The History of the NameMe® Company
The universal beauty of real flowers coupled in an elegant way with the universal appeal of what a person’s name means is what this artist’s work is about. After all, everyone loves flowers and everyone has a name.
It all started 31 years ago, when the artist, Caryl Pohland, was forced to stay at home because of leg operation from a skiing accident. During this time she had received, from friends and family members get well wishes and many flowers. Caryl, not wanting the beauty of the flowers to go to waste, decided to use her artistic skills and pressed the flowers. She then took those flowers, arranged them on a mat and framed them. These pictures were hung in the Pohland’s foyer. Caryl’s friends and family liked them so much that she decided to make more to give as gifts, hoping to bring the same joy she had in receiving them. Caryl used flowers from her yard and around the neighborhood.
Around this same time the economy was faltering and the Pohland’s lumber business was also. Caryl and her husband, Pudge, needed to subsidize their income so they decided to sell their live pressed flower pictures at an art and craft show. This one show turned into more as it was apparent that people liked her work. It was slow growing and hard work, but Caryl, knowing the potential the art had, and hoping others would see it also, kept at it.
Caryl did the art work, Pudge cut the mats and made the frames, and they both worked in the garden with the flowers. From the beginning and to this day they have believed that the customer is most important and deserves the best possible service, workmanship and product.
With the support and care of their family and friends, their business, “Florals by Caryl,” slowly emerged from being a part-time excursion into a weekly event. Caryl’s mom, Em, sold at the shows, and she and Auntie Bess helped pick and press the flowers. It was at this point that the business showed signs of a full-time occupation. Their son, Bret, became involved at a young age, working with the mats and moulding as well as with the flowers, starting out as head weeder and picker.
The Pohland’s business continued to grow throughout the years and when Bret got out of college, he came to work for the business full-time. It was at this time that they decided to change the format of their pictures from only flowers to flowers coupled with people’s names. Adding names to the pictures made them even more popular.
Even with adding the names, one thing has remained constant over the two decades of the business’ existence and that can be summed up in Caryl’s own words, “We grow, pick and press our own flowers.” The Pohlands grow the flowers in their backyard. They cut the mats, make the frames, do the research on and produce the names.
Over the years Florals by Caryl has undergone many changes, from location (they bought the property next door and moved the business out of their home and garage), and the addition of helpers, to the business’ name, now known as NameMe Company. They have also added more family members, Lisa, Bret’s wife and Chloe, their daughter.
Even though the business started in their home and grew to encompass the property next door they have maintained a family environment, probably because of their home’s close proximity to the business. The Pohlands feel that they don’t have people working for them, but instead with them, thus they are really part of an extended family.
The flowers are very important to the Pohlands and they take great pride in their English style gardens. They have cultivated the soil for over 30 years. Their gardens are all brick lined with whimsical walkways and geometric patterns.
Every year they plant thousands of annuals: Pansies, English Daisies and Cosmos to mention a few. The gardens welcome hundreds of perennials that return each spring. First appearing are the Daffodils which are shortly joined by the Forget-Me-Nots, Coral-bells, Columbine and other varieties. The gardens are also adorned with pink and white Dogwoods, Viburnum, Lilac and Rose of Sharon. Their gardens are visited by many people including some college horticulture classes. The English style gardens are always a pleasure to behold.
About ten years ago our family decided that since art was our background, we should try to do something that involved art work that could be printed. In the last 8 years, we have created over 400 original drawings depicting occupations, special interests and dog breeds. We do all the work printing these images onto our gift items right here in Latrobe, PA. This new line of art work has enhanced our art and craft business making it much more versatile.
One of the neat things about our artwork is that in every original drawing we have hidden NameMe Company somewhere. We have also incorporated flowers into the whole first set of drawings. To this day, the little image in the corner of every drawing has, “the vine and leaf” around it, in keeping with our tradition of flowers.
One theme carries through everything the Pohlands do and this is the timeless beauty of the flowers, without which the Pohlands would not have a business. The flowers are what makes their product unique and sets them apart. The Pohlands feel really blessed and thank God that you, the customer, like and enjoy our artwork.
We hope you love your order,
Caryl, Pudge, Bret, Lisa & Chloe Pohland