By Leigh Ann Rutledge
August 30, 2011
|Erin Shipbaugh of East Rochester, the 2011 Hall of Fame Queen stands by the floral arrangement created by Melody Jarvis of Lady of the Lake Floral and Gifts located in Carroll County.
Flowers are a family affair for Melody Jarvis.
Jarvis is the operator and co-owner with Mark Sabo of Lady of the Lake Floral and Gifts located on Dublin Rd., outside Sherrodsville. She and her son, Michael Harris, 20, run the business and create the floral arrangements.
Their work was showcased on the 2011 Hall of Fame Queen’s float and they received the “Best Use of Flowers” award for their efforts.
Always artistic, Jarvis took advanced art and sculpture classes in school and won a state award for sculpture when she was a student. She worked at various flowers shops, creating arrangements and managing businesses. She was the floral designer for Buehler’s in North Canton for five years. Buehler’s would decorate floats for the Hall of Fame parade each year and Jarvis worked on these floats. “I built 13-and-one-half foot tall topiaries on a float, which no one had attempted before and received the ‘Builder’s Award’ which was quite an honor,” she said. Buehler’s worked with the same float builder each year and after Jarvis left their employment, she kept in contact with the builder.
Jarvis was on a medical leave and when she returned her hours were being cut. “I thought about it and decided it was time for a change, she stated. “Two months later Lady of the Lake Floral and Gifts was up and running.”
Her father owned a funeral home while she was growing up and Jarvis said his inspiration is what made her open her own business. She opened her business three years ago on Mother’s Day, the day after her father passed away.
HALL OF FAME HONOR
Once her business was up and running, she contacted Expo Design of Indianapolis, IN, the float building company, and began working on floats for the Hall of Fame parade. When the Chamber changed hands, they decided to use Expo Design for the Queen’s float. No business outside of Stark County has ever been responsible for decorating the Queen’s float until this year. Expo Design told the Chamber they wanted to work with Jarvis on the float. “It was a great feather in my cap when they chose me,” noted Jarvis. The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce chooses the theme for each parade and Jarvis works with Expo on choosing the types of flowers for the various floats.
The float is put together Wednesday before the parade then Jarvis, a helper and Dave Allen, who designed the float, create the floral arrangements. “We put four floats together in 12 hours,” noted Jarvis. “Design work is all done on-site. We have three trucks, one with mechanical items, one full of flowers and one full of greenery.”
Jarvis estimated around 2,000 flowers were used to decorate the Queen’s Float. Ten percent of the flowers used on the Queen’s Float are required to be fresh and natural. The amount is determined by the size of the float. Erin Shipbaugh of East Rochester, also a resident of Carroll County, held court on the award-winning float during the Aug. 6 parade in Canton. Another float Jarvis created the floral arrangements received the “Mayor’s Award.”
At Lady of the Lake Floral and Gifts, Jarvis offers arrangements, gourmet baskets, cut flowers, and silk décor. She is available for weddings and funerals and has weekly “wrapped flowers” specials. She handcrafts most of the pots used in funeral work from Ohio clay and is proud to note all her flowers are from growers in the United States.
Visitors to the store will find a variety of gift items along with candles from The Beaver Creek Candle Company of Lisbon. The Beaver Creek Candle Company is a unique organization because candles are handcrafted by people with developmental disabilities. Every candle is carefully prepared, packaged, and shipped by people in the workshops under watch of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The company is owned and operated by our consumers because 100% of the proceeds go directly to the workers and the operation of our facilities. “You have the opportunity to buy a quality gift and help someone at the same time,” said Jarvis. She also has items for sale at Amish Collectibles in Sugarcreek.
Along with her son, Michael, Jarvis has an older son, Christopher, who is serving in the US Navy and is stationed in Guam. “Both of them are artistic also and have always shown an interest in floral design,” stated Jarvis. “Michael is my A#1 salesman and Christopher often creates floral arrangements for his wife.” Jarvis loves using lilies, daisies and two of her favorite flowers, Bavardia, “ a neat flower” and Stock “a fragrant bulb flower.” “I think my father would be very proud,” she said softly.
In time for fall, they will be selling a variety of mums, ranging from $6 for an eight-and-a-half inch pot to $20 for a 12-and-a-half inch pot, which will grow 3-4 feet tall. Jarvis is also planning a Thanksgiving Open House the first week in November with door prizes and refreshments.
Lady of the Lake Floral and Gifts can be reached at 740-945-8000 or online at www.ladyofthelakeflorist.com. Hours are Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon and Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The store is located at 5058 Dublin Rd., SW, Bowerston. From Sherrodsville, take SR 212; turn left onto Camay Rd. and make an immediate left onto Caddy Rd. Dublin is approximately one-quarter mile on the right.
Delivery is available to Sherrodsville, Bowerston, Scio, Jewett, Cadiz, New Hagerstown, and Conotton. Other Carroll County areas include: Carrollton, Dellroy, Malvern, Magnolia and Waynesburg and in Tuscarawas County: Dennison, New Philadelphia, Dover, and Uhrichsville.