Freer flower shops were extra busy last week

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Flower shops in Freer were abuzz with activity in anticipation of the Freer High School homecoming game last Friday night, busy making decorative mum corsages, which are customarily worn to the special game each year.

“I’ve been making them to order and I enjoy doing it,” said Vangie Kay Kujawski of Vangie K. Flowers and Gifts. “When I came from California in 1999 this was new to me - the whole mum corsage thing.”

Now, she knows and understands what to do, she says.

Kujawski says she pays attention to detail incorporating the customer’s personality into the finished product.

“I use lots of blue and gold ribbon and trinkets on them so they jingle,” she said. “Customers like to hear them jingle.”

Pointing to some already displayed on a stand in front of her shop, she explained that some customers preferred wearing them on the leg with a garter or pinned on the front of a shirt or even on the back of a shirt.

“I also make the kind to put in hair or what’s called ‘chongos,’” she said, “fastened with a clip.”

Kujawski’s mum creations range in size and shape, priced from $10 and up.

Angel Moulder of A & A’s said she stopped taking mum corsage orders last week.

“I began making them about the first of September and it’s been non-stop since,” she said counting, “as of today, 32 have been picked up.”

Moulder also used layers of blue, gold and yellow ribbons in fashioning each of the corsages.

“I put tons of charms such as bells, whistles and all the other kinds of things,” she said. “I have some extra ones that will be available for sale for last-minute customers, but they have to buy them as is.”

Moulder’s mums are priced at $5, $12, $18 and $25.

Lala Cantu of Home and Garden D/cor said she and three others worked one weekend making their mum corsages.

“I enjoy this time of the year,” she said. “Last year a lot of people came in requesting what they wanted on them and it was hard doing that, so this year we made some early.”

Cantu’s corsages consist of dark and light yellow mums, lots of ribbons and trinkets as well.

“I put some lace around some the mums instead of ribbons,” she noted. “Lace is different and it’s pretty, too.”

Cantu said mum corsage supplies were ordered last year before Christmas.

“That’s when we stocked up on ribbons - royal blue, yellow, gold and such - because we couldn’t get that much ribbon during any other time,” she said.

Her mum corsages are priced at $25 and $35.

Purple Sage Emporium owner Myra Foster said she began as early as June making homecoming mum corsages.

“First I braided some ribbons, then made the backs,” she explained. “After that, all I had to do was attach ribbons, garlands and trims to the backs, adding the trinkets last.”

Foster said each corsage contains three basic charms - a bell, helmet and football.

“If someone wants more charms, they cost extra and I’ll be glad to customize them for them,” she said. “Some want good luck things like horseshoes or rabbits and some want the band or volleyball charms.”

Picking up a box of garters made in various sizes, Foster said they were all sewn in her shop.

“I don’t order them because all they are are fabric and elastic stitched together. They’re easy to make.”

She also added she was hard at work making corsages until Friday night.

“People can come in the last minute and buy one,” Foster said laughing. “Yes, I’ll be taking orders, I guess, until the game starts.”