Business

Lily and Rose Floral Studio sells what the owner loves

'It was a bucket list item'

Owner and manager Lora Dodd-Brosseau trims buds off a potted plant at the newly opened Lily and Rose Floral Studio in Marion on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)
Owner and manager Lora Dodd-Brosseau trims buds off a potted plant at the newly opened Lily and Rose Floral Studio in Marion on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)
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MARION — Lora Dodd-Brosseau is putting to use the lessons she once taught students who aspired to careers in the floral industry.

After spending the past 18 years teaching as a floral careers professor at Kirkwood Community College and the 18 years before that working in and managing local flower shops, Dodd-Brosseau opened Lily and Rose Floral Studio in Marion on Feb. 1.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I would open my own flower store,” she said. “It was a bucket list item.”

The opportunity came when Kirkwood eliminated its floral careers program due to budget cuts. Dodd-Brosseau took early retirement and left Kirkwood in July 2018.

“I was going to take a whole year off to ponder life and spend time with my two grandsons,” she said. “But it turns out I’m not the kind who can’t work.”

When she found a converted, 1920s-era Craftsman-style bungalow for rent on Marion’s main street, Dodd-Brosseau accelerated her plans to become a business owner.

“I love Marion,” she said. “I love that it has the feel of a small town but is close to Cedar Rapids.

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“I did look at other locations in Marion and Cedar Rapids, but it was really the house that spoke to me.”

With renovations on the house already complete, Dodd-Brosseau was able to open the new shop just one month after signing the lease.

“I did it with a lot of help from good friends and support from my husband and kids,” she said.

The shop takes its name from what Dodd-Brosseau would have called a daughter if she had one. (She has two sons.)

The shop’s small retail space offers fresh flowers, green and blooming plants and an array of gift items such as soaps, lotions, handmade art and fresh, local honey.

“I do best selling products I love,” Dodd-Brosseau said. “If I could sell shoes, I would.”

The house is decorated the house in a 1920s theme with vintage furniture pieces that Dodd-Brosseau’s friends purchased at estate sales while she was on a buying trip for the store.

One such piece, a large sideboard, serves as the point-of-purchase counter in what had been the living room of the home.

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Dodd-Brosseau converted one of the home’s bedrooms into a small classroom, where she plans to offer weekly hands-on workshops on topics such as floral design, wreath-making and terrariums.

She also plans to convert the kitchen — now used as a work room — into additional retail space and bring in some kitchen gift items.

During warmer months, she hopes to use the house’s porch for live music and iced tea and perhaps even offer wine and dessert.

“I want to create a really relaxing environment,” she said.

• Know a business in the Corridor that could make an interesting “My Biz”? Let us know via michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

At a Glance

• Owner: Lora Dodd-Brosseau

• Business: Lily and Rose Floral Studio

• Address: 620 Seventh Ave., Marion

• Telephone: (319) 777-6695

• Email: lilyandrosefloral@gmail.com

• Website: lilyandrosefloral.com

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