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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

Irish Gardens pops up shop on Fieldhouse Mall for weekend visitors

Eva Gorzkiewicz (left) and Shannon Kelly (right) pose with arrangements during Friday’s Irish Gardens pop-up event.

As campus flooded with Irish alumni and Buckeye visitors, student-run, on-campus flower shop Irish Gardens put on one of their monthly pop-up events at Fieldhouse Mall on Friday afternoon. 

The student employees of Irish Gardens say they take great pride in fulfilling the smell-enhancing, gift-giving and dorm decor needs of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students and faculty. The shop offers personal delivery to addresses on both campuses and orders can be placed online or in-person at the shop in the basement of LaFortune Student Center.

Eva Gorzkiewicz, a senior working at Irish Gardens, explained that, beyond online orders and walk-in sales, Irish Gardens also serves the needs of any group in need of floral arrangements or balloons.

“We also do arrangements for a lot of on-campus events,” Gorzkiewicz said. “A lot of clubs will buy centerpieces and stuff like that.”

Shannon Kelly, a senior who worked Friday’s Irish Gardens pop-up event, said holidays can get extremely busy for the flower shop. Valentine’s Day, in particular, brings in waves of shoppers to the LaFortune basement, so Kelly suggested buyers place those orders in advance.

Kelly added that her favorite part of the job is getting to assist the buyers that do not know much in the way of floral arrangements.

“I love when boyfriends come in … they kind of just shuffle and they’re like, ‘Oh, what do I get her?’ or like, ‘What do I do?’” Kelly said. “They always go for the red roses. They shouldn’t because that’s coming on too strong ... it’s just so fun to help people pick something out for a special occasion.”

On top of the arrangement making, Irish Gardens student workers said the shop takes special care to create a strong bond between the 20 or so employees who are students. Gorzkiewicz said this sense of community is precisely what drew her to apply.

“Originally, one of my friends worked at Irish Gardens and she would talk about how much fun it was. I would like to hear from her about the different events they would do. They just sounded super close,” Gorzkiewicz said. “I don’t want to say it’s necessarily a chill job, but [it is] a really fun job — especially compared to a lot of other jobs on-campus. And the social aspect, particularly, it’s really unique.”

Kelly agreed that the Irish Gardens community is the defining aspect of the flower shop.

“Managers just made it really clear from the beginning that you’re supposed to be social because it’s a very social job because you have to help people with all their social occasions,” Kelly said. “And then we try to be friendly with each other too because why not be nice to your coworkers?”

The group said they often get together outside of the basement of LaFortune for various socials and events such as a Friendsgiving.

Student employees oversee all of the Irish Gardens operations including its social media communications. Gorzkiewicz said that, although washing vases can get tedious, she is grateful for her time spent as a member of the Irish Gardens team.

“I definitely think everyone would agree that making flowers itself is the best part of the job ... meeting all the customers, getting to know some of them too and all their special occasions,” Gorzkiewicz said.