Emma Lee Jagus is the newest florist in town as the owner of Belle’s Flower Truck and a creative Agribusiness senior on campus. Without a doubt, her arrangements turn heads, but the 22-year-old attracts a lot of clientele with her can-do attitude and charm.
Floriography, the language of flowers, is a visceral part of human culture. Whether it is a romantic date or a solemn passing, flowers are given as a means to pour one’s heart out. Without florists, this form of communication would be unfathomable.
Belle’s Flower Truck has been a monumental piece of Tifton culture that started with just the Golden family’s dream and a blue 1965 Chevrolet, “Betty the Chevy.” Eventually, a red Chevrolet named Dolly entered owner Belle Golden’s life.
Most weekends, customers can find the truck set up at the family’s cult-classic coffee shop, Espresso 41. Every Tifton local and ABAC student knows the truck’s patterns.
Belle Golden knows how to keep customers; kindness and consistency is the key. At the mention of her mentor, Jagus said, “Belle has a passion for community that cannot be denied.”
However, a recent change has been made to the truck. Customers are still greeted with a smiling face, but instead of Golden’s, it is Emma’s smiling face.
The campus community may already know Jagus as the owner of the 1995 Ford F-150 in the parking lot, something she credits as her prized possession. One may even see her and her pet dog Wiggles cruising around town making deliveries. It is only fitting for a vintage truck owner to be found selling flowers out of another vintage truck.
After spending an extra year at home due to COVID, she looked to move to Tifton for her junior year in 2021. She was already aware of a few local hotspots due to friends, including the flower truck. After settling in Tifton, her flower journey began with a simple Instagram DM and an eagerness to work for Golden. She said, “When I started working at Belle’s, I finally felt like I had found my purpose in life. I felt like this was my dream job that I never knew I wanted or needed.”
As someone who had never arranged flowers, she was overwhelmed and excited. When discussing her first day working for Golden, Jagus said, “I started on Mother’s Day – and let me tell you, it was craziness. We spent hours arranging flowers, writing notes, delivering flowers, and overall enjoying each other’s company.”
Her natural talent and Golden’s guidance cleared a path for the Mcdonough native to settle more roots in Tifton to create. Jagus said, “I have ALWAYS been a crafter. I love making stuff. My dad and I built a million birdhouses. I painted them, decorated them, and we sold them!”
Despite this, she never expected to be a flower truck owner. Her original intentions had always been to become a chicken farmer with an Agribusiness degree under her belt. She says, “It was a dream come true. The Lord knew that it was exactly where I needed to be.
Not just anyone can pick up such an extroverted job. Florists have to have a creative touch and be informed salespeople, too. However, this is no problem for someone like Jagus. The senior said, “I thrive off of conversation and community. The more people I meet the more I feel a sense of accomplishment.”
Owning a small-town business is no easy task, but the spunky 22-year-old running the show credits her work to the individuals who act as her support system. With her family, boyfriend, Belle Golden, and an accountant at her side, she is taking on anything she can to support the Tifton community. She said, “I grew up in a growing city, but coming to Tifton feels like home. I love the small town. I love the people and I love the community that this job has brought.”
All of this work with the community is being done while juggling school and the average life of a 22-year-old. Jagus said, “Honestly, while being in school, it has been a bunch of late-night prep work, arranging and keeping up with all of my sales, and calendar. It is so hard to tell people no, so I really push to do what I know I am capable of.”
While it is tiresome and can be like “juggling chainsaws on fire,” as Jagus said, there is a reward to being a servant to the community. Jagus started as a mere outsider but now says, “I was so worried at first that because I wasn’t Belle, Belle’s Flower Truck would become less popular. But, I have been so blessed to have regular customers that I see several times a week”
Through the power of prayer and the support of the community, Jagus is spending her senior year being an innovator and using her degree before she even graduates. In mere months, she has made a lifetime of connections and earned valuable life lessons. She said, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t think you are not capable because you’re young. Don’t don’t don’t. You are capable. It isn’t always easy, but you can do it.”
Every new adventure has its struggles, but with belief and strength, even the largest mountains can be climbed. Whether it is unplanned changes, graduating college, or running a business, let people like Emma Jagus be representative of life’s possibilities.
If you need a bouquet for a special someone or a pick-me-up after a hard week, she is the flower whisperer you want in your life. Follow @bellesflowertruck on Instagram or Facebook for the truck’s schedules and goods.