Florists plan to ‘Petal It Forward’ to spread positivity |

Florists plan to ‘Petal It Forward’ to spread positivity

Patrick Varine

Generally speaking, the floral industry is invested in making people happy.

On Oct. 23, a handful of flower shops in western Pennsylvania will open with the goal of making as many people happy as possible, helping the Society of American Florists to promote “Petal It Forward.”

“We’ll give out two bouquets at a time to people,” said Stacey Campbell, an employee at Export Floral in Export, which is participating for the first time this year. “One is for them, and the other is for them to give to someone else.”

Export Floral Owner Elizabeth Jones said she and other employees will be handing out bouquets throughout the borough in a spin on the “pay-it-forward” style of doing good deeds.

“I love seeing people smile and seeing happiness,” Jones said.

Denise Chresos, owner of Floral Gallery in Indiana, participated in Petal It Forward for the first time last year. Her employees handed out bouquets downtown and on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

“We had a mixed reaction,” Chresos said. “There were a lot of people who were just thrilled or who said they couldn’t believe what a nice thing it is.”

Occasionally a recipient thought it was part of a sales promotion, and Chresos made sure people knew she was giving the flowers away.

“Some people said they didn’t want them, and I was thinking, ‘Those are the people who really needed them,’” she said.

Chresos estimated that Flower Gallery workers gave out about 700 bouquets last year, pre-made and available from wholesalers affiliated with the Society of American Florists PR Fund.

“A lot of our personality is just trying to make people feel better,” she said. “It’s a nice way to make people a little happier.”

Campbell agreed.

“We wanted to do it to kind of just spread the joy,” she said. “With all the division in the world, it’s a way to sort of spread positivity.”

For a full list of participating flower shops, see

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Rebecca Swank, on the left, poses for a photo with Liz Jones and Stacey Campbell of Export Floral, holding their “Petal It Forward” shirts. The promotion will take place Oct. 23, with participating shops handing out free bouquets.
Flower Gallery’s Cassi Swank hands out bouquets during Petal It Forward 2018 in Indiana.
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