way through to gain all the wonderful new and updated information that’s being presented! So to save you and the IFA Board some time and still get good concrete information, updates, articles and photos in front of your eyes, we are switching to a frequently updated on-line blog for the majority of the year, and for bigger occasions, we will blog and send a physical invitation to your doorstep!

Sound good? Yes!? Good!

If you have questions, please shoot them our way through our easy “contact us” form or email always works too at iowafloristsassociationinfo@gmail.com.

Hello Flower World!

Welcome to our new and updated website! Keep checking back, lots of information and articles to come. Please take a look around and let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Iowa Florists’ Association