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Port Alberni woman has a passion for flowers

Michigan Lane Bloom Co. is a passion project for Alixe Diewold

A Port Alberni businesswoman with a full-time job and a part-time passion for flowers is bringing a little romance to Valentine’s Day.

Alixe Diewold’s home greenhouse was filled with a variety of flowers and greenery Saturday afternoon. While she brings in typical Valentine’s choices such as red roses, she leans toward more whimsical or romantic tones: purples, pale pink, peach, cream, white.

Michigan Lane Bloom Co. is a passion project for Diewold, who has worked as a realtor for 17 years. She started her business in 2020 during the pandemic as Michigan Lane Picnic Co. “I did a lot of picnics all over the Island. That was just a little too much work,” she said.

“In that business I met a lot of photographers and ended up styling for a lot of photo shoots. I found that every time I was at these cool style photo shoots I was being pulled in the direction of the florals. I got to meet all these amazing floral designers on the Island and I just kept feeling pulled in that direction,” she said.

While Diewold is a realtor, she also considers herself a gardener—third generation, as her grandmother and her mother are both gardeners. She decided to move away from picnics and has changed the name of her business to reflect her love of flowers and floral arrangements.

“It just kind of ended up going in this direction,” she said. “We bought this property, and Shayla (Lucier) from Leave Her Wild Container Design was always my cheerleader, working with flowers.”

Diewold has been working seasonally, at various markets. She took some online floral arranging courses and has been learning first hand from people in the business who are mentoring her. In the spring she will be able to use flowers from her own gardens. Prior to building her greenhouse she would store flowers at her parents’ guest house and create floral arrangements there. With her greenhouse and garden she has been able to move her business closer to home.

Diewold hopes to eventually sell flowers from a farm stand at her home near Sproat Lake, offer floral arranging workshops in her greenhouse, and one day host small elopement ceremonies and other intimate events.

“It’s kind of my retirement plan, that I’d like to have a micro flower farm here and supply as much as I can local (flowers). I wouldn’t be selling flowers out of town or on a large scale, it would just be small-scale floral farming.”

Michigan Lane Bloom Co. is one of several different businesses in the Alberni Valley offering floral options for Valentine’s Day. Her bouquets will only be available on Feb. 14 at Fresh Coast Market on Cherry Creek Road (with a charcuterie box for a special date night) and McLellan and Co. on lower Johnston Road. She has a special collaboration with McLellan and Co. that includes a special vase for a bouquet and a necklace.

Susie Quinn

About the Author: Susie Quinn

A journalist since 1987, I proudly serve as the Alberni Valley News editor.
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