Gudrun Schatzler and Shirley Richards are partners in a flower shoppe who’s roots were planted 113 years ago. What began as an outlet for a greenhouse operation in 1902 by Victor Mann, who emigrated to Canada from England, flourishes today in the same building he conceived with an architect on Queen St., in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario’s downtown core.
Originally from the Niagara Penninsula, Gudrun Schatzler found her way to the Sault in 1977. “In 1980, I started working at Mann Florist” shared Gudrun. “Shirley and I purchased the business 16 years ago. We also bought the building. When you’ve part of the furniture for so long, you may as well own it.” she added with humour.
Shirley Richards brings 44 years of experience to the business, having worked in various flower shops in the Sault. “Some of my favourite floral designs incorporate exotic flowers.” said Shirley. “Working with flowers is much like an artist with a blank canvas. Floral design incorporates themes of colour, texture and balance.” Shirley has supported requests from family to create funeral bouquets and casket sprays, for example, that weave favourite items into the flowers. “Special items that have sentimental meaning for a family bring me alot of joy to create. I enjoy working with a family to tell a story through floral arrangements. I’ve used items from nature like bark, or cones. A train set was used as part of an arrangement, as well as golf clubs, and a favourite hat.” Shirley has a design bench and studio set up in the basement of the flower shop.
Shirley and Gudrun have traveled to numerous Floral Design Shows where they “always find something new to learn, or become inspired by trends in design, technique, and use of colour.” they said.
Gudrun Schatzler and Shirley Richards continue to build a strong partnership and create floral arrangements and designs at 324 Queen St. East, and can be found at mannflorist.com .
Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
– Hans Christian Andersen