Cultivated from the fashion seeds of “comfort” and “ease,” Flora Bloom Market continues to impress after creator Kelly Flora began selling homemade headbands in 2017.
What began as a solution for high school hair mixed up in the weight training and workout scenes, Flora realized headbands also smoothed the transition into motherhood. “I bought a starter sewing machine,” she recalls, “I researched different styles and got to making.”
interview JULIE JOHNSON
pictures courtesy of KELLY FLORA
Flora was born and raised in Ozark and graduated from Missouri State University after a brief detour through Texas. She’s been married for 15 years in June to Jason, whom she met in college, and she’s a mother of two boys, ages 4 and 6. In the four years since opening, Flora has expanded both her influence and accessories.
There is a lot of thought, attention and time that goes into each product. From quality materials to a fun package to open, I want customers to feel special and loved on.
“I’ve heard multiple stories of women suffering from hair loss that have used the headbands and found a new confidence about themselves because of them,” she explains. “It has changed their world but clearly not by my doing. I didn’t get into making headbands for that purpose, but I’ve witnessed several moments where I just think, ‘Only God.’ Only God can work through simple moments of customer service or through a product like a headband to make someone’s day.”
SHOP FLORA BLOOM MARKET:
- THE ATTIC FLEA MARKET AND ANTIQUES (NIXA)
- PILL BOX BOUTIQUE (WILLARD)
- MARGORGEOUS BOUTIQUE (SPRINGFIELD)
- HUCKABELLA BOUTIQUE & MARKETPLACE (OZARK)
Courtney Beckner has been a customer for two years and discovered Flora Bloom after a friend posted about it on Facebook. “I had to get some earrings and cute hair accessories for myself,” she says. “I’ve been super impressed with the look and quality of the products, and I now highly recommend it.” Beckner, who shops from and lives in Topeka, Kansas, remains a cheerleader of the “cute, unique and trendy items” she has found at Flora Bloom. “I am a huge fan of shopping local, and I love that I can still support my hometown by shopping online from another state.”
>>> Kelly Flora <<<
Julie: When Flora Bloom Market began in 2017, what did success look like for you? How has that evolved and what do you love about the business now?
Kelly: Success in the beginning was making something not only I would use, but something others could too. As a stay-at-home mom of two boys, it was learning a new trade with hopes of contributing to the finances of my family.
Success today has built on that foundation but turned it into much more. I want to create a product others find value in and love how they feel when wearing it. I want a first-time customer to turn into a repeat customer. I want the platform of Flora Bloom to bring glory to God and encourage and uplift women while doing so. I enjoy the challenge of business, and I love making pretty, eye-catching things.
Julie: What changed in your life when you began creating products for others?
Kelly: It’s a neat experience to think that my hands created something someone wants to buy for their best friend’s birthday, give to their daughter expecting a baby, or find that it’s something they wear multiple times a week. I create things with a quality I would like to receive when purchasing.
Julie: What inspires beauty for you? How do you incorporate that into your designs?
Kelly: I love playing with color palettes. I love classic neutrals and how they literally go with everything. I love unique color combos and patterns that just say “happy” when you see them. Florals and animal prints are some of my favorites that pop up in all seasons.
Julie: Your products shine through the use of a variety of textures, materials and color. How do you push through hesitations when trying something new? How does boldness in your designs increase your confidence in everyday life?
Kelly: My husband always encourages me to just try something. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but there is only one way to find out. I tend to lean toward safer ideas naturally, but he’s been a good support system that pushes me out of my comfort zone. We all need that in our lives. We all have different styles and things that catch our eye. Some like bold and funky, and others prefer classics and neutrals. I like to appeal to both.
Julie: How do you hope customers feel when wearing your creations?
Kelly: Beautiful, confident, comfortable; something they can easily put on and get on with doing whatever their day holds.
Julie: What has opening Flora Bloom Market unexpectedly given you?
Kelly: A creative outlet that I didn’t know I needed. A sense of purpose that goes outside the walls of my home. A connection to the communities around me.
I get to work with amazing women in other local businesses that carry Flora Bloom.
I get to know repeat customers and get to hear their personal stories. It’s humbling to hear of how a simple headband has given someone confidence after hair loss or to be a small part of donating to families going through rough times.
It’s “just” a headband or “just” a pair earrings until you hear the stories, meet the faces of customers or get referrals from people who stand behind your product.
It has been a blessing to me and my family. God has continued to provide for us financially in all seasons. I’m getting to do my first love: being a momma to my boys, while also getting to dabble in this small business life. There is a lot of thought, attention and time that goes into each product. From quality materials to a fun package to open, I want customers to feel special and loved on.
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