Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

Our last breast cancer story taught us about how strong women like Marcia can be battling breast cancer. However, Marcia’s story taught
us that her family was also going through emotional times. Therefore,
the designers at Bank of Memories & Flowers want to emphasize the effect breast cancer has on the families as well. This is designer Lauren’s story....

I was a freshman in college living in Minnesota when I found out my
mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was already having a difficult time adjusting to college classes, new friends, dormitories
and of course a whole new lifestyle. One night I had received a call from a friend informing me that one of my life long mentors had passed away. It was then that I called my mom to find out the details if I would be able to attend his funeral (keep in mind I was in tears before my mom even answered the phone). Right away my mom asked what was wrong and I asked about the details of the passing of my mentor. After I hung up the phone, I went next door to my newly made friends and cried on their shoulders. Being far away with all the new stresses enhanced the sadness I had. After I finished the tears, I began to focus on the huge Philosophy test I had the next day. And wouldn’t you know, about 30 minutes later my mom called and asked me to put her on speaker phone so my sister could hear what she was about to say (yes, my twin sister and I were roommates at college).

We then heard the words that no one wants to hear from their mother, “Ladies, I have breast cancer”. She had told us that she had known for a couple of days but wanted to learn all of the details before she told us. When we had called crying just 30 minutes before, she thought we had heard from another person. It might sound crazy she hadn’t told us until then, but she knew we were still adjusting to a new lifestyle, and of course wanted to protect us. After we heard all of
the details of the surgery, radiation and other necessary measures, I hung up the phone with Philosophy far from my mind and knocked on my neighbors door once again.

Even though I was absent from most of everything that my mom had gone through, my college track coach allowed me to travel home during spring break to be with my mom. Many people forget about the stress that the family goes through. Of course, my family was lucky we had loved ones bring dinners over to the house and I received many calls in Minnesota making sure I was doing okay through it all.

It is important to remember that spouses, sons, daughters and other family members are faced with some of the same emotional stresses the patient is going through. If you are a family member watching someone go through something like breast cancer, make sure you express your feelings. Keep a journal, or confide in friends (even the girls living next door to you in a dorm). I can say my neighbors that helped me through my mom’s cancer are now my best friends today (even living six hours apart).

Buy a ‘Petals for Hope’ arrangement to help people like my family, my mom, Marcia and everyone else fighting for their loved ones.

~Lauren, Pewaukee Designer

Pictured: Lauren (Left), An
n (Center), Alison (Right)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparing for I Do

It’s been awhile since our last blog post for ‘Preparing for I Do’, but Alison and Patrick have been making decisions since their big day is a little more than 8 months away. And did I mention they are doing all of this planning while they are both full-time students getting their second degrees and putting in over 30+hrs a week with their jobs? Let’s us know that planning a wedding can be done on busy schedules, especially with a florist working hard to make their special day a success!

We left off last time with the decision on the reception site, the Harbor Lights room run by Zilli Hospitality. But a few more updates...last week Alison said “Yes to the Dress”. Obviously, we can’t give away too many details. Because let’s be real, Patrick is friends with us on Facebook and we need to have some element of surprise right? Only a handful of people know what Alison’s dress looks like, and our insider is one of them! Let’s just say Alison visited four bridal shops, and the dress she picked was the first dress she knew she loved. It fits her personality and she glows with it on! And of course... it matches her flower choices perfectly!!

If you missed one of our Facebook posts, we updated you on Alison’s floral consultations where she chose her flowers! During the consultation Alison’s goal was to make the flowers ‘pop’ with the watermelon bridesmaid dresses. She chose a round ball shape with dark blue hydrangea, dark purple lisianthus, dark purple stock flower and lime green kermit button pomps! All beautiful flowers go will all beautiful dresses, but brides have an idea if you want to have your flowers pop with your dress, or accentuate the dress. But we are going to have to keep the bridal bouquet a secret. But I will say it includes very romantic flowers that are seasonal to June.

With the Save the Dates created by one of Alison’s bridesmaids, Alison and Patrick are about ready to send them out. Here is a peek at the save the date which is incorporating the baseball theme that will be found throughout the wedding. But this baseball theme is going to be subtle and chic, promise. We will let you know that the centerpieces will have flowers, grass, and a baseball all included. And some may think “how is that going to be chic?”.... well you will just have to wait for 6.16 to find out!

Next steps, bridesmaid dresses and hotel reservations for the guests! We will update you once more decisions have been made. Brides, planning a wedding can be fun. Even with a busy schedule, Alison has had a lot of fun planning. A big tip is to make a to-do list and make sure you prioritize. It helps relieve stress, and you can focus on the fun by making one decision at a time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sam Conner-Wedding Coordinator

Meet one of our many talented designers at the Menomonee Falls shop, Sam Conner!

Sam came to us about 5 years ago looking for a part time job with no floral experience whatsoever but had a passion for flowers and hard work. She soon blossomed into an amazing flower designer and has just taken on a new position as our Menomonee Falls Wedding Coordinator.

Aside from working full time at the shop, she is also going to school full time to obtain her associates degree in business management. When she's not working or going to school, she enjoys reading, sewing, and hanging out with her friends and family. When asked what her favorite thing is about working at Bank of Memories & Flowers, she said with a big smile, "I love all of it! I love the people, the environment, the flowers, and Chloe!" Chloe and Sam are usually inseparable. Wherever Sam is working, Chloe is supervising. The next time you stop by, make sure you say hi to Sam. She is the one running around with a big smile on her face, with Chloe not too far behind her!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Calla Lily Wedding

This beautiful July wedding took place at the Silver Spring Golf and Banquet Center in Menomonee Falls. All white calla lily bouquet is a classic and timeless. Also notice her beautiful dendrobium orchids added to her hair. Her bridesmaid carried all plum calla lilies for a touch of color.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't forget your sweetie!!

Did you know that Sweetest Day actually originated in Cleveland in 1922? Herbert Kingston, a philanthropist and a candy company employee came up with the idea. He wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans and others who were forgotten. With the help of his friends, he began to distribute candy and small gifts to the underprivileged. During the years that followed, other Clevelanders began to participate in Sweetest Day. Primarily the Great Lakes region and the Northeast celebrate this holiday. Ohio is the top state for Sweetest Day sales followed by Michigan and Illinois. Don't forget Sweetest Day is this Saturday the 15th!! Send your sweetie our signature arrangement which starts at only $49.98. Using reds and deep pinks gives this arrangement a romantic feel.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flower Drop Remembering 9/11

During the month of September, our nation remembered the 9/11 attacks.
On 9/11/11, Pewaukee Parks and Recreation department had their very own memorial service. Bank of Memories & Flowers was very fortunate to participate by donating flowers for the memorial service’s flower drop. The flower drop was to acknowledge and have a moment for who had lost their lives on 9/11. The flower drop raised $132 for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial. It was a wonderful turn out, for a great cause.
We will shall never forget...

Our Floral Designer Marcia Is A Survivor!

On September 16, 2004, Menomonee Falls designer Marcia Eliason, heard the four words no woman wants to hear-- “You have breast cancer”. According to the American Cancer Society, these four words will be said to over 290,000 women in 2011 alone. However, every woman has her own story about when she heard those words and the journey after. On a sunny fall Tuesday morning, Marcia and I sat down with a cup of coffee while she shared her story.

At the age of 43, a woman who religiously scheduled her mammograms, and with no family history was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer. This particular type of breast cancer makes up about 20% of all breast cancers. Lobular cancer does not form a lump like most common cases making it difficult to spot, even in a mammogram. Although Marcia’s cancer wasn’t found in her mammogram screening, Marcia strongly encourages women to continue mammograms. She encourages women to, “Know your body, and if something isn’t right check it out.” While continually fighting to find out what was going on with her body, Marcia saved her own life.

After diagnosis, Marcia went through the process of finding the best doctor for herself. “You have to do what you feel comfortable with, it is your decision.” But even when the treatment plan was in place, Marcia went home and couldn’t overcome the overwhelming feeling of everything that had happened. She then decided to call ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis) where she gained a mentor to help her through the entire process. She was paired with a woman who had the same diagnosis and treatment plan to help her through the decision process and anything else she needed.

In addition to ABCD, Marcia found herself surrounded by loving family and friends helping her through the bad days, and even the very bad days. Marcia said, “I learned that I needed to take a step back, listen to my body and open the door to help.” Although accepting help was one of the most difficult things, she realized it was one of the most important steps to her recovery. Throughout her process, Marcia also kept a journal to help her sort through her feelings and to help her through the tough times. She tried not to dwell on what was going on, she learned it was important to keep a positive attitude.

As I sit across the booth from Marcia almost exactly 7 years to the day of her diagnosis, Marcia is cancer free. She had undergone chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, a mastectomy and reconstruction, and fought through it all with her chin up. I asked Marcia what she would say to a newly diagnosed woman and she said “Take it day by day. You can’t look at the big picture or else it will feel like too big of a feat. Let people help you, and use your resources.”

Currently, Marcia gives back to her community in many ways including being a mentor at ABCD. Although I only heard some of her story, I knew I would never understand those days of physical and emotional pain, hair loss, or even major changes to a body all at once. But it sure didn’t take too much time for me her to hear the message within her story, “Fight for yourself. You are a lot stronger than you think.”

~Lauren, Pewaukee Designer

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Community Now Newspaper Artical

We are so excited to share our article in the My Community Now newspaper:

Breast cancer survivor giving back to support group

Marcia Eliason (left) and Melissa Maas of Bank of Memories & Flowers. Photo By Peter Bukowski

Sept. 27, 2011

Menomonee Falls - When Marcia Eliason went through the painful and arduous fight against breast cancer seven years ago, there was something important, albeit small, that helped her get through it: flowers.

Marcia said she was religious with her mammograms and yet advanced breast cancer was detected after she insisted something was wrong following multiple clean scans. By the time Eliason had made it through the ordeal, she set herself on a new path as a floral designer and eventually made her way to Bank of Memories & Flowers in Menomonee Falls.

Marcia and owner Melissa Maas developed a promotion at the flower shop to help raise awareness and money for After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a network of support for women facing breast cancer.

It was a service Marcia used while she was going through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatment and eventually breast reconstruction. She now mentors other women dealing with the same thing as part of the ABCD program.

"I actually used it myself and thought 'You know someday I'm going to give back myself,' " she explained. "Having all of those surgeries and therapies really allowed me to help a lot of women."

Money from a special bouquet, $5 from every arrangement sold will go to the ABCD program to help women around the country.

"We just thought, 'How can we make more awareness? How can we (generate) more support through our business?' And I thought of an arrangement to give to people who are going through treatment right now," Maas said.

"So many people that we talk to, that we meet, are getting breast cancer. It's not just 'so and so and so and so' you knew had it. It's 'my aunt has it' or 'my mom has it' or 'my girlfriend has it.' It's getting to be something we really need to try and support and hopefully find a cure."

Maas said depending on the success of the promotion, which runs through October, this may become an annual event. October has become breast cancer awareness month, raising visibility for breast cancer in recent years.

"I'm excited for this to take off," Maas said.


WHAT: Breast cancer awareness fundraiser for After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Five dollars donated to ABCD for special bouquets.

WHERE: Bank of Memories & Flowers, N88 W16723 Appleton Ave. Menomonee Falls and 346 Oakton ave. Pewaukee

WHEN: October


PHONE: (262) 253-9111 and (262) 695-9911

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lindsey and Joe's Wedding Day

On Sunday July 31st, Lindsey and Joe were married at Metrobrook Church in downtown Milwaukee and the their reception was at the Lakefront Brewery. Lindsey chose all beautiful sunny shades of flowers: roses, mini callas, gerbera daisies, and pin cushion protea.
Thank you to Lisa Mathewson who is an
amazing photographer and has captured our designs in these photos. Lisa has a modern, photo-journalistic approach to wedding photography.