Forsberg’s A New Leaf with Owner Sarah Balding

What’s Forsberg’s A New Leaf all about?

It’s overall a floral shop, but we also carry local gift items from all-local vendors, do event planning, coordinating, decorating, and also have rental items. It’s a one-stop shop for brides and for tourists.

In 2015, we moved into the UpFront building on the corner of Main Street and Front here in Marquette, and we love it! We loved our old location on Third Street, but it’s a new fresh feeling down here. In summer, it’s bustling with tourists. We never had any of the festivals up near our Third Street shop. Now we have Blueberry Fest right at our door ,and a lot of fun things going on.

How has it changed since you started operating the business?

Since I began running it in October, 2017, we’re much more hands-on with the weddings. I combined both of my loves—the wedding industry, providing floral bridal, with also doing the decorating.

Although, of course, it’s different with a younger mind and a younger group of people doing it, I’ve tried to keep the feel of how grandma had it—her style, a lot of her paintings are still in the shop that would be really hard to part with. She loved the artistic-ness of having the local artists featured at the front of the store.

Our family-owned business started in 1969.

My grandma would drive down to the wholesalers in Green Bay and buy the flowers for her orders outright. She was such a pioneer in the business field. She was the type of person that when you came in the store, you did not leave without buying something. Get in there and find out what the people are into, and what they love, and what they might buy that will keep them smiling—that’s what I learned in the family business.

Later, there wasn’t much local artists’ work on consignment in the old store. People would come in and look around, see it’s a flower shop, and leave. We also had friends looking for a spot to put their crafts. Now it’s done a complete 180—they come in and look around, and then go “Oh, you’re a flower shop!”

What do you enjoy most about running Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

It’s the interaction with the customers and the clients. I love putting together someone’s dream of what they’d like, whether it’s the wedding or the floral. Someone comes in and says, “I really love this and this; can you do it?” I really love seeing their face when it becomes a reality. I love the process of working with the brides and grooms, and helping them make the day their own.

What do you find most challenging about running your shop?

Keeping ahead of it all—it’s very easy in a floral business when it’s holiday time for something to fall through the cracks no matter how hard I try. I’ve got a way that I think is helping, but it’s still challenging. You want to be able to do everything for everyone, but when someone makes a request real close to when it’s needed during a busy season, it can be hard to get it all done.

What are your future plans for Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

Growing the decorating and coordinating. I want to enhance and grow with our weddings, and also enhance and grow the floral, to be able to do more high style, the different things the customer wants. I’m always looking to find things we don’t normally get from our wholesalers.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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