Business in bloom

San Juan Bautista’s Flower Girl brings more than flowers

PERFECT PACKAGE Christin Burda’s ‘Flower Girl’ business began with a wedding client who needed flowers in a hurry. Photo: Robert Eliason

Christin Burda is not your average flower girl.

Instead of showering petals before glowing brides, Christin prefers a more productive role in creating the perfect wedding—but one behind the scenes.

And one that quite literally can save the day.

As an event coordinator who offers clients “packages” by finding vendors for special events, Christin realized finding a florist for her brides was becoming a frustrating task. So she allowed them to choose their own florists.

One day, however, Christin was hit with an unexpected challenge. On her way home after setting up a wedding, she received a phone call from her assistant.

“She said, ‘The flowers are supposed to be here,’” Christin recalls.  “I said, ‘I don’t even know who their florist is!’”

Feeling helpless, Christin decided to do the flowers herself.

It ultimately became a game-changer in her event planning.

“I kind of put together a price list for myself, and I thought well, would somebody ask me to do their flowers for them?”

Christin, who owns Fox Creek Events, has been the event planner for Fox Creek Ranch for the past three years.

Now, she has ventured out by opening her own flower shop, The Flower Girl, in San Juan Bautista on Feb 1.

With the help of consultant, Michelle Roberson, Christin has learned the “tricks of the trade,” she says.

But she hasn’t needed much help with the business aspect of her store.

Both Christin and her husband, Greg Burda, have been owners of La Casa Rosa in San Juan Bautista for more than a year.

And in the process of completing the restaurant renovations, Christin had a vision of putting a flower shop behind the restaurant. Greg, however, suggested to open a shop sooner than later.

“He said, ‘Let’s look for some space in town right now and do it right now,” she says. “So I said, all right, let’s just do it!”

Greg says it didn’t take long for Christin to get the business up and running.

“A few phone calls and internet searches and BAM, she is in business,” he says. “I love that she saw a need and came up with a plan to fill it. The shop is a perfect addition to the little town. I am so proud of her and her undertaking—she is fearless.”

The San Jose native, who has lived in Hollister since 1997, always had affinity toward event planning. As a stay-at-home-mom, she took pleasure in planning school fundraisers and parties for her children, Bradley and Amanda, now 22 and 21.

“I just love putting parties together,” she says.

Working in restaurants, and at the Santa Clara Convention Center, gave her the hospitality experience she needed to begin coordinating events for Fox Creek Ranch, which is owned by Laurie and Florian Barth.

“I helped Laurie with a couple of weddings that she already had set up,” Christin explains. “After that first year, she said, ‘I don’t want to do any of this—I just want you to do all of it.’”

Christin accepted the challenge.

And by taking it, a new business opportunity opened up for her at The Lemon Grove, which was recently opened on Southside Road in Hollister, and owned by Ty and Janet Lompa.

Christin says, at the request of the Lompas, her company has taken over their events as well.

And now, she has a new business with The Flower Girl—a shop with something for everyone.

For locals, she has fresh flowers in bunches, where people can pick out flowers they want in an arrangement. And for the tourists visiting the town, she sells plants and homemade items.

She also has arranged bouquets in cellophane to take home, and balloons for birthdays or cheer-me-ups.

She also carries cards—but not just ordinary cards.

Christin has gone to great lengths to ensure they aren’t ones you find at the nearest drugstore.

“I put a thing out on Facebook saying I was looking for local people that make cards and want to sell them,” she says.

“I got a whole bunch of responses on that; it was fantastic. Right now I have four different people that I am showcasing—they have very unique, very beautiful cards. And they’re all $5 or less, which is nice for handmade card.”

As for her future goals, Christin and Greg plan on offering La Casa Rosa as an event venue, with her flowers being part of the “package.”

“I really just want to be Leal,” she laughs. “I actually just want to follow behind him and pick up his little crumbs. I just want to be a kind of mini Leal.”

All joking aside, Christin is serious with her ultimate business vision within the town of San Juan Bautista. And part of that vision entails the renovation of La Casa Rosa.

“This town really needs more restaurants,” she says. “There are four different places in town that serve alcohol and don’t have food. We really want to do a venue that’s easy to deliver; we’re going to do tapas plates and gourmet sliders, and salads, something that’s totally different for this town, and also easy to do a delivery service to the other places here on Third Street that need food.”

Margot Tankersley, owner of Margot’s Ice Cream Parlor in San Juan Bautista, has been impressed with Christin’s drive to succeed.

“She’s gonna be a really good asset to San Juan Bautista,” Tankersley says.

“She just seems like a real go-getter and willing to put the extra effort in. And that’s what’s gonna make her great.”

Tankersley is not the only person in town who is excited to have Christin and her shop in town.

The day before she first opened her doors, Christin was approached from a lady who does flowers at the Mission San Juan Bautista.

Finding out Christin was indeed the owner of the new flower shop in town, the lady exclaimed, “You just saved my life!”

The Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey was coming that weekend, and floral arrangements were needed for the Mission.

“So we made some big bouquets for her,” Christin says. “We’ll do [arrangements for] them once a week after Lent is over—which is nice. I have never gotten better reception from this town. They’re so happy because they haven’t had a florist for a long time.”

And Christin is already thinking about the next big wedding event she has in the books:  

Her daughter is getting married next June.

“It’s going to be a crazy day,”Christin says.

“She and her fiancé live in Wyoming. I said, we have to do [the wedding] here—I have everything here. So I think they are leaning towards having everything here.”

And Christin, The Flower Girl, will undoubtedly save the day once again.

 

“The Flower Girl” is located at 106 3rd Street #C in San Juan Bautista and is open Thur–Sun, 11am–5pm. More more information or to make an appointment, contact Christin at 831.593.1200.

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