By Pat ROONEY
One look into Fann Markels eyes, and you immediately sense that she is a dynamo. Each day she harnesses that boundless energy to create memories that last a lifetime.
Fann is the founder of The Floristry, 1385 Delaware Ave., and Bravo
Events, 71 Park St. - in the heart of the city she loves best ... Buffalo, NY. She is the
lady behind the flowers, displays, events and theme parties.
She is the lady who artfully uses her talents to celebrate life.
It started as a lark, a hobby really, Fann said, describing
her work. I became involved in decorating projects for various Buffalo-area
fund-raising affairs and it just blossomed.
Today, the talents of both companies are in demand. But no matter how far
away from home they stray, headquarters will always be in Buffalo.
Weve been to many cities and have done a lot of work out of
Buffalo, but there is no place equal to this city, she said. We have wonderful
caterers, bakers, orchestras, clubs, hotels and people - all of which make our job a
pleasure. Its the finest city there is, and Im glad
to be a part of Buffalo.
The talents of Fann and her staff go beyond floral pieces and displays.
Whatever is needed to enhance a theme party, special event, wedding or celebration ...
this imaginative team deftly creates for individuals and businesses alike.
Its all about ambiance ...
Transforming an ordinary space into a mystical paradise is the challenge
Fann loves best.
It was fun to redecorate an ordinary restaurant into an exciting
French cafe for an evening, Fann recalled.
Every detail is carefully considered. Dont like a ceiling? How about
drap- ing soft chiffon ribbons or pastels of fabric with twinkling lights?
The artistic mastery of The Floristry creations work in tandem with the
intricate technical support from Bravo Events. Bravo is known for creating breathtaking
props that make many dreams come true.
One of our clients in Palm Beach, Florida, wanted a Tea House
of the August Moon theme for an evening gala, Fann said. We had to turn
a club into a Japanese Tea House. Bravo created an authentic revolving moon, complete with
craters, to shine above the dance floor. This event was so loved that several of our
Florida clients now refer to us as The Dream Team From Buffalo.
The Floristry and Bravo teams have even gone to Africa to coordinate the
wedding of actress Stefanie Powers to Patrick de la Chesnais. It was a five-day affair
with a guest list that read like Whos Who in the World.
Clockwise from top left ... Stefanie
Stefanie has done great things with and for the Kenyan people and
deserves bouquets of credit, Fann said with admiration. The William Holden
Foundation is another of her many accomplishments.
When The Flor-istry was commissioned to do the Jill and Jim Kelly wedding,
Bravo Events built wooden frames to protect the Connecticut Street Armorys beautiful
woodwork and used hundreds of yards of sheer white fabric and twinkling lights to enhance
The media was very interested in the Kelly wedding plans, but of
course, that was strictly confidential, Fann declared.
We never discuss our clients plans or their budgets. Every
wedding - large or small - must be treated as a Kelly wedding.
Quality is the most important part of Fanns service to the customer.
She knows there is always someone waiting in the wings to take her place.
I tell everyone here, dont believe your press clippings. If
you do, youre in trouble.
That is why she trains her employees in the fine quality, old-fashioned
methods of floristry.
Our wedding bouquets are always wired. We never use plastic holders
for the flowers.
Fann speaks of her staff with deserved pride.
There is no way you can run these companies without a dedicated
staff. Richard Andrzejczak has been with the Floristry for over 20 years. John Hochadel is
another integral member of the staff. My son, Tom, along with the talented Bravo staff
oversees the display planning division, the computers and the designing of props.
When clients see her wrinkles and gray hair and know of her experience,
they are anxious to discuss exciting plans. Fanns easy manner, warm smile, vibrant
personality and hearty laughter make it clear that humor is an important tool for relaxing
Dinner with the William Holden Foundation staff in Kenya. Pictured clockwise from top left ... Fann, Margaret, James, Tom Markel, Richard, Sam and Ellen Markel.
After a certain number of years and successful events people start
trusting you more, she quipped.
She has also learned it is very important to listen to a clients
needs and wants. Being very understanding of others problems, Fann has gained the
ability to calm people in order to make important decisions.
After all, she quickly pointed out, money is being spent
for a special occasion. Every event - regardless of size - is special and is important to
the host and hostess.
The Floristry is included in the prestigious book, Fine Flowers by
Phone, and was named by Bon Appetit magazine as among the best wedding florists in
the United States.
As Fann and her troupe travel to prepare and create illusions of fantasy,
their thoughts are never far from home.
I love this city! The people are great and its so convenient
to work within the city limits, Fann said. I consider Buffalo the hub of a
wheel and the suburbs its spokes. Buffalo must remain viable to secure the future of
Its a great place to have a great party and a great place for
families to bloom.
Pat Rooney is a free-lance writer from Boston, NY.
Photos courtesy of Fann Markel.
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