In this series, Local Love, I will be sharing my conversations with local entrepreneurs in Denver, CO and surrounding areas. Each month, I will be featuring a local restaurant, business, or service that I personally love supporting. I hope you’ll take some time to check them out as well! I am beyond thrilled toI was beyond thrilled to get the chance to interview Jenna Rice, the founder of Honeycomb & Co, my favorite Denver area florist! Keep reading to learn more about Honeycomb & Co and Jenna’s 5 favorite tips to make the perfect spring centerpiece.
Honeycomb & Co is a full service florist shop located in the peaceful neighborhood of Sunnyside in Denver. Nestled between a boutique, and a Mexican restaurant, is the cozy and welcoming storefront – windows filled with the freshest stems available. My favorite part about visiting the shop, aside from the fresh blooms, are all the unique decorative items, often made by local companies (yes, they even carry Wooly Wax Candles!). Check out this cute little armadillo succulent planter!
I could spend hours in the shop, just finding unique little items to take home! In addition to the adorable gems you’ll find at Honeycomb and Co, you’ll also find a BEAUTIFUL selection of fresh flowers. Jenna and the team are happy to create a beautiful bouquet that fits your budget and vision right there on the spot. It’s such a custom and personal experience! I was looking for a cute centerpiece for a Spring Dinner party and Jenna pulled together the most colorful design in no time! It was so fun talking to her about my vision and seeing her bring it to life! Jenna was so creative with the centerpiece! She incorporated a lot of fresh, foodie elements like ornamental kale and bayleaves into her design. It was a really cool process!
While Jenna was putting together my centerpiece, I had a chance to catch up with her and learn more about her story. Keep reading for my interview with this floral entrepreneur + Jenna’s tips for making the perfect spring centerpiece for a dinner party!
A Focus on Quality…
Ana: How did you get into this? How did you decide to open your own floral business?
Jenna: I feel like it just sort of happened for me! I started working at a floral shop when I was 16. I got a job there so I could buy a car! I honestly had no other motivation to really do anything else so I got a job, wanted to get a car. And I just ended up falling in love with flowers and the whole retail shop / florist shop so I’ve never done anything else – since I was 16! I’ve always done it – found my calling early! And I just didn’t have any aspirations outside of doing flowers. I just thought, “well I’ll keep going and see what happens”. I ended up, around 20-21, thinking I don’t really want to do anything else, so this will be my career! I did end up going to school for a retail [degree] – it was called a merchandising and marketing degree. I just decided I would love to do it for myself, so it took a lot longer, but I finally got to open my own store!
A: I always wonder how people get in to this business – were you good at gardening when you were growing up?
J: Yeah, I don’t think I was! I had a neighbor that, when I opened my store, she said “Jenna, I always knew you were going to open a flower shop. When you were little you would come over and ask to pick the flowers in my yard all the time and I always told you no!”
A: So what makes Honeycomb & Co unique in your opinion?
J: We are a full-service florist, like so many others. But really the unique thing about us is that we are a market style shop and so we buy in small batches. We handpick everything from the market and that way we can always assure customers of quality and that the flowers that are in our store are the freshest that are available at the market. We go pretty much every day, every other day to the market. We sell out of what we have and buy fresh again! My hope is that everybody that gets flowers from us notices how long they last and how quality they are just because we’ve selected the best stems.
A: Does that mean all the flowers are locally grown?
J: Not all of them, about 50% of what we have in stock right now is locally grown. Locally grown flowers really depend a lot more on seasonality. So, since it’s springtime, a lot of flowers are coming available that are locally grown. For the most part, during the offseason, we get them greenhouse grown and they are shipped in to markets here in town from all over the world.
A: As a business owner, what are your thoughts about running a business in Colorado? What’s great about it? What may be challenging about it?
Jenna’s 5 Tips to Make the Perfect Spring Centerpiece
1) Consider the seating arrangements.
Your floral arrangement will depend on the set up of your table. Think about the number of people at the table, the size and shape of the table, and how are you setting it. This determines the amount of space you have for the flowers and it will determine the style of the arrangement (ex. minimal style, etc.) It’s also best to keep arrangements under 10 inches in height so they don’t block your guests’ view across the table making for awkward conversation.
2) Choose seasonally and think about a color story.
Think about colors that set the mood you are going for and whats in season. For the spring, try to find coordinating colors that feel lush and springy and bright, and pick a certain few colors to group together.
This season, we have a lot of tulips, ranunculus, snapdragons, anemones, hyacinth in stock. For the summer and fall, think dahlias and sunflowers. Greens are also important to keep the arrangement looking really fresh. At Honeycomb, they often use two different types of greenery in each arrangement with coordinating colors (maybe a darker green camelia with a lighter green). Greens should be purposeful and be able to stand alone when the flowers are gone. Greens that are lovely and in season are bay leaves (yes you can put them in floral arrangements!), camellia leaves, ornamental kale, and eucalyptus.
For the spring, lots of purples are popular because the color of the year was ultra violet. The white, green, and purple color scheme has been really popular. Other trends for spring include lots of color blocking (picking one color and running with it in design) and a lush garden-y look with lots of whites and greens.
3) Trust your florist.
Come up with a vision, but trust the florist to come up with the perfect arrangement. At Honeycomb & Co, the team handpicks all of their blooms so they’ll get the coolest arrangement that looks perfect for your vision and ensures you centerpiece is one of a kind.
4) Avoid heavily scented flowers.
For a dinner party, heavily scented flowers can detract from the dinner party vibes and the star of the show – the food! Try to choose minimally scented flowers for dinner party centerpieces.
5) Learn to keep your flowers fresh.
In addition to sourcing your flowers from florists with the freshest possible stock of flowers like Honeycomb & Co, proper care of your flowers will make them last as long as possible. Avoid using floral food and instead focusing on keeping the flowers in clean, clear water by replacing the water and snipping the stem every few days. Snipping the stems opens up the pores in the stem and they immediately begin sipping up everything around them. It’s best to snip the stems and place the flowers right into fresh water as soon as possible afterwards. Also, keep flowers out of direct sunlight as it causes them to open up faster (like aging, but for flowers) and can reduce their life cycle.
If you’re in town, be sure to check out Honeycomb & Co!