Darlene McLeod has owned Celina Flowers and Gifts for 20 years. She retired from corporate work after 20 years to do something creative, and since then she has immersed herself in the world of flower design.
How long does it take to become a great flower designer?
It takes an average of one year to feel comfortable making arrangements. I have a love for art and am always looking for new ideas to make something fabulous.
What brought you to Celina?
I wanted to open a business that would use my art and math talents. In 2001, I was pretty much the only gift store in Celina and liked the small town feel of Celina.
How long have you owned the shop?
Twenty years. Before that, I was a software developer at Texas Instruments, Raytheon, JC Penney and AT&T. I retired from my software job after 20 years in corporate America.
What made you want to become the owner?
I wanted to do something creative and now have my flower studio inside of Jimbo's Pizza.
When is your busiest time of year?
Homecoming, Valentine’s week and Mother's Day week.
What is your favorite flower to use in arrangements?
I love all flowers. I especially love hydrangeas and tropical flowers.
What has been the most difficult project you've undertaken?
Doing flowers for three weddings in one weekend in my little space a few months ago.
What is the best part about being a business owner?
Bringing joy and happiness to others. Most people are so happy to receive a gift from their loved ones. It was a blessing to have a lot of supplies because getting flowers and supplies during COVID-19 has been challenging. But creative people always find a way.
What is the toughest part about being a business owner?
Guessing what flowers to buy that I will need tomorrow or next month if its a holiday.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Do you have a favorite movie?
“Somewhere In Time.”
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
I love buying and selling on online auctions. Tyler Grace auctions in Addison sold about half of my inventory and made my move to 501 W. Walnut St. in Celina so much easier on June 1, 2020