by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
When Sharon Kimman Brixius took an interest survey while still a student at Pierz Healy High School, floral design was one of the areas she was strong in.
She was undecided on what to after graduation and didn’t want to try a four-year program and spend all that money.
“There were only two schools in Minnesota with a floral design program, and one was at Central Lakes College in Brainerd,” she said. “But at that time, I never dreamed of having my own shop.”
After completing the program, Brixius worked for a year at Bonnie Jo’s Floral in Pierz, and then worked in St. Cloud for a while.
“Then I saw that Bonnie Jo was selling her business,” Sharon said. “I never thought of buying it myself, but saw the ad week after week. Then the price dropped, and I thought maybe I should look into it.”
Brixius and her dad sat down to look at numbers to see if it would be possible. In the meantime, she heard that Dale and Jan Lust were interested in selling Pierz Floral.
“I called one day and caught them off-guard,” Brixius said. “Dale called a few days later to say they would sell.”
Brixius now had two choices. After more figuring with her dad, she decided to buy the inventory from the former Bonnie Jo’s Floral and the Pierz Floral property. The new Pierz Floral was born in 2005.
“How it all came together — it was all meant to be,” Brixius said.
In March 2010, Brixius married her husband, Mark, who grew up in Buckman. They live in Rice.
“I always knew I wanted to come back to this area when I was working in St. Cloud; I just didn’t know how it was going to happen,” she said.
When they come to Pierz Floral, a bride and groom can find any type and color of flower for their wedding.
“Most brides have an idea of the style, colors and types of flowers that they want when they come in,” Brixius said. “When we consult with them, we take those ideas and put sample bouquets together.”
“Some grooms come in and we always welcome that,” she said. “I like it that they’re involved. We tell couples to bring photos of flowers they like, and we can change the colors or style to their preferences.”
Pierz Floral offers fresh or silk bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and floral arrangements, put together by Brixius and her five part-time employees.
“Every wedding is different,” Brixius said. “It’s amazing the number of weddings we’ve done and none is even close to being the same.”
Flowers can be put together to put on the cake. Decorations for centerpieces, altar arrangements and pew bows are popular.
One bride Brixius remembers brought in her grandma’s earrings to be put into her bouquet.
Another bride whose dad had passed away brought in a small photo that was tucked among the flowers of her bouquet.
“We’ve wrapped a grandma’s handkerchief around the stems of a bouquet, and pinned a brooch to bouquets,” Brixius said. “One bride requested that her flower stems be wrapped in camouflage ribbon.
Brooch bouquets are becoming popular, according to Brixius. A recent bride requested at her bridal shower that guess each bring a brooch in her wedding colors, and Brixius assembled them into a bouquet, with a few silk flowers scattered between the pins.
“I was invited to the wedding, and when the bride walked down the aisle I almost fell over,” Brixius said. “The sparkle from the bouquet and from her dress was breathtaking.”
The first time a bridal couple meets with Brixius, it’s a time to find out their ideas. “It’s not set in stone,” she said. “When they leave, they are often overwhelmed. We meet a few more times and have a final follow-up to verify the details before placing the order.”
Brixius advises couples to set up an appointment for the first meeting, so time can be set aside to go through a checklist.
Flowers are delivered to the wedding and/or reception location, some of which have been as far away as the Twin Cities.
Pierz Floral offers tuxedo rentals through four different companies. “There is definitely a variety in any color and style people are looking for,” Brixius said.
Rental items such as candleholders and cake knives are available. Engraved gifts can be ordered, as well as invitations and napkins.
Garters, guests books and photo albums are sold also.
There is a large selection of giftware, purses and jewelry, with some handmade quilts and gourmet food items.
“If you can’t find it here, most likely, we can find it for you somewhere,” said Brixius.