Flowers have been used throughout the ages to symbolize happiness, friendship, love, wealth, and even life or death. Dating back to 2,500 BC flower arrangements were found in the ancient Egyptian tombs and in their art work. Through repetition and alternation of greenery and specific flowers of religious significance the Egyptians created a look of simplicity while maintaining vibrancy. This style is still used today by rimming the vase with greenery and alternating back and forth with brightly colored flowers.
The Greeks and Romans took a different approach when it came to using flowers. They commonly added olive branches and herbs to create garlands or wreaths worn for adornment. Today you can find an occasional bride dawning a floral head piece or veil, and wreaths are seen all over the place from Christmas to home décor. Due to the Romans great wealth and power this time period is also where we find the abundant use of roses; still a symbol of love. Periods ranging from ancient China through the English-Georgian developed a myriad of styles and techniques in the art of flower arrangement we still see today. It was not; however, until the end of the Victorian Period when rules for arranging flowers created a new profession; a profession that over a 1000 years later, unbeknownst to them, Kay Perry would fall in love with.
As a child, Kay worked with her mother in a flower shop developing a love for flowers and the artistic uses thereof. Unfortunately due to life and raising a family, floristry became more of a hobby than a profession. In order to be close to her children and have time to spend with them, Kay opened and operated a beauty shop for 30 years next door to their house. “After the kiddos left the nest I wanted to find something I really enjoyed doing,” Kay said, “so I opened a flower shop.”
Originally located on the corner of Swenson and McHarg, Stamford Floral, became a household name in Stamford and surrounding communities. Kay admits though that she has always loved the old Yates building, which later became Bunkley's Drug Store. “The architecture and style is beautiful,” she says. Unfortunately, Charlotte Ham beat her to the punch and purchased the building to open a deli. When the sandwich shop later closed, Kay went for it. Again, too late, Decker had already acquired the building. Kay said she called him up and told him she had to have that building that she has always loved it. Lucky for her, Kay and Decker were able to come to an agreement, and Stamford Floral has now moved into the building.
Kay and her staff have been hard at work doing some renovations and clean up. She states that the move has been a little frustrating at times, but with the help of DeWayne Monse, she’s slowly but surely getting the building restored to its original state. They will be adding a garage in the back of the building and plenty of shelving down in the basement to provide larger storage capacity.
While working on the building, she came across an old high school diploma dated in 1917, which has now been returned to the existing family of Miss Harrison. “It was really cool,” said Kay. Other than the enormous amount of building history, a large factor that drew Kay to this location was the old time soda fountain. She is working furiously to get it up and running again. Although she has already seen an increase in business and walk in traffic since the move, her hope is the soda fountain will bring in more customers that grew up in the area with their stories of the old days around the fountain.
Stamford Floral invites the community to stop in to check the new wider range of gift items from new lines, and a candy bar stocked with delicious hand dipped truffles. When the soda fountain is fully operational, Kay plans to serve ice cream sundaes and extend her weekend hours to help bring life back to the town square. “Gas is too high,” Kay says, “The town square needs to be the town’s center again; a place for people to go and hang out!”