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Flowery idea triggers business

Angela Hagedorn holds a one of a kind wedding bouquet, including peonies and veronica.
 (Brian Plonka photos/ / The Spokesman-Review)
Angela Hagedorn holds a one of a kind wedding bouquet, including peonies and veronica. (Brian Plonka photos/ / The Spokesman-Review)

Most companies that deal with weddings have flowery names. And that’s true of Pistil Packin’ Posies. But it’s flowery with a twist.

“It took me probably a good two months to think of the name,” says Angela Hagedorn of her wedding floristry business. “I brainstormed with words that are associated with flowers and horticulture. I didn’t want anything conventional. I wanted something completely different. And there was a day when Pistil Packin’ Posies came to mind. So I asked a few friends and they all loved it.”

After graduating from Spokane Community College in 2004, Hagedorn planned to open a greenhouse nursery. Not a traditional one, but a park-like setting with different displays showing diverse uses of plants. A place people could sit and relax and enjoy the flowers. But her friends had other ideas.

“Basically, this all happened by chance,” says Hagedorn. “I had friends that kept asking me if I would do flowers for their spouses or their weddings. And my husband is in active duty military, so when the guys were away I was getting phone calls and e-mails sending me orders to get some flowers to their wives. So finally I said, ‘I might as well just start a business!’ “

Hagedorn has been gardening since she was a little girl. And although now she mainly gets her flowers from wholesale houses in Spokane, she often uses Dusty Miller and Lamb’s Ear from her garden if a bouquet isn’t quite right, or if something seems to be missing. She does most of the work herself, although her 17-year-old daughter is becoming quite adept at wiring corsages and boutonnieres, and her husband is the deliveryman for larger weddings.

For unusual requests Hagedorn has used fruits, vegetables, feathers, shells and jewelry in her bouquets. Many weddings have a theme, such as an ocean motif, or are modeled after popular movies. She enjoys that. She likes to give her bouquets “bling.”

“I have a wedding this summer where all the men are going to wear kilts,” says Hagedorn. “The bride has a ‘Lord of the Rings’ type of gown, and she actually has the kind of tiara crown worn in the movie. I’ll be using a lot of macaw feathers because she raises birds. I use what they ask. And I prefer that. I prefer things that are not the norm.”

The most popular floral requests are hydrangeas, calla lilies, peonies, roses and stephanotis, a white, star-shaped bloom. The most popular colors are blues, pinks and purples. Her personal favorite is the iris with its many hues. Her least favorites are roses and baby’s breath as they are too conventional. But she’ll use any flowers her customers prefer, although many need help in the decision.

“I just sit down and chat with them. I do free consultations, so basically I just get to know them and get an idea of what they picture that photograph on the wall will look like,” Hagadorn says. “Sometimes I pull out books and show them what different color and shape flowers there are.”

And sometimes customers will give her free rein with just a hint of preference.

“I had a lady that said, ‘Think Dali in a Japanese garden,’ and I thought ‘Oh, boy!’ So I went to the library and did some research,” says Hagedorn. “I do the free consultations, but once the bride leaves it takes me a while to sit down and figure it all out.”

Hagedorn has many ideas for her business future. She would love to do more showpieces, such as big buffet arrangements for corporate events. One of her dreams is to open a shop in the older part of her hometown of Cheney, with vintage wedding gowns, local artists’ crafts, and a loft space for consultations. She also envisions an event location to host weddings, with room enough to grow flowers and have display gardens and an outdoor chapel. And her original greenhouse nursery idea still has its charm. But the future depends not only upon Hagedorn’s own wishes, but also the needs of her family.

“I would take any of those dreams if it gave me the opportunity to have enough income and a place for our parents to work after they retire,” says Hagedorn.

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