Floral Beauty is Second Nature...
My roots are firmly grounded in the natural order and beauty that surrounds me here in Northern Michigan. I have a deep appreciation for the natural resources of this environment and just how much they have the ability to infuse the soul.
The beauties of these elements are firmly entrenched into everything I do. Although for many of us, appreciation for nature's bounties comes naturally, there are certain people that have greatly influenced my work and artistic abilities over the course of my lifetime and for those people I will be eternally grateful...
A great deal of my time was spent with my grandmother Beatrice Bowen, a retired college professor and avid chef and gardener. Grandma Bea was way before her time. After retiring from teaching, she purchased the farmhouse I was raised in and rolled up her sleeves! Stacks of Johnny's seed catalogs were found piled high on her kitchen counters, and when she wasn't inside baking her famous pies in her historic wood stove, she could be found outdoors caring for her vast range of organic chickens or tending to her vegetable, fruit and flower gardens that surrounded the property. Grandma B educated me on the art of gardening and experimentation with organic fertilizers and unusual seeds. I would visit her farm regularly. Most days you could find me tangled in grapevines, weaving baskets from her massive plot of grapes, or fighting the bees for the best blossom in her beautiful rose garden. Grandma grew things like Jerusalem artichokes, and made her own horseradish and dandelion wine, and I would be shunned if I didn't mention her famous "cherry bounce". What I enjoyed most were her marvelous cutting gardens, from which I would contentedly cut and make arrangements from. She encouraged me to use unusual containers for my garden arrangements, which provided just the right forum for a particular flower or arrangement. I began to create floral arrangements for friends' parties and the two family bed and breakfasts. It wasn't long before I was asked to design floral arrangements for small dinner gatherings… which of course led to the weddings... It was because of Grandma B and her guidance and love for the art that I have made this my career.
In 1986, I graduated from The American Floral Art School in Chicago IL and returned to Traverse City, MI. to work in various floral shops and freelance with others floral designers. I caught the entrepreneurial bug in 1989 and opened a small studio in Suttons Bay and soon a second location in down town Midland, Michigan.
In 1990, I opened our flower and garden boutique (Thru the Grapevine) in the charming village of Elk Rapids. As the spectacular gardens adjoining the shop grew larger in size, so did our reputation for weddings, with our staff accommodating several functions each weekend.
We became a leader in the floral industry and our work was regularly featured in local and national publications. As word spread among local and visiting patrons, our humble little shop soon became a destination place for vacationers and brides alike.
After several years and the opening of a second boutique, it became apparent that creating stunning arrangements for weddings was my calling. I decided to focus mainly on this area of the business, closing the boutiques and eagerly putting my creative energies into private consultations with clients and making my weddings incredible.
Today, with the launch of my new website, I am proud to share with you the fruits of my labor and the amazing weddings I have had the pleasure and good fortune to create. Heartfelt thanks goes to all of the beautiful brides and families who have made this all possible. Amanda and Abbey, I cannot thank you enough for your continued support and love, and to my siblings for putting up with my Gemini ways! Thank you Scotty for hauling my trailers from one end of the state to the other, as well as all of your handi-work, I appreciate it! Thanks to my amazing Mom who has assisted and supported me through the 24 years of events (and paperwork)... I love you so much! And lastly I send hugs and thanks to my dad, who has been my "Walt Disney". Thank you dad for the many pep talks when I was exhausted, and for teaching me how to balance my highs and lows!!!
I Celebrate, I Love and I Thank you all so very much!
Amy Kate Hendrickson