Michelle Farnsworth
(Cassie Pope/Golden Veil Photography)

(Cassie Pope/Golden Veil Photography)

(Cassie Pope/Golden Veil Photography)

Flowers styled by Crabapple Floral

Bridal wear courtesy of White Lace Bridal

Crabapple Floral is Bismarck's newest addition to Downtown Bismarck. Owner and designer, Kelsey Ruhland, is opening her doors with a grand opening celebration on September 5. Crabapple Floral is using space in the existing A Creative Outlet Store on Main Avenue in Bismarck. Ruhland describes her path to becoming a florist and how flowers influence her life and create an impact on any home environment.

Q: When did you develop your passion for flowers?

A: My family moved to a new house when I was in high school, and my parents gave me my own space for a garden. I wasn't really excited about it at first, but I got into it more and more and eventually got a degree in Landscape Architecture at NDSU. Unfortunately I graduated when the economy was slumping and Landscape Architects were being laid off across the country. So I used money my grandmother left me when she passed away to take some classes at the Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry in Minneapolis, so that I could find work in a floral shop while I continued to look for a career. I really loved the work, and as more of my friends got married, I was asked to do more and more wedding flowers. Eventually I realized I loved arranging flowers more than I would like sitting at a computer drafting up landscape plans all day.

Q: What led you to open your own flower shop?

A: My husband's job was transferred to Bismarck at the beginning of June, and one of his co-workers, Steph Smith, owns A Creative Outlet, a small gift store on Main Avenue. She was looking for someone to keep her shop open full time, and I was looking for a workspace. There happened to be room in the back to add in a small floral shop, so it really works out well for both of us. Then we can both concentrate on the things we love while still offering customers a range of merchandise.

Q: What are your future plans for the business?

A: I'm currently on the look-out for gardeners who are interested in growing flowers and greens for the shop. I would love to have nearly all our product from local sources during the growing season. This is better for the environment, better for the local economy and gives me unique product to work with.

Q: What do flowers do to change or influence a home environment?

A: Flowers have a universal and immediate impact on happiness. Rutgers University recently did a study on the impact of flowers that reinforces the positive impact they have on our lives. Most women don't need a scientist to tell them this, though. Our culture spends so much money on therapy and pills and all sorts of things to help them be happy, when it turns out a visit to your local florist can do a lot for your mood. Flowers add beauty and color to our homes and lives. They also remind us that all things (and sometimes the best things) are fleeting.

Q: Describe how your career in flowers makes you who you are.

A: A florist is an artist whose media is flowers. And if every piece of art is a piece of the artist, every day I give away a piece of myself to bring joy and beauty to someone else's life. Now that is a deeply fulfilling career.

Michelle Farnsworth loves travel, writing, photography, daily devotions, gardening, making jewelry and finding old treasures. Her greatest accomplishment is her two sons, who bring life, love and laughter to her each day.