BY ANGELINA MARTIN
Hilmar resident and hair stylist Melissa Vierra didn’t know when she began making wreaths from artificial succulents some time ago that it would turn into a business venture, but four years later the entrepreneur has a booming enterprise known as Devine Doors.
Succulents, the fleshy, green plants that include cactus, jade and aloe, serve as an easy way to add some color to any home, as they don’t require much maintenance. Vierra has taken that ease of care to a new level, using artificial — yet realistic — succulents to create beautiful arrangements like door wreaths, hanging and free-standing baskets, planters, centerpieces, wedding florals and arbor arrangements that add a pop of greenery to a room or venue while lasting forever.
“I started doing a few burlap wreaths about four years ago and was bored with that, so I tried making an artificial succulent wreath and my clients absolutely loved them,” Vierra said. “Then, I thought to push myself to what else I could come up with, and that’s when I started making arrangements as well.”
Green artificial succulents complimented with contrasting flowers in colors like deep purples and striking oranges, as well as more subdued hues such as soft pinks and baby blues make up Vierra’s creations, which she both designs herself and takes custom orders for. Vierra sells her wreaths at Rustic Roots in Turlock, as well as at her hair salon, Studio Suite 5 in Hilmar. She also sells through Instagram and Facebook, where she consults clients about any unique arrangements they’d like.
“I was hesitant at first with the demand of it all, but I thought why not give it a try?” Vierra said. “It’s a ton of work — that’s for sure. I feel pretty stretched most days but I do love creating new things.”
Purchasing faux succulents for her arrangements is a touch more costly than the real thing, Vierra added, but the payoff is in their longevity.
“I have to love my stuff so I can feel good about it going into someone’s home,” she said. “My customers always laugh when I tell them they’ll live forever.”
Vierra ships her creations nationwide, she said, even decorating doors as far as New York. She has some high-profile customers like UFC fighter Urijah Faber, who commissioned Vierra to craft a wreath for his baby’s nursery. Most recently, Devine Doors designed and created the centerpieces and other greenery that can be found in Turlock’s Ten Pin Fun Center.
“I love making a new piece for someone and them saying, ‘I trust you,’” she said.
The wreaths are available for purchase at Rustic Roots (231 E. Main St., Turlock) and Studio Suite 5 (19947 1st St., Hilmar); Available for order on Instagram (@devinedoors).