Lady Boss of the Month: Allison Lunde, Owner of Floret & Foliage

Written by: McKenzie Schwark

Allison Lunde runs the whole operation at her floral shop Floret & Foliage. She talks with Ladyboss about why she hates getting advice, how the floral industry could be more sustainable, and how even the strangest-looking flowers still have their place.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.

A. I am Allison Lunde, owner and the only designer and employee at Floret & Foliage. I have a wonderful husband that helps me as much as he can. We live in Wahpeton with our two cats, Lewis and Dottie, and our two dogs, Ruxin and Penny. I love listening to My Favorite Murder and Morbid podcasts. When I am not flowering, I love watching the Office, Parks and Rec, Schitt’s Creek and New Girl, on repeat

Q. How did you get involved in your work?

A. I have always loved being around flowers and planting things. When I graduated high school, I went to Mstate for landscape design and my teacher was a cut flower grower. We did fundraisers with floral arranging and I loved it. I got a job at Hornbacher’s in the floral department in 2009, then moved to the cities and worked at a big floral company there doing a ton of weddings a weekend.

Q. What does sustainability mean to you and your business? How does it affect what you do?

A. Sustainability is incredibly hard in the floral industry, it’s actually pretty annoying. There is so much plastic waste and packaging material, cardboard boxes are the bane of my job, so many boxes. I recycle as much as I can, cardboard is the bulk of the recycling. I would love it if more wholesalers would wrap their flowers in paper, which would be so much more sustainable. I do try and reuse the plastic sleeves as packaging when I deliver my flowers. I love reusing items, like vases or even buying vintage or second-hand as much as I can and I rarely use foam, which is a micro-plastic. Sustainability is important to me, and my business.

Q. How does the earth or land inspire your work?

A. Nature is the most inspiring in my line of work from sunsets for color palettes, to the way flowers grow. I love using it all to make the perfect floral arrangements. I love the natural way flowers grow curly or imperfect to normal standards, but I think that they are beautiful and should be celebrated. Not every flower will be perfectly straight, or the perfect color but they have their spot.

Q. What is your favorite form of self-care?

A. I love laying on the couch watching movies. My favorites right now are Eurovision and Easy A! I also really love taking a very hot bath and just doing nothing, or I have started playing Animal Crossing with my nieces to seem somewhat cool. It is surprisingly relaxing.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently?

A. I am going to be honest, I don’t like when people give me advice. I am defiant and I have such a hard time when someone tells me what to do. I will say that I am going through some wild things and many people have told me to just trust the process and things will get better, which is usually true.

Q. What do you think women need most right now?

A. I have so many things that we need. One thing that would make me incredibly happy is for men to stop talking down and “mansplaining.” We need to be able to take up space and be able to speak our minds and truths without being labeled as unsavory, when a man could easily speak to us in that way and it is fine.

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