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Hannah Richard opened Blissful Blooms flower shop in 2014, along with her mother, Dana Decuir, and sister, Alanna Russell. Initially in the wedding business since 2010, they catered, decorated, coordinated, and planned these special events. The mother/daughter trio chose to become florists as a means to generate daily revenue, but still remain in the wedding industry.
In Louisiana, florists are certified by the state and shops undergo yearly unannounced inspections. Prior to opening Blissful Blooms, Dana and Alanna attended floristry design classes at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and took the certification test through the LA Horticulture Dept. Hannah later took the classes, along with a younger sister, Mikaela; but the state requires one only person to be certified in a flower shop, so there was no need for them all to take the exam. Hannah is a “floral designer” and she appreciates the artistic nature of the floral industry. “I love being able to use my creativity to bring people joy.”
Hannah says a typical day at Blissful Blooms varies from day to day. “I have some days where I beg for the phone to ring. Other days I beg for the phone to stop, and we don’t eat lunch until 4:00 p.m. We make deliveries and work on orders throughout the day. We wash buckets every two days to reprocess the flowers in the cooler. And we’re constantly cleaning the floor. We have a saying here – if the floor is clean, you’re not working.”
The florist business isn’t always a bed of roses, Hannah admits. She says it’s often a struggle to balance work life and family time. She homeschools her three sons and often takes them with her to the shop. “I am a people pleaser who can put my own time, worth, and family on the back burner to grow my business or to accommodate customers. Another challenge is managing customer expectations and educating them on proper floral and plant care. I also need to realize that sometimes I can’t make everyone happy, and that is okay.”
But with challenges come rewards. Hannah says she finds joy in the relationships she builds with customers. “I love to make someone’s day turn completely around with a delivery of flowers.”
According to Hannah, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for their business, but Valentine’s Day is a close second. They sell 700-800 red roses for this day dedicated to sweethearts. For those not fond of roses, they also sell quite a few tulip arrangements. Blissful Blooms also offers mixed flower arrangements, chocolates, teddy bears, and balloons.
After three location moves between 2014 to 2017, Blissful Blooms is now located at 246 N. Main St. in Jennings, La. They currently share a storefront with Betty’s Flowers, owned for 41 years by Betty Breaux. Hannah says, “Since the merger, both our businesses have grown and improved over the years.”