Coon Rapids floral designer off to national competition

Jackie Bockwitz’s floral design work has earned her a trip to national competition.

Jackie Bockwitz (right), owner of Forever Floral, Coon Rapids, and Anna Treichel (left), a floral designer at the store, have both had success in different statewide floral design competitions. Bockwitz, who placed first in her event, will advance to national competition in October, while Treichel took second place in her competition.

Jackie Bockwitz (right), owner of Forever Floral, Coon Rapids, and Anna Treichel (left), a floral designer at the store, have both had success in different statewide floral design competitions. Bockwitz, who placed first in her event, will advance to national competition in October, while Treichel took second place in her competition.

In a statewide Minnesota State Florists Association contest, Bockwitz, the owner of Forever Floral the past 15 years, took first place.

Anna Treichel, an employee of Forever Floral, took second place for her floral design work in another statewide competition, sponsored by a local supplier.

For her efforts, Bockwitz won a trophy, vase and $1,000 as well as the chance to represent Minnesota at the national association competition in Connecticut Oct. 6.

It won’t be the first time that Bockwitz has competed for national honors, she said.

She took second when she last competed at nationals two years ago, Bockwitz said.

“This time I’m going for first,” Bockwitz said.

“I’m very excited.”

To qualify to be among the six finalists for the statewide award, Bockwitz had to create a floral design with a celebration of life theme.

But for the finals, Bockwitz and her five fellow floral designers did not know what they would be asked to create until the day of the competition, she said.

“Then we were given five minutes to view the product package and 25 minutes to design and create,” Bockwitz said.

According to Bockwitz, she settled on a spring floral arrangement using the several different types of flowers that were available as well as materials the competitors were given.

“My goal was to create an arrangement for spring with a little flair to it,” Bockwitz said.

Among the flowers that Bockwitz used in her arrangement were lilies, roses, ranuncules, freesia, daisies and alstroemeria as well as various greenery, she said.

The contest took place in the morning, but the contestants had to wait until 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon before learning who was the winner, Bockwitz said.

At the national event, Bockwitz and her fellow qualifiers will have to create three different floral arrangements, she said.

And like the state competition, they won’t know until just before the event the package they will have to work with, according to Bockwitz.

As a floral designer, both in her day-to-day work at Forever Floral and in competition, she tries at all times to be creative and come up with a unique design, Bockwitz said.

But it is very important as a floral designer that the mechanics and technique “are very well done,” she said.

“You have to make sure the mechanics can’t be seen, for example, don’t have glue showing,” Bockwitz said.

Treichel competed in a competition at the Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis for floral designers from all over Minnesota and Wisconsin sponsored by a Minneapolis wholesale florist, Koehler & Dramm.

Like Bockwitz, Treichel had five minutes to look over the product that she was given and 25 minutes to complete her floral arrangement.

For her arrangement, Treichel uses roses, thistles, protea, ginger, Kermit poms, acasia and lots of greenery, she said.

It was the first competition that Treichel had entered. “I was very pleased to place second,” Treichel said.

For her efforts, Treichel brought home a trophy and a $200 prize.

A native of Princeton, Treichel has been a floral designer at Forever Floral for three years. She is a graduate of Hennepin Technical College.

Forever Floral has been at its location at Northdale and Foley Boulevards for some 35 years.

Bockwitz has been at Forever Floral for 27 years, first as an employee, then since 1996 as owner after she and her husband, Brian, purchased the store.

Forever Floral has 11 employees, a mix of full-time and part-time, Bockwitz said.

According to its website, Forever Floral specializes in all aspects of floral design with all occasion gift ideas, wedding and party flowers, as well as sympathy and funeral flowers.

It offers online, secure 24-hour ordering as well as taking direct orders by telephone at 764-757-9003.

Store hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Forever Floral also has a second location at 6415 Highway 10 in Ramsey.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com


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