A Blossoming Talent
Cathy Baldwin –
Dorothy Morris was destined to work with flowers. Her father is a third generation bulb grower, and working with the land goes back many generations in her family dating to a time of tobacco traders.
“I spent the summers on the backs of tractors and swore I wouldn’t end up farming,” laughs Dorothy.
Today Dorothy owns and operates Bells and Whistles, a full-service wedding and event design business that specializes in wedding flowers, décor and rentals. But it all started across the Wright Memorial Bridge at her farm The Flower Field.
“We grow anything that blooms,” says Dorothy of The Flower Field. “Daffodils, tulips, anemones, peonies, lilies…”
Growing and Changing
Cultivating beautiful blossoms at The Flower Field was Dorothy’s focus, even as brides inquired about her blooms for their weddings. She didn’t have any interest in handling weddings until a friend got married.
“I got to use design again, and I fell in love with it,” says Dorothy. An art school graduate, Dorothy found that weddings allowed her to express her creativity in a whole new way. “I never thought about the practical application of design.”
Says Dorothy, “Brides are often looking from a budget perspective… they don’t always see what elements are important. I train people on design.”
As her business grew, she expanded Bells and Whistles into a sprawling two-story space in Kitty Hawk filled with bolts of fabric, vases, candelabras, spools of ribbon and, of course, fresh flowers.
She’s a busy bee in her store, using it as a workspace to prep for weddings, a meeting place for her clients, a floral shop and boutique, a sewing studio and warehouse for the wedding accoutrements that she rents. In the small yard behind her shop she has rows and rows of tulip beds that she monitors with her trained eye.
A Family Affair
Her husband Ben Morris attended North Carolina’s School of Arts where he studied Theater Production and Design. A talented painter and artist himself, he is the perfect complement to Dorothy in the business.
Their daughters—Tallulah, age 6, and Zoe, age 10—have already shown interest in following in their mother’s footsteps. “The girls have always said that they want to be in the business. Is that a blessing or a curse? It’s definitely a giving job,” says Dorothy.
Dorothy and Ben’s combined talents have brought success to Bells and Whistles and The Flower Field, and it is obvious that Dorothy is in her element. “I love coming up with the idea and the design,” says Dorothy. “The client is your muse.”