Florists crippled by COVID-19 social restrictions

The Rose Shop owner karen kordzik takes inventory of surplus fresh flowers as events are being cancelled.

On any normal Friday afternoon, Karen Kordzick, owner of The Rose Shop, would have been running low on fresh flowers for the week, but this wasn’t any normal Friday.

Amid the state-mandated closures and limitations of public gatherings, Kordzik, like many local business owners, has instantly seen a massive reduction in business.

“We were providing the flowers for a large wedding this weekend. The family was planning on still trying to have the ceremony, but then on Thursday, the Governor made his announcement and they had to cancel,” Kordzik said.

Kordzik said last week’s cancellation is only the beginning of her concerns.

“We will be trying to work out the details on all our other events, but we know many of them are going to be cancelled,” Kordzik said.

In addition, Kordzik said, getting product delivered is also proving to be challenging.

“The products coming in from California and out of the country might not be able to get here,” Kordzik said. “So some of the items customers want just may not happen. So if couples get to have their weddings at all, it’s just so limited.”

Kordzik said floral wholesalers and farmers are still working, but the trucking industry is overwhelmed, which is hampering product availability.

Kordzik said she has seen some difficult times in the past, such as the economic recession in 2008, but has never experienced anything like the current atmosphere.

“That (2008) was kind of a slow-down for us, but we survived through all of that, but with this, you can only take everything day-by-day,” Kordzik said. “We’ve been getting orders, so that is good, but nothing like it should be.”

The closure of open church services directly affects the floral industry, especially during the Easter season, Kordzik said.

“We had to cancel all of our Palm Sunday church orders and we have ordered lilies for Easter Sunday,” Kordzik said. “They were special order items, so I cannot return them.”

Another large part of her business is providing floral arrangements for funerals, however, public memorial services are also not allowed under Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order issued last week.

“Funeral work is the bread and butter for the floral industry,” Kordzik said. “This situation brings much anxiety for all of us. We don’t know how long this is going to last. It trickles down to all small businesses in some way. In the floral industry, the Spring time is a big part of our businesses, with Easter and proms and so many other activities.”

Kordzik said she has worked at The Rose Shop since graduating from high school and bought the business from the Fair family in 2005.

“The reward of being in the business is being able to make someone happy, being able to see the look on their faces when we deliver the arrangements,” Kordzik said.

Kordzik said she hopes the community will see the positive impact floral arrangements can make in friends and loved ones and continue to place orders.

“We are here, filling orders and making deliveries,” Kordzik said. “And in this difficult time, it is nice to know that you can put a smile on someone’s face. Whether it’s a birthday or a death in the family, people do appreciate flowers.”

The Rose Shop is located at 402 Quinlan and the phone number is 257-8311. Other florists in the area include Especially Yours, 257-5262; Barb’s Flower Barn, 895-1965; The Rose Petal, 257-6330; Rustic Flower Shop, 367-221; Two Sisters Garden, 329-0358 and Veridian Design Studio, 257-2067.

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