Russell C Stokes
Lorraine Roman loves observing nature’s beauty first hand. She gets many of her craft ideas studying how succulents and nearby flora grow; she then lets her creative imagination take over. Lorraine is this month’s SaddleBrooke Gift Shop Featured Artist.
Lorraine was born in Hartford, and grew up in Manchester, Connecticut. Lorraine met her future husband Floyd while they both worked at a commercial real estate company in Manchester. She became a stay at home mom for a several years before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a floral designer.
To set her dream in motion, Lorraine attended Rittner School of Design located in Boston. She commuted about three hours round trip each day while attending her ten-week Boston course. Lorraine worked as a floral designer for many years in Connecticut; typically working many 12 hour shifts during special holidays. For those of us who remember Darlin’s Flower Shop in Catalina, Lorraine worked there for six years. She now works out of her home, strictly with artificial succulent arrangements and occasionally creates artificial bridal bouquets.
Lorraine and Floyd moved to SaddleBrooke in the summer of 2000. Lorraine said, “We chose SaddleBrooke after seeing an ad in a AARP magazine.” Lorraine and Floyd took a vacation to Arizona to check out SaddleBrooke. Like many of us, they drove down SaddleBrooke Boulevard and “it was love at first sight.”
Lorraine said, “Floral design is not a hobby or craft you can pack up and put in a closet. The inventory is tremendous. We ended up building an addition onto our house for all the supplies and products,” Some of the many tools she uses to create her arrangements include wire cutters, pliers and a device called a “pick machine” that assists Lorraine to attach a two-inch steel spike to each succulent stem; allowing them to be firmly inserted onto a foam block base.
Lorraine likes to repurpose old containers that she finds at antique and thrift shops; these containers become the base of many of her arrangements.
Lorraine began selling her beautifully designed and realistic artificial succulent arrangements after joining the Gift Shop team about three years ago. She enjoys her time at the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop because she loves meeting and chatting with customers.
Lorraine said “as we age, it’s important to keep busy, do what you love, make an effort to meet new people, and enjoy every day above ground!”
The SaddleBrooke Gift Shop opened in 1986 as the SaddleBrooke Artist Gallery. The Gift Shop is staffed alternately by 38 artists who volunteer their time to help ensure the shop’s success. When looking for that special gift, fabric, jewelry, art work, or greeting card please stop by and visit Lorraine or your other resident artisans. The SaddleBrooke Gift Shop is located in SaddleBrooke One, near the Clubhouse and next door to the fitness center. The SaddleBrooke Gift Shop is currently open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.