From 1s and 0s to the garden: the story of a self-made florist

Heidi Collingwood is living proof that you make your own career. She hasn’t studied floristry. She hadn’t worked for a florist prior to becoming one. “It all began a few years ago when asked by a friend, who was getting married, if I would like to help the florist set up 800 roses. While excited for the challenge, it quickly changed course after arriving, only to find out that the bride-to-be’s florist was a no show. So, I dug in and literally whipped out the bouquets, boutonnieres and successfully put together all table settings in one day,” Collingwood said. “Thinking to myself at the end of the day, 'I did a pretty good job' considering I had never done this before!” And from that day on, Collingwood was approached by many and ended up doing 10 weddings over a period of time while working her full-time job as a computer programmer in Billings Montana. Soon Collingwood realized that the days of sitting behind a desk punching in numbers, were becoming mundane with little reward. “I was tired of the black and white world with a bunch of zeros and ones,” Collingwood went on to say. “I longed to see color again and to be able to create! I desired to have the freedom to move around, too! So the decision to move on was made. My husband and I moved back to Greybull, where he’s from.” Two years ago, Collingwood and her husband Clay built two greenhouses on their property and began selling produce at local Farmer’s Markets. Collingwood noted that most of the flowers in her arrangements are grown in their greenhouses during the warmer months. However, there are some flowers, such as Roses, that don’t grow well here and therefore are shipped in. It wasn’t until early 2015, when Collingwood’s vision became reality with the purchase of her shop in Greybull. “Thank goodness for my husband,” Collingwood says. “He is very involved in all aspects of the business from building the greenhouses, including the one down by the shop to all the renovations in the shop. I couldn’t have done it without him.” [image: 13262605_10207259238453383_1772197113_oRB.jpg] Finally after months of hard work, on December 1, 2015, the doors to The Country Flower were open for business, a little shop filled to the brim with not only gorgeous flower arrangements but also a wide array of locally made items. “I’m all about supporting local artists,” says Collingwood. “Our economy is getting hit hard and it’s vital that we help each other out. When it comes to my customers, I always begin by asking what their budget is, and we build from there. I want them to be able to walk away with something pretty and affordable.” When not at her Floral Shop, Collingwood drives school bus, manages 12 rentals and is a mom of two. “I keep very busy and carefully utilize what time I have with my kids.” #olsen #reboot #dally #springcity #news