Woman of the Year: Flowers and Halloween
Jackie Davis likes the holidays. They are good for her and for her business, Price Floral.
But she particularly likes one holiday.
"It was always a big party to me," she said on Tuesday during an interview with the Sun Advocate.
And rightly so, because you see her birthday falls on Oct. 31.
And this year, on this Halloween Day, she has one more thing to celebrate.
She is the Sun Advocate's Woman of the Year for 2013.
"How did that happen?" she asked during the sit down.
It happened, Jackie, because people see you as an instrumental part of the Carbon County community; a person who makes a difference.
While not a native of the area, she says this is now her home. When she came here for the very first time from her birthplace of North Dakota in 1979 she remembers what she saw.
"I came into the east end of Price and I saw the mountains with the snow on them and the Christmas lights as I drove down Main Street," she said. "I will always remember how beautiful that was. I made myself a promise that I would always see that."
But changing from a place with the flat prairie and green rolling hills was a transition. It was different. The change in vegetation, climate and altitude was dramatic.
"I asked myself, 'What are you doing here?' at first but then I found that I loved the desert," she said. "There is such beauty in the desert. I see it everywhere."
She says there is also something here that she didn't expect, something she has come to love.
"The diversity of this place is wonderful," she stated. "We have people from all kinds of backgrounds and religions. I have learned a lot about people. I have made an amazing number of friends both in business and as personal acquaintances."
Born in Beulah, N.D., a small farming community in West Central North Dakota, Davis was raised in that atmosphere until she was 17. She then moved to Grand Forks, N.D. where she resided until she came to Price.
But back to the holidays, with Halloween being her favorite, she still liked the others that fall at different times on the calendar. In fact being born on holidays came as a family tradition.
"Of the five children born in my family three of us were born on holidays," said Davis."Of course I was born on Halloween, and two others were born on Columbus Day and the Fourth of July."
"The three of us always wondered what was wrong with the other two," she said as she smiled. "As a kid I just thought everyone was born on a holiday."
Her first few months in the county were spent managing Price Floral and then after six months she bought it from the previous owner when it was located at 60 West Main. Thirteen years ago she moved the shop to its present location 44 West Main.
Over the years, the store has changed a lot, and what her shop carries has increased as well. It's not just flowers.
"Our inventory has increased dramatically," she said. "We produce much more than just fresh floral arrangements. We carry jewelry, purses, hats and all kinds of gifts."
She also does a lot for weddings, including wedding cakes.
"I went to a lot of classes over the mountain for some time to learn to do those," she said. "We keep expanding and doing new things."
The store also carries a lot of things for each holiday as it approaches.
That is fitting considering her connection with holidays. Earlier this week the store was adorned with many kinds of Halloween decorations and figures. For years she and her store were directly connected to a major event that took place downtown; Spooktacular.
The event which ran every year from 1996 to 2011 was a signature celebration for her because she was involved from the very beginning. Within a couple of years after it started she was running it and hundreds of people showed up to attend various functions that surrounded it each year. It grew from being held in the Price Peace Gardens, to occupying a whole block of Main Street from Carbon Avenue to 100 West. Then it took another leap and expanded another block to include Carbon Avenue to 100 East.
"I loved doing that," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "It was a lot of fun."
But as with many events, sometimes they can become too large to manage with a small group of people. And while a steady group of volunteers manned it, there just was not enough help to keep it going. In some ways it outgrew itself.
"It came down to that we just didn't have enough volunteers to handle the event," she said. "I had my employees, my daughter and my husband all working on it."
And in some ways she also neglected her business in the process. With Thanksgiving and Christmas following close afterwards, it always put her behind on preparing for those holidays. So the last year Spooktacular was held was in 2011.
For Jackie the Downtown Association was always important. She worked hard and keeping it going. The fall event was part of that.
In her personal life she and her husband Larry live in Miller Creek. They raised four kids, three of them from Larry's first marriage and a daughter between the two of them. Her daughter just got married a few weeks ago.
"I like being in Miller Creek because we are so close to the desert," she said. "We bought the land and lived in a mobile home for a few years while we built our house."
Despite the expansion of her shop and all the changes over the years she still rotates back to her first love in the business, flowers.
"I follow the adage 'Love what you do and do what you love," she said. "I love flowers and see myself working until the end. I can't imagine it any other way."
She said when she was a girl she got a Barbie Doll that had a stand so the doll could be stood up all the time.
"I think I have going to have one of those made for me so I can be here working on flowers forever," she concluded.