Zobel’s flower hobby is in bloom

Zobel’s flower hobby is in bloom

Lucy Li

“My true passion was doing wedding flowers, and that’s how it all started,” US fine arts teacher Claire Zobel said.

Those who play wind instruments in the Middle and Upper School may recognize Upper School fine arts teacher Claire Zobel as a peppy blonde lady with a never-ending enthusiasm for music and a consistently matched wardrobe.

This cheerfulness and designy zing may come from the fact that aside from being a flautist, Zobel is also a certified florist. This year, The Knot magazine recognized her flower business, Florals by Claire, as part of their annual Best of Weddings Vendor Review.

While she was growing up, Zobel helped her father with gardening, and later, began her professional career as a florist by working for local flower shops in the Twin Cities. “Once I had kids, I decided I didn’t want to work for anybody else anymore and not make a lot of money,” she said. “My true passion was doing wedding flowers, and that’s how it all started.”

Despite how peak wedding seasons brush close to the times of orchestra concerts, Zobel manages to balance both of her jobs. “It helps that I work from my home, too, so then I can do [flowers] at odd hours,” she said. Sometimes, this may involve waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning.

Zobel purchases flowers for many St. Paul Academy and Summit School events and has even arranged flowers for several teacher’s weddings, including that of Upper School Science teacher Karissa Baker. Zobel also makes corsages and boutonnieres for high school events.

Winning the award from The Knot made Zobel very pleased. “It means more to me being that I was competing against the biggest florists in town and I got the award being someone very small,” she said.

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