Blossoming business Featured

12:57pm EDT June 28, 2006
Cindy Lowry first started making dried flower arrangements because she wasn’t fulfilled in her job as an accountant. About 10 years later, her flower arrangements have turned into a booming business.

Lowry managed to finance her company, Blossom Bucket Inc., by continuing to work full time while making arrangements and selling them at retail shows and small stores. Everything was going well, until a company with more resources picked up on Lowry’s success.

“We found that a large company had bought all of our designs and sent them over to China and was having them manufactured in China,” Lowry says.

So Lowry and her husband confronted the president of the company, and they negotiated a deal — if he gave them his connections in China, Lowry wouldn’t sue. The company’s president took the deal, and Blossom Bucket entered the importing business.

“We felt like that was really the thing we needed to be doing,” Lowry says. “... It’s been a slow, steady growth, but once we started importing, things started coming around and we really started into our rapid growth.”

As Blossom Bucket grew in popularity and increased its inventory, large corporate-owned chains showed an interest in the company’s products. Lowry was faced with a dilemma: How could she cater to these large businesses without alienating the small independent stores that helped her grow her business?

“I’ll always be concerned about protecting our core base,” Lowry says. “It’s mostly ma and pop stores, and we do Hallmark stores and small drugstores. We have taken our line and made a new line. We still sell to the large companies, like the TJ Maxxes, but they cannot have the same line that we sell to our small core base.”

The products made for the large, corporate-owned stores are bigger and brighter. They look like a Blossom Bucket product, but they don’t have the uniqueness of a product you would find in a local gift shop. This new product line turned out to be the perfect solution for Blossom Bucket. Sales are at an all-time high and Lowery has maintained relationships with the small businesses, while building new relationships with large chain stores that offer the company more avenues for success.

HOW TO REACH: Blossom Bucket, (330) 834-2551 or www.blossombucket.com