Despite no formal training, owner of downtown Fargo flower shop has made her business bloom

Chris Flynn / Forum Communications

FARGO-No flower arrangement Kimberly Hess makes is the same.

"We don't have a single pattern in the shop of any kind," said Hess, who has no formal training in making floral arrangements. "It's just based on the conversation we had on the telephone with the person or when they came in."

Hess, who owns Prairie Petals in downtown Fargo, says when someone comes in or calls, she has the customer answer a few questions first. Hess will ask the customer about what style they prefer, perhaps something rustic or flamboyant. She'll then ask if there is a color they'd like to put in the arrangement or what they'd like her to avoid. The customer then decides what they will pay.

The next question, which is really important, Hess says, is "if I was going to choose to use pink or orange in this arrangement, which one would it be?"

Typically, the person who wants orange in their arrangement likes a number of other style things, Hess said.

"I've just found that over experience."

For each finished arrangement, Hess says a picture is taken and sent to the person who ordered it so they know what they gave.

"We have a number of people who want us to remind them of their special dates and be ready for their flowers because we already know what their style is," Hess said. "We keep them in a 'we'll remember for you file.' "

On the fifth of each month, Hess creates an arrangement for the same customer who has the flower arrangement sent to his girlfriend.

Hess has been at her current location 210 North Broadway for 5 1/2 years. Her favorite thing about the job? Problem solve, she says.

"I should have been an engineer," Hess said. "It's ok that I'm this because I'm really liking this because I engineer a lot."

"I get to problem solve in a vase. Because a problem is not necessarily a bad thing. A problem can just be a challenge. A challenge is, how will I stabilize this vase? What will I put in it? How will I make the things go together and I get to do that over, over and over again," Hess said.