If caring for a toddler and an infant weren’t enough to keep her busy, mompreneur Bonnie Hall is also running her own business, Bonnie’s Blooms.
Hall’s home is always full of flowers to be pressed and turned into keepsake designs for her clients.
The Winston-Salem native lived in New York and worked in fashion after graduating from N.C. State University’s College of Textiles but moved back to North Carolina to get married and start a family. Hall and her husband have two children, a 2-year-old son and a 4-month-old daughter.
Bonnie’s Blooms was created in 2018, the year Hall got married. She and her now-husband were paying for the event themselves, and Hall couldn’t stand to see her flowers get thrown away.
“Wedding planners will tell you that wedding flowers get tossed at the end of the night,” she said. “As someone who loves flowers, that’s heartbreaking, especially knowing that thousands get spent on them. So giving them a second life is great.”
But after some research, Hall struggled to find a flower pressing company that could create the modern, artistic design she had in her head.
“So before we left for our honeymoon, I put some flowers in coffee table books … and came home to a lot of ruined pages in those books, but enough to salvage and create a piece of art,” she said.
Hall showed her creation to family and friends, and they loved it. Now, more than three years later, she is pressing flowers for around 200 clients a year. Most of Hall’s clients are brides, but she also uses flowers from baby showers or funerals.
Bonnie builds her own wooden presses to save her clients’ flowers, which take between four to six weeks to dry.
“That’s when the magic happens,” she said. “When they’re ready to come out, that’s when I kind of flex my creative muscle to put together a work of art.”
Hall describes her frames as modern yet timeless.
“It’s something I hope for my clients, that these frames will outlive them and they can pass on generation to generation, which would be really neat,” she said.
Most nights, Hall is up late working on orders while her children are asleep, but her thriving business also requires some work during the day, usually while her infant daughter is napping.
“That’s what is great about running my own business and being an entrepreneur is that I set my own schedule,” she said. “You know, if I have to work late hours, sometimes that’s tough, but it allows me to then be with my kids during the day.”
Hall can have up to 25 or 30 flower presses going at a time, which are all dated, labeled and stacked in her home office, although sometimes she needs to spread out.
“When the fresh flowers come in, I have to process them immediately, just because their life is so short-lived,” Hall said. “When I get them, I kind of take over my entire kitchen.”
It’s so important to press the flowers while they’re fresh that Hall began working on one client’s order right when she arrived home from the hospital after the birth of her daughter. In fact, both of her children were born during peak wedding season, but Hall found time to work on orders while taking care of her newborns.
She said it’s her drive to help people preserve their memories that made it possible.
“It’s me just wanting to help people and knowing that I’ve got to press flowers up to three days to four days after their weddings,” Hall said.
For those who never realized pressing flowers was an option, Hall can even look at photos from client’s weddings and other special events to recreate those bouquets in a pressed artwork.
“So it’s as if, even though they’re not your actual wedding flowers, it still represents the day and it’s still special,” she said.
Her advice for other parents who dream of starting their own business? Go for it.
“I think that getting over my fear of jumping into this was the biggest thing that got in the way for me,” she said.
With the support of her husband and telling herself she had nothing to lose, Hall went for it, and she’s fallen in love with the happiness her artwork brings her clients — and herself.
“This is just something that I can do not only for others but for myself,” she said. “Being a mom is hard, and it’s such a sell a selfless, sacrificing job, and so this is just a nice way for me to do something else I love.”
She also credits social media and word-of-mouth from her customers to helping her business blossom. To date, she has more than 9,000 followers on Instagram.
Hall said she has met so many kind people in her line of work, many of them mompreneurs like herself.
“I think it snowballed into what it is today because I am so passionate about it and people see that and love hearing my story,” she said. “Other moms with similar passions can do it too. Just take the time.”
Even while keeping up with multiple clients at a time and dozens of weddings a year, the work is calming.
“I’m constantly taking care of everybody else — you know, prepping meals, cleaning the house, all that stuff. But I can’t rush the process of pressing flowers,” Hall said. “So it’s nice to not only work with my hands, but to just embrace the slow.”
You can see Hall’s creations on her website or on Instagram.