C magazine

Flowers in the family

A mother with her arm around her teenage daughter in a flower shop

A CHS Foundation grant is helping high school sophomore Ella Braker, left, reach her goal of someday owning the floral business owned by her mom, Heidi Braker.

Jun 23, 2023

By Amy Sitze

Ella Braker has always loved being part of the floral business. “Flowers are fun and bright and always make someone’s day a little better,” she says.

Heading into her junior year of high school, Braker works evenings and weekends at Rens Floral in Waupun, Wis., which is owned by her mother, Heidi. And she’s now doing more than just working there — she’s saving money to buy shares of the business, with the goal of owning it when her mom retires someday.

A grant from the CHS Foundation is helping her reach that goal. As an FFA member, she’s required to complete a supervised agricultural experience (SAE), a student-led project intended to develop business and personal skills. A $1,000 SAE grant from FFA, funded by the CHS Foundation, will allow her to increase her current 2% ownership share of the business to 4%, which means she pays the expenses and receives the income for her shares.

“It means a lot to have support to build this business,” she says. At age 16, Braker is already bringing valuable skills to Rens Floral, helping her mom track expenses and income online and improving the shop’s website and social media presence.

Her plans right now are to go to college, study business and floral design and return to Waupun to learn more about the family business. “Seeing how much my mom loves her job inspires me to do something like that with my life,” she says.

Hear from Ella and Heidi Braker in this short video:

Check out the full spring 2023 C Magazine with this article and more.