For Brandon Strong, commitment to supporting nonprofits is more than just talk. Strong has spent more than a decade of time and money reaching out to organizations that support so many people in the community.
Strong is probably best known locally as the owner of Regent Floral & Mercantile at 924 Washington Avenue, which opened in May 2019; however, while working for nonprofits and running his own business, he Spend most of her adult life using her skills as an event organizer and flower artist.
Brandon Strong said he was fortunate to help the Michigan Business Professionals Organization, which helped him when he was a student.Most recently, Strong announced that he is donating more than $25,000 in products and services to local and state nonprofits in 2022, some of which he deeply cares about and values.
“The largest portion of the $25,000 came from the Michigan Business Professionals Association (BPA). Growing up, I attended high school and college; I was a state official and a state official,” Strong said. “Their annual state leadership meeting is usually in March, and this year marks the 50th anniversary. They haven’t had a meeting in at least the past two years, so it’s also a welcome return.”
Wanting to do something on a large scale, the governor reached out to Strong, who is known in the event world for his unique floral creations, in hopes that he could work his magic on some of the dinner’s centerpieces.
“I went crazy and agreed to donate about 250 centerpieces, including all the fresh flowers and candles, and stage decorations. That was a 100% donation of all products and labor. I had a moment of panic, but I knew I could Make 250 centerpieces in a day and a half. I’ve been with that organization for over eight years, so it’s really something special for me. Literally, I’ve learned in that organization that I’m on a daily basis Something to use. If I’ve learned anything from being a member of the organization (Michigan BPA), it should be more than I’ve ever had with flowers and dinnertime,” Strong said.
By 2022, Strong estimates he will be donating more than $25,000 in products and services to local and state nonprofits.In addition to this daunting task, Strong is partnering with several local nonprofits in 2022, including the United Way of Union Bay County, to coordinate its longest table event, for which he only charges for flowers and donates His time and labor; the Bay Area Community Foundation’s Charity Faces event made the same arrangement. Strong also has trade in services with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
“When it comes to managing events for nonprofits, you’re always asking for handouts; it’s just part of the business. Now I can offer some help. The company is only three years old, so I can’t write a check for those reasons, but I can help with things, and that’s how I help,” Strong said.
Strong’s background in nonprofits makes him all too aware of the struggles and realities they face.
Although he grew up in St. Petersburg. Strong, of St. Louis, Michigan, has lived in his current Bay City home for the past six years. After attending Northwood University, Strong traveled to the Midlands region to begin his nonprofit work and interned at the Greater Midlands Community Center.
This position has given Strong another concurrent part-time opportunity to work in debt collection at the YMCA in Bay City, with the goal of when Y transitions from its old location on Madison Avenue to its new facility at 225 Washington Avenue. Clean up the membership database. Eventually, the position became full-time, but after four years, Strong felt exhausted.
“I was looking for a job in Grand Rapids and I didn’t find what I was looking for. I did a few interviews, but nothing was exciting,” Strong said.
During this time, the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Area, located in the heart of Bay City, got in touch with Strong and accepted a job he had worked for five years. During this time, Strong started his first event planning company, Event Masters Limited. Here, he has the opportunity to showcase his floriculture and event organizing talents while planning private social events and 5k competitions.
His clients kept raving about his floral designs, but Strong still wanted to break into the world of corporate events, a goal he struggled with at the time due to his one-man performances.
It was while talking to a friend about his events business that Strong reflected on his progress and goals and started his second business, the Great Lakes Market, a four-a-year event in the area. Pop-up art market.
“Basically I became one of my clients,” Strong said. “My events business was managing my art shows, but the shows took off and I got out of the event management business.”
Strong has been with the YWCA until the spring of 2019, when he merged his two companies to create Regent Floral & Mercantile, a retail store and event space in what was once the Regent’s Theatre Hall.
“Regent came from merging my two companies in some way. We specialize in unique houseplants, cut flowers, handmade gifts and original art. So we took inspiration from the event management business of events and flowers, And borrowed handmade gifts and original art for the retail side.”
Opening his own brick-and-mortar store allows Strong to enjoy the joy of creating products for customers and the satisfaction of still being able to help in the nonprofit community.
“My style is a little different than most. There’s nothing wrong with a lot of other stores that are traditional. Lots of roses and carnations, safe stuff. You can use roses and carnations in the right way, but I hope mine The style is more organic and timeless. That’s my goal. I try to design in a way that flowers naturally fit,” explains Strong.