Springtime in Oregon usually means longer, warmer days, plenty of sunshine and bright, colorful flowers beginning to bloom.
But Gov. Kate Brown’s recent stay-at-home order due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced many of Oregon’s businesses, including flower companies, to temporarily close their doors and lay off their workers.
Jocelyn Kehrle is a florist for Mayesh Wholesale, one of the state’s biggest flower suppliers. She was one of many workers recently laid off and couldn’t bear to let quantities of flowers go to waste.
“I talked to my boss into letting me go in and just box up as many flowers as possible,” she said.
That’s when she contacted her friend Alyssa Lytle, the owner of the floral design studio, Color Theory Design Co., which also temporarily shut down.
“She said, ‘Come to the loading dock to get whatever flowers you want.’ And so that made me think, ‘What am I going to do with all these flowers?’” she said.
Together, Alyssa and Jocelyn came up with a plan to take those flowers that otherwise would’ve gone to waste and make beautiful installations throughout the city as a way to provide a nice break for people who feel stuck inside.