Come December a different kind of “workshop” comes to life in Napa when the floral designers of Beau Fleurs Napa Valley Flowers pull out all the stops to create holiday decorations for local gatherings.
Kirsten Peters, floral designer at Beau Fleurs, said that the closer it gets to Christmas and other December holidays, the more the orders roll in.
Christmas centerpieces using red, white and green flowers and accents are the most popular choices, said Peters. “Wreaths used to be popular,” but these days most people get those from youth groups or at grocery stores, she noted.
The florist company, which is celebrating its 25th business anniversary, has a certain style that longtime shop owners Kellie and John Prittie describe as “a little Beau-Fluerish.”
“It’s not the standard carnations and mums,” explained Peters.
“We use premium flowers like hydrangeas, tulips, orchids and roses,” plus holly, pine cones and Christmas evergreens, among others, she said.
Besides using premium flowers, “We like to use dogwood, curly willow and other types of branches — unique textural things that make it different,” she said.
Napans may be in the thick of holiday shopping but for Beau Fleurs, the rush comes in the week before Christmas, when many people host holiday parties, said Peters.
“The season will start next week,” she said during an interview on Thursday. The shop will be quite busy as four to five floral designers make as many as 200 centerpieces for this season.
Co-owner Kellie Prittie makes regular trips down to the San Francisco Flower Mart to hand pick flowers and supplies to fill the orders, explained Peters.
“She is the absolute best organizer on the planet,” said Peters. “I’ve been doing this for 34 years and I have never worked in a shop that ran so stress-free (and) so smooth in my life. She’s got a plan for everybody and just coordinates it all. She’s like the ringleader,” Peters said.
We don’t wait till the last minute to start making things for people, said Peters. “There’s a lot of thought and planning to get these holidays to go smooth.”
Peters said she studied floral design at City College of San Francisco. If fact, her mother, brother and sister in law are all floral designers – working at other businesses.
She’s been with Beau Fleurs for almost 10 years.
“It’s a good place to work,” said Peters. “They’re good people. It’s like a little family here.”
What’s her favorite part about the job?
“Probably making people happy,” said Peters.
“It can be a stressful job, but when somebody either calls to thank you or they are so excited when they come to pick up their arrangement, it’s a good feeling that you made someone’s day.”
The shop, located at 1508 Silverado Trail, also includes a retail area offering vintage finds including glassware, bottles, baskets and bins, bowling pins, and even sleds, spools of thread and old Nancy Drew books.
With December flying by, that means that one of Beau Fleurs’ busiest holidays is right around the corner. The shop will start planning for Valentine’s Day around mid-January, said Peters.
After so many years, the shop runs like “a well-oiled machine,” said Peters.
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You can reach Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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