All your senses come alive as you walk into the new floral and gift shop called The Flower Pot in Calmar. The store takes on its own magic of color and light as colorful, fragrant flowers waft around your senses and your eyes delight in fanciful figurines, chocolates, and wine that are sure to fill you with delight. Master florist Audrey (Novak) Hurd’s talent comes alive in all corners of the pretty designed store with an assortment of must-have luxurious items from chocolates, wine, flowers, candles, scarves, jewelry and more. A perfect place to find just the right gift all wrapped up with flare that you can touch off with a special card by local artist, yours truly.
After a soft opening in late November, the floral shop on 110 N. Maryville Street is having a Grand Opening this Thursday, January 23 from 3 to 7 p.m. Audrey and her husband Michael will have door prizes, refreshments, wine tasting as well as 10 percent off of both Marquette Maid and Stone Cliff wines. Plus, in honor of their Grand Opening, they also will have 20% off the entire store, except wine! Come in and welcome them and daughter Paige Snow who also works at the shop in Calmar.
Before Valentine’s Day, Audrey will be getting in something special called the rainbow rose and will make a perfect gift for the occasion. “I also carry silk and fresh flowers and design my own arrangements, which include wreaths for your door, centerpieces for your table or a memorial piece for funerals or the cemetery of a loved one. I am a full service floral shop including balloons, stuffed animals, green and blooming plants and greeting cards. With just starting out, shipments of new product are coming in weekly such as gift items, Iowa wine, garden/yard art, jewelry, scarves, wind chimes, and gourmet chocolates and snacks,” Audrey explains what you will find in their store. You can call in an order at their store at 563-562-1002 or order on their website.
The 1987 graduate of South Winn explains her journey, “My love for flowers started back in high School when my mother, Gert Novak, and I took a night class for floral arranging. When I graduated from high school, I went to Hixson School of Floral Design in Ohio. There I learned basic, funeral and wedding design.” After working all over the United States, learning different traditions for the different areas by working in varies floral shops she decided to come back home. The family has come back to plant roots living in Protivin and decided to buy the old floral shop in Calmar since it already was a functioning floral shop with a walk in cooler.
“When we moved to Georgia in 2003, I worked at a floral shop in Eastman, GA part-time. There is where I fulfilled my dream of owning my own flower shop. My husband, Michael and I bought Martha Sheldon Florist in Sept. 2006. It was the oldest floral shop in Eastman starting in the 1930's and whoever had purchased it in the past kept the name of the original owner, Martha Sheldon. I grew it into THE place to go for flowers in Eastman. I was hugely involved in the Chamber in our town and was on the board and the executive board. I became a graduate of Leadership Dodge in 2011 and also received the prestigious award of Small Business of the Year in 2008! While owning MSF, I became a member of the Georgia State Florist Association. This is a state floral association divided in nine districts. This is where I took a course learning every aspect of being in a floral business, from delivery to customer service to design. In 2008, I became a Georgia Master Florist.”
“Over the years of being a part of GSFA, I was at different times the Secretary, Treasurer and President of our district. We would have our convention every year and there were two competitions you could compete in. I competed in Designer of the Year for the state of GA and came in 4th place in 2013, which I am very proud of. The competition is completed in 2 1/2 hours and you have 5 designs to make. You don't know what they are until you open the envelopes. But the basic ones are sympathy, party, get well, wedding and then a surprise one at the end that you need to compliment with one of the previous designs. They judge you on design, color, harmony, mechanics, balance, and so much more. Another competition at convention is The Burton Cup. This is an interpretive competition. Each year you have a theme to base your design on. I came in 5th the first year I competed in it in 2010 and I also competed in 2013 and came in 2nd that year! 2013 was also another great year for me at Convention, in which I was awarded a $1000 scholarship from GSFA to further my education! With that scholarship, I plan to go to Oklahoma City to Teleflora for a class in competition design.”
“Since my husband and I grew up in Northeast Iowa and have so much family here, we decided to return to Iowa. We sold our shop in July of 2013 and moved back to Protivin. After talking with several people and just knowing the community of Calmar, Michael and I decided to start a floral and gift shop here. We started it shortly before Thanksgiving and the community and surrounding areas have been wonderful and welcoming! I am a member of the Calmar Commercial Club and also believe in small businesses to make a difference in communities! We need our small businesses and I encourage everyone to Shop Small, not only with me but with other small businesses in Calmar and surrounding towns. It really makes a difference! I do plan to become a member of Iowa Florist Association and pursue my Iowa Master Florist Certification.”
We welcome back the area natives on their journey home. “Michael and I welcome you along with my daughter, Paige Snow to stop in and see us. We look forward to many years of being your floral and gift shop!”