Made in North Carolina: floral design by Bettye


By: Morgan Topol

The granddaughter of one of Franklin Street’s original Flower Ladies is still uplifting the community through flowers forty years later.

Bettye Jenkins’ family has been passionate about flowers for decades, so it makes perfect sense that she runs her own flower arrangement business, Bettye’s Floral Design, which is still based in Chapel Hill.

Jenkins is the granddaughter of Ada Edwards, one of Chapel Hill’s beloved original “Flower Ladies”. When she was young, Jenkins would pick wildflowers with other family members, and then her grandmother would go to Franklin Street to sell them.

“We went into the fields, by the side of the road and into the woods because the flowers were growing in the wild then,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins prioritizes the tastes and ideas of clients during his creative process, ensuring a sentimental and personalized touch visible in every arrangement.

“Flowers are made with the family first,” Jenkins said. “If the family tells me what they want, I formulate an idea based on what they have in mind, and then it’s the instinct to go from there.”

Arrangements can be made with fresh cut flowers, silk flowers, or both. Prices vary, but the company strives to be accessible to everyone. No budget is too small or too big.

She has worked on centerpieces, corsages, baskets and vases, as well as napkin cakes for bridal showers and diaper cakes for baby showers.

Jenkins also offers sympathy arrangements for grieving families. These items include wreaths, hearts, crosses, standing caskets and wreaths, sympathy baskets, and funeral arrangements. She can also make smaller everyday plants for any room in your home.

If you are looking for something niche, try a custom design. Some of the custom designs Jenkins has created include buses, lawn mowers, cars, tractors, suit, guitar, motorcycle, and many other items.

Jenkins became interested in design after she started volunteering to design flowers for her church. From there, she began to study and take classes, eventually turning her creative hobby into a successful and long-standing business.

Her favorite part of making flowers is serving people. Whether it’s to add to the happiness of a celebration or to encourage those going through times of loneliness and grief, Jenkins hopes her flowers can make a positive impact on others.

“I like to make people happy,” Jenkins said. “Flowers bring joy to many people. “

Bettye’s Flower Design is run from Bettye’s home in Chapel Hill. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and by telephone order only on Sunday.

To learn more about Bettye’s Flower Design, visit


Rosalie M. Dehner