By Will Spencer
Flowers are one of the simplest yet most elegant commodities at human disposal. Whether at something like a wedding or funeral, these vibrant, fragrant blooms enrich the space and provide easement and solace with their natural beauty.
The Dresden Flower Box is keen on harnessing floral comforts for its titular town and surrounding areas. Over 20 years ago, Stephanie Kemp, the owner of the family-operated establishment, set the roots of her business in Dresden, Tennessee, out of pure passion for the craft when the right opportunity arose.
“I was finishing college and had always wanted to do flowers, and it just fell in our lap,” she says. “It was a dream of mine.”
Of course, that dream entailed actual work, and Kemp was and remains more than up to the task with her full-service floral shop. She can provide anything from basic carnations to the most ornate arrangements. With this eclectic array of goods and services, she aptly caters to events ranging from school occasions to the aforementioned major life ones, or to those people who simply want a pop of color in their lives. Being involved in the community is especially crucial for Kemp.
“We enjoy being part of the community because we try to help where we can with the schools and different things like that,” she says.
Kemp recently arranged flowers for the groundbreaking rebuilding ceremony of the Dresden First United Methodist Church, and the Dresden Flower Box has even branched out to the University of Tennessee at Martin. Her lovely bouquets could be seen at UT Martin events like the West Star leadership banquet and Mid-South Agriculture Finance Bootcamp; other collaborations with the university are in the works.
“We try to be as community involved as possible because they have been so wonderful to us, and we try to give back all we can,” she says.
Like countless members of the Dresden community, Kemp and the Dresden Flower Box were tragically impacted by the tornado of December 2021, being put out of business for a year and a half. Kemp doesn’t withhold the sheer tribulation she experienced in having to restart her beloved business, but like one does in the face of adversity, she fought for the thing she loves, working out of her husband’s barn and doing floristry for some weddings and funerals as she rebuilt. She attests to the dedication of her customers in getting back on her feet.
“When we opened our doors, they were right back here. They were so welcoming to us,” she says.
Kemp intends to reciprocate that compassion with nurturing floral goods and services. She finds her practice so fulfilling because it provides compact moments of joy in the highs and lows of life, from the weddings to the funerals. When has a flower not brightened someone’s day, even if not by a little bit? That is the impetus behind the Dresden Flower Box, which has caused it to flourish just as its namesake does from the earth.