Melodie Sevits carefully picks flowers from one of the heaps of colorful petals and stems stacked in perfect order onto a cross for a young man’s funeral with her mother Mary Sorensen and her good friend Cindy Fountain. Together, the three women work at The Blossom Shop at 1103 N Green St., where they craft and ship floral and plant arrangements for weddings, funerals, high school proms, college graduations, Truman State University Greek Life events and typical bouquets for those who want a quick thank-you gift or an I-love-you sentiment.
Sevits, current owner of The Blossom Shop, says she bought the store from its previous owner in 1998 when she was just 35 years old, but she was in the funeral and floral business long before that.
“I like being around people and arranging flowers,” Sevits says. “I’ve always liked flowers since I was a little girl. Whenever the shop came for sale, I decided I wanted to do it on my own and just try to be in business for myself instead of working for someone else.”
Sevits says while owning a floral shop she has learned there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes which people don’t know about.
For example, Sevits says there’s much preparation that goes into Valentine’s Day. She says she starts ordering flower and plant material now, in September, to make sure everything is in stock by February. Sevits also says on Valentine’s Day and other busy holidays many of her family members come into The Blossom Shop to help her create and ship out all the orders.
“I have good employees, family and friends,” Sevits says. “My whole family on holidays will pull together, and there will be 17 or 18 of us working together delivering. We’ll have five or six vans going at once. It looks like a beehive in here.”
Sevits says along with keeping busy in the shop, she often likes to go to different markets and design classes across the United States in places like Atlanta, Las Vegas, St. Louis and Kansas City to purchase the latest floral industry tools and gain new ideas and knowledge on arranging flowers. Sevits says they also order flowers from other countries, like places in South America and Holland.
Sevits says one of the funnier ideas The Blossom Shop has come up with is making prune bouquets for 50th, 60th and 70th birthday parties that come with Preparation H and aging pills as a gag gift for people getting older.
Along with a variety of over a thousand different types of flowers and plants, Sevits says they also have a gift shop which sells stuffed animals, trinkets, University of Missouri and Truman gear, witty signs, sports stuff, items for babies and religious crosses.
“We try to have something for every interest in the area,” Sevits says. “People have a lot of interests because there’s such a diverse population here with Truman students, people coming from out of town and the Kirksville community.”
Out of all the different aspects of her job, Sevits says her favorite one is helping people with something as simple and beautiful as a flower.
“It’s very rewarding to make a nice, colorful arrangement and go to a little lady’s house,” Sevits says. “It makes her day. Out of all the different aspects of of this business, that’s probably the most rewarding is to give people comfort through trying times. My favorite part is brightening someone’s day [and] being able to touch somebody’s heart in one day’s time.”