By Matt DeBow
“Hi Michelle” says Susie Savoie from behind the counter at Shamrock Flowers and Gifts as a regular customer walks into the store. Savoie knows all of her regular customers by name, but even when new customers walk in, she greets them and acts as if they were already regulars.
Shamrock Flowers and Gifts in Sheldon Plaza on Coburg Road is an eclectic mix of gifts, greeting cards, candles and flowers. Savoie has 21 years of experience working at Shamrock Flowers and Gifts and says she loves her job. Savoie says, “I always joke: oh darn, I have to go to work around pretty things and flowers.”
Savoie is the gift manager who oversees five employees, and buys all the greeting cards and manages all the paper supplies. The last of her duties is answering the phones to take orders for flower shipments.
While soothing music quietly plays overhead in the store, just outside the open doors people loudly push their shopping carts after buying groceries and running errands. Everything in the store is neatly arranged and conforms to a strict color pattern, and $.25 chocolate heart candies sit at the counter. Many people who buy flowers for their loved ones will also pick up candy for them as well.
A married couple comes in, and as they look at through a book of flowers they want to ship to their daughter, Savoie points out every flower by name and tells the couple if it is in-season. She also knows what the appropriate flowers are for the occasion. With 21 years of experience, she knows flowers.
Savoie works calmly. The environment in the gift shop is not fast-paced and when it is especially slow she walks around the store asking people if they need any help and she will admire the gift cards and flowers around the store.
Neatly arranged bouquets of flowers sit in vases behind glass doors. The sign above them plainly states in gold capital letters “FLOWERS.” In addition to the cut flowers the store also sells potted plants that sit along the front of the store.
During the summer most of the store’s business comes from weddings. During prom season the store gets much of its business from Sheldon High School because it is less than a half mile away, but the store also gets prom and homecoming orders from all the high schools in the Eugene/Sheldon area.
Through a company called Teleflora, Savoie can ship flowers to anywhere in the world, but she says it only happens about three times a year, and it is “usually the same people that are ordering flowers to the their mother in England,” Savoie says.
Savoie says her favorite thing about working there is ordering the greeting card because she loves them.“It’s amazing we still sell greeting cards well (despite the rise in) e-mail,” Savoie says.
If you walk into Shamrock Flowers and Gifts, whether you need African Violets, greeting cards, or if you don’t know what flowers to send your mother in England, Savoie is the expert for you. As you come in, Savoie will welcome you in a way that will make you think that you’ve known her for years.