After 15 years of making floral arrangements from live and silk flowers, Lorrie Mendonca of Bristol gave up her hobby. Instead, she turned her passion for flowers into her livelihood with the opening of Alexandrina’s Florist on Wood Street.
“This is a total new career change for me,” she said. “A new endeavor.”
In the back of her mind, Ms. Mendonca always hoped to open her own florist shop. On Monday, Oct. 1, surrounded by friends and family, her dream job became a reality.
“I’ve been thinking of this for years and years,” she said.
Inside the small floral shop, samples of Ms. Mendonca’s work are exhibited as part of the shop’s decor. A wall hanging with the letter “A” made of yellow silk flowers is a focal point of the interior. Other silk arrangements make the store warm and welcoming. Soon, holiday arrangements will fill the space, with the shop owner already thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas arrangements.
“I’m only one person right now,” she said. “But I have my family to help.”
Glass doors separate the showroom and consultation area from the preparation area. When open, Ms. Mendonca will be able togreet walk-in customers while working on orders.
While the shop’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was certainly a happy moment in her life, Ms. Mendonca was looking forward to the evening when she could share the day’s events with her husband, Tony.
“He’s in Afghanistan,” she said. “I miss him terribly.”
While deployed, Mr. Mendonca, a member of the Rhode Island Air National Guard, won’t return until next summer. The family reunites via computer whenever possible. But not having her husband share the start of her new career was difficult for her.
“I have a lot of family support,” she said.
The space at 572 Wood St., across the street from St. Elizabeth’s Church, seemed to be the perfect spot. It had been a florist shop once before, so Ms. Mendonca felt it would serve well again. Selecting a name for the shop also came easy, honoring another family member who gave her inspiration.
“My grandmother always told me to aim high,” she said.
Her grandmother’s name, Alexandrina, became the name of the shop.
Monday’s ribbon-cutting officially opened the shop, but Alexandria’s had already completed arrangements for a formal event and a feast. Ms. Mendonca, who has lived in Bristol her entire life, is looking forward to serving the community in her “new endeavor,” that is the culmination of a lot of dreaming.