There’s a house on Burton Avenue that looks much like any other. But, inside is a plethora of scent and colour. The basement floor is covered with clipped boughs, stem bits, ferns, petals. The workbench is crammed with containers, sponges, foams, wires, cutters.

It’s here that artist Marti Evans uses living plants and flowers to bring absolute delight to just about any occasion.

Besides her remarkable smile, Marti’s gift to the world is flowers. Whether she’s creating that special bouquet for a bride, or recognizing someone’s significant birthday, Marti Evans brings to her designs a real sense of individuality. She selects flowers which are unique, and just does different things that make them stand out. Simple things. Picture this... a tall, vase, squared off at the edges, holding a simple bouquet of daffodils. Yellow. Yellow. And the simplicity of green. And into the water in the vase Marti slices lemons. It becomes spectacular.

Marti and Martina’s Flowers is about to celebrate Year Two of being in business, specializing in weddings and event deliveries, as well as Christmas decorations. Marti’s open house near Christmas turns her home into a gorgeous experience of sensual stimulation.

There’s a story behind Marti, as there is behind every small business eking out a living in our growing community. Marti used to anchor the fresh flower and delivery department at Bradford Greenhouses. It was seasonal work that she loved, but every autumn brought unemployment and a desperate search for any kind of work to keep her going until the spring. It meant every Christmas was one of struggle rather than celebration, with little opportunity to look ahead.

It was a huge step for Marti to turn her back on work she loved, and try to develop a business on her own. With the help of the federal government’s Self Employment Assistance Program, Marti stepped from seasonal unemployment into self employment, learning the basics of operating a small business while she used the core skills around which her business would grow. Sales and marketing, secondary market development, financial management, internet commerce... the training offered by the program was matched by Marti’s tremendous skill and commitment to Martina’s Flowers.

Today, Marti says the best part of her work is meeting with brides, discussing their colour preferences, getting a sense of their personalities and preferences. “I’m always very nervous before making a wedding delivery. I want everything to be perfect for them. I want their flowers to communicate who they are.” Marti is usually rewarded with gasps of delight, well earned and well deserved.

This year Marti has grown and used a lot of her own flowers, bringing a new look to what she’s offering her customers. She’s working hard to move her business into its second year, and yet she’s taking time to give back to her community, too. It will be Marti’s talent on display when Central Collegiate celebrates its commencement ceremonies on Thanksgiving weekend. Marti’s flowers will decorate the stage platform, and give real colour at the following reception.

I can’t think of anyone with work that results in more gratification... imagine making flower deliveries at offices or to homes... you’re certainly welcomed and celebrated at the door!

Best wishes, Marti... and thanks!

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