Michelle Heffernan Reports
“I’ve always loved flowers” says Martina O’ Brien, owner and manager of Casia Flowers, now open on Main Street Tramore. “I always said if I won the lotto, I’d open a flower shop! I didn’t win the lotto but here I am anyway!” Martina was working for the previous nine years as training co-ordinator at an education centre. Working with recently unemployed taught her much about entrepreneurship, upskilling and facing fears in an economic downturn. When she rounded out a decade on her most recent birthday Martina decided to hedge her bets on her passion and make her dream a reality. My family said “Why can’t you do it? What’s stopping you?” Martina says. “So literally overnight I decided here goes! I didn’t want to look back in years to come and regret not following my dream.”
The Tramore native and mother of two had previously worked in a local florist in Tramore, and learned the tricks of the trade on the shop floor. “That was when I got a flair and taste for it” Martina says. While working in training and development, she delivered evening courses in flower arranging, and Casia Flowers is now the product of her experience and passion
It was Martina’s daughter, Abbie, who inspired the name for Martina’s dream business.
Searching for something soft, short and sweet, she suggested, “Casia” which is Latin for “lavender”. Having run the idea by friends and family, they decided Casia Flowers was the best way to wrap Martina’s brand image up in a bouquet
Casia Flowers has opened its doors this month and currently stocks “every flower you would need for any occasion”. With Valentine’s bouquets, wedding flowers, funeral wreaths or anniversaries to cater for, every day is different in this new business. “People look for different things…one minute it’s a get well bouquet, next an arrangement to welcome a new baby into the world” says Martina. The store also leases floral fixtures for occasions such as weddings and outdoor parties. Cherry trees or lanterns, for example, can be rented by a couple for their church or civil ceremony, to add a pretty and rustic touch to the occasion without spending a fortune. They even have a vintage bicycle, decorated with flowers of your choice course!
Since opening her store, Martina has been extremely grateful of the warm reception she has received in her local community. “The community have been fantastic” she underlined. “Lots of people have called in, particularly over Christmas, to wish us luck or give us advice”. Martina is very appreciative of the support she has received from other local businesses and shopkeepers, and is excited for what lies ahead for Casia flowers in 2018.
“We have a static website currently that will be up and running by the end of the year, and we will look more at e-commerce side of things then. Casia Flowers are also on FaceBook and Instagram and are having fantastic response to posts with many brides now searching FaceBook for wedding ideas. With wedding bookings flying I, Martina is looking to working with brides-to-be in the coming months on choosing their perfect wedding bouquet and being a small part of their “Big Day”.
Overall Casia Flowers aims to decorate life for its customers in whatever way possible, recognising that flowers represent a time honoured way to add respect and beauty to any occasion. “Everyone coming through the door is looking for something to brighten somebody’s day” concludes Martina and we could not think of a better way to sum up the value of a Casia Bouquet.