by Joey Phoenix
Magnolia Blooms Is a mobile, floral delivery service located on Boston’s North Shore. The artist behind the small popup business is marketing and branding expert Jeannine O’Neil of JO Social Branding, and her lively, original creations have been brightening rooms across New England for the better part of three years.
In that time she has become well-known locally for her floral arrangement workshops, which she describes as being “like paint nights, but with flowers.” But in a year where in-person events are rare, her business now consists of custom floral arrangements, flower delivery drops, and specialty pop ups at locations around the North Shore.
Her next popup is the Harvest Blooms Pop up this Wednesday, September 16 @ Cider Hill Farm between 11 AM and 1 pm. While there is limited availability on site for pickup, your best bet for claiming yours is to pre-order using this link. You can also join her mailing list here to keep up to date on upcoming drops.
Running Events During COVID-19
Jeannine came into 2020 with a calendar full of events at many different venues, but like many small businesses have experienced this year, all of her events were cancelled when COVID-19 restrictions went into effect this Spring.
Jeannine started brainstorming ways to pivot her business so that she could keep doing the work that she loved, despite an environment that was economically unstable and shifting frequently. It also didn’t help that the flower market where she sourced most of her flowers was closed indefinitely.
“I was kind of in a predicament,” Jeannine said.
Fortunately, the flower market did open back up again, ushering in a new opportunity for her to create bouquets and arrangements on a popup, delivery, or custom basis. Knowing that some collaborations could come of this business shift, she reached out to members of Creative Collective, a business program designed to provide opportunities and support for the creative industries, to see who would be interested in partnering with her.
“I reached out to the Collective and asked if anybody would be willing to be a drop stop, and The Castle in Beverly was the first one,” she said. “I don’t have a physical location, but my hopes are that I can have these places where I can drop the flowers off and work together with them.” After the initial ask, she also added Moody’s Home & Gifts in Salem and lmk interiors, ltd. in Topsfield as drop stops.
From Tiny Seed to Magnolia Blooms
Jeannine first started floral arranging three years ago as a way to take time for herself while being her mom’s full-time caregiver. But although she quickly realized she had a knack for it, it wasn’t until a life-altering situation occurred that she would decide to consider doing it professionally.
“When my mother passed I asked myself ‘What am I doing with my life?’” She recalled. “It was then I realized I wanted to make people happier, and what makes me happier is flowers. So I decided to start hosting flower arranging events because I suddenly had all this time in my life and space in my life to do it.”
Since starting this endeavor, the thing that has continued to inspire her throughout the process is the surprise element. Not only does she not always know what a bouquet or custom arrangement will become, but her customers are often also surprised and delighted by her arrangements as well.
“Pop up businesses have always inspired me,” Jeannine said, mentioning food trucks or cookie purveyors as examples. “They have this unique business model with a surprise element where you don’t always know exactly what you’re getting, but you know it’s going to be amazing when you show up.”
For her, so much of her creations are reliant on what’s In the flower market. Because flower availability rotates with the seasons, she’s able to create arrangements based entirely on what’s the most fresh and readily available.
“I just go to the market and see what inspires me, while also looking for that showstopper element.”
Do yourself a favor and follow Magnolia Blooms on Instagram for daily flower inspiration @therealmagnoliablooms. You can also find out more about what she’s planning to make, get updates on upcoming popups and drop offs on her website at https://littlemagnoliablooms.com/
Joey Phoenix (they/them) is the Managing Editor of Creative North Shore and the Digital Content Manager for North Shore Pride. Please send comments, questions, pictures of deep-sea creatures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Accessibility on the North Shore
Creative North Shore is having ongoing discussion of Accessibility and Disability Awareness leading up to the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3 and the hopeful introduction of a Disability Parade in 2021. If this is a topic you are interested in or have thoughtful story ideas, please reach out to email@example.com
Organizations to Support
- Northeast Arc
- Disability Resource Center
- Easter Seals
- The Trevor Project
- Lynn Community Health Center
- Boston Center for Independent Living
Do you know of an organization that should be listed here? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org