Armed with a floral knife and a basket of colorful flowers, design instructor Frankie Shelton told a class of flower-shop owners Wednesday that they can't "sell an empty wagon."
Relating how she
lost a potential customer many years ago because the flower case was empty at closing time, Shelton
told the students to always keep their coolers filled with "a bunch of stuff ready to go."
The business tip was one of many that Shelton, a designer, teacher and motivational speaker from Houston, Texas, shared with students during a three-day seminar at Countryside Flowers, 109 E. 39th St., in Joplin.
especially enjoys teaching the craft to students who otherwise would never be able to attend a design school.
"I like to take my knowledge to the grass roots, especially where people can't get to a school," she
said of her
35 years of experience.
Moravitis asked Shelton
told the beginners to get silk flowers in various sizes and colors for line, mass and filler, and then "practice, practice, practice.
said the skill eventually will present itself.
also told shop owners to set a one-day-a-week routine to go to businesses and establish corporate accounts.
suggested taking along a rose for the owners.
"I'm from the country, and I know you have to plant seeds to get a crop," Shelton
said flower-shop employees must be able to spell boutonniere and know the names of all the common flowers.
They also should know that women buy more flowers than men, and that women prefer colored roses.
Famed florist Frankie Shelton is a former president of the American Institute of Floral Design and trustee of the foundation's scholarship fund.
said that under three presidential administrations, she
decorated the White House for Christmas.
SOURCE: The Joplin Globe
About Frankie Shelton
is an internationally known designer, teacher and commentator.
For four separate years under three presidential administrations she
was selected as a White House decorator at Christmas
She was a decorator for the Vice Presidential home in 1985 and was chairperson of the Inaugural Design teams in 1985 and 1989.
She is the past president of the national American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).
Prominent among her
awards are: Distinguished Services to the Industry, Distinguished Service to AIFD
, Fellow of the Institute with life membership, Tommy Bright Award for outstanding floral industry commentating, and the Florida Hall of Fame Award for Distinguished Service to the industry.
owned and operated a retail floral business for 18 years, which she
sold in 1977.
She continues a busy career as Educational Director of the Shelton-White School of Floral Design and owner of Florenco.