By Mike V. Derderian
Twenty years ago Assador Choubrian found himself helping out a florist friend in arranging two wedding cars. As his friend arranged the flowers on the main car Assador took care of the escort cars. “He simply needed help because the customer was in such a hurry. I saw him do it a couple of times so I found myself doing it. He didn’t believe that I finished doing it before him. What amazed him most was the good job I’d done,” Choubrian recalled that day.
Did he ever imagine that one day he would become a florist and own two flower shops? No was the answer of the young man who was sitting in a chair behind a wooden desk at the office of his new flower shop that he personally designed. “It is a passion. I don’t look at it as a job even though at the moment I am taking a hiatus from arranging flowers,” Choubrian confessed, “After working hard for 20 years I think it is time to allow my mind some rest.”
The father of three kids aged 1½, 6 and 8, Choubrian acknowledges that he and his wife Michlin have stayed up many nights to make their dream come true. “There were times when I would fall asleep on a chair because I was so tired and exhausted,” Assador explained, adding, “it is not easy to make a name. If there are big names out there it is because they worked hard to get where they are. I am proud to have gotten where I am but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to be done yet.”
Does he see any of his children working as florists? “Levon immediately searches for video games whereas Pierre sits and goes through floral designs and asks me how I created a certain design. It is not an easy line of work but then again they should feel the brunt of responsibility and work,” he confided.
Arranging a flower bouquet for Choubrian is an art form and I was fortunate enough to see the photos of the arrangements that he created for weddings. One of his fascinating creations was a winter themed wedding in August. “Guests were astonished upon entering. I examine every simple detail and leave nothing for coincidence. It is all planned to the last detail,” Choubrian, who also created a four-season theme wedding, proudly noted.
Choubrian admitted that he always welcomes a challenge. When customers ask him to be creative and innovative the skilled and renowned florist is as much excited as much as he is concerned. “It is a big responsibility but the moment a customer gives me the green light my mind is set in motion. I can see it all in my mind before he walks out of my office. A commission either lifts a florist and the wedding or brings him down, which is why there is no room for mistakes,” Choubrian said, “the secret to success before a weeding is to ask your employees to work as if the wedding reception is after an hour.”
What Choubrian remembers most are his days of apprenticeship when his floral arrangements started drawing the attention of customers. “My boss and people were able to handpick my arrangements, which is something that made me real proud and encouraged me to become the florist I am today,” he added.
Choubrian greets his day with a cup of coffee, spending some time with his wife and children before heading to his first shop, where he makes sure all is well with his employees, before heading to the new shop. “My employees are quite skilled florists and are able to deliver to customers the signature Assador floral arrangements,” Choubrian attested.
While others took their time in creating their arrangements Choubrian was known to just sit and create a floral arrangement. “Some might call it vanity (referring to designing everything by himself) but I call it something different. Something that is born within me,” stated Choubrian as he showed me the computer designs of his new place that he personally drew, “before creating a floral arrangement I sketch it using pencil and paper.”
Before leaving I couldn’t but ask him about the collection of Bonsai trees that he arranged on a well-lit shelf in his office. “These require a lot of light and water and of course, whenever the leaves grow, a little scissoring,” concluded Choubrian
Source" : The Star", Amman, 01 December 2008