Ashley Tubbs, Iuka, discovered a way to support her family and women worldwide, while expressing her own creativity with wooden flower bouquets.

The coolest thing about Ashley Tubbs' hobby-turned-occupation of making wooden rose bouquets and arrangements is that it is all about women supporting women. Her Vintage Rose business in Iuka is also about finding a way to support families while caring for children and it's about exploring all angles of creativity. But for Tubbs, it all started with an opportunity to join a group of women helping other women.
"I'm not the type of person just to sit around and do nothing," Tubbs said. "When I found these wooden roses for sale from a woman in Utah, I just had to find out more, and it turned into something I really enjoy doing."
Ashley, who along with her fiance' Josh Tubbs, manages a household with six children and two dogs, but when the rest of the family is at work or school, she pulls out her muffin tins and works at fluffing, dyeing, steaming, rolling edges, and arranging bouquets of wooden flowers that start out as thin pieces of carved tapioca root.
"I absolutely love that I can do my own thing with this," she said. "And then when the kids come home, they can help too. I think it's awesome that my girls can enjoy this with me. They already told me they want to take over my business when I am done."
Tubbs takes preformed tapioca root flowers created by women in Thailand and shipped to the United States. She dyes the flowers the colors she needs for arrangements using acrylic paint mixed with water, and heat.
"The hotter the water added, the more brilliant the colors are," she said. "The heat makes the wood absorb more color."
Tubbs has only been in the Vintage Rose business since March 1 but already she has experienced good sales at Market 54 in Pratt where her bouquets and arrangements are available.
"I had to take more in three times just last week," she said. "One cowboy heart/roses arrangement sold for $60 within a hour or two of me putting it up."
So in between cooking, cleaning and caring for her family, Tubbs is busy crafting with her new-found flower projects. She is booked for four weddings, Mother's Day specials, and graduation gifts. Those wishing to see her work up-close can visit Market 54 or find her on Facebook at vintagerosejunkie.