Youth teams with experience at Meiers Floral
After selling her Stanley flower shop and moving to Minot, Jeanie Meiers just couldn’t stay away from the industry she had invested so much time and energy in. Fortunately, she found a kindred spirit who shares her passion for floral design.
Jeanie Meiers and Kyle C. Mayer have opened Meiers Floral Inc. in the Caribbean Color building, which used to house Chocolatopia and The Skadium before that.
The path Meiers walked to be where she is today started over a decade ago in Stanley, when she opened the first incarnation of Meiers Floral and ran it for 10 years. Three years ago, with their children grown and showing no interest in the floral industry, Meiers and her husband decided to sell the shop and move to Minot. Unfortunately, the shop didn’t actually sell until a year after the move, making for a long daily commute for Meiers.
“The first year we were in Minot, actually, I drove back and forth to Stanley every day, six days a week,” Meiers said. “So I’m not afraid of hard work, because I had to do it.”
One of the things she fell in love with during her time in the shop at Stanley was the educational process the floral industry has, which she called amazing.
“There’s a school we go to in Minneapolis, the Institute of Floristry, and that educator has become a huge friend and mentor to all of us out here,” Meiers said.
While Meiers has always loved the design aspect of the floral industry, she increasingly found that imparting all her experience and knowledge on to up-and-coming designers had great appeal, as well.
“I’ve always thought that I would want to go on and be the creative person, but as I’ve gotten older I really want to see it develop in the younger ones that are coming in,” Meiers said.
The floral bug never really left Meiers, and she started a floral business in Minot that strictly handled weddings and some other special events.
“I just missed being in a shop after the ten years of having my own floral and gift shop. I missed it,” Meiers said. “So I though, OK, I can do weddings out of my home.”
After two years she became overwhelmed with all the work she was getting and needed some help. That’s where Mayer came in.
This past year Meiers took on Mayer to help with all the contract work during the busy wedding season. Mayer graduated from Dakota College at Bottineau with a triple major in landscape design, floral design and greenhouse technologies.
During college he started working part time in his professor’s flower shop, Turtle Mountain Floral, and during the first floral convention he attended Mayer met Meiers. The more she saw of Mayer’s work over the next couple of years at various conventions, the more impressed she was. Impressed enough to keep him in mind when she needed help with her own work.
“Then last January she contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to do freelance work with her this past summer,” Mayer said. “I’m from Williston, so I then had to commute back and forth. It was generally weekends when we’d have the weddings.”
Although they had a successful partnership, it wouldn’t have lasted unless some changes were made. While Mayer enjoyed working with Meiers, he needed to pursue full-time employment, something the contract wedding work didn’t provide.
“I knew I wasn’t going to have Kyle for very long because he was young and wanted to get out on his own,” Meiers said. “He was going to need to do more than just contract work with me in weddings.”
Mayer had left everything behind in Williston to move to Minot in pursuit of his dreams in floral design, which Meiers saw as a good sign of his dedication.
“It was encouraging for me to want to work with him and to see if we couldn’t get a start for both of us,” Meiers said. “Me knowing the business and him having the energy.”
“We saw that there was so much opportunity with Minot picking up, kind of this area of North Dakota picking up business,” Mayer said. “We just saw a great opportunity and thought there was plenty of room for us to try to make a go at this and be more of a full-service florist versus just weddings.”
In addition to offering a full slate of floral and design services for personal as well as business needs, Meiers Floral also offers a few unique things.
They carry high-quality linens, which customers won’t find in a typical department store.
“It’s going to be more high-quality stuff; nice, neat patterns and nothing you’re going to see at everyone else’s house,” Mayer said.
Meiers Floral also has Abdallah chocolates, which are made in Minnesota. Their greeting card line is also from a small, independent company in the Minneapolis area. They even carry stained glass created by artists in Williston.
“We really want to encourage a lot of the smaller vendors,” Meiers said.
“We’re trying to market ourselves in a couple different things that you may not find in other floral shops,” Mayer added.
Although the full-service floral shop has only been open since Jan. 1 this year, things are going about as well as could be possible for the two. While Meiers might have given up her shop of 10 years in Stanley, she not only gained a new business in Minot, but a new business partner and student she can pass her knowledge on to.
“It’s kind of a match made in business,” Meiers said. “We really do complement each other in a lot of ways, but we also have our very distinct tastes, as well.”