My name is Ona and I am the owner of Ona Rose Floral, a boutique floral design studio based in Bethesda, Maryland. I grew up in the complex world of agriculture as my father was a third generation tomato farmer in Florida. Subsequently I spent my childhood rotating between Florida, South Carolina, and the Eastern Shore so that my father's business could follow the seasons and provide an adequate supply to their clients year round. Like many farmers in America, that operation is no longer in business. Fast forward to here and now, I am the momma to two little wild girls, ages 2.5 & 4 and my husband co-owns and operates a fourth generation produce re-pack operation headquartered in Jessup.
Last fall after some serious nudging from my friends I entered into the world of floral design. I have always been very passionate about gardening and growing for fun which my oldest has seemingly caught the bug too.
Earlier this year I attended the Team Flower Conference in Florida where I had the privilege to sit down and speak with Debra Prinzing, lovingly referred to as the Mother of the Slow Flowers movement. It wasn't long after I returned from Florida that I realized a seed which had been planted years ago was now ready to start growing.
Looking back now, it was almost as if it was too obvious yet I was oblivious. I have, for as long as I can remember, had a soft spot for our American farmers for as long as I can remember. Beginning in my childhood and then while briefly interning on the legal side of things after college for a PACA attorney to then advocating for farmers during my time at US Chamber of Commerce prior to entering "mommy retirement".
This past Spring I made the decision to commit myself and my business to designing solely with American grown flowers. This means that I am, like our farmers, at the mercy of Mother Nature. I can't predict for my clients when specific flowers will be available and I can only work with blooms and foliage which are seasonal.
In turn, I provide my clients an extremely unique product that many cannot. The beauty I provide are nurtured and lovingly grown by hard working Americans that I have had the privilege of getting to know. They are are not filled with the toxic chemicals that 90% of imported flowers are, and because they are typically harvested within 24-48 hours of being used they are at their peak freshness, scents, and utmost beauty.
It is my hope and purpose that through this blog; I will begin to spread awareness and teach consumers about the bountiful and beautiful things that grow right here in our own communities and country. That it is possible to have a wedding or event that is completely designed with seasonal flowers and that with a bit more of an open mind; the possibilities are endless and not yet touched by the world of Pinterest.
Going forward, each month I will be featuring the profile of a local farmer from the Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia areas; the pretty...the not so pretty...their stories and what they have to share with you. Perhaps one day this will grow to farmers across America but for now, we will begin with where I call home.
Welcome to my journey! I can't wait to bring you along with me!