Business is 'blooming' for new flower company in Flint

Editor’s Note: The video included in this article is an independent interview conducted by Flintside contributor Miriam Bingham. 

FLINT, Michigan — Business is 'blooming' across the Greater Flint Area for one local entrepreneur who is working to plant seeds of joy and honor.  

“Going through all the changes, we often confuse our gardens and graveyards,” said Randall Wilburn, owner of Ten Eighteen Flower Company

Wilburn is intent on saluting a major rose of his life. “Yeah, we took him to the graveyard, but it ultimately ends up producing a beautiful garden, and those beautiful seeds that he planted in my life continue to bloom to this day.”

At the age of 10, Wilburn’s father passed away from cancer. His father was only 34 and Wilburn experienced grief and struggled with the hardship of losing a strong role model of his life. “It completely turned my world upside down. It was probably the worst thing that ever happened to me. It was very traumatic,” reminisced Wilburn. 

This year, Wilburn wanted to pay homage to his father and create a different celebration for what would’ve been his father’s 60th birthday. On October 18, Wilburn planted a seed and opened Ten Eighteen Flower Company.  

“Ten Eighteen is a very special day to me. October 18th was my father’s birthday,” explained Wilburn. “This was a nod to him and I wanted to do something to honor him.”

Wilburn values the meaning of giving back, so his agenda at Ten Eighteen includes more than just selling a dozen of roses and floral bouquets. His new campaign #WeAreTheRoses highlights and recognizes the importance of individuals in Genesee County. Every Friday, Wilburn and his staff pop up and make surprise deliveries to significant residents in the community. 

“It’s [father’s death] a reminder that you don’t have forever to leave your mark, so I like to give back. I want to leave the world better than I found it.”
Flower arrangement from Ten Eighteen Flower Company
Wilburn’s big energy has caused his staff to have the same outlook on paying it forward. Jordan Chambers, an employee of Ten Eighteen Flower Company, is ecstatic when it comes to the Friday delivery campaign.

“With every delivery on Friday, I always want people in the community to feel special whatever the occasion or celebration. I always want everyone to have a smile on their face,” said Chambers.

Wilburn doesn’t have the flower business down just yet, but he is destined to make everything he does, bigger than him. TyQuanda Bush, the shop supervisor of Ten Eighteen Flower Company, thinks highly of Wilburn’s influence at the company.

“He learns about each person’s individual passions and interests, then finds a position in his business to employ and challenge their growth,” said Bush.

Now, at the age of 36, Wilburn feels that he has reached a major milestone because his father was only able to reach 34 years of age.

“Now that Ten Eighteen is here, he lives on.”

Stay connected with Ten Eighteen Flower Company on Facebook and Instagram and visit the website.

Read more articles by Miriam Bingham.