Corrine Smith started her student florist position at Campus Floral in September 1992. Floral design was always something that helped her pay her way through college, until it became a skill that redirected her career path.
Now, 26 years later, she has worked for five years as Campus Floral manager and 30 years in the floral industry.
Since becoming manager at Campus Floral, the business’ success has only grown. The business served 116 weddings just last year — averaging about three weddings a week for every working business day the shop is open — according to Smith. Apart from weddings, the shop has an extreme amount of work during Valentine’s Day season, Mother’s Day, prom and graduation, Smith said.
Campus Floral fosters relationships of learning, mentorship and professional development while maintaining itself as a competitive full-service flower shop, according to Smith. Smith sees Campus Floral as her home and said she loves the distinct difference in the environment that working with students in a full-service flower shop can make.
“Campus Floral is a unique place because I get the chance to work with a lot of students that are eager to learn, not just their major, but other skills as well. I feel like I get to be a manager, mentor and teacher throughout the day to these students,” Smith said.
Student florist Aubrey Nielson said Smith creates relationships that help the shop thrive.
“Corrine is more than a boss. She is like our friend, our mother and our counselor. Working and learning from her … has been an amazing experience,” Nielson said.
Smith never knew she would end up back at Campus Floral, but said it is where she belongs.
“I graduated from BYU with a major in travel and tourism geography but kept gravitating back to floral,” Smith said. “I had no idea I would end up being the manager of Campus Floral, but now, seeing how life has led me back here countless times, it feels just like where I’m supposed to be.”
Her floral design skills gave her options when graduating rather than having to depend solely on what she learned in school, according to Smith. She also finds enjoyment in sharing these skills with her student employees.
“My greatest satisfaction is when the skills I teach the students end up helping them have job stability when graduating from BYU. I truly believe that everyone needs a skill along with their education, and Campus Floral is the perfect platform for that,” Smith said.
Student florist Shaylee Asay has developed floral design skills that have also shaped her own career path.
“In the beginning, I thought I was just doing this as a job on the side, but working here helped me discover things about myself,” Asay said. “I’ve actually changed my major altogether from human development to experience design and management, where I can incorporate my floral design skill and interests with my education.”
Office assistant Emily Brady said Smith’s managing style helps her grow personally and professionally.
“She cares about our work ethic and personal lives. She helps us develop skills and develop as people. Campus Floral is like a family,” Brady said.