During her years working under Hampton, she started out cleaning the greenhouse and shop and washing flower buckets. By her second year, she was given the opportunity to start designing arrangements.
“[I] started from the bottom, up,” Wells said. “But [Hampton] would tell me, 'Watch them when they're designing, so that you'll kind of have an idea.'”
The day Hampton finally decided Wells was ready, he stopped by her desk, placed an orchid on it and told her to “dress it.” At first, Wells was hesitant because she had never done a corsage, but Wells and Hampton were the only two at the shop and there was work to be done.
“[Hampton] said, 'I think between me and you, we can wing it.'”
After that, Wells began working hands on with flowers. Certain holidays, she was tasked to make corsages, others, she had to make arrangements. Eventually, she moved on to other projects, including funerals.
Beyond just Hampton, Wells recalls learning a lot from his wife, Angela Hampton.
“His wife was very talented,” Wells said.
Wells went on to say that John Hampton's expertise was in funeral work, whereas Angela Hampton had an eye for overall creativity. Throughout this time, the Hamptons also took Wells to design shows so she could learn about the newest trends and techniques in the industry.
Once Wells gained nearly 10 years of experience, she decided to open a flower shop of her own inside the Baker hotel. The size of her space inside the mighty 14-story building was ironically small, which Wells said was perfect for her first shop.
To start, she had one refrigerator and a few supplies. During the first five years, she worked with her small staff of one to help her with deliveries. By the time she left the Baker, Wells said business was busting at the seams; however, the move was bittersweet.