The Floral Parlor passed out hundreds of flowers for ‘Petal it Forward’ program
PASO ROBLES — In an effort to spread some happiness and brighten the community’s day, a local florist and her team passed out over 200 bouquets of flowers as part of the ‘Petal it Forward’ program in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF).
“We see the positive impact day in and day out when we make our flower deliveries,” said founder Sunny Sheldrake of The Floral Parlor. “People love to get flowers ‘just because,’ so we wanted to create random smiles today and give people a chance to do the same for someone else. We have the best community and love seeing our locals happy. We knew our little town would be perfect to celebrate Petal it Forward.”
Sheldrake first learned of the Petal it Forward program through SAF several years ago when she opened her downtown Paso shop in 2020. This year, she and her team were able to participate, and the community was here for it. The initiative was started eight years ago by SAF. Now, each October, thousands of florists across the nation participate by handing participants two flowers or bouquets to a stranger, urging them to keep one and share the other with someone else. SAF shares studies that flowers reduce stress and anxiety and make people happy — something that was proven by Sheldrake last week.
“The impact of giving or receiving flowers is powerful and memorable,” said Sheldrake. “It can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.”
To prepare for their act of kindness day, Sheldrake ordered an additional shipment of flowers for the Petal it Forward bouquets. Unfortunately, half of her shipment came damaged and unusable, but that didn’t stop Sheldrake and her team.
“These are items from God,” she tells people often when it comes to flowers and their sometimes imperfections.
On Wednesday morning, Sheldrake and her team walked Downtown Paso Robles with baskets of bouquets. Many of the people she came across heard about the Floral Parlor’s Petal it Forward participation through a press release published in Paso Robles Press the week prior and were joyful to see her and her team out and about.
“A lot of people were apprehensive [at first] because they thought we were selling them something,” said Sheldrake. “But then once we explained what it was, they were all good with it.”
She added, “It’s nice to have people happy,” and noted she and her team are looking forward to doing something similar again next year.
Flowers were passed to residents drinking coffee or taking a walk and into local businesses, which Sheldrake said were all grateful and happy to receive. Her philosophy since opening the Floral Parlor in Paso Robles has been to be immersed in the community, and on Wednesday morning, the entire community joined together for a little happier morning.
At the end, Sheldrake says, “It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or boy or older, young, everyone loved it.”
Feature Image: Floral Parlor owner Sunny Sheldrake (right) and team member Jilly Lade get ready to pass out flowers in Paso Robles as part of the ‘Petal it Forward’ program in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF). Contributed Photo