In honor of Mother’s Day, Peoples Flower Shops asked one of our floral designers—who also happens to be a mom—to share her experience and also her expertise when it comes to selecting the perfect flowers for mom this May 13.
Name: Heather Henderson-Rivera
Child’s first name and age: Kyleigh Ann Rivera, 22.
How did you get into floral work?
My mother, Marietta, moved out to Albuquerque, New Mexico with my father in the mid 1960s. She became employed as a day surgery nurse at a local hospital. As an outlet and a way to artistically express herself when not working as as nurse, she volunteered at a flower shop. I always thought as a kid (and into adulthood) how neat it was of her to go help out at the flower shop and design flowers. To this day, my mother is an incredible artist. Her forte is watercolor painting. While attending college and studying to become a social worker, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and volunteered at several flowers shops. Through volunteering, I found my passion! It gets in your blood.
What do you love most about working with flowers?
I love being creative, I love making something that is beautiful and when received can make another person’s day special. I do believe that flowers speak to the heart and have the unique ability to bring people joy, happiness and comfort. I get to impact people by being a floral designer.
This is a hard question, maybe sunflowers? It all depends on what strikes me at a particular moment. There are so many beautiful flowers, and a lot of the time it is the actual color of a flower that draws me in. To be honest, a big, beautiful vase of curly willow brings me pure delight.
If you design, do you have a signature style? Are you known for any specific approach or preference?
I am not sure that I have a signature style or if I take a specific approach. I do love to create big, beautiful, airy arrangements and high-style exotics.
What do you love most about being a mom?
Being a mom is an incredible experience. It has given me the opportunity to form a relationship that is unequaled to all other relationships. It has allowed me to really intimately know someone and to share an unconditional love and bond with them. I have loved watching my daughter Kyleigh grow; she has enriched my life through each phase of hers.
What do your kids think about what you do? Are they into flowers?
My daughter graduated last year from Beloit College with a degree in art. She is currently using her art degree in a marketing position. I do believe her creativity comes from her grandmother Marietta and from me. As a little girl, she would come to the flower shop and watch me. I think she was always a little in awe of what I could create. It has always been a tradition in our family to make our neighbors and friends floral arrangements for Christmas. Kyleigh has always been by my side when making these precious gifts. I think it is in her blood, too! I am always so happy when she picks flower from our backyard or purchases cut flowers and then starts putting them together to make gifts for her friends. I have influenced her and inspired her.
What flowers or flower design do moms really want for Mother’s Day, from your point of view? Speaking as both a mom and a flower expert? If you could pick one design from your selection to receive, which would it be?
I think it is more the thought behind the flowers that all mothers appreciate and want. If only extravagance was more affordable, especially on Mother’s Day, to show our appreciation to the most important and significant person in our lives—our moms. If I could pick out one design to receive, I guess it would be a custom piece created by my very talented manager. Everything she creates is one of a kind and drop dead beautiful.