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July 18, 2013

Scholarship gives local florist chance to grow

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Claire Satriano has been a florist at Mohican Flowers for 35 years, but she’s still eager to learn.

Satriano, a 1976 Cooperstown Central School graduate who got a degree in horticulture from the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, won a scholarship to attend a floral class held in Oklahoma City last month.

“I never knew such a thing existed,” said Satriano, who learned about the scholarship at a floral show in Albany last year, and found out she had won it in March. “It is something the floral industry does to give people the chance to stay juiced up and give the best representation of the business.

“It does recharge you,” she continued. “I’d never been to that area of the world, and just to meet the other florists from all over the country, it was really cool.”

The class, Wedding Professionals, was sponsored by Teleflora and lasted for four days. Satriano said she learned about new techniques such as gluing bouquets together rather than using wire. She got to see newer trends such as ring bouquets, shaped around a wire ring and sparkle sticks. She also took classes on pricing and keeping flowers fresh longer.

Santriano has been working at Mohican since she graduated college, and she credited a CCS teacher with pointing her toward the profession.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but my home ec teacher told me, ‘you know, there is such a thing as a florist.’ I grew up on a farm, and I always worked in our gardens,” she said. 

“I just love it,” she continued. “Of course, no one told me that there is so much math involved. You think it is just designing and arraigning, but everything has a value and you have to think about that. You have to price it.”

Price aside, however, she said she loves to help brides create their dream weddings.

“It’s exciting because they are so excited,” she said. “Some of the girls are so excited they are crying. That’s just really exciting to me; to make their day special.”

Even before taking the class, Santriano said that she had been using new technology to help her customers.

“Pinterest has been a big thing that’s very helpful to me,” she said. “I use that a lot. Now they can go online and help create their own dream wedding and help create their bouquets.”

The class also helped Santriano to see how good she and her co-workers have it here in Cooperstown.

“There was this one woman from Boston, she does eight weddings a weekend, all by herself,” she said. “I thought, ‘well, I have nothing to complain about then because there are three of us and we only do three weddings a weekend. It was interesting to hear about how they just drive over to the wholesaler and pick out what they want. We can’t do that because we have to go to Albany or Binghamton to get our flowers.”

At the end of the week away, Santriano said she came back full of new ideas and an increased appreciation for her job.

“Oh absolutely, I was babbling on when I got back,” she joked. “I am sure they were tired of hearing me talk about it.”

“You know, Cooperstown is just such a wonderful place to have a wedding, and we love doing them” she continued. “It is great for destination weddings, either for people who love baseball or who live in a nearby city like New York or Boston. You can do something rural like the barn wedding trend or you can go for elegance like at the Otesaga. It is a great location to get married.”