Last week I had the privilege of sitting down with two of Tioga’s newest business owners on Main Street, Kim Longie and her daughter Ashley Mesker. Ashley and Kim recently opened the doors on the Dragonfly Floral and Gift shop. They share the building with Hidden Beauty Salon which is owned by Kim’s other daughter Jessica Nygaard.
Dragonfly Floral and Gift officially opened on September 12, 2017 on Main Street in Tioga, ND where the Sportsman Cafe used to be. I actually waitressed at the Sportsman’s, like most teenagers in Tioga at some point before they closed a few years ago.
I loved sitting down with Kim and Ashley to find out what motivated them as business women, ideas they have for the future of the Dragonfly, and what it’s like to work with family. So with out any further small chat lets dive on in!
Lets start with the name, what made you choose Dragonfly?
Ashley- There were two different things. First I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan and I loved the name of the Inn on the show, The Dragonfly Inn. But the dragonfly took on another meaning that is truly close to our hearts while my grandpa was passing away. We were trying to explain it to all the little kids, and Becky found this book called Water Bugs and Dragonflies. This book uses the analogy of the waterbugs’ short life under water as human’s time on earth and their emergence as dragonflies into the bright sunlit world above the water as human’s life after death.
Kim- As my dad was nearing the end of his life we saw dragonflies everywhere, whether it was on a shirt, or a plaque, or near water. When he passed away I was having a hard time that afternoon at the cemetery, everyone was leaving and I was just sobbing and I couldn’t leave yet. I placed my hand on his casket and a dragonfly landed right beside my hand and just sat there and didn’t leave until I left!
What made you want to start Dragonfly Floral?
Kim- It was Jessica and Ashley’s idea. when Jessica came to the realization that she needed a bigger place, the original idea was for Ashley to start the flower shop in her old place next to the drugstore after Jessica found a new spot for the hair salon. But when Jessica found this place we realized that it was big enough to house both businesses.
What has been your favorite part of the flower shop so far?
Ashley- Getting to be creative. Having a creative outlet has been awesome for me!
Kim – Doing the arrangements! I like doing them beforehand but gratification I get from taking someones raw ideas, and making them reality with custom arrangements is pretty amazing.
What has been the most challenging so far?
Kim- trying to figure out how much of what to order each week! You have to have your orders in by Monday at 11 am and then they come Tuesday. If a special event, or funeral comes up un expected you have to have your flowers overnighted, which of course raises your cost. It’s just been so hard to know! I’m sure after the first year we will get a handle of what people will want throughout the seasons, and our software is really going to help us out with that as well!
Ashley – The hardest part has been how do you know what people will like what they will buy its been so long since people have had the option to get things like that here in town its just a big learning curve!
Kim- The first year is like a big trial run for us, and we are trying to take notes so we can learn and make next year even better! Right now everything just seems so crazy we are constantly re arranging everything.
What has been your favorite part of working with family
Kim– Getting to see my girls every day. Here we are in a brand new dynamic, we are all working for the same goal we are all on the same team. Getting to see my daughters work towards their own dreams and goals is so amazing!
Whats the hardest part of working with family?
Ashley- We are more blunt with each other. We might snap a little easier, then we would be with employees but we are also quick to forgive in order to get the job done!
Dragonfly Floral offers so many new and needed services to the Tioga area.
- kid and character balloons
- paw patrol
- get well soon
- manly camo balloons
- new baby
- sports balloons
- candy bouquets
Bouquets and Fresh Flower Arrangement
- variety is growing
- thanksgiving table centerpieces
- home decor is growing
Christmas has exploded in the basement and it’s not hard to pick up on the fact that both Ashley and Kim are super excited for Christmas! This year they will have fresh greens for wreaths, and garland.
Ashley- This year we are hoping to offer home decorating services, where we can come into your home and decorate using your own decorations, or we can bring decor from the shop and transform your home for the holidays!
Christmas Open House will November 6th!
Dragonfly Floral will also be having a Christmas Open House on November 6th to showcase all things Christmas!
So what else is in store for Dragonfly Floral and Gift?
Ashley- We have so many ideas for things in the future- classes, fundraisers, services and events. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas!
Kim – We are working on an event with Hess and the local Relay for Life. Hess matches each dollar raised and the money stays in our region. That money goes to help local cancer patients as they go through chemo.
Kim and Ashley are still in the planning process of the event, but it’s easy to see that giving back to the community, and helping with cancer research is near and dear to their hearts.
Stay up to date with Dragonfly Floral by liking their Facebook Page. Check them out on Instagram @dragonflyfloralgifts Give them a call to order some flowers at (701) 664-3150 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday – Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday’s 9:00am to 3:00pm
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