BEHIND THE FLOWER FROGS
Floral Genius is the only US manufacturer of pin and cup-style flower holders and is the only maker in the world of Blue Ribbon Hairpin Holders. Also known as flower frogs or kenzan, pin holders are a timeless floral design mechanic that was the precursor to floral foam. Today, flower frogs are sought-after by floral designers, at-home arrangers, and vintage enthusiasts across the globe, largely due to a shift towards sustainable floristry and the “#nofoam” movement.
Floral Genius started with two sisters who wanted to make their grandmother proud. When Stephanie Duncan and Jessica Hall were left with an inheritance, they knew they wanted to do something that kept their grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit alive. In an ironic twist of fate, Lynn Dodson, owner of the Dorothy Biddle Service, was looking for someone to take over the manufacturing of the only US-made flower holders.
Lynne’s history with the flower holders ran deep and began when her father, Rodney Johnson, purchased the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Company in 1959 from hairpin flower holder inventor, Ida Sinclair. Holding the original patent for the hairpin holders, Ida had been the sole manufacturer of these flower frogs since 1936. In 2009, Dorothy Biddle Service expanded their flower frog operation when they took over the manufacturing of pin-style and pin cup holders from Bonnie Manufacturing and became the only US manufacturer of all flower frogs in Greeley, Pennsylvania.
By 2016, Lynne was ready to move into retirement when she was connected through mutual friends with farmer-florist, Jessica Hall. As a designer, Jessica felt an immediate connection to the flower frogs and in partnership with her sister Stephanie, decided to purchase the manufacturing rights of the flower frogs.
The business officially changed hands in January of 2017 and was moved to Weyers Cave, Virginia. At the time, Jessica had just had twins, putting her brood total at four children, and Stephanie was residing in Charlotte, North Carolina working as a VP of a marketing agency. The girls had their fair share of challenges between building a facility, installing the equipment, and learning the trade of manufacturing the flower frogs which was led by Jessica’s husband, Brian.
Nonetheless, they didn’t give up. Today, Floral Genius has grown to be the supplier-of-choice for floral designers and wholesalers internationally. The business is co-owned by Stephanie and Jessica, and still largely family-operated with production overseen by Jessica’s husband Brian, and the administrative duties managed by their mother, Chris. The family also owns and operates Harmony Harvest Farm, a flower farm that grows over 200 varieties of specialty cut flowers and ships that nationwide.
THE FOLKS BEHIND THE FROGS
There are many faces in the Floral Genius story. Here are the main characters.
Co-Owner | Head Frog Slinger
If you ask her, Stephanie will tell you that she knew she was supposed to be an entrepreneur since childhood. With a strong background in business management and marketing, Stephanie has a knack for bridging communication with operation leading the sales and marketing arm of Floral Genius. In her spare time, Stephanie likes to spend time with her husband, Zane, and their two dogs and can often be found with a pool stick in her hand, ready to take on any challenger.
Co-Owner | Resident Creative Genius
A creative at heart, Jessica’s knack for the arts is usually expressed in flowers. Jessica’s thorough knowledge of supply chain management paired with her connection to design and industry influencers, has been vital to the success of Floral Genius. She works closely with the production team to ensure quality and efficiency across all operations and leads outreach efforts in the floral design community. When not working on her businesses, Jessica is wife to her husband Brian, mother to four children, Adelaide, Marion, Lincoln, and Levon and self-proclaimed professional yogi.
CFO | The Lady Monarch
In addition to being the mother of Jessica and Stephanie, Chris manages all of the financial and administrative arms of Floral Genius. Holding an MBA from James Madison University and over 30 years of experience in large-operation administration, Chris keeps a keen eye on the financial and operational health of the business. When not managing the business, Chris is often found in the barn, tending to her flock of sheep, or curled up with a blanket watching her favorite show, Shark Tank.
Production Manager | Master Caster
Brian has over ten years of experience in logistics and quality assurance, which he applies as the Production Director at Floral Genius. Husband of co-owner, Jessica, Brian leads the charge for efficient flower frog production, overseeing operations, training, and safety on the shop floor. In his offtime, Brian likes to take walks to the river with the dogs or school his four small children in a mean game of Monopoly.
Sarah's shipping background came in handy when she started working for Floral Genius. As our first official full-time hire, Sarah has been along for the ride every step of the way. When Sarah isn't hustling flower frogs, she's tending to her chickens with the help of her bunny Huckleberry and fiance Greyson, tie-dying anything she can find, or playing the guitar.
Sam makes 90% of the flower frogs produced by Floral Genius. As our Lead Caster, Sam takes pride in developing the quality floral mechanics our customers deserve. Outside of the production facility, Sam can be found making a homemade batch of sours mix, hanging with friends, or snorkeling with the turtles in the Virgin Island (seriously.)