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Since the beginning of human history, flowers have played a unique role in society while being uplifted as one of nature’s most beautiful aspects.
We use them to decorate our homes and gardens. We weave their likeness into our clothes. We give each other flowers to mark special occasions like Mother’s Day.
Men use them to express their love for women, and women use them to celebrate their wedding days.
They are given to families as a sign of remembrance and respect following a death. In their beauty, they unite us.
That beauty remains a staple here in Mountain Home and Baxter County. Every year the area plays host to hundreds of weddings, special events, and funerals, all of which require bouquets and special flower arrangements.
And while Mountain Home has more than its fair share of flower shops to choose from, only a few can claim to be a community staple.
For 31 years, Annette’s Flowers has been that staple in Mountain Home, and its owner Nancy Blomquist is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“I love the flower business. I love the people you come in contact with,” Blomquist said. “You do get some people that are pretty difficult at times, but the opportunity to be able to brighten someone’s day with flowers is wonderful. And when a family is grieving, being able to make an arrangement that cheers and brightens their day, it’s hard to describe how exciting that is.”
Blomquist’s journey to becoming a florist began as a young girl in Memphis, Tennessee. There she would attend the big Christmas shows, and all the flowers with them, alongside her family.
At the shows, she would spend time with a family friend who was a florist, picking up tidbits of the craft here or there.
The beauty of the Christmas-themed flower displays and the influence of her family friend stuck with Blomquist, who would go on to earn a degree from the American Floral Art School in Chicago, Illinois.
She would go on to join Memphis’s floral industry before opportunity took her to Mountain Home.
“I worked in a flower shop in Memphis, and when I moved here, and I brought my children here, I started working for another flower shop here. And then I got the opportunity to open my own, I owned a shop in Memphis, and decided to start a new one,” Blomquist said.
That opportunity came in the form of her new husband and fellow business owner, Brent Blomquist. Brent had moved to Mountain Home in the 1970s, well before the area was on Nancy’s radar.
Following his move to the area, Brent established two businesses: a lawn care service and a go-cart track. The two would open Annette’s Flowers, which was named by combining their parents’ names, shortly after they tied the knot.
“We had just gotten married in November and opened this in February,” Blomquist said.
Since opening its doors 31 years ago, Annette’s Flowers has seen many changes.
When the Blomquist’s first started, Mountain Home was a sleepy town of 6,000 or so residents. Since then, the city has expanded to over 14,000 people, becoming a tourist destination for people worldwide.
In that time, new businesses have come and gone, and the area’s major college, Arkansas State University – Mountain Home, was built.
But that’s not all that’s changed. The floral industry has also seen its fair share of growth over the years. Weddings once housed in churches are now being conducted in new and unique places, bringing changes in flowery fashions.
The internet has also rocked the industry, with florists being pushed to recreate the latest bouquet on Pinterest or other websites.
The floral shop also faced some adversity through major slowdowns in the supply chain during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thirty years ago, people would walk into a flower shop and order an arrangement and let the designers design it,” Blomquist said. “Now, they look at a picture online and want it to look just like that picture. And people don’t realize that those flowers are at peak perfection when they take those pictures. They don’t sell flowers like that; they sell flowers to last longer. That’s the deceiving part. The online business has totally changed the nature of a flower shop, but it doesn’t take away the love of it.”
Annette’s Flowers sources its flowers from Springfield and Little Rock wholesalers and offers flowers for each occasion and season.
With Mountain Home being in such a remote location, Blomquist said they are often required to order flowers for major events anywhere from six months to a year out. Major holidays for the Blomquist’s include Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Annette’s Flowers carries everything from sunflowers, roses, tulips, poinsettias, and more, and can create arrangements and bouquets for any event thanks to the help of the shop’s three full-time employees.
Annette’s also does same-day home deliveries for the surrounding area.
Annette’s Flowers is located at 1104 Highway 62 SW in Mountain Home. For more information, please contact (870) 424-7673.