Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

“Surprise, Surprise” Victor West Wins a Design Competition!

Victor West with 1st Place Design

Victor West, owner of Vanessa’s Flowers in Plymouth, MI, is known among friends and other Michigan florists as the “numbers guy”. He was the kid who attended computer camp in 1975, went to school for accounting and business and then chose to open a flower shop over 22 years ago because he “thought it would be easy.” He quickly learned differently on that last point.

The floral industry is a lot of things. Fun? Yes. Rewarding? Yes. Easy? Not so much. Still, although it wasn’t what he expected, Victor gave it his all and was one of the first florists in the state to become a Certified Florist once the program was implemented. And as no surprise to anyone who knows him, his was also one of the first small shops in the industry to utilize a computer.

Vanessa’s has always done amazing work. 22 years in the business is a testament to that, but Victor takes no personal credit for the breathtaking beauty Vanessa’s has created over the years. “The ladies who work for me are easily twice as talented as I am,” he said, giving them their due accolades for the daily designing that goes on behind the scenes. Victor normally does what he does best, run the business.

An Out-of-Character Choice

It came as a surprise to everyone who knew him when Victor decided to enter the Michigan Floral Association’s Design Contest at the Great Lakes Expo. It was not the first time he’d entered such a competition, but the instances were few and far between and he hadn’t done so in a very long time. Most of his peers were ignorant of his design capabilities, but his close friends and family new the truth. In fact, many of them had been encouraging him to showcase his ability in a more public forum.

The Right Competition

Victor looked at the four competitions and chose to compete in the Surprise, Surprise portion which required the designer to do what he could with a bucket of flowers and 20 minutes. He felt that he had a better chance at an impromptu design than one that could be prepared ahead of time. He did his best and hoped it was enough.

Victor was disappointed after the second and third place winners were announced because he had hoped to at least place in the competition. He held out no hope for first so no one was more surprised than he when the 1st place winner was announced. “I didn’t know what to think,” he said. “I just started laughing.”

He spent the rest of the Expo fielding congratulations and exclamations of surprise from those who were unaware of his hidden talents. Victor is a long-standing member of Flower Shop Network, and now he is also an award-winning designer. Congratulations, Victor!


  1. What a beautiful flower arrangemnent! I love the flowers mixed with the eucalyptus!

Speak Your Mind

Connect with Facebook