Search

We Are Doing It: Blluum

Amy Clarke, Freelance Marketing Storyteller

As Chattanooga area businesses shift, pivot and change, trying to adapt to a new normal, many are tapping into the passion that led them to open their business in the first place. Over the course of the next number of weeks, we'll profile some of these owners and share their inspirational stories on how they're doing it.

Christine Waldrop, the owner of Blluum, a floral, event design and gift shop on Little Debbie Parkway in Ooltewah, never imagined having to shut down her business so soon after opening a brand new brick and mortar storefront in January 2020. With a shop full of freshly delivered flowers, she got to work.

“I really started to grow my online presence. I offered to ship. I did curbside. I did contact-free deliveries. I found ways to start working that,” Waldrop says. “I didn’t lose one single flower. I sold everything. I consider myself very blessed.”

While Blluum has only been around officially for the last four years, Waldrop’s passion for flowers goes back as far as she can remember. One of her favorite memories as a young child involved spending time in her great-grandmother’s huge flower beds.

“Every Memorial Day, I would watch her gather peonies. We would have a huge picnic and then put the flowers on the headstones of veterans and members of our family,” Waldrop says. “I created a signature candle in my shop after her.”  

In fact, much of what now shapes Waldrop's business came from watching the strong creative women in her family as she grew up.

“Whether it was flowers, events, wiring an electrical lamp, it didn’t matter, they would figure it out,” she says. “I remember my grandmother making cakes and watching how she made the flowers until she perfected it.”

Years later, it was no surprise when a family friend asked Waldrop to throw a wedding. At 25 and just like the women in her family, she was determined to make it a success.

“It went off fabulous. I even made the invitations by hand. Anytime I do an event, the client is going to get more than the average person. I invest myself solely in whatever project I am doing.”

It’s that energy, passion and drive keeping Waldrop moving.

“I am about connecting with my clients. It’s a very personal thing. These clients give you an opportunity of allowing you in their space. I take it very personally and so I understand there is a huge level of trust that comes with that,” she says. “It’s about building relationships whether for a wedding, a birthday or a funeral.”

With customers always front and center, Waldrop believes business is shifting and there is an even bigger focus on people.

“We all need human interaction. When you are cut off from it, you realize that is what you need to thrive, to be happy and be well.”

Waldrop doesn't plan to shut down her storefront. Her advice to other local business owners: keep doing what you love to do.

“Don’t be discouraged by everything you see going on around you. Stay focused on why you are doing what you’re doing.”


About

Amy Clarke, Freelance Marketing Storyteller

I help companies find the stories that show the heart behind their brands and ultimately connect them to the people that matter the most for their business growth and success.  

 


Image
IMG_0363.JPG
thumbnail_B588AA2A-8ED4-4BDF-8017-8DB4DCE391EB-6139-000003D0C64DB510.jpg

Other Topics

If you were to take a quick survey of national headlines, you’d encounter gloom and doom-type discussions around commercial real estate. Much of this is thanks to the popularity of remote work, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.   As…

Protege Chattanooga is a nine-month program that matches early-to-mid-career professionals with a red-carpet list of regional leaders. The end goal? Unforgettable connection among young professionals paired with a viable, noteworthy mentorship with real-world leaders.   It's all by design, as the…

To coincide with Earth Day weekend, Leadership Chattanooga's 40th annual class made history, spending the day doing what had never been done in program history.  One giant day of service.   Some 40 members of the 2023/2024 graduating class split into…

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Small Business Awards sheds a light on local companies that serve as examples of excellence within our community and help us build a thriving Chattanooga. This week, we announced our winners at the…

When people hear the news – Melody Shekari was named the new head of the Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga – they often say the same thing:  She's a perfect fit.  "A lot of people say it fits who I…

On April 18, Fleurette Fitch – a 21-year employee of Shaw Industries – was honored at a Washington DC gala for her outstanding manufacturing career. That evening, the Manufacturing Institute recognized Fitch as a Women MAKE Award honoree for her…

Sign up for weekly updates.