Goettsch and Ralston

Former owner Virginia Goettsch Isom, left, and longtime current owner Molly Ralston are seen at Three G’s Flowers in Casa Grande in 2013.

Florists have good days and they have bad days. The good days come with weddings; funerals are the bad days. Sometimes they come the same day. Molly Ralston has this all figured out as owner of Three G’s Flowers at 200 E. Florence Blvd. in Casa Grande. And in running the floral shop for 28 years, plus being an employee for the previous owner, she’s gotten to know many of her customers personally. “The happy is easy to be because we’re real upbeat in here,” Ralston said. “We try to be nothing but positive. But even when there’s a sad occasion, we still try to be on the positive side. It’s harder on me because I’ve been here so long. Nine times out of every 10 that comes through to bury somebody, is somebody I know. That’s tough, but it’s kind of like being a funeral director. Somebody has to do it and I have to be here for them because they’re crumbling in front of me. Strength is what it takes and it takes a lot on my part.” While flowers are important elements to be seen at weddings and funerals, it’s also important for the flower shop personnel not to be seen. They strive to be out of the way. “At a wedding a lot of times you don’t meet face to face with the bride and you don’t have the happy time,” Ralston said. “You’re delivering to a room where they’ll be going to gather up their corsages, their bouquets, whatever it happens to be, and you’re decorating the area and she’s not there yet. She’s the one you’ve dealt with in the store for two months, six months, one week. So a lot of the times we don’t actually deal with the wedding people face to face. The venue is who we deal with on the delivery day.” Flower setup at funerals can be difficult because often the family and other mourners are present when the flowers arrive. “If we’re lucky, if we’re early enough, they’re not there because it’s very difficult when the whole family is there to deliver,” she said. Years ago while growing cotton in Picacho and Maricopa, Ralston decided she wanted another endeavor to earn money, especially at Christmas time. A flower shop needed a delivery driver. “I was always looking for a way to make holiday money because I had four girls. Cotton, cattle and kids,” Ralston said. “I worked for the previous owner doing piece driving. She paid me $1.50 apiece. We used our car, our gas and we got paid a portion of the delivery.” Soon, Ralston was the one paying the deliverers because she bought the flower shop. And she kept the name, which was based on the founding Goettsch family, the same. “It wasn’t broke so I didn’t fix it. It was a very well-known flower shop that had a good reputation. I didn’t need to change it.” What has changed since the ‘80s and ‘90s, however, is how flowers are sold. “The floral industry’s really changed a lot. The challenge now is people buy flowers online from non-florists,” Ralston said, adding her store usually serves as a go-between for the buyer and the recipient. “A florist has to fill the order because the wire services (Teleflora and FTD) accept those services. We get them very definitely discounted and most of the time unreasonable. They’ll ask us for all roses for $24.99 and they sell it that way. That’s the biggest challenge right now in addition to being small businesses. It’s tough right now.”

Florists have good days and they have bad days.

The good days come with weddings; funerals are the bad days. Sometimes they come the same day.

Molly Ralston has this all figured out as owner of Three G’s Flowers at 200 E. Florence Blvd. in Casa Grande.

And in running the floral shop for 28 years, plus being an employee for the previous owner, she’s gotten to know many of her customers personally.

“The happy is easy to be because we’re real upbeat in here,” Ralston said. “We try to be nothing but positive. But even when there’s a sad occasion, we still try to be on the positive side. It’s harder on me because I’ve been here so long. Nine times out of every 10 that comes through to bury somebody, is somebody I know. That’s tough, but it’s kind of like being a funeral director. Somebody has to do it and I have to be here for them because they’re crumbling in front of me. Strength is what it takes and it takes a lot on my part.”

While flowers are important elements to be seen at weddings and funerals, it’s also important for the flower shop personnel not to be seen. They strive to be out of the way.

“At a wedding a lot of times you don’t meet face to face with the bride and you don’t have the happy time,” Ralston said. “You’re delivering to a room where they’ll be going to gather up their corsages, their bouquets, whatever it happens to be, and you’re decorating the area and she’s not there yet. She’s the one you’ve dealt with in the store for two months, six months, one week. So a lot of the times we don’t actually deal with the wedding people face to face. The venue is who we deal with on the delivery day.”

Flower setup at funerals can be difficult because often the family and other mourners are present when the flowers arrive.

“If we’re lucky, if we’re early enough, they’re not there because it’s very difficult when the whole family is there to deliver,” she said.

Years ago while growing cotton in Picacho and Maricopa, Ralston decided she wanted another endeavor to earn money, especially at Christmas time. A flower shop needed a delivery driver.

“I was always looking for a way to make holiday money because I had four girls. Cotton, cattle and kids,” Ralston said. “I worked for the previous owner doing piece driving. She paid me $1.50 apiece. We used our car, our gas and we got paid a portion of the delivery.”

Soon, Ralston was the one paying the deliverers because she bought the flower shop. And she kept the name, which was based on the founding Goettsch family, the same.

“It wasn’t broke so I didn’t fix it. It was a very well-known flower shop that had a good reputation. I didn’t need to change it.”

What has changed since the ‘80s and ‘90s, however, is how flowers are sold.

“The floral industry’s really changed a lot. The challenge now is people buy flowers online from non-florists,” Ralston said, adding her store usually serves as a go-between for the buyer and the recipient. “A florist has to fill the order because the wire services (Teleflora and FTD) accept those services. We get them very definitely discounted and most of the time unreasonable. They’ll ask us for all roses for $24.99 and they sell it that way. That’s the biggest challenge right now in addition to being small businesses. It’s tough right now.”

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