Denise shared she has always been a dreamer and she jokes that for her 30th birthday, she gave herself a business.
A third-generation florist, the love of the industry is deeply engrained in her. Her mother, grandmother and great uncle worked in either the retail or wholesale floral business. Her grandmother specialized in plants, while her mother and great uncle focused on flowers and arrangements. As early as she can remember, if she was out of school, she was at work with her mother amongst the flowers and plants.
In January 2021, with the support and encouragement of her family, she began the process of starting her business. Her mother referred her to REI Oklahoma and the Women’s Business Center (WBC) through a connection she had. With the help of WBC staff, Denise began following a detailed process to get items in place, started the paperwork and brainstormed ideas. Then in February 2021, she leased a building in Broken Arrow and began renovating. She had a soft launch in mid-March and the grand opening on April 2, 2021 – Flowerchild Florist was born!
When asked how she came up with the name Flowerchild Florist, Denise laughed and said that it was just a fun play on words. “My mom was a flower child, I’m a flower child. That was one of the first things REI Oklahoma helped me with – making sure the name I wanted was fully available to use for my business.”
Denise said, “Without the help and assistance in navigating the process, I don’t know if I would have launched.” Denise shared the thought of failure loomed so large in her head that the support she received through REI Oklahoma gave her a sense of security.
“The team helped me make the best decision to launch my business – to ensure I’m doing what is best for me as a small business owner.”
One thing REI Oklahoma staff often hear is individuals, especially women, don’t launch their business unless everything is perfect – all the pieces are in place. Denise did not want to wait to start her business because of any ongoing effects of the pandemic. Her determination paid off as she shared that starting Flowerchild Florist in the middle of the pandemic did not have a negative effect on her business. She shared, “The floral business is already set up for deliveries, online orders so contactless delivery was easy to adapt to. It was also a way for folks to easily send gifts, encouragement, support and keep connected with folks through sending floral arrangements and other gifts we have from other Oklahoma small business owners displayed in our store.”
She encourages women business owners to connect with other women who own businesses. She is also engaged with the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce and Broken Arrow Young Professionals.
When asked what advice she would give someone else thinking about starting their own business, Denise said, “Just do it. I know it is easier said than done, but the reward is worth the risk.”
When asked what she would like to share with those who invest in the mission of REI Oklahoma, as well as partner with us through our many programs, she smiled and said…
“I get to come to work every day and do something I love and build something for my future.”
Denise Warner, Owner
3718 S Elm Pl
Broken Arrow OK 74011