|DATE 4/28/2003 4:55 PM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Heritage Council on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Mother-Daughter Team Press Love, Luck With Flower Business
|One could say that Kristy Lanesem is pressing her luck literally and figuratively. After all, not many people can walk away from a teaching career in order to spend more time with their family and end up starting a successful business. But that is exactly what happened to Lanesem, and all it took was a little luck and a lot of help from mom.It was kind of a leap of faith, Lanesem says of her decision to leave teaching seven years ago. She was living in California at the time and expecting her third child. She wanted to find a job that would allow her to stay at home with her children. We really couldn’tt afford for me to quit teaching at the time, so I had to think of something. So Lanesem did the obvious she called her mom.I remember she said to me mom, there must be something that we could make and turn into a business, says Shirley Kleven, who studied art at Brigham Young University. So I said let me think about it for a while and that was how it all started.
What the two started was Pressed With Love, a business where they create pressed flower art. They take flowers they have picked and pressed themselves and create designs to complement a saying, poem or religious passage. They then matt and frame the passage and flowers, which are intended to be displayed or hung on walls. I m more of the artist and she is more of the organizer and book keeper, although my daughter is a good artist as well, Kleven says. We work well together in that way.
The pair started out making just enough pictures to sell in local shops, but word of mouth kicked in shortly thereafter and the business that was originally intended to help a young mother and her mother make some extra money started to grow. When Kleven moved to Mt. Pleasant with her husband, who was born in the area, Lanesem s family joined them two years ago. Their flower art now sells in stores all along U.S. Highway 89, and in shops and books stores such as Deseret Book across the state, nation and even in Canada.
Their works range in size from six inches by six inches to as large as 16 inches by 24 inches, and include more than 100 different kinds of flowers. We ve learned over the years which flowers are best to use, which flowers won t fade, Kleven says. We get flowers from everywhere, Lanesem adds. We grow a lot of them my mom has a huge garden and neighbors will call us and say we ve got the most beautiful flowers, you have to come and pick some of them. The two also spend one day a week in Manti, collecting and pressing flowers that grow on the Manti temple grounds. That arrangement began with Kleven contacted the grounds gardener and he invited them to press the flowers he pulls each week during his routine maintenance. Everything has just worked out for us, it s been a real blessing for both of us, Kleven says. Lanesem adds I never imagined it would grow into this, and it s really fun working with my mom, we have a great time together.
The two recently attended their first wholesale craft show. We had no idea what to expect, Lanesem says. We thought if we just got enough orders to pay for the booth space $500 it would be worth the learning experience. But they collected more than $12,000 worth of orders in only three days. That is more than enough to keep us busy until Christmas, Kleven says with a laugh.
Their flourishing business has them looking to hire some help and set up an office outside of their homes. Right now, I have my pressed flowers in an extra room that is supposed to be my dining room, Lanesem says with a laugh. Now that we are thinking about renting space, maybe I ll have a real dining room one day.
|For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council