Brenda Burnett and Julie McGahan have developed quite a friendship through faith and flowers.
The owners of Bittersweet Flowers and Gifts have known each other for quite some time, but decided to open their Bossier City flower shop just four and a half years ago. It was on a whim, the two business owners said, but one that really changed their lives.
“We were working for another flower shop and cleaning houses on the side to make extra money,” McGahan said. “We prayed hard about what to do next. We were out driving around one day when we found our answer.”
Bittersweet Flowers and Gifts opened with a name that was indicative of the business.
“We are ministering through our work,” Burnett said. “This is what [God] designed us to do.”
Last year, the Bittersweet team wasn’t sure if they would be able to continue their work. McGahan was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder.
Rheumatoid arthritis, McGahan explained, is when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues. In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis sometimes can affect other organs of the body — such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.
“It knocked the wind out of our sails,” McGahan said. “I had medical bills to pay with no [health] insurance and I’m a single mom of three kids. We can’t go back, but we can pray and move forward.”
McGahan is receiving treatment, but it will only slow the disorder’s progression.
“My body is attacking itself from the inside out,” she said. “The goal with treatment is to get it into remission, but that could be months away. I’ll have this for the rest of my life.”
But with prayer and an understanding doctor, McGahan and Burnett opened a new, bigger flower shop.
“We decided it was time to go big or go home,” Burnett said.
The new location wouldn’t only open the door to more business and revenue, but a new opportunity to share their ministry to more in the community.
“[Prayer] makes all the difference,” McGahan said.
Bittersweet Flowers and Gifts is now located at 4100 Barksdale Boulevard, Suite 114, Bossier City. They can be reached at 318-747-7677.