Today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman has been a big influence in my life. She was my first babysitter and my first boss. My aunt Nene hired me as a fifth grader to help out at her store and I worked alongside her all the way through my college years. She hit a huge career milestone this year with 40 years in business as owner of Mountain Lake Floral.
In the years I worked for her, she taught me so much more than how to sweep a back room, ring up a sale, take inventory, care for plants, or design a beautiful bouquet. She taught me about the hard work, commitment, patience, responsibility, and persistence it takes to create and run a successful small business, while still nurturing a marriage and raising a family. She was part of the village who raised me and I am grateful for her.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to #RealLifeWonderWoman…Nene Smestad!
KR: Hi Nene! Would you please tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment—personally and professionally?
NS: I own Mt. Lake Floral LLC, which I started 40 years ago. Mt. Lake Floral is a floral shop and has Hallmark cards and other gift items. My customers bring me joy! I am grateful for everyone’s business and support. One of the cool things about being in business as long as I have is doing the flowers for a wedding and then 25 years later having the privilege of doing their children’s weddings.
Being a florist has been part of my life for so long that sone days it doesn’t even seem like work—and then the next day I know it is! Raising our girls in the shop was wonderful. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything, even though some days were crazy.
Now our girls and sons-in-law are in that crazy-fun stage of life and I get to enjoy it as a grandma. Isabel, Ada and Maddox are my greatest joys!
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
NS: My inner super power would be not putting things off. Just do it and get the job done because no one else is going to do it for you.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
NS: One person that stands out in my life was Marge Christianson. She owned and operated a greenhouse in Mt. Lake. Marge was always there when I had a business question, needed to vent about a crabby customer, or just wanted to share about something great in my life. Marge would always take time for others, to help or listen. I try to be more like her.
NS: My one super-human power would be the ability to be two places at the same time. There are so many choices of things to do and places to be. This way I wouldn’t miss out on anything.
KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
NS: I love spending time with my family and especially our grandchildren. My hobbies are reading and (surprise!) working out almost every day.
KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?
NS: Just try it. You only live once.
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