If caring for a toddler and baby wasn’t enough to keep her busy, entrepreneur mom Bonnie Hall also runs her own business, Bonnie’s Blooms.
Hall’s house is always full of flowers to be pressed and turned into keepsake models for his customers.
The Winston-Salem native lived in New York and worked in fashion after graduating from NC State University’s College of Textiles, but moved back to North Carolina to get married and start a family. Hall and her husband have two children, a 2-year-old son and a 4-month-old daughter.
Bonnie’s Blooms premiered in 2018, the year Hall got married. She and her husband were paying for the event themselves, and Hall couldn’t bear to see her flowers thrown away.
“Wedding planners will tell you that wedding flowers are thrown away at the end of the night,” she said. “As someone who loves flowers, it’s heartbreaking, especially knowing that thousands of dollars are spent on them. So giving them a second life is awesome.”
But after some research, Hall struggled to find a flower pressing company that could create the modern artistic design she had in mind.
“So before we left for our honeymoon, I put flowers in coffee table books…and came home with a lot of damaged pages in those books, but enough to save and create a work of art. art,” she said.
Hall showed his creation to his family and friends, and they loved it. Now, more than three years later, she presses flowers for around 200 customers a year. Most of Hall’s clients are brides, but she also uses baby shower or funeral flowers.
Bonnie builds her own wooden presses to preserve her customers’ flowers, which take between four and six weeks to dry.
“That’s when the magic happens,” she said. “When they’re ready to come out, that’s when I flex my creative muscle to put together a piece of art.”
Hall describes her frames as both modern and timeless.
“That’s something I hope for my clients, that those frames outlive them and can be passed on from generation to generation, which would be really nice,” she said.
Most nights, Hall stays up late to work on orders while her kids sleep, but her thriving business also requires daytime work, usually while her baby girl is napping.
“That’s the great thing about running my own business and being an entrepreneur is that I set my own schedule,” she said. “You know, if I have to work late it’s sometimes difficult, but it allows me to be with my children during the day.”
Hall can have as many as 25 or 30 flower presses at a time, all of which are dated, labeled and stacked in her home office, although she sometimes needs to spread out.
“When the fresh flowers arrive, I have to deal with them immediately, just because they have such a short lifespan,” Hall said. “When I get them, I take care of all my cooking.”
It’s so important to press the flowers while they’re fresh that Hall started working on a client’s order as soon as she got home from the hospital after the birth of her daughter. In fact, her two children were born during peak wedding season, but Hall found time to work on orders while caring for her newborns.
She said it was her drive to help people preserve their memories that made this possible.
“It’s me just wanting to help people and know that I have to press flowers until three or four days after they’re married,” Hall said.
For those who never realized pressing flowers was an option, Hall can even look to photos from client weddings and other special events to recreate those bouquets into a pressed work of art.
“So it’s like, even if it’s not your actual wedding flowers, it still represents the day and it’s still special,” she said.
His advice to other parents who dream of starting their own business? Dark.
“I think overcoming my fear of getting into this was the biggest thing that bothered me,” she said.
With the support of her husband and knowing she had nothing to lose, Hall went for it and fell in love with the happiness her artwork brings to her clients – and to herself.
“It’s just something I can do not only for others but for myself,” she said. “Being a mom is hard, and it’s so selling selfless, sacrificial work, and so it’s just a nice way for me to do something else that I love.”
She also credits social media and word-of-mouth from her clients for helping her business thrive. To date, she has over 9,000 followers on Instagram.
Hall said she has met so many kind people in her work, including many entrepreneurial moms like her.
“I think it snowballed into what it is today because I’m so passionate about it and people see it and love to hear my story,” she said. “Other moms with similar passions can do it too. Just take the time.”
Even following several clients at the same time and dozens of weddings a year, the work is soothing.
“I’m constantly taking care of everyone — you know, cooking meals, cleaning the house, all that stuff. But I can’t rush the flower-pressing process,” Hall said. “So it’s good not only to work with my hands, but also to embrace the slow.”