48 years on, Mary St florist legacy blossoms with new branch
FLORISTRY has bloomed in Mary St for almost 50 years, and thanks to Jan Jones it does not seem to be slowing down.
And while Branch and Blossom is Mrs Jones' first foray as a business owner, she is joining a remarkable list of women to have come before her including Betty Cockburn, Gay Lohse and Annette Guerts.
While following in those footsteps might sound daunting to some, it is a legacy Mrs Jones is eager to embrace instead.
"(It's) inspiring, really really inspiring," she said.
"I feel really glad to be a part of the Gympie history of our community.
"It's something that I really loved about the purchase of the business when I discovered it.
"I didn't know that prior to going into it."
With a picture of Mrs Cockburn watching over the store as it has done before, Mrs Jones was thrilled to be a part of a journey which started in 1969.
"She left her job working at the butter factory on Tozer St, and as a a single woman opened up her florist," she said.
What she started was a business which, while shifting store once or twice, was ultimately a Mary St fixture.
According to Mrs Jones, it was a a story which she had seen played in many other Gympie women's lives, past and present.
"There are so many amazing women in our community," she said.
"I've watched all these women do amazing things in our community and for our community, and it's inspiring.
"I thought why can't I do it to?"
While she has been a florist for the past 16 years, it was not the career she had first seen herself walking into early in her life.
Rather, it was something she "tumbled into".
"I was in partnership in a restaurant, I had a hospitality background, and I'd always been a frustrated artist," she said.
"I painted, I drew and and I sculpted and I'd been to art college and never really found what worked for me.
"While we had the restaurant, a friend of mine said to me just randomly out of the blue a friend of hers owned a florist shop and she was looking for someone to help out."
It started out as a one-day-a-week gig. Soon, it blossomed into a career.
"It just ended up being a full-time job, I ended up going three years later going to TAFE and getting qualified and never ever looked back," she said.