Aleene's Corsage Kit and Floral Arrangement Supplies store located in Rosemead, California.
OK - we're going to try to build the timeline for you
of the Aleene's business. As we shared, Aleene started
her first business in 1944 at the age of 19, a florist shop, located
in Arcadia, California. Her first child, Candace was born in
January of 1947 and Aleene decided shortly thereafter that
she needed to close the florist shop. She started teaching
flower arranging classes out of her home.
As the class attendance grew, so did the number of delivery
trucks and her neighbors soon grew weary of the constant
stream of trucks delivering flower making supplies.
In 1950, Aleene found and rented a former winery building located on Valley Boulevard in Rosemead, California and set up her new Aleene's business. As you can see from the building signage, she was promoting her Corsage Kit and floral arrangement supplies.
At this new location, Aleene taught basic flower arranging, and more advanced classes for weddings and funerals, corsage making and sold flower making supplies including florist ribbon, florist tape, wire and related supplies. She sold her Aleene's Make Your Own Corsage Kit and also sold Styrofoam® and taught how to make Christmas decorations from the foam. Aleene also received her Adult Education credentials at this time and she traveled around the Los Angeles area teaching 3 - 4 classes per week outside her store while her mother, Vera Jackson, watched Aleene's three small children and ran the retail store while Aleene was teaching. At the time, Aleene's parents lived in the apartment above the store.
It was during the open house at this location that Aleene first met Hazel Pearson Williams and Gordon Baker Lloyd who would both become fast friends with Aleene. She also met Kay Finley while at this store. Kay convinced Aleene that she needed to start selling her supplies wholesale and Finley Wholesale became her first wholesale customer.
It was also at this location that one of her students first introduced Aleene to wood fibre. She was so excited by all the possibilities of this intriguing product, she showed the package to her dad ("Pappy Jackson") and as synchronicity would have it, he knew the company who manufactured this product, because he had been selling them equipment. Aleene and Pappy Jackson quickly negotiated to become the exclusive distributors for the 11 Western States and they were now in the business of selling Aleene's Wood Fibre.
Recognizing the immediate need to stock and sell the peps, stamens, leaves and calyx for these new artificial flowers, Aleene and Pappy Jackson flew to New York to meet with Signaigo & Rossi who at the time was selling flower making materials to the millinery industry.
It was during her time at this location that Aleene started making her first television appearances.
It wasn't long before Aleene outgrew this location with her retail and wholesale operations.