By Josh Rivera, Lifestyles Editor
The dream started in Las Vegas. After attending floral design school, Bobbye Jacobs hoped to make her living crafting floral masterpieces for ritzy hotel casinos. That dream never materialized, but she is just as happy creating original floral designs and homecoming mums for local customers. The Belton Tiger-themed homecoming mum display in the window of BJ’s Flower Shop rivals anything in Las Vegas.
Jacobs credits her late husband, Jake Jacobs, with guiding her at the start of her journey. “My husband worked for Brown & Root Construction, so we traveled around the country,” Jacobs said. “After he retired, family and business opportunities brought us back to Belton. My husband liked to buy things. First, we had a flooring store here in Belton—Fashion Floors and Interiors. Then he decided to invest in video rentals, so we opened Bijou Video, which was the first video rental store in Belton. Then he bought a cooler, and we had to build a flower shop around it.”
Jacobs also acknowledged the lessons of Belton florist Shirlee Porter. “I worked for Heartfield’s Florist for about a year and a half,” Jacobs said. “Shirlee Porter was my mentor. She worked at Heartfield’s for some 30-odd years. She taught me more about flowers than floral design school. She still helps me when she can.”
For many, the floral industry holds a prestigious allure, but it is not all about roses. Jacobs admits the family business is hard, dirty and full of complications. BJ’s Flower Shop employs four other designers: Lynda Hilbert, Gina Rodriguez, Tina Eutsler, Michele Marcotte, and two delivery drivers: Tim Eutsler and Sheli Norelli.
“It’s a crazy business,” Jacobs said. “We take orders from out of state and from out of country. We have wire orders coming in and going out. We have our regular customers and walk-ins. We take a variety of payment options and credit cards, and now we have the internet and Facebook.”
Floristry is an art. Flowers are arranged with their color palette and composition in mind; specific flowers are culturally symbolic, expressing sentiments of love or condolences. Jacobs uses the floral wire service Teleflora, which allows her to fulfill orders across the country as well as internationally.
“Floral arranging takes talent,” Jacobs said. “It’s not something you can look from a book. Unfortunately, it’s a dying art. You have to have an eye for color, harmony and balance. You have to have a creative eye.”
BJ’s Flower Shop was located on North Penelope Street in Belton for 22 years before moving next to Harper-Talasek Funeral Home on Main Street. The shop flourished, but outgrew that location after three years. Now BJ’s Flower Shop is enjoying their new location in Oak Village Shopping Center. Jacobs is pleased at the growth and support from the Belton-Temple communities.
Even after 25 years in the floral industry, Jacobs still gushed about her favorite flowers.
“My favorite flower would probably be the white rose because they are so beautiful when they’re bloomed out,” Jacobs said. “Another is the alstroemeria. They open like a lily and they are hardy and durable. You see them a lot in restaurants. If it is a stem of flowers in a case, it’ll be alstroemeria because they seem to last forever. In truth, all flowers are beautiful. If you don’t think a carnation is pretty, then you have no business being in the flower business.”
BJ’s Flower Shop is located at 2100 N. Main St. Suite 2156, Belton. They can be reached at 254-939-6462, or www.bjsflowershop.com.
This article was written with help from AJ Bridges.