Local organization Petals that Inspire partners with Star House, flourishing with opportunities

Petals that Inspire works directly with Star Works, Star House’s workforce development program, to give individuals ages 14-24 a chance to participate in floral design workshops and thrive in a professional framework.
Credit: Courtesy of Laney Sword

As plummeting temperatures begin to diminish nature’s colors, Petals that Inspire maintains and shares floral beauty year round through a partnership with Star House Columbus.

Petals that Inspire is a florist and social enterprise launched in March 2020, said Amanda Greenwood, founder of the organization. Every time flowers are purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes to support the local community, according to the organization website.

Greenwood said Petals Inspire was made possible by a 2019 GiveBackHack event where she presented her idea to sponsors and other professionals, drawing on her experience in the wedding and event planning sectors.

Following the event, Star house, a 24/7 resource center for homeless youth in the community of Columbus, has reached out in hopes of establishing a working relationship, Greenwood said.

“As soon as I met a few members of their team and got really engaged with the young people, I knew I wanted to combine their passion and purpose with what they are doing in the community with flowers”, she declared.

Brittany Stricklen-Hilyard, Director of Development at Star House, said Petals Inspire works directly with Star House’s workforce development program, Star Works. People between the ages of 14 and 24 have the opportunity to participate in floral design workshops and flourish in a professional setting, she said.

“Each week, usually for a few hours or so, young people can participate in flower design classes, make flower arrangements or prepare flowers,” said Stricklen-Hilyard. “It’s great to see our young people learning basic professional skills, such as being on time or learning to express themselves about what they need in their work environment. “

These workshops also provide a sense of hope for participants, allowing them to form authentic bonds with their peers while building visions for their future in Columbus and beyond, Greenwood said.

“Whenever I bring these kids together, the conversations that naturally develop aren’t about what they’re going to have dinner that night, but rather about the dreams and the big picture,” Greenwood said. “For people who have to focus so much on the necessities of life, giving them the opportunity to be creative is truly a gift. “

Greenwood said Petals that Inspire recently hosted an extra service event where volunteers tied up blankets and put together “reunion” kits that were donated to Star House. She said more than 100 ‘bundle’ kits have been sponsored by people inside and outside the Columbus area, ensuring Star House has more blankets to hand out to those who are. need it for the winter season.

“I tried to find ways to involve the community more in my programming and my mission,” said Greenwood. “I got members of the community together to hand tie these blankets, which just adds another personal touch to this coming together of the community and highlights the compassion the community wants to share. “

Star House depends on the goodwill and interest of the Columbus community, Stricklen-Hilyard said. In addition to standard monetary donations, the resource center will start looking for clothing – such as sweatpants, hoodies, jackets, hats and gloves – which are in high demand at the beginning of December, has she declared.

“Volunteering or donating your treasure is always appreciated,” said Stricklen-Hilyard. “We would like to take these items, and people can learn how to donate them by visiting our website.”

Outside of his work with Star House, Greenwood said Petals Who Inspire operates as its own diverse brand and offers services such as specialty flower orders, flower arranging classes, and pop-up bouquet shops. Private events can also be organized.

Greenwood said Petals that Inspire aspires to bring joy and relief to the city of Columbus, with room to expand into the future.

“I think flowers have the ability to bring joy whether you handle them or receive them,” she said. “They are always greeted with a smile, so the more I can give to our community, the more I will do. “