Monday, September 17, 2012

On the Wings of Black Bowls

Stein Your Florist Co.,
the Phoenix florist.
Many of our long time customers know that 11 years ago we had a fire at our Philadelphia location that forced us to close our doors for almost a year. To catch up on that bit of Stein history check out this article that was in the Northeast Times shortly after we reopened.

It was a trying time, to say the least, and it is never too far from memory, but just a few weeks ago while rooting through some Stein storage we found a relic of our post-fire past, a box of black bowls.
A traditional arrangement
designed in a black bowl.
Remember when gas stations had those give-aways when you filled the tank? Well that’s what these black bowls were. From the gas stations hundreds made their way to Penn State Gardens, a greenhouse that Steins has a close relationship with (in fact, it used to be owned by Steins years and years ago). Paul, the greenhouse owner, eager to help us get back on our feet upon reopening with a mountain of post-fire debt (insurance is never enough) sold us the bowls at a generous 10 cents each!
A topiary arrangement
designed in a black bowl.

Sure, the bowls were filthy after being stored under greenhouse potting benches for 30+ years, but what’s a little dirt when you have a shop full of floral designers eager to return to their craft? We scrubbed the bowls, filled them with oasis floral foam and let our art take over.

A traditional arrangement
designed in a black bowl.
At a time when we were working in a building still partially under reconstruction and trying to get the word out to our wonderful and loyal customers that we were back (and better than ever!) these simple black bowls became the vessel upon which Steins stayed afloat. They allowed us to focus our resources on flowers and provide our patrons with what Steins has always been known for, beautiful lush arrangements at a great value.

Party centerpieces designed in black bowls.
These bowls are versatile enough to house designs from traditional to ultra-contemporary. We used them for almost everything:  party centerpieces, birthday arrangements, and beautiful everyday designs.

Now, we are happy to have returned to arranging in extravagant glass, impressive ceramic and stylish baskets, but we have found ourselves waxing nostalgic upon rediscovering these simple receptacles.

A kind customer likened our return after the fire to the legendary Phoenix, reborn from the ashes to live again. Thanks to these humble black bowls this Phoenix florist continues to soar.

Stein Your Florist Co., the Phoenix florist.

We would like to thank those that helped us through this difficult time… Our friends and family, our wonderful employees that stood by us, as we stood by them, Paul and everyone at Penn State Gardens, John Dorschug and Graebel Van Lines for your support, manpower, boxes and packing supplies, and all our wonderful and valued customers. Because of everyone’s support we have been able to practice our craft for 125 years! Thank you!

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