Tina Soetaert, Owner and Floral Designer, launched Bloom Stones last year in November of 2020.
“I was still teaching full-time so only worked part-time at floral design in my home based studio,” Tina shares. “I have always had a passion for designing flowers but only created as a hobby. It wasn’t until March of 2020 that I thought about opening my own business. Our mission statement is, we strive to deliver unique, quality products that are locally sourced. In this unpredictable time, we feel the need to support other local businesses while we build our own.”
Focusing on showcasing local vendors helps Bloom Stones stand out, and also helps those looking to truly shop local.
“Our local vendors include: Natura Soy, The Tea Girl, Sweetsmith Candy Co., Lakehouse Naturals, Mood Therapy Candle Co., McDuff’s Soap Company, Royce and Oak, Steel and Clover, Riverbend Roasters, KL Designs, Earth Art ‘n’ Soul, Kick Ass Caramels, Signs by Karen, Inspired Creations, Heartstrings, Boreal Folk Apothecary and Barbarry Designs,” says Tina with pride. She goes on to note that Boreal Folk move around Canada, making them local to the nation if not the region.
Additionally, Bloom Stones orders most of their flowers from BC and also supports Sunshine Blooms Flower farm, which is just outside of Andrew, AB.
It's long hours and constant marketing but with a great team working alongside her, Tina is happy to be making a difference through floral design, to the shop local movement, and in creating a great place for her team to work. And the name isn’t an accident either! Another thing that makes her store stand out is the actual bloom stones she carries.
“Our bloom stones make us stand out from our competition because no one else has anything like it. Bloom Stones are made from a piece of slate and turned into a beautiful floral base.”
She has to admit, “I feel our biggest challenge is being a brand new store. We are starting from scratch so building our clientele is a challenge as well as being in a brand new complex… people don’t know we are open. We don’t have the walk in traffic that we will have when the complex is full,” however, “I love that it doesn’t feel like work… the designing that is! Paperwork is another story!”
Tina has a great sense of humour about the practical side of the business. She muses, “I always heard as a kid ‘make sure you do something you love because then it doesn’t feel like work.’ It only took me 50 years to figure it out!”
She’s been in business less than a year, but already great reviews are pouring in. To date Bloom Stones has a solid 5/5 across 30 reviews on Google, and more 5/5 reviews on the Bloom Stones Facebook page.
“I’d like to thank my daughters Brooke and Morgan Soetaert. Brooke was the one that got me designing again and Morgan set up my social media and webpage,” says Tina. “Barry Thimer helped me prepare the bloom stones, Kristen spent endless hours finding local vendors and developing our inventory system and believing in Bloom Stones as much as I do. I thank Kimberley for her fabulous floral designs and helping set up the store, Denise for always being there to help wherever needed, and to Teresa and Auntie Debbie for taking time from their summer to help set up the store. Also, a big thank you to our customers for their support. We appreciate and value your business.”
Look for upcoming floral workshops, which will take place the last Thursday of every month. We are immediately north of costco in Erin Ridge Plaza North. Learn more online and by following @bloomstonesfloralandgifts on Facebook and Instagram.