When I first made Aliyah, I made hand-made cards which I sold in gift shops and florists in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. There was one particular florist, Prachim v’Ganim, in which every time I entered the shop I felt an intense happiness by being surrounded by so many beautiful flowers. I went on to train as a florist there and worked in the shop for several years. I took a break from floristry when my children were young but always missed the flowers, so when I saw a Facebook post two years ago asking for someone to teach an elderly lady in Modiin floral design on a weekly basis, I jumped at the chance. The experience however, has been much more than simply design.
I was sure that there is connection between flowers and well-being, as I saw first-hand the positive impact working with flowers had on both of us. After some research, I discovered a scientific study was carried out in 2007 at Rutgers University in the US, which proved this point. The study measured the emotional impact flowers have on people’s health and concluded that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner. I decided to share my love of flowers with others and this is how “Happiness through Flowers” was born.
Since establishing as small business in January 2017, I have brought “Happiness through Flowers” workshops and concept design to both private clients and organizations. I work on a regular basis with OneFamily Fund, Israel’s leading charity which supports Israeli victims of terror. I have brought “Happiness through Flowers workshops” to injured victims and their families, bereaved children, bereaved mothers, and bereaved siblings at OneFamily retreats and summer camps throughout the country. The participants said on multiple occasions how much these workshops meant to them and how positive they felt during and after the session. It is such a privilege and honor to be able to give all these people, the positive gift of flower therapy to help them cope with the pain and trauma they have experienced.
In honor of Shavout, both last year and this year, I also had the wonderful opportunity to bring “Happiness through Flowers” to sick children in Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem and Schneider Children’s hospital in Petach Tikva. I helped the children make flower crowns, and despite the children being so unwell, their faces lit up and their smiles were boundless. It was also an incredible experience to work with both Jewish and Arab patients, using flowers as a medium to break language and cultural barriers and to bring different people of all ages together sharing the intrinsic beauty of flowers.
The study at Rutgers University also suggests that certain flowers and colors of flowers bring positive energy to a person’s mood, such as white flowers to give a calm sensation or yellows and orange flowers to give a person some added energy. When I design centerpieces for an event, I like to choose flowers for my clients which will bring a positive energy to the event. I also like to bring in an idea that was used regularly by people in Victorian times, where every flower was given a special meaning to reflect different emotions. Roses were often used to represent romance; Alstroemeria to represent friendship; Baby-Breath to represent early memory; Lisianthus to represent calmness and Gerberas to bring a cheerful fun element a centerpieces. These are just a few examples of many types of flowers and their meaning.
If you are interested in bringing “Happiness through Flowers” to your organization or special event (Bar/Bat mitzvahs, Birthday parties, corporate events, and charity/ fundraising events) please contact Sophie Vardi for all your floral needs. Contact sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org; 0526522850; Facebook: Happiness through Flowers. As part of Happiness through Flowers, Sophie has teamed with Modiin based photographer Ingrid Muller doing floral crown workshops for teens. For more information please contact Sophie (number above) or Ingrid 054-497-2985 https://www.facebook.com/ingridmullerphoto/