22-year-old retains hometown flower store alive, opening her personal enterprise in Dell Rapids
DELL RAPIDS, SD (KELO) – A graduate of Dell Rapids High School is finishing her senior year of college while starting her own business in her hometown.
“I always want to be around flowers, luck,” said Averi Pankonen, owner of Terry Rose Floral Market.
After working in the store through high school and much of college, Averi Pankonen took over downtown Dell Rapids this summer with her new store, Terry Rose Floral Market.
“I grew up with the fact that there was always a flower shop here,” says Pankonen. “There is no one in this area who has the potential of perhaps not having a flower shop here who really delivers.”
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So the 22-year-old took on the task and now ran the only flower shop in her small town.
“We do weddings, everyday arrangements, and funerals … we have two funeral directors and then we have the Minnehaha funeral home here in Dells,” Pankonen said. “It is a necessity that we have some kind of flower shop to supply these other small businesses in town as well.”
“My husband died a few months ago and we had a funeral here in town and we went to the flower shop and they took their time to find exactly what we wanted,” said customer Gloria Mills.
It’s an essential service for locals like Mills, who are thrilled to have a girl from their hometown take over the town’s florist.
“She seems to have a lot of skills, knows her flowers, knows what goes together, she did a great job,” said Mills.
“The flowers, I can’t keep them on the shelves, and that’s a dream come true,” said Pankonen. “They want my product, that’s more than I could ever ask for.”
While she’s always busy making bouquets, she’s also building her shop to offer many gift options.
“I received a scholarship program through a wholesaler called Faire for the product I have on the shelves. I submitted a grant application and they selected me and helped me get started with the product, ”Pankonen said.
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From bouquets of candy to candles, balloons and macaroons, she looks forward to offering more and more options, but she spends most of her time with her greatest passion.
“It’s just very calm and happy, even if the occasion for the arrangement may not be exactly happy, it still brings someone something bright for their day and especially in a world like today we could use anything I think,” said Pancreas.
And at 22, she not only founds and runs her own company, Averi is also going back to school this fall to finish her final year at SDSU. Hard work, she says, is worth giving back to a community that has done so much for them.
“That was very interesting feedback, people say you are so young, how do you do it?” Pankonen said. “I am very happy to contribute my talents to a community that has always protected me and examined me in difficult times.”
She is currently working on obtaining a license to sell beer and wine in stores so that her customers can bring a bottle of wine with their flower gift.