Debra Prinzing

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Episode 491: The 19-year evolution of a retail florist with Kelly Marie Thompson of Chicago-based Fleur Inc.

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021
Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur Inc., shown here on a farm in Tuscany, scouting her upcoming Italy workshop

If you want to walk through a case study of a boutique retail florist and special events florist, today’s guest is here to share! I’m so pleased to welcome Kelly Marie Thompson, owner of Fleur Inc., based in Chicago. Fleur Inc is a diversified lifestyle boutique and special event design studio.

Wedding flowers by Fleur Inc.

Kelly formed the enterprise 19 years ago when she was just 22 years old and has based Fleur Inc. on the value of delivering extraordinary experiences, and offering a curated collection of  home goods, fine jewelry, floral, and custom design. 

Fleur Inc.’s Chicago Storefront

Kelly Marie shares this message on Fleur Inc.’s web site:

Simply stated, we can’t imagine our lives without nature.  Flowers and foliage are our language; they are the way we emote, and the way we evoke the senses.  Our mission is to collaboratively work with our clients in order to craft an experience that stirs the heart, creates a mood & tells a story.  With imagination and technique, we weave every petal, frond and vine into the next chapter, committed to creating extraordinary experiences.”

An upcoming Valentine’s Day image (left); Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur Inc. (right)

Fleur Inc. is a member of the Slow Flowers Society and has been featured in many online blogs and print magazines including Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue, Town and Country, Better Homes & Gardens, The Knot and was named one of the top 63 floral designers by Martha Stewart.

An uncommon wedding palette featuring dark, jewel tones by Fleur Inc.

Find and follow Fleur Inc. at these social places:

Fleur Inc. on Instagram

Fleur Inc. on Twitter

Check out Kelly Marie’s online course (see intro video above), “The Art of Growing an Extraordinary Floral Business,” which debuted about one year ago. She has compiled all of her experiences and lessons learned over the past nearly 20 years in retail and event floral design into a six-part online course. Click here for more details.

Learn more about Kelly’s coaching practice through Be Sage Consulting. Maybe this is just the resource you need with the new year — and how wonderful to learn from a fellow Slow Flowers practioner!

Find more details about A Tuscan Gathering ~ Flowering with Kelly Marie Thompson, upcoming, June 5-9, 2022.

Before we wrap, I have a couple important announcements:

All about Hellebores! The topic of our February Slow Flowers (Virtual) Member Meet-Up!

You’re invited to join me this Friday, February 5th at our February Slow Flowers Member Meetup — virtually.

We typically meet on the 2nd Friday of each month, but due to the overlap with Valentine’s weekend, we’re going to gather one week early.

I’m over the moon with our topic for February, which is all about the cultivation of hellebores as cut flowers and floral design with hellebores.

Our guests are both expert plantspeople and Slow Flowers members. You’ll meet Pam Youngsman of PoppyStarts Inc., a plant broker who has spent her entire career connecting garden centers with uncommon perennials, and who now supplies flower farms with those plants; and Riz Reyes, past guest of this podcast, who owns RHR Horticulture. Riz grows hundreds of hellebores in the landscapes he designs and frequently incorporates hellebores into his floral design.

Follow this Zoom link to join us on Friday, February 5th at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. If you miss the session, no worries! We will record it for replay viewing.

Next up, Robin Avni, my partner in BLOOM Imprint, and I are getting ready for a new course for all you aspiring floral book authors! We are joining the Fleurvana Virtual Summit March 5-7, focusing on Sustainability and Regeneration, with The Journey from Blog to Book. The course is designed for every creative person we’ve met dreams of sharing their art, craftsmanship and aesthetic in a book. As a tangible “artifact,” there is amazing social validation that comes with having a book about your work. A book can narrate your story, teach your concepts and document your work. We believe successful books are driven by a Passion that answers the following: What are you compelled to share? What do you have to offer that will make the world a better place? What is your unique point of view?

Thank you to our Sponsors

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at

For each Podcast episode this year, we will also thank three of our Major and Podcast Channel Sponsors. Our first sponsor thanks goes to new channel sponsor Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 686,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. January 2021 ended up being our most popular month ever for the Slow Flowers Podcast — with nearly 12,000 individual episode downloads. WOW! As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:

Spunk Lit; Turning On the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field