Art of Aging: Dunwoody Village Floral Design Studio

Downsizing for retirees can be a challenge, but a former Wynnewood resident found when she went digging through her basement, she uncovered treasure she could share.

Francesca Northrup has a penchant for creativity, especially with floral design.

Her interest piqued after a trip to the Philadelphia flower show decades ago.

"I fell in love with the aroma, the fragrance, the design and I just knew I had to be a part of it," she said.

She entered a challenge class and made a miniature arrangement. She won first prize and a 75 cent blue ribbon.

"And then you're hooked for life," she said. "It's sort of been an inspiration to me ever since, that anybody can do this - and they can," said Francesca.

Francesca started as a volunteer and now serves as a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Her goal is to provide an experience similar to her first visit.

"I want people to just be awestruck," she said.

She credits much of her success, knowledge and creativity to the people she has met through this event.

"I can't get over what I've learned through PHS and an appreciation for different levels of artistic endeavors," said Francesca.

But a decision to downsize and a suggestion from her brother led Francesca to her next role.

"He said 'I'm going to get rid of all this junk!'I said junk, that's my floral arranging things, don't do that," she said.

So she donated the items to create a floral design studio at Dunwoody Village where she now resides. She leads classes there about once a month.

Francesca believes anyone can learn and she's happy to guide them. (:03)

"People come in and say to me, 'I can't do this. I don't know how, I've never been successful' and they all walk out successful. I am so proud of that," she said.

Francesca also discovered she had a special talent for painting 2 years ago while living at Dunwoody.

She calls her favorite painting happiness, something she shares with others by enriching their lives through her many talents.

"It's my pleasure, I just love doing it," she said.

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