SILT — Life might not always be a bed of roses for most of us, but it has been for Kathie Currie for the past 20 years. Now it comes to an end.
Currie, owner of The Country Florist in Silt, is working on arranging her life and retiring from the floral business.
“Everyone is shocked that it’s been 20 years, Currie said with a smile. “But now it’s time to travel. My husband is retired and we have trips planned to Las Vegas, a lot more Lake Powell trips and maybe an Alaskan cruise.”
It’s the day before Valentine’s Day and the shop is bustling. “Sasquatch,” the spoiled shop cat who was rescued from a local shelter, lays on a padded stool and watches as five aproned employees scurry around putting flowers in vases and creating a variety of arrangements.
“We call him ‘His Kittiness,’” one employee said with a laugh, nodding over to the cat. “You can see why.”
Last-minute customers come in, hoping it’s not too late to find something for their sweetheart. Flowers and greenery are everywhere and the air is awash with the scent of red and white roses.
“Valentine’s Day is kind of a guy holiday,” Currie said as she works on a large arrangement. “Red roses are still the most popular, and so is baby’s breath.”
The large arrangement Currie is creating is called the “Go Big Or Don’t Come Home” arrangement and runs anywhere from $100 to $200.
“It can have tropicals, Oriental lilies, tulips and, of course, roses,” Currie said. “So far, every one I’ve put out there today has sold.”
Currie began her floral career with a course at Trim Floral Line in Denver.
“I’ve always been creative, and I love flowers, so I went to floral school,” she said. “I won an award in class, and it inspired me to open a shop, because they also taught us how to open and run our own flower shop.”
Her first shop opened in the garage of her home, five miles outside Silt.
“But we gradually grew and grew and grew and when we had six to 10 employees, we thought we’d better get out of the garage and come into town,” Currie said.
The Country Florist was first located where the old gas station used to be on Main Street on the west end of town before moving to its present location on Main Street, just a block away, where it’s been for the past six years.
Currie made her decision to retire known to her employees months before she actually did.
“They knew it was going to happen, they just didn’t know when,” Currie said.
Then a woman named Deborah Hawk walked in the door one day, looking for a job.
“I grew up in Denver and was a hair stylist,” Hawk said. “We moved to Parachute in 1997, and I worked for the Vapor Caves’ salon, and then we moved to Eagle for nine years. I took a [floral] class in Denver and decided I was sick of doing hair.”
She and her husband moved to Silt in January 2013.
It was then that she popped into The Country Florist and asked if she needed any help.
Currie hired her, and the pair hit it off right away.
“I don’t think she came in wanting to buy the business, but we got to talking about it, and I told her it was for sale,” Currie said.
Hawk purchased the business on Jan. 1.
“Everything just kind of fell together,” Hawk said. “I think we try to work on outdoor plants for banks and colleges and we’ve already had several weddings. Everything is going great, and we want to continue growing the business.”
The shop has 4,000 customers from Vail, Beaver Creek and Avon through Parachute and Rulison.
“We’ve worked real hard on providing great professional, customer service and unique designs,” said Currie. “Deb will continue that. Customers will still get the same great service.”
Currie will be still be around if Deb has any questions or needs any help, but she and her husband, Don, are excited about starting a new chapter in their lives.
“Don is very happy I’m retiring,” Currie said with a smile. “He’s ready to go do some things.”
One last question. Does a florist get flowers for Valentine’s Day?
“No,” she said with a laugh. “I get taken out to dinner or get a massage or a spa treatment. I love it.”
The Country Florist can deliver flowers nationally and internationally. Balloons, candy and other trinkets can be added to the arrangement.
For more information or to place an order, call The Country Florist at (970) 876-1999 or visit the website at www.flowersfromus.com.