Serving others is not always one-size-fits-all.
Meaningful connection and impact can be found down all paths—both well worn and less so.
This is a lesson that Misha Dennison learned in late 2020, when she left her job as a social worker to become a florist full-time. And it’s helped form the basis for her Biglerville-based business, Woodland Floral Design Co.
“I always knew I wanted a job where I could help people, and when I thought about the wedding industry, I never equated being a wedding florist as being as much of a help as being a social worker,” Dennison said. “But, it’s really just a different way of serving people. Even if it is just through flowers, to me, it’s so much more than that.”
Dennison first explored floral design when she interned with C&J Catering several years ago. However, it wasn’t until a peer from high school posted on Facebook looking for an affordable wedding florist, after exhausted DIY efforts, that she fully gave it a try. And she offered to do it for free.
“We just paid for the florals,” said Alyssa Rowe Aucker of Carlisle, who married Lance Aucker in November 2019. “I wasn’t her best friend or her sister; I was just someone she vaguely knew from high school. It meant so much to me for her to go through that much effort to make my wedding day special, despite not getting much compensation out of it at the moment.”
But those first free floral creations for Aucker—a classic pairing of white roses and eucalyptus—have since paid off more than tenfold. If you scroll through Woodland Floral Design Co.’s Instagram feed, you’ll see just how much her business has blossomed. Last year, she averaged 65 weddings, and, as she entered the new year, she already was nearly booked for 2022.
The evolution of her designs over time tells a story, too. They all share locally sourced blooms and a mix of dried pieces, adding Dennison’s signature texture and whimsy. But, in each bouquet, you see bits of the bride’s personality pulled through. Some are composed of vibrant pinks, oranges and yellows, while others feature more muted neutrals and toffee tones.
“I can never really create the same design twice, because each is for a different couple,” Dennison said. “It’s inspired by them.”
From inquiry to day-of delivery, Dennison’s heart and hands are behind the Woodland Floral Design Co. brand. She does it all herself. And she has no intention of outsourcing any element of her work, even as the business grows, for the same reason she wants to stay within the wedding industry—the people.
“It’s so important to me to know that my clients aren’t just hiring a florist,” Dennison said. “They’re looking for someone to connect with.”
It’s a blurry line where Dennison ends and Woodland Floral Design Co. begins. In many ways, they’re one and the same. She lives a mission of serving others in her daily life, offering a gentle smile and an ear to listen to those who need it. And, if you were to visit her wilderness-nestled house, you’d see proof of her passion scattered in every room—stacks of inventory inching toward the ceiling and dried flowers delicately draped from curtain rods and laundry racks.
Dennison is excited that she soon will have a more defined space to channel her creativity, as her screened-in-back porch is being transformed into an office that will overlook the woods. She hopes that this office will bring in an abundance of natural light—a blissful retreat as she tinkers on projects. It also will give her an opportunity to make more connections and build community with her clients, rooted in the same core mission that started it all.
“As my business has evolved, it has shown me and reminded me daily what my priorities are,” Dennison said. “So, as I look forward to what the future might hold, I think those priorities will be the same. I will still be asking myself, ‘How can I better serve?’—not only my clients, but my clients as people, whose lives, even if it’s just for a short period of time, intersect with mine.”
For more information on Woodland Floral Design Co., visit www.woodlandfloraldesignco.com.
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