Mother of 13 uses passion for flowers, crafting to share love for Mother's Day

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A mother of 13 children on the city's north side has spent months preparing for her annual sale of floral arrangements, a tradition she hopes continues to share love and affection for those who need it in her community for Mother's Day.

Antionette Eiland, 51, has raised 13 children and is also a grandmother to eight grandchildren. During the days leading up to Mother's Day, she is busy preparing for a sale of floral arrangements on the front lawn of her home near 39th and Silver Spring Drive.

Customers from the neighborhood stopped by on CBS 58's visit to purchase items and expressed gratitude for what Eiland offers.

"It means a lot," Eiland told CBS 58. "I really feel like I am able to give back to my community, you know some people may not have the transportation to go out to the stores that have these items."

Eiland, who is the founder of Eiland's Elegant Flowers, offers bouquets, packages for moms-to-be and memorial wreaths, as well as other items for the holiday. Antionette said her passion for making these arrangements came from honoring the memory of her mother, Barbara, who died 21 years ago.

"She saw me do a lot of this before she passed away and she was proud," Eiland said.

But Eiland doesn't put on the entire sale on her own. She has the help of her 13 children.

"We've been doing it such a long time it definitely makes us closer, honestly," Aaliyah, one of Antionette's daughters, said.

While the children are grateful for how it strengthens their family bond, they admit the usual quarrels between family members aren't missing when they work together.

"It do be at some moments where you're like, 'ok, like, calm down', but yeah it do make us closer," Antionette's son Jeriko told CBS 58.

They also admire their mother's creative and business pursuits.

"It's good helping out and just looking at my mom as a businesswoman and seeing how strong she is," Jeriko said.

For her Mother's Day gift, Antionette only has one thing on her list.

"Only thing I ask them to do is to help me with my sale, that's all I ask for," Antionette said. "I feel blessed that my babies are participating in what I love to do, you know and they take pride in what they do, because they know I take pride in what I do."

Information on Eiland's sale which runs now through Mother's Day can be found below:

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