As tough and strong as a flamingo lily, as happy as a sunflower, and just as an alstroemeria adds just what you need to make a floral arrangement spectacular, Judy Morris brings just the right thing to the Owensville community.
Morris, owner and head floral designer of Old World Creations in Owensville, Missouri, planted her roots there at a young age. After graduating with an associate degree in horticulture from East Central College, Morris started to work at Hillermann’s Nursery & Florist in Washington, Missouri. Morris was then approached by a local man who wanted to start a nursery in Owensville. She took the opportunity to become the head of the nursery and helped with landscape design.
A new leaf turned when she took the leap of faith and decided to buy her own florist shop, Old World Creations. A true staple of the Owensville community, Old World Creations has been in Owensville for over 28 years.
“I started it on my own,” Morris said. “I didn’t take out any loans or anything.”
The business has bloomed from there. Morris now designs arrangements of all kinds to bring a little sunshine into everyone’s life.
“My favorite events are weddings — the bridal bouquets are one the things I like the most,” Morris said. “At funerals, I have a tendency to do the best I can for that person because it’s the last thing I can do for a person, is to make sure they have beautiful flowers.”
Just as floral arrangements aren’t the same without all their components, the Owensville community wouldn’t be the same without Morris.
“Not only is she my boss, she’s one of my best friends,” said Nancy Gann, coworker and friend for over 20 years.
“Judy is a very selfless individual,” Gann said. “She’ll do whatever she needs to do to make Owensville home for everyone. She does a lot of things no one knows about for the community. For years Judy has been the one without anyone asking who decorates Main Street with green and red bows for the holiday season.”
Along the way Morris met Sherry Byram, the current agriculture education teacher and FFA adviser at Owensville.
“She supports the school knowing the community supports her business,” Byram said. “She will donate or give price breaks on supplies. She is the only florist in town, so she knows the community well. She is willing to do her best to give the customer what they are looking for and offers suggestions and or advice, which most people need as they are typically not familiar with the floral industry.”
Morris also had a hand in training Byram’s 2018 National FFA Floriculture Champion Team. Morris taught real life skills that florist’s would use and inspired the team along the way.
“Judy’s best quality is her willingness to help and not make me feel like a pain,” Byram said. “It can range from advice, letting me shadow her, order supplies, give me things to use in class, and now consider her a friend. Of course, she was a shining star helping us prepare for nationals and willing to spend her time helping us.”
Most days, you can find Morris surrounded by the wafting scents of flowers, stems of all sorts, and ribbon flying off the shelves designing a beautiful arrangement with the Hallmark channel playing in the background.
“You don’t just make an arrangement, you don’t just make a casket spray, you don’t just make a bridal bouquet, Gann said. “It’s a piece of your heart that goes into everything you make, that’s just how you do it.”
Old World Creations, a seed planted by Morris, has sprouted into a strong business that is a focal point of the Owensville community — just like its owner.