LOCAL NEWS

Utah Florist Wins Top Prize After Competing On HBO Max Show

Apr 18, 2021, 10:27 PM | Updated: 11:07 pm

LAYTON, UtahEveryone knows the gift of flowers is temporary. Even under the best of conditions, a dozen roses will eventually wilt, but for one Utah man, the fact that flowers aren’t forever is a big part of why he’s brought them into his life. 

“I know it’s going to die, and so all I can do is appreciate it for a week, and then say goodbye to it,” said Conner Nesbit while trimming some flowers in his office space. “If flowers aren’t a great reminder of how short life is, I don’t know what else could remind you better than that.”

Nesbit’s passion for building bouquets began when he was just a young sprout and a friend offered him some work.

“Do you want to be a delivery driver for this flower shop I work at?” Nesbit recalled. “I was like, ‘Yeah, that sounds like a ton of fun.'”

That job planted a seed and everything else wilted. He graduated from driver to designer, but his college career withered.

“I failed one of my finals and that ended up making me fail that class,” said Nesbit. “I just took that as a sign.”

Once he put all his petals on the table, life’s thorns grew to greet him.

“My mother was diagnosed — she was actually undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer,” said Nesbit. “So she did a winter of chemotherapy, and then right after Valentine’s Day, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer.”

Nesbit’s treatment went well, but his mother’s didn’t.

“From there, I really spiraled into this dark, depressed place,” he said.

He packed up and fled to Oregon, cultivating a dream of escape.

“Moved out New Year’s Day and I was there,” said Nesbit. “New city, didn’t know a soul, I didn’t have a job.”

He eventually landed a job as a florist, his fresh start blooming into a new beginning.

“I got some help for my depression and I was getting some counseling for my grief,” said Nesbit.

A friend from Utah convinced him to return home to his roots.

“That’s when I decided, I’m going to do my thing now, and that’s when I created my own business,” said Nesbit.

Things were going well with his business, Leuca Floral, and then a message cropped up on his phone.

“They found my Instagram, just through all the hashtags you use just to sort photos: ‘We’re starting to cast for this new floral show on HBO,'” Nesbit said, thinking back on the message he received. “At first, I ignored it for a couple of days because there’s no way this thing is real.”

It was definitely real.

Nesbit went through several casting sessions over the phone and webcam before heading out to Los Angeles.

He landed a spot on a competitive reality show, now streaming on HBO Max called “Full Bloom.”

“The show was incredible,” said Nesbit. “I say life-changing and I don’t know how to emphasize that even more. It showed me I could do things with flowers that I didn’t realize I could do.”

Nesbit made it all the way to the final episode, where his challenge was to create a massive floral installation. He looked to his own life for inspiration.

“I had split it into two very distinct color palettes — a very live side and a very dead side,” he said. “And the judges, I think they made a comment: ‘We’ve never seen anything like this in our life.'”

The end result was something Nesbit never anticipated back when he first responded to that message on Instagram.

“I won!” he said with a laugh. “I won. They were so impressed by that room. Now, I’m the ‘Full Bloom’ champion, which came with a $100,000 check.”

For Nesbit, that money came at the perfect time — the pandemic had a dramatic effect on the events business, and his was no exception.

“Last year was really rough for my little business,” he said.  “I lost everything I had. I lost all my weddings. People kind of stopped ordering flowers, because everybody was kind of just staying inside and saving their money.”

Nesbit said he was even looking at stopping his business and trying something else, until the prize came along. Now, things are looking up — but despite flying high on the fragrance of success, he still knows nothing lasts forever.

“Summer is great because you went through winter,” he said.

If there’s one thing he believes in, one thing that never stops growing, it’s knowing that somewhere, his mom is always watching.

“I know she is,” said Nesbit. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s proud.”

Anyone who wants to see more of Nesbit’s work can do so on his Instagram page.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Satisfy your sweet tooth with Casey Scott at Twisted Sugar

Casey Scott joined us this morning, hoping to satisfy your sweet tooth with some delicious cookies and drinks at Twisted Sugar in South Ogden.
15 hours ago
FILE: Tooele High School. (Tooele County School District)...
Cary Schwanitz

Three Tooele schools on ‘lockout’ after armed robbery nearby

A robbery in Tooele led the school district to place three schools on lockout.
15 hours ago
...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Tooele man arrested, accused of biting off part of teen’s ear

A man who allegedly thought a teenage boy was being disrespectful to his mother has been arrested and accused of partially biting off the boy's ear.
15 hours ago
Zipline demonstrates how it's fixed-wing drones deliver prescriptions and other items from pharmaci...
Tamara Vaifanua

Drone prescription delivery service takes flight in Utah

Get your next prescription without leaving your home. Zipline, a new drone delivery service, lifted off Tuesday from South Jordan.
15 hours ago
Northbound traffic closed on I-15 as officials investigate. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

One dead, one in critical condition after being hit while changing tires in Ogden

One person is dead after being hit while changing tires on Interstate 15 Tuesday morning.
15 hours ago
FILE (Provo Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Motorcyclist dies after colliding with a van in Provo

A 47-year-old man is dead after colliding with a van in Provo Tuesday morning.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Utah Florist Wins Top Prize After Competing On HBO Max Show