Nothing says you’re special like flowers. Long romanticized as a staple of beauty and gracious living, flowers make everything better — an apology, a celebration and even a homegoing. Second generation florist Kelly Jones of Goodness Gracious Florals makes her contribution to the flower industry in Detroit and southeastern Michigan by providing unsurpassed service and phenomenal floral arrays for individuals and institutions interested in image upgrades. –roz edward
What are the challenges of being a florist?
Capital, in any business, is a challenge. But product is part of that challenge. These are perishable items, so you have to really be on top of actually flipping [them]. If you buy it, it has to be used in a matter of time, which is usually within a 72-hour window. And this is a very physical business.
How did you grow your business?
By doing what I say I am going to do — and doing it to the best of my ability. We also do gift items, mood settings, staging and exterior and interior landscaping.
What is staging?
It involves getting people to feel a certain way. Take, for example, the North American Auto Show here in Detroit. Manufacturers needed people to feel a certain way toward their products, so that involved altering the lighting scheme, and the florals had to reflect specific themes. The arrangement for the Corvette needed to represent speed, so we made a very angular, very progressive design incorporated in the florals by using greenery and vibrant tropical flowers for their angular shape.
How do you stay competitive?
I drive the price down against my competitors, and I have established good relationships with the growers.
What does it mean to be a powerful woman?
It means I get to share the truth — as I have learned it from older and wiser people than myself — with younger people and remind them of their responsibilities to themselves and each other.
What are the three key elements of being a successful businesswoman?
Do what you say you are going to do. Get paid for the work that you do. And be good to yourself as well as others. You also have to be involved with the community you service. The community is where you get your money from so it’s mutually symbiotic.
What’s next for you and Goodness Gracious Florals?
I want to open a school and pen a book on the seasons of the year.
What’s your guilty pleasure?