Kingsley (MI) floral store grows new roots

Even a growing business needs a transplant. A pair of blossoming stores in downtown Kingsley, Michigan intersected over the weekend.

Kingsley Floral & Gifts closed Friday under the direction of co-owners Karla Blackmer and Stephanie Bugai. On Monday, the store reopened as Olds Floral & Design under the direction of Kait Olds. "Karla and Stephanie brought a lot of life to the business," said Olds. "They have been just great through the whole process. It's a great space."

Olds, who grew up in Buckley and married into a big Kingsley family, comes into the business after successfully growing her own plants at Olds Paradise Farms and selling fresh-cut flowers in farmers markets and to other shops in the area, including Kingsley Floral and Gifts. She also successfully operated a roadside stand on Blackman Road, Fresh Cut by Kait. "This is the natural next step, having a shop," Olds said.

It was also a natural step for Blackmer and Bugai, who opened Kingsley Floral on June 1, 2020, in a 260-square-foot space, and moved across the street into 1,200 square feet on April 23, 2021. Blackmer, who maintains ownership of the building with her husband, Andy, said she and Bugai had other full-time jobs.

Blackmer works at Northern Pines Health Center in Buckley, Bugai at New Directions Testing in Traverse City. "The flower shop has grown tremendously and it's been very busy," Blackmer said. "With both of us having full-time jobs, we thought we could balance and juggle, but we just can't."

However, Blackmer said she could not think of a better person than Olds to take over the business. Blackmer and Bugai are even working one day a week for the next two weeks to ease the transition until Olds expands store hours November 15th.

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