After almost three decades serving up beautiful bouquets, Cobram florist Tina Cole is taking a step back.RIAHN SMITH December 19, 2013 4:00am
Tina Cole is saying goodbye to her floristry career after almost 30 years as Cobram's friendly florist.
You may not realise it, but Tina Cole has probably played a part in some of your most memorable moments throughout the years.
The Cobram florist has worked from her Punt Rd store front for more than a quarter of a century and has supplied fragrant bouquets to countless weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.
Now, after 19 years working under former florist Yvonne Gemmill and more than seven years running her own business, Mrs Cole is taking a much-needed step back.
‘‘I just thought it was time,’’ Mrs Cole said.
‘‘It’s really hands on, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work and it’s very long hours.
‘‘When you have weddings on you can be in here at five o’clock in the morning finishing off wedding bouquets after being here until two o’clock in the morning the night before.’’
Mrs Cole, originally from the Melbourne suburb of Frankston, studied floristry in Queensland before moving to Cobram 28 years ago.
She said serving the community had been a fulfilling experience.
‘‘In Cobram, it’s a community, it looks after itself, it’s a beautiful place to live and the community has been so kind to me,’’ Mrs Cole said.
‘‘You really get to know your customers and what they like.
‘‘I know some people who can’t stand oriental lilies, some people love oriental lilies, some people I know you don’t give red roses to because they have other meanings for them.
‘‘There’s such a wealth of information you gather over the years.’’
Mrs Cole is handing the business reins to 20-year-old Cobram woman Caitlin Smith.
Ms Smith said she would happily take advantage of her predecessor’s experience for as long as she could.
‘‘I’m so fortunate to have her continuing on for a while, while I find my feet,’’ Ms Smith said.
‘‘She’s been really helpful, staying by my side, showing me the ropes and not throwing me in the deep end.’’
Mrs Cole said it had been a privilege to be involved in people’s special moments.
‘‘I’ve done weddings where it’s been my daughter’s girlfriends getting married and I’ve known them since Prep or you’ll have people come in for flowers for their 20
‘‘Often you get phone calls saying ‘oh, you know what she likes Tina .
‘‘I’ve loved it, this business has been my baby. I love what I do, it’s my passion.’’
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