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A Festive Floral Season at
Bearded Bouquet

by Cody Moore, photography by Melissa Donner

After years of working in the floral business, Jonesboro native Zach Jones has taken his talents and expertise into his own hands. Jones recently opened Bearded Bouquet, a modern floral and retail shop, with the hope of providing Jonesboro with a unique floral experience.

Jones, who graduated from Arkansas State University in 2017 with a degree in marketing and an emphasis in sales, initially pictured himself working within the medical field after graduating from college.

“Throughout my high school and early collegiate career, I was dead set on working in the medical field,” said Jones. “That was until I began clinicals at my hospital rotation. I decided that it was not my career path and that I wished to pursue a more artistic and creative career.

“This should have been more obvious, as I have always done flowers on the side for friends and family. When I was in high school and college, I had a holiday side job that allowed me to decorate Christmas trees in people’s homes.”

It was Jones’ holiday side job that led him to professionally pursue his love of floral design. After working at a local floral shop for a year and a half, Jones began to take his creative abilities more seriously and took it upon himself to obtain his floral licenses.

“I pursued my floral education to solidify and perfect my self-taught skills,” said Jones. “I received my Arkansas Master Florist accreditation through the Arkansas Florists Association, as well as receiving my Certified Floral Designer accreditation through the American Institute of Floral Design.”

After receiving his official accreditations, Jones began to seek out other opportunities that would better him as a floral designer. After touring the prestigious Biltmore Estate, a historic house museum located in Asheville, N.C., Jones learned that the estate employed floral designers.

“I did not know that a floral design team even existed on the estate until a private tour in August of 2017,” said Jones. “On one of my many visits to the house, my tour guide, Jack, notified me of the floral department. From that moment on, I was steadily looking for an opportunity at the Biltmore.”

After Jones noticed that a floral job had become available at the Biltmore Estate, he took it upon himself to apply and hope for the best. He later accepted a position on the estate’s floral team, which consisted of seven other staff members, and began work in August 2018.

Jones’ duties at the Biltmore included working in the main house, where he would design large floral arrangements for the palatial home, as well as maintain a unique collection of plants that would grace the estate.

“The Biltmore is really where I found my floral niche,” said Jones. “ I learned the art of foraging for materials around you and mixing them with beautiful imported flowers to give you that fresh-from-the-garden look, even if you don’t have the flowers at your disposal.”
After eight months of working at the Biltmore, Jones ultimately came to the decision that he wanted to move back to Jonesboro in order to be reunited with his family.

“I loved being at Biltmore, and still go back often and work with them in the warehouse when I do so,” said Jones. “However, I turned out to be more of a family guy than I initially thought.

“I also received an opportunity to work with my business partners, Wes Williams and Wade Quinn, to open Bearded Bouquet in Jonesboro.”

After moving back to Jonesboro in April of this year, Jones opened Bearded Bouquet the following month. The floral and retail shop specializes in European garden-style florals, as well as floral arrangements and installations for weddings and other events.

Bearded Bouquet’s name derives from Jones’ infamous beard that he has had for the past five years.

“I have had a rather large, long beard for the past five years,” said Jones. “Pretty much since I decided to pursue flowers and a more creative career. … They go hand-in-hand for me. Everyone seems to love a business name with a little alliteration, so it was meant to be.”
Bearded Bouquet’s slogan, “Because or Just Because,” plays a major role in the business’ mission, as well.

“Our slogan is like our name, a simple one,” said Jones. “You can send flowers for the standard reasons or because of birthdays, anniversaries, sympathy or the always occurring, ‘I’m sorry.’ The best reason is when people aren’t expecting it, and that’s where the ‘just because’ comes in; you don’t always need a reason to brighten someone’s day.”

This month, upon walking into Bearded Bouquet, guests will notice a unique collection of Santa Claus figurines aligned on the shelves, a collection that is special to Jones.

“I have been collecting Santas for about five years now,” said Jones. “They range from thrift shop finds to more high-end collector editions. I like collecting the Santas because they are always so joyful and everyone seems to have a happy memory of Santa.”

The holiday season at Bearded Bouquet is nothing shy of a busy one. From the floral arrangement orders to the in-house decor jobs, Jones and his staff expect to remain busy throughout the upcoming months.

“At Bearded Bouquet, we offer everything from your classic floral centerpieces to a full-service Christmas tree decorating in your home, which usually starts booking in August,” said Jones. “We are all basically covered in glitter from October to January.”

In addition to purchasing floral arrangements or other holiday services, Bearded Bouquet also doubles as a gift destination.

“We have a fun, eclectic mix of retail in our storefront,” said Jones. “From the wonderfully fragrant LAFCO and Mixture candle brands to the fun selection of accessory vases for the home, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this season.”

Each month, Bearded Bouquet also hosts its own floral design classes, where each guest gets to create their own festive floral arrangement with the help of Jones.

“This December, we are starting the month with a fun wreath-making class at the Cooper Alumni Center on Dec. 10, as well as in-store classes on Dec. 18 and 19 where we will be designing a Christmas centerpiece in a beautiful container.”
To find more information on the floral classes, find Bearded Bouquet on Facebook.

Whether he’s helping a customer choose a floral arrangement to fit an occasion or designing florals for a wedding, Jones and the Bearded Bouquet staff are grateful for all the work that they get to do for their customers.

“The most rewarding part of owning Bearded Bouquet would be one of two things: helping people navigate through all the ups and downs of life on a daily basis, as well as being able to stand back after a wedding or event install and proudly say, ‘We did it,’” said Jones.

“Also, getting to work with a great team of designers, sales and delivery people is extremely rewarding, because nothing happens here without all of them.”

Bearded Bouquet, located at 3410 East Johnson Ave., Suite E, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To keep up with all updates and announcements, find Bearded Bouquet on Facebook and Instagram or call (870) 333-1661.