By Katina Caraganis
TOWNSEND -- Ramona Stefan has always had a love for flowers and arranging them, but she never thought she'd be able to get it off the ground in the United States after moving here from Romania.
Her dream became a reality earlier this year, when she launched her business, Elysian Design, out of her Townsend home. She officially announced the opening of her business Wednesday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce in Fitchburg.
From a young age, growing up in eastern Europe, she had an attraction to flowers and arranging them for people.
During her sophomore year of college, she opened a flower shop in her hometown and once she moved to the States and met her husband, who is also from Romania, she decided to open a shop out of her home.
Through the business, she said Wednesday, she hopes she can create innovative, custom-designed floral arrangements and bouquets.
Her bouquets blend European artistic sensibility with extravagant inspiration and input from clients to enhance the beauty of the arrangement.
"I just really like the simplicity and the design side of it," she said. "I've had a big passion for designing things since I was a little kid. My brother was the one who suggested I get into flower arranging.
She said she has always had an eye for design, and things she envisioned as a young child are now coming to life for her.
She gets much of her flowers from wholesale markets in Boston.
"They have something like 15 vendors, and it's a great variety," she said. "They have flowers from all over the place. I don't have a lot to pull from close to home so it helps."
Because she works out of her home, she said it's hard to get her name out there, but business has been slowly picking up since she began in January. She said her relationship with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has helped with that.
She hopes that in the next year or two, business will pick up enough to warrant moving to a storefront somewhere in town.
One thing is for certain, she said: No matter where her business goes, she plans to keep her roots in Townsend.
"We didn't know anything about Townsend when we first moved here," she said. "I figured it would be cheaper to be out here than in a city. We also love log houses, and Townsend is one of the few places you can get them. We love parks and the nature we have here. I really like this area, and I plan to stay here for a while."
To learn more about her business, or contact her, visit http://www.elysian design.com/.
Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.