Meet the Bloggers

Most blogs are written by a single person but right now we have two bloggers at Dandelions (Toviana and Martha) who keep you informed on what is going on for us. I thought it would be nice to let you know a little bit more about us and our individual interests so you have a better feel for us as you read our posts.

Toviana Jackson

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My husband, Sean, and I take our daughter, Shiloh (and little Colt on the way) on her first train ride

I have been blogging for Dandelions since the inception of our blog in 2007. As the daughter of owner, Shirley Lyons, I have worked at Dandelions in a variety of capacities (I started by sweeping and dusting for a quarter back in the day) and began designing while in high school. I spent a few years out of state in Minnesota and California and came back to the family business in 2005. Soon I married a wonderful man and have two beautiful children: Shiloh, 3 and Colt, 7 months. I currently keep busy as one of the wedding coordinators at Dandelions and handle aspects of our marketing, website, and other miscellaneous projects I can fit in while chasing children.

When not working I spend time keeping Colt from swiping Shiloh’s toys and hiding the children’s socks from our 100 lb lab who likes to eat them. In the few minutes that remain in my day I also enjoy gardening, crafts, trips to the coast and reading a good book before bed. Each day is an adventure and each evening is a victory that I survived the day!!

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Shiloh and I

Very pregnant with Colt working on photos of arrangement for the shop

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Little Colt spends his days amongst the vases and flowers and entertaining the staff

Martha Bannikov

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My husband, Andrey, and I

While I have been a designer in the flower business for about 10 years, I am new to the Dandelions family. I moved to Eugene from Dallas, TX in September 2012, when I got married,  and a month later, started my first day at Dandelions.

I came into the flower business on a round-about route. I was born and raised in Namibia, Southern Africa, and moved to Texas about 13 years ago. While living there, I took a part-time, very  temporary job (or so I thought at the time) in a little flower shop downtown, fell in love with flowers, and have been in the industry since, working at various shops and learning the ins and outs of the flower business.

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Prepping vases for a corporate Super Bowl tent

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Super Bowl Week 2011 in Texas

Superbowl party 2011

Getting things ready at the warehouse for Super Bowl 2011

Dr Delphinium Painting with a Twist outing 2012

Painting with a Twist outing with Dr. Delphinium 2012

Here at Dandelions, I work on the design team, and a couple of days in the week help Tovi with the marketing and website aspect of the business.

I’m still pretty new to Oregon, so when I’m not at work I spend my free time buried in a book (I’m an avid reader), getting to know my new home town, and exploring the fantastic outdoors that is Oregon.Me

Holiday Chocolate: Moonstruck

We are carrying a delicious variety of Portland-made Moonstruck Chocolates.  These gourmet chocolates are perfect for stocking stuffers or as a stand-alone gift for friends, teachers, or co-workers.  The packaging makes these handcrafted delights  an easy gift-to-go.

Christmas Colors Inspire Me

I love the holiday season, but this year is especially spectacular. Not only did it snow this weekend, but the temperature in Eugene has stayed cold enough to keep it looking like a winter wonderland! A week into December, and with the lovely evergreens surrounding Eugene laden with the white, fluffy precipitation; the streets and rooftops snow-covered, the season has announced itself: Christmas is here!Dandelions Flowers & Gifts

This year, along with my usual reasons for loving the season – putting a tree up and dressing it up for the season; the festive decorations and lights around town; holiday shopping and wrapping (or bagging) gifts; anticipating fun family get-togethers; watching people go by all bundled up against the cold; Christmas music – I get to add a couple of  new ones to my list: the scrunch of footsteps in the snow; snow blowing off branches and swirling in the breeze against a blue winter sky. But I always come back to an old favorite: the red, white and green flowers we work with in the store. When the snow-tinted pine cones and Christmas greenery come out at work, it’s easy to get inspired, so I thought I’d give you a glimpse of some red, white and green floral inspiration at Dandelions:

Green and white kale adds fantastic texture to any arrangement you add it to.green and white kale

The big, beautiful and exotic blooms of cymbidium orchids with their deep red throats are a great attention-grabber.green cymbidium orchids

Deep red ranunculus, with its lovely, ruffly petals.deep red ranunculus

I never get tired of the wild allure of bells of Ireland. Their height is perfect for a showy, seasonal design.green bells of ireland

Red dogwood is also great for height in an arrangement. It’s woodsy red tint is perfect for the season.red dogwood branches

Red poinsettias are a Christmas icon! Their bold beauty add festivity to anyone’s holiday decor. red poinsettia

Exotic, bright red anthuriums, if you’re looking for something different, and dramatic!red antherium

Wintery-white fuji mums! white fuji mums

White poinsettias! Another winter holiday beauty!white poinsettias

I love the elegance that white dendrobium orchids bring to an arrangement.White dendrobium orchids

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!snow dec 10

Fun, new merchandise: Forever Flowers

We love to promote and support local businesses, and one of these is a mother-daughter team based out of Springfield, OR, and they make the most beautiful, intricate flowers…out of beads.

Shyvonne Moore and her daughter Elexess started their company – Forever Flowers – two years ago. This creative product rose (pun intended) out of a hobby of Shyvonne’s: she loved beading. Shyvonne would get ideas from beading books and put her own twist on them, so for the last 10 years, she’d make delightful beaded art as gifts for friends and family.  When they decided to go into business, they came up with the name “Forever Flowers” because they could provide a product that doesn’t die, and isn’t easy to break.

Our customers love these fun, beaded blossoms, not only because of the careful detail they display, but also because they’re so versatile:

You can wear them as a bright hair accessory!

And for this past Homecoming season we were able to use them as a base for some unique wrist-corsages:

Boys & Girls Club Auction

Last week we were delighted to help out our local Boys & Girls Club with their first annual Be Grate-ful Gala Auction at the Eugene Country Club. The mystical, magical evening included a performance by Ballet Fantastique and we brought our creative mojo to the floral designs. Purple, orange and green flowers were accented with manzanita branches and mosses with hanging crystals. Each table was set with painted pumpkins and a gypsy-style lantern in addition to flowers.

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The Boys & Girls Club is an incredible organization that is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment for kids in the critical after-school hours. They provide education support, physical education and lots of opportunity for counseling and mentoring. As a working mother myself I know that it can be challenging to find somewhere for the kiddos to go when I need to be at work. Thankfully the 11 month old can still be strapped to my person in a pinch. For parents who have school age kids, though, there are those critical hours of the day after school gets out but before parents are home from work. This is where Boys & Girls Club steps in.

Here in the Eugene/Springfield area, the Boys & Girls Club serves over 900 of our local youth helping them to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The facts are tough:

  • 1 out of 5 young people live in poverty
  • 3 out of 10 kids won’t graduate on time
  • 3 out of 10 kids are obese or overweight
  • 3pm – 7pm juvenile crime escalates

For a real difference here in our community the team at the Boys & Girls Club over at Westmoreland truly changes lives. I stopped by there to pick up some items for the event and saw happy, polite kids who clearly flourished in an environment of safety and love.

  • 67% of alumni say the club kept them out of trouble with the law
  • 28% of alumni say they would have dropped out of school if not for the club
  • 57% of alumni say the club saved their life
  • 62% of alumni say the club helped them commit to their education

Want to learn more about the Boys & Girls Club here in Eugene or see how you can help make a difference? Visit their page here or Like them on Facebook!