The Magical Feelings of Petaling It Forward
Flowers have always brought me joy. It’s difficult to articulate how they make me feel. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever tried to describe exactly how flowers make me feel, but I’d start with loved, happy, joyful, appreciative, and just an overall warm and fuzzy kind of feeling.
What’s interesting is that it doesn’t matter if I’m giving or receiving flowers; these feelings exist.
As October is mental health education and depression awareness month, it was the perfect time to “Petal it Forward.” The Society of American Florists started this international goodwill initiative in 2015, where participants hand two flowers or bouquets to an unsuspecting stranger, urging them to keep one and share the other with someone else. University research has revealed that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and long-term positive effect on moods.
Christina Brown, owner of local flower shops Violets in Bloom (Melbourne) and Roses are Red (Indialantic), said that her team sees a positive impact day in and day out when they make their flower deliveries.
I was extremely excited when Christi asked me to join her on Oct. 18 at Pizza Gallery at The Avenue Viera to hand out hundreds of roses to total strangers. The goal was to simply brighten their day. Each recipient got two roses, one to keep and one to share with a loved one, coworker or even a stranger.
The responses varied. Most were delighted and appreciative, others rejected the opportunity, some shared stories with us and some became champions and shared what was happening on social media — a young man popped in saying he’d just seen what was happening on SnapChat and he had to come over. He was ecstatic to get his two roses! His smile was ear to ear.
The Pizza Gallery staff was fully engaged and participated by giving flowers to customers who were dining in for lunch that afternoon. The manager asked us what we liked on our pizza — one of the employees was inspired by what we were doing, and he wanted to treat us to lunch. This is what “Petal it Forward” is all about.
According to the Society of American Florists, receiving flowers as a gift can evoke strong positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, and appreciation. During COVID, many of the participating florists across the United States used this day to surprise teachers, hospital workers, and first responders. Others just delivered bouquets to random doorsteps in their communities to spread a little love.
Flowers have the power to improve many aspects in our day-to-day lives. Here are seven positive benefits to giving and receiving flowers.
- Increases creativity, innovation and productivity.
- Positive effect on mood and emotions.
- Increases emotional connections.
- Boosts a sense of comfort.
- Increases energy and improves memory.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Aids in healing and recovery.
And if those aren’t enough reasons to give flowers, how about this: a research study conducted by Texas A&M University suggests that plants and flowers might just be the key to maintaining a happy and productive workforce. The study also revealed that people who send flowers in comparison to other gifts are viewed as caring and emotionally intelligent people.
No need to wait for a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion to brighten someone’s day with a single rose or beautiful bouquet.
Meet Our Publisher/CEO
Tracy Stroderd embodies the ultimate success story as an entrepreneur who brings consumers and businesses together. She is a speaker, business strategist and consultant who uses her unique combination of real-world entrepreneurial experience and formal business education to champion small-business success. Her love for working with entrepreneurs and making an impact in her community stems from growing up in a small town where she was born into the world of entrepreneurship.
Tracy earned a master of arts in administration from Barry University, where she has taught services marketing. She is a trained facilitator and mentor for the IGNITE 360 Mentoring Program at weVENTURE Women’s Business Center powered by Florida Institute of Technology. She has taught in the entrepreneurship program at Eastern Florida State College. Tracy has served on the executive committee/board of directors at the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. She has served on this board since 2017 and was the chairwoman from 2018-2020.
In 2022, Tracy launched a Toastmasters International Club at the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce and was recognized with a Club President Award in recognition of dedicated service and outstanding leadership.