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An example of the work of Kellie Dodds, owner of With Love Floral in Perham.

With Love Floral to open in time for Valentine's

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Last month, 27-year-old Kellie Dodds called Lisa Sheets, owner of Accents Floral and Décor in Perham, looking for a flower cooler. What she found instead was a shop.

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Now, Dodds is opening her own shop, With Love Floral, in the former Accents space on Feb. 1.

This isn't the first business endeavor for Dodds, a native of northwestern Colorado. She inherited Eagle Lake Resort near Frazee seven years ago from her grandparents and has been running it ever since. She also opened a spa at the resort in that time.

Dodds has no formal education in business. She went to college in Spain and studied Spanish after high school. During the summers she would visit her grandparents and extended family in Minnesota, a place close to her heart.

"I don't think there's any place like Minnesota," she said. "That's mostly because of the people."

She says her entrepreneurial spirit came from her parents, Dick and Cheryl Dodds, who started an outdoor business including guided hunts and things of that nature.

"I worked for them growing up and learned so much about running my own business," she said. "I always knew I wanted to do that."

With Love will be the third business the young businesswoman will run, but not without help. Her fiancé, Jacob Smith, is a native of Perham and will be running the resort as Dodds mans the floral shop full time.

How she came about finding the Perham shop for sale is quite the story.

Dodds has been working with floral arrangements for the past three years and was considering a bigger shop. Fate seemed to be on her side because Sheets was looking to retire. Dodds signed the final papers in mid-December, moved to Minnesota and will open the store on Feb. 1.

"It was the perfect match," Dodds said. "It all happened so fast. But sometimes that's the best way to do things. Lisa has been great. I've learned so much from her in the three weeks I've known her."

In Dodds' new shop, she'll continue flower design for any event including dinner parties, funerals and weddings.

"I'll also have fresh flowers in the shop all the time so people will be able to just stop in and get those," she said.

Dodds will also carry pottery that has only been seen at two galleries on the West Coast, art for walls, candles, plates and handmade jewelry from Grand Forks, N.D.

"We'll have great jewelry, all handmade with stones from all over the world," she said. "A lot of fun, different things you can't find in any other store, which was hard because Perham has a lot of great stores."

Dodds will be having a grand opening celebration the week of Valentine's Day and will participate in Perham's Chocolate Saturday promotion on Feb. 12. She praised the town and said she's thrilled to be opening.

"I think Perham is one of the greatest little towns ever," she said. "I want people to be able to walk in and take their time in the store. I'll always have hot coffee on."

The store, located at 127 E. Main Street, will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Dodds at 218-346-7252. More information is also online at www.withlovefloral.shutterfly.com.

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