"Flowers are my playtime. I love the creativity of it all."

Whether she’s doing nails or arranging flowers, Deb Hentschel’s mission is the same: “I love taking someone or something and making it more beautiful by adding enhancements. Whichever I do creates happiness for someone,” she says. Hentschel, the owner of The Nail Den, a home-based salon in Traverse City, Mich., has been doing nails for 17 years, but her resume as a florist is even longer. “I’ve been designing for 23 years and in the past have owned my own shop,” she says. “Now I’ve expanded a small department in my husband’s family’s General Store to a full-fledged flower store, called Roy’s Floral, that offers everything a big shop does.”

She does weddings, funerals, everyday flowers, and custom design work. “I use both silk and fresh flowers and have done some pretty unique arrangements,” she says. Hentschel puts in about 15-20 hours a week at the flower shop (that’s in addition to 30-40 hours doing nails), and often presses her husband and sisters-in-law into service during busy holidays.

Hentschel credits her maker as the source of much of her talent as a designer, but she’s received training as well over the years. “I have trained under a European designer. In fact I decorate cars for parades with fresh flowers and the designs can withstand 40 mph,” she reports.

She’s understandably reluctant to pick which career gives her the most fulfillment: “Creating beautiful nails is my mainstay — I love the one-on-one with my clients (many of whom I’ve had for over 10 years). But flowers are my playtime. I love the creativity of it all,” she says.

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