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How this Winter Park Floral Artist Grew a Successful Business

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Joanie Stoddard is blending an eye for design with a penchant for plants. As co-founder and owner of The Tiny Orchid Co., she fills hundreds of orders each year for a growing list of clients that ranges from residents to businesses.

A lifelong Winter Park resident, Stoddard has more than 30 years in the local retail community. “I was one of the first employees at The Grove,” she said of the 341 N. Pennsylvania Ave. boutique, which opened in 2014. But it was her time at another popular business that sowed the seeds of her success.

“I have a dear friend, Cathy Cascio, who I first met when I worked at Apenberry’s,” Stoddard said. The co-workers bonded over common interests that included an affinity for flower arrangements. They began working on personal projects that soon became requests from friends. When word started getting around and orders piled up, the next step was obvious. “She started the business with me, and we would take on these projects together, but she’s retired now so I’m handling it all myself.”

Joanie Stoddard’s love of floral arrangements became a business that has earned a following throughout Winter Park and the greater Orlando area.

Her former employers at The Grove offered space for an in-store display where orchid and plant arrangements can be purchased, and where Stoddard hosts a Tiny Orchid Tuesdays event where customers bring flower pots to fill with chosen arrangements. However, the bulk of her business comes from custom orders that she creates at a W. Canton Ave. studio and with a mobile service that she started after purchasing a van. “I got it a year ago and I can cart around all my materials and a workbench,” Stoddard said. “I get my inspiration from speaking with my clients and from seeing their interior designs, and the van allows me to work onsite when it’s convenient for them.”

Stoddard’s mobile studio dubbed The Vanda – after an orchid genus – enables her to work on location and deliver arrangements to clients.
Orchids, succulents, and other floral decor are part of Stoddard’s aesthetic palette.

Stoddard says she is constantly busy but does not advertise, save for updates on social media. She credits word-of-mouth for her popularity but admits that Tiny Orchids received a big boost from an unexpected source. “People were spending so much time indoors during the pandemic and they wanted something new and beautiful for their home, so I started to get all these new orders,” she said. “And every year I’m asked to refresh the design or add something new, so there’s a lot of repeat business that comes with it.” She hopes to bring in an assistant to help with day-to-day operations but enjoys her work despite the bustle.

Bring her own boss, engaging in the creative process and building relationships with her patrons are Stoddard’s favorite part of her current career. But her medium is the reason she took her first steps. “Orchids are just beautiful, and they make such wonderful arrangements,” she said. “People often think their orchids have died but they don’t, they just hibernate for a while. Just be patient and in a few months, you’ll have a new bloom.”

For information, appointments, and ordering, long on to thetinyorchidco.com or call 407-230-2333.

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