My name is Janice East. I'm a Gilmer, Texas native and have lived here all my life, except for two years in college (but I was home every weekend.) I have been in the floral business since 1999. I took my grandmother to the funeral home to see all the flowers, before my granddaddy's funeral service. She wanted to look at all the cards on the flowers and see Granddaddy one last time, without everyone around. While we there, we saw one of the flower shop owners (and a school friend of my parents) delivering more flowers for him. Later that night, we received a call and she ask if I wanted a job!
With no real experience, I got the job and started out sweeping the floors, bleaching the buckets, delivering flowers, and watching everything the other employees did. I was in college at the time, but could be home to work on Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and Saturday morning. It wasn't long before I was saying "I can do that order!" My education came from hands on experience and learning the style of arranging that our customers and people in our town prefer. I've learned that what may be popular in the big cities, is not necessarily what everyone in a small town desires. I also try my best to provide quality work for you, at a reasonable price. I did have horticulture classes in college and I loved working in the greenhouse on campus.
I worked at that shop for three different owners and 15 years, before leaving to devote my time to my online business, GypsyFarmGirl. My online shop was a night / weekend job to make a little extra "Christmas money" and allow me to have creative outlet. After about two years, my shop took off and really started growing and I was working at the flower shop 9+ hours a day, taking care of our farm and working in every other spare moment to create burlap and lace wedding bouquets to ship out. Something had to give. At the end of 2014, I left my "day job" and devoted my time to expanding my personal business. In 2015, we decided to set up at a few vintage markets with a friend and former coworker at the flower shop. Angea Howell and I have lots of fun at the markets and we set up with my 1959 vintage glamper named Miss Gussie. Together, we also have a booth at the Uniques and Antiques store in Mineola, Texas and occasionally collaborate on some fresh flower projects.
As time went on, former customers and friends found out I was no longer working for the flower shop in town, I started getting request to design flowers for their weddings, events, and funerals. I am honored to be chosen to help create arrangements and decorate for your special events. Both my online shop and my fresh flower design work have never had any paid advertising. I truly appreciate and am humbled by everyone who refers a friend to me or shares about our shop on social media and places their trust in me.
I know my job is about more than just creating pretty things, it's about helping you out in your time of need, creating a working relationship, and being there when you need assistance. When someone orders funeral flowers, I know that it is one of the worst days of their life. I know its not easy, as I've been there several times myself. Whether you are celebrating the joining of two families in marriage or honoring a life gone before us, I hope to be of assistance and make the process as easy as possible, with utmost care and respect for you.
I decided to create this blog as a portfolio of some of my fresh flower design work, so that others may see the type of work I have done for past customer. I'm always open to creating something new or different for you, just as every life and event is unique. I work from my home and do not keep flowers in stock all the time or have a public store front. Occasionally, I do have some flowers left from another event and can do something without advance notice or without a minimum order amount. If you would like to set up an in person consultation or over the phone meeting, please message me and we can determine a place to meet or send me your phone number for a return call. (The staff at McWhorter Funeral Home have my contact info, if you are there making arrangements.)
Looking forward to helping you in the happy and sad times.